Shortage of labor and the general lack of interest in the agricultural sector are two of the main reasons why the island does not produce enough coffee. If you've never tried Puerto Rican coffee, you should. It's quite mild and smooth, and many coffee connoisseurs consider it to be of really good quality. Yaucono, Café Rico and Café Crema are the major brands, but there are also many smaller roasters, such as Finca Cialitos and Café Real. When visiting the island, unless you're at a Starbucks, don't expect to find flavored coffee. Puerto Ricans drink cortaditos and café con leche. FYI: the photo above was taken at Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, a former coffee plantation. Look closely and you'll actually see unripe coffee beans, which are green.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Puerto Rican Coffee
Can you guess which are the top three coffee exporting countries in the world? Well, according to the U.S National Coffee Association, it's Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia. Unsurprisingly, Puerto Rico doesn't even make it to the top 10. The island's coffee growing region is located in the mountainous central region, the Cordillera Central, in the towns of Adjuntas, Ciales, Yauco, just to name a few. Coffee was introduced to the island back in the 18th Century and it was once a major coffee exporter, the sixth largest, during the late 19th Century. Nowadays, Puerto Rico actually has to import coffee since demand exceeds supply.