Puerto Rico is a small island located between Dominican Republic and Virgin Islands. With a population of only 4 million, it might not be considered as one of the happening or prosperous countries of the world. But if there is one thing that this country has been known for since the past many years – it’s the Puerto Rican coffee.
Just over a hundred years ago, Puerto Rico was one of the largest coffee exporters in the world. It all started way back in 1736 – during the times of Spanish colonies. Despite of a tough start in the beginning, the Puerto Rican coffee industry witnessed a massive boom during the 1800s, when most of the coffee producing part of the world was confronted with civil wars and economic devastation.
Puerto Rican Coffee Varieties
Talking about the production side, the coffee harvest season is from August to March. Out of the total world coffee production, Puerto Rican coffee only accounts for 0.01% due to economic restrictions. Finding good Puerto Rican coffee beans can be challenging if you are not aware of the right brands that sell those specialty coffee beans.
As far as the Puerto Rican coffee variants are concerned, here is a list of some of coffee types that are harvested in the country:
- Yauco Select
- Café Rico
- Alto Grande Super Premium
The usual flavor of Puerto Rico coffee is medium acid brew, having a unique flavor and an aromatic feel to the beverage. Locals usually go for an espresso, a cortadito or a café con leche (the café latte in the United States).
You can easily find these coffee varieties in the local coffee shops if you are in Puerto Rico, at very affordable prices.
Forget Starbucks if you are in Puerto Rico
If you ever get a chance to travel to Puerto Rico, well, one thing is for sure – you don’t have to look for a Starbucks or any other Western coffee chain to quench your coffee thirst. A better idea would be to try out the local coffee shops, some of which we have handpicked for you:
CafiCultura – This is an old residence that has been turned into a specialty coffee place. It is located on the north side of Plaza Colon.
Café Cuatro Sombras – This coffee place has deep roots in coffee beans cultivation – dates back to 1846. Known for its 100% Arabica coffee beans, their farm-to-cup operations ensures you get the highest quality of coffee each time.
Café Colao – This is one of the newer coffee places in the country, but certainly liked by both locals and tourists for their wide variety of coffee beans.
Café Don Ruiz – Located in the Ballaja Barracks, this place also has a long history producing traditional 100% Arabica coffee beans that are grown and harvested in the mountainous region of Yauco farm which is around 3,000 feet above sea level. The flavor you get here is rich, robust and full-bodied.
Café Lucero – a place known to serve handpicked, high quality 100% Arabica coffee beans that are harvested in the mountains of Ponce.
Café Nativo – With an ideal mountainous view, Café Nativo is the perfect spot for those who like to enjoy coffee with a little bit of landscape. Using pure spring water and ecological techniques, the coffee beans are grown and harvested at a low temperature to ensure natural aromatic oils and flavors remain present in your cup of coffee.
Friend’s Café – Might not be as traditional as the rest of the coffee shops, this is still one of the better options that you will find for a perfectly brewed cup of Puerto Rican coffee in the Plaza Colon area.
Hacienda San Pedro – With a history that dates back to the early 19th century, Hacienda San Pedro seres artisanal Puerto Rican coffee that is grown and harvested in the mountains of Jayuya. The coffee is quite rich, full-bodied, velvety and has flavor notes of spice and caramel.
Quick Overview of Famous Puerto Rican Coffee Brands
Going to Puerto Rico might not be part of everyone’s travel itinerary, particularly during the COVID-19 global lockdowns and travel restrictions still in effect in most parts of the world.
This is why we have picked some of the best brands that sell Puerto Rican coffee:
- Alto Grande
- Café Sabino
- Café Molido
- Artesania Boricua
- Café Tero
- Café Aromas Del Campo
- Hacienda San Pedro
Puerto Rican Coffee Guide – In a Nutshell
Usually rated as one of the top espressos in the world, Puerto Rican coffee is an absolute delight, particularly for those who know their coffee well enough to differentiate between medium and darker coffee roasts, with varying levels of sweeteners, aroma and oils as well.
Even with all the obstacles, difficulties and challenges that the country faced since the past many years, Puerto Rican coffee is still loved and demanded by a number of coffee aficionados all around the world.
Year 2017 was somewhat a sign of hope in terms of coffee production and exports, however, due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the country was once again hit with severe economic conditions – affecting coffee production as well.
Nevertheless, Puerto Rican coffee was, and will always remain a specialty coffee for a lot of people out there.