Ready for the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had?
Call it coffee, joe, java, brew, cuppa, jolt, or even nectar of the gods; whatever your favorite name, coffee is drank by millions and is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It is no different here in Puerto Rico – an estimated thirty million pounds of coffee are consumed in Puerto Rico every year.
When you visit Luquillo, the locals will proudly tell you that the Pope drinks Puerto Rican coffee. You may think that’s funny but nonetheless it is quite true today, as it has been throughout history. Puerto Rico has a long record of superb coffee production dating back to the early 1700s when the Spanish introduced it to the island.
What to expect
Puerto Rican coffee has a rich, full-bodied, and delicious favor. It is a medium acidity, highly flavored Caribbean coffee that possesses a unique, pleasant aroma with a slightly sweet after-taste. The reason we have such amazing coffee is because nature provides ideal conditions to grow some of world’s best coffee beans here on the island. The rich volcanic soil, climate, and elevations in Puerto Rico’s interior make for ideal environment for coffee cultivation.
Puerto Rico’s primary coffee bean is Arabica and under our environmental conditions produces some of the richest and most flavorful verities of coffee. Each Arabica tree only generates one pound of coffee per year – so a very limited production but amazing quality!
A brief history lesson
There is some debate of how coffee farming began in Puerto Rico. Some say, it dates back to 1500s to the post-Columbus arrival time, others believe it was brought to the island in early 1700s by French immigrants.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, whatever the actual date, coffee production in Puerto Rico quickly began to thrive. It reached its peak in the 19th Century, when it became the favorite of the Vatican and the royal courts throughout Europe and Japan.
Unfortunately, due to a series of devastating hurricanes that hit the island, industrialization, sugar cane production and shortages in farming labor, Puerto Rico’s amazing coffee almost disappeared from the world’s markets.
Fortunately, today, despite the production decline, coffee is still grown in Puerto Rico and available for us to enjoy. Some local brands include Cafe Rico, Yauco Selecto, Yaucono, Adjuntas, Coqui, Crema, and Alto Grande Super Premium. Alto Grande and Café Yauco Selecto are among the best known premium coffee brands the island has to offer.
Try this variety pack from Amazon!
In fact, Alto Grande holds the designation of super-premium quality. This prestigious designation is held by only three coffee brands in the world: Alto Grande Super Premium, Kona from Hawaii, and Jamaican Blue Mountain. So, Puerto Rican coffee is in good company, wouldn’t you say?
Here is the best news: The Puerto Rican government sets the prices for local coffee on the island. This means that, while you’re here, you can enjoy this amazing java for very low prices! You will not get these type of bargains on high quality coffee anywhere else in the world – literally. It is not uncommon for visitors to leave the island with pounds and pounds of coffee in their suitcases to share and enjoy after their visit.
How do Puerto Rican’s drink their coffee?
Most popular way is to drink it evenly split: espresso and milk, aka cortados. Locally coffee is typically served like a café con leche. However, it is not uncommon to find it in pure espresso form and even Americano style – espresso with water.
Local coffee shops will pretty much offer it to you any way you like it.
So, don’t miss on Puerto Rico’s local coffee experience when you visit Luquillo and try a cup!