All About Puerto Rico Coffee – History and Best Brands

Few people resist the tempting aroma of coffee. Getting up in the morning and sipping a cup looking out the window is the best way to start the day. This popular beverage dates back to the 18th century after the Spanish conquests in Central America, and today Puerto Rico’s coffee is the most popular in the Caribbean and, but also in the rest of the world. 

History of Puerto Rico coffee

The Central American island of Puerto Rico is one of the world’s main producers of this grain. One of the main growing areas is located at an altitude of 2300 feet in the Uroyan Mountains in the west of the country.

The nutrients from the volcanic soil make Puerto Rico coffee one of the most sought-after coffees in the world for its gourmet luxury characteristics.

The process of harvesting and subsequent roasting of the coffee beans also plays an important role, allowing the highest quality standards to be achieved. 

Caribbean coffee achieved such repercussion and fame that it was even the beverage manufactured specifically for the Pope and the Royal Courts of Europe.

Types of Puerto Rico coffee

Currently, among the types of coffee beans harvested in Puerto Rico, the most popular is Arabica, characterized for being sweeter and chocolatey. 

Its most popular varieties are Boubon, Typica, Pacas and Catimor. You can find artisanal options, and hand-picked to guarantee a unique taste. These are some of the most common flavors:

Puerto Rico Coffee Tour

In addition to having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Puerto Rico’s coffee attracts hundreds of tourists every year.

Whether to visit coffee shops and acquire new suppliers or to try the different options and choose the most popular coffee brands to take home. 

If you travel to Puerto Rico and want to know the best plantations in the Caribbean, you should not miss these:

Hacienda Buenas vista

It is one of the largest coffee plantations in Puerto Rico. It has been on the island since the 19th century and has 87 acres. Today it functions as a museum. You can visit the plantations and see the stables with horses, the old mills and the typical houses of the area.

Hacienda 3 Angeles

Located in the city of Adjuntas, this hacienda is another of the great plantations that you can find on the Puerto Rico coffee tour. Here you will be able to see up close the process of production, care, and processing of the bean. A plus is that you will enjoy the scenery in the middle of the mountains.

Hacienda Gran Batey

It is one of the newest, founded in 2003. It is located in Utuado and produces Arabica coffee upon request. Its owners use unconventional techniques for the processing of the bean, making it very famous in the area. If you would like to see what the coffee manufacturing process was like several years ago, this visit will be a good option.

Puerto Rico coffee processing

One of the characteristics that make Puerto Rican coffee so distinguished worldwide is its processing.

Being a mass consumption product, many companies use industrialized methods to obtain a coffee suitable for sale. This is something that does not occur on the island. Caribbean coffee goes through a completely natural and artisanal process.

Many companies choose to meticulously hand-pick the beans. Although time-consuming, it ensures that the best possible product is obtained. In this process, the beans are classified and those that are not of good quality are discarded.

Once this first step is completed, each ripe bean undergoes a process, often done manually, where the pulp and husk are separated from the bean.

Finally, the beans are placed on large trays for subsequent drying in specialized ovens. Many Puerto Rican coffee brands opt for natural sun drying, such as Tesoro del Sol or San Pedro. This guarantees a more natural and healthy finish. 

Finally, the last step is sorting by color, size and weight and then packaging.

Top 10 of the best Puerto Rico coffees

Among the main characteristics that make Puerto Rican coffee, a unique beverage are its aroma and flavor. It has a mixture between the sweetness of chocolate and the neutrality provided by the nuts. 

After learning about the process and the varieties that you can find on the island, surely you have the desire to try the best coffee in Puerto Rico. That’s why we leave you with the 10 best brands of coffee on the island:

1. Tesoro del Sol:

Tesoro del Sol freshly roasted ground coffee is produced at the top of the Uroyan Mountains. Among Puerto Rican coffee brands, it is one of the healthiest and tastiest.

It has an environmentally friendly production process. The producing farm does not use pesticides and the coffee is harvested by hand after a natural maturation process. Drying and storage are carried out under strict quality standards. 

Tesoro del Sol coffee is 100% Arabica and has a smooth flavor that will remind you of the best of the Caribbean.

2. Di Laris. 

Produced in the Lealtad hacienda since 1830, it is a kosher product that preserves the traditional flavor of Puerto Rican coffee. 

The plantation is in the shade, about 400 meters above sea level. The coffee beans are dried in the sun and then roasted in a dark press. 

It bears the name “Di Laris, in honor of the way of speaking of the inhabitants of Lares. This coffee is ideal for those who like to accompany it with milk. 

3. Cuatro Sombras

This coffee is 100% Arabica. Grown in the middle of the Yauco mountains at an altitude of more than 1000 meters above sea level. 

Like many others, they use a sun-drying process. It is then storage under controlled climatic conditions until it is time for grading. Its main characteristic is acidity with a touch of caramel and spice. 

This coffee is made on a farm that has belonged to the same family for several years. 

4. San Pedro

You can find it in many coffee shops in Puerto Rico. It comes from the mountains of Jayuya for more than four generations. It is one of the sweetest coffees you will find on the island, with options flavored with sage and rosemary. 

San Pedro coffee is also grown and picked by hand. The drying process is extremely artisanal. It has the same way it was done 100 years ago.

5. Puta Madre

Although its name may sound bad in some regions of Latin America, its flavor does not. It is one of the most popular Puerto Rico coffee. 

It is grown in one of the highest altitude regions of the island, the Adjuntas region. Its peculiar name comes from the expression of an Andalusian when he tasted this coffee for the first time. 

6. Don Ruiz

This plantation has been in the same family for four generations in the mountains of Yauco. 

The entire process, from cultivation to drying and sorting, is manually carried out. It is one of the best-selling brands of Puerto Rican coffee on the island.

7. Flavored Arabica coffee

Although it is a coffee of Dominican origin, it is produced for the Caribbean Trading company in Puerto Rico. Its origin dates back to more than 200 years ago when the bean was just arriving in America. 

Like the Tostado del Sol coffee, its production preserves the ancestral tradition of production. This guarantees a premium quality finish. It is organic, pesticide-free and Kosher. 

What makes this variety of Puerto Rican coffee unique is that you can find it in various flavors: cinnamon, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut, among others. 

8. Yaucono

The origin of this brand was in Miramar, in 1896 by Miguel Ruiz, a local farmer who fell in love with this industry. 

After his death, and to continue with the family business, in 1916 they bought the Yaucono brand. 

This Puerto Rican coffee has an intense flavor and aroma. Ideal for those who like a strong drink in the morning.

9. Café Rico

This coffee cooperative was founded in 1924 and is one of the only brands of coffee in Puerto Rico that is vacuum-packed. 

This technique helps to preserve the intense aroma of the coffee. Its headquarters are located in Ponce, on the southern coast of the island. 

10. Salomé

It is a 100% Arabica coffee. Its main plantation is located in the agricultural region of the center-north of the island. 

It is one of the most ecological coffee options. The beans are processing in a mill that uses rainwater. Free of agrochemicals. The beans drying is done in silos at low temperatures for 22 hours.

The final step of selecting the size and weight of the beans is very careful. It has a relatively mild flavor with a mixture of sweetness and acidity.  

If you visit the Caribbean you cannot miss these coffees. You will be able to taste the most varied options and choose the one that best suits your palate.

How to buy Puerto Rico coffee from anywhere in the world

If you live in another country and want to have the best of Puerto Rico coffee at home, you can make your purchase online and receive it from the comfort of your own home. Once you try it, you will never want to buy conventional coffee again. In the Caribbean Trading online shop we have a whole category of select coffees.

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