The best kept secret of coffee connoisseurs
|A synopsis of the history
of Puerto Rico Coffee
It has been said that the first seedling of coffee was of the Arabica kind and was introduced in the island in early 1700 by a French immigrant. Some coffee historians have a different account of the beginning of coffee growing in the island. They believe that its origin dates back to the post Columbus arrival in Puerto Rico. One can reasonably suspect that coffee might have been introduced in Puerto Rico by the Spanish that found the perfect climate and soil conditions in the high altitudes of the Cordillera Central mountain regions in the late 1500's or early 1600's. However the introduction occurred, the fact remains that the coffee plant was born in Africa in an Ethiopian region (Kaffa). It spread out to Yemen, Arabia and Egypt and on to other parts of the world and later to the Pacific and Central and South America and the Caribbean. The coffee bean followed the same route except that it was in Europe that it first became a popular drink and later on throughout the rest of the western hemisphere.
Puerto Rico Coffee has always been considered of the finest quality in taste and aroma and it was coveted around Europe as the BEST coffee of the world. This standard was the guideline followed to compare coffees being produced elsewhere. The coffee industry flourished and became one of the three top most products that were produced to be exported, coffee, tobacco, and sugar.
Unfortunately for the small coffee farmers the industry has experienced a steady sharp decline during the last decade and is trying to recuperate from the bad reputation that's been caused by unscrupulous big roasters. At CAFEdePR.com we take this situation seriously and we are working hard with small farmers in the coffee region of Puerto Rico to bring you the same quality of coffee that you used to enjoy and expected from Real® Puerto Rico Coffee. We do not sell coffee from every nook and cranny of the world; at CAFEdePR.com you will only find super-premium select cultivated and hand picked Arabica Borbon grown in the high altitude shaded mountains of the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico.
The biggest three roasters, Yaucono, Cafe Rico, and Cafe Crema control 70% of the coffee production in Puerto Rico. When the yearly crop is not enough for the local demand the government imports from other countries. It has been reported in the local press that on several occasions the government has had to confiscate shipments of illegally imported coffee that was going to be delivered to some of the big roasters. One has to wonder how many other shipments are smuggled and get by undetected and make it to the big roasters. In other words, the coffee you buy in the supermarkets is not necessarily grown in PR. This practice of mixing is producing coffee of lower qualities that does not compare to the coffee that's grown by the small farms in the mountains of PR. The taste and aroma and qualities are not the same as the famous coffee that gave Puerto Rico Coffee its fame worldwide.
The small farmers admit that because of a shortage of pickers some of the crop is lost and never harvested but they insist that this problem does not affect them directly and they still manage to grow and produce enough to supply the most demanding coffee connoisseur. They say that the demand for Puerto Rico coffee has dwindled because of the damage done by the deceitful practice of the big roasters of selling coffee with a Puerto Rico label when in fact the content might be coffee mixed with third world countries. They are very concerned and want the public to know that their coffee is Real® Puerto Rico Coffee grown under the same conditions that produces the best coffee Puerto Rico can grow. There are also some self-serving explanations, that you can read at some of these big roasters websites, in which they claim that the devastating destruction caused by Hurricanes like Hugo and Georges are the reasons for the decay of the coffee industry. The small farmers disagree and insist that worse than that has been the constant adulteration of the product which produces coffee of a lower quality that can't compete in the world markets with roasters from Jamaica, Hawaii, Colombia, etc.
At CAFEdePR.com we are very concerned about re-capturing the industry from the big roasters and we will continue to strive towards improving the bad reputation that the big roasters have created. We are asking the consumers of Puerto Rico coffee to stop buying the big brands that you find in supermarkets because there is no guarantee that the coffee in the bag originated in Puerto Rico. We are recommending you buy coffee from small farmers or distributors that can guarantee the origin and quality of the product. At CAFEdePR.com we are currently offering a coffee that's guaranteed to be completely elaborated in the farm in the high mountain shades of Maricao, Puerto Rico. For obvious reasons we do not sell Yaucono, Cafe Rico, Yauco Select, Cafe Crema and other mass produced coffees. We are working hard with small farmers concerned about improving the reputation of the best coffee in the world, The Real® Coffee of Puerto Rico.
We would also like to provide the following facts about the coffee
growing region of Puerto Rico which is located in the Cordillera Central
of the island. Please see the green oval in the map. The history
that has been written indicates that the town of Yauco is considered
Coffee Town. One of the big roasting companies in Puerto Rico is the
Yaucono Coffee which has its roasting facilities in Santurce. There
is no rationale in all of this. It might be obvious to some that
they might have formulated the name Yaucono from the name of the town
of Yauco. We recognize the fact that Corsican immigrants in the
1800's settled in the Yauco mountain section and made coffee their main
concern and did produce considerable crops of the best qualities. We also know that the town of Yauco has some limited areas that stretch out
into the mountains that grow some coffee but we know that the town is
mostly over developed and most of the town limits are on the coast away from
the mountains where coffee does not thrive. We know that in comparison
to Yauco other coffee growing towns produce much more and better coffee than Yauco, yet
Yauco is popular because of the Yaucono brand and the
history that was written around the Corsican influence there. However, we can reasonably conclude that
Yauco because of its topographical location and over development is no
longer the best coffee producing town in Puerto Rico, although it seems to
retain its notoriety.
Maricao, Puerto Rico - one of the largest coffee plantations in Maricao was Hacienda Juanita. This farm and the town are known for producing the best coffee of Puerto Rico that was exported to Europe and coveted worldwide as the best and was the coffee that was preferred by the Vatican. This coffee was introduced with great acceptance in France, Spain, England and all over the world in the beginning of the 19th century. The Cafe Arabica de Puerto Rico is a bean that's hard and of the best kind with all the qualities necessary to produce the rich and exquisite flavor and aroma of Real® Puerto Rico coffee. The coffee growers of Maricao and neighboring coffee growing towns like Las Marias, Lares, Ciales, Adjuntas, Jayuya, and Utuado have dedicated more than 500 years to the perfection of this Cafe Real® de Puerto Rico. This coffee can only be achieved when the climate, the soil, and the elevation of the land are favorable and can be controlled for the cultivation of the best Cafe Real® de Puerto Rico.
The town of Maricao is also known for its traditional festival 'La Fiesta del Acabe del Café' which is celebrated every year during the month of February. It had been a tradition of the big coffee plantation owners to celebrate the end of the harvest with a feast for their workers, neighbors and friends 'La Fiesta del Acabe del Café'. This tradition has been kept alive every year with the celebration of this festival in which the town people open their doors to visitors reminiscent of the old days. We highly recommend you visit Maricao during the weekend of the festival. The festival is a local celebration of the pride and the hard work associated with coffee farming and the town people go out of their way to make the visitor's experience a memorable one.
Real de Puerto
is precisely the result of the most adequate and controlled cultivation and of
the dedication and efforts of the coffee growers of Maricao and Jayuya. A cup of
coffee with the freshness of the mountain. It's a coffee bean exclusively grown
in the most perfect soil and high altitude with the climate conditions only
found in the Puerto Rico high land and rain forest shadowy characteristics.
We bring to you the opportunity of savoring and enjoying this most uniquely farm grown and elaborated coffee. This gourmet ground coffee is completely and 100% elaborated in the mountains of Maricao.
This mutual effort between the grower and distributor will enable you to order this coffee only thru this website. It is very important to understand that this coffee is 100% select and that it's not blended or mixed with beans from other parts of the world.
Café Real de Puerto Rico® is roasted 100% Pure Puerto Rican style in the farm where it's grown and should not be compared with other brands that blend and mix their coffee and label them with fancy names at astronomical prices. Some of these are mass produced imported beans of less qualities than our coffee, and how do you really know what you are getting? The best way is to go directly to the farm and purchase directly from the farmer and the 2nd best choice is to make sure you are getting the coffee directly from the farmer thru an exclusive distributor that has a personal and direct relationship with the grower and that's us CAFEdePR.com. We only sell this 100% Maricao farm grown and farm elaborated coffee Café Real de Puerto Rico®. We know the family and the farm where it's grown and elaborated and it comes with our seal of Purity, Integrity, Distinction, Quality and Guaranty. We are not a warehouse wholesaler that buys cheap over the phone from all over the world and sells a hundred different kinds of coffee.
Interesting facts the big
coffee roasters and packagers do not want you to know: Did you know
that none of the coffee that is commercially sold in the US is grown in
Puerto Rico? You will find many brands of coffee sold in supermarkets
and coffee shops with names similar to the brands in Puerto Rico but none of
this coffee is grown in Puerto Rico. As a matter of fact;
that the coffee that is roasted and sold commercially in
Puerto Rico for local consumption could be blended with imported coffee from
other countries and thus can't be considered 100% Pure Puerto Rican coffee?
yet it is sold with misleading labels that read 100% pure Puerto Rico coffee
by the big roasters. The reason for this is that every year the coffee
crop in PR falls short for local consumption and can't provide enough to
supply the local industry and they have to mix it with beans bought and
imported from other countries to augment and provide enough to meet the
I'd like to share a family secret
with you. This is
the way my grandfather (1896) and my mother (1913) would prepare the most delicious
cup of coffee. Keep in mind that coffee in those days was the main
crop that my grandfather produced in the family farm high in the mountains
of Ciales, Puerto Rico which was simply known as 'cafe de la montańa'.
This recipe is very easy to make, yet, many people spoil a good cup of
coffee. It's mind-boggling how some with so little (just a cotton
sock) can make the best cup of coffee in the world yet some with such
expensive espresso machines and grinders can spoil the brew....Is it perhaps
because they are starting with the wrong beans or grind? OK! in a casserole pour 2, 3, 4, or 5 cups of water
(depending on how many cups you are making) and to that, add a little
more water to replace the evaporated loss. Measure 2, 3, 4, or 5 heaping tablespoons of
'Café Real de Puerto Rico®'
and set aside; at this time you should take care to close the coffee bag
tightly and put it back in the refrigerator or freezer. Heat the water to its
boiling point. As soon as the water starts bubbling from the bottom of
the casserole add the coffee to the water and stir to mix well with the water.
Lower the heat to low-medium and allow the coffee to cook in the boiling water
not more than 1 minute. Turn the heat completely off and let the
casserole stand on the burner simmering for another minute to two minutes while you stir the coffee
occasionally. The good thing about this is that you do not need any expensive fancy urns or
coffee makers to make this excellent brew. Now here comes the good
part; you are welcome to use a sock or any cloth, preferably cotton, to
drain or filter the brew right into your cup. I highly recommend the
Puerto Rico style inexpensive 'colador'. The important thing is not to
allow the coffee ground to get into the cup of coffee..... there! Buen
Provecho! Enjoy your coffee and spread the word!
To preserve the natural aroma and
flavor of our coffee - we recommend to use the entire content of the bag
as soon as possible once the bag has been opened - and to squeeze the air
from the bag and close it tightly and place it in airtight container and
store in the fridge or freezer after every use.
Copyright © 2007
CAFEdePR.com - All Rights Reserved by the author