Puerto Rican coffee brews heritage and terroir in a nuanced blend

(Photo By Amy Toensing/Getty Images)
(Photo By Amy Toensing/Getty Images) /

While the tropical island offers relaxing breezes and promises of sweet delights, Puerto Rican coffee brings a different conversation to the cup. Even though the island is steeped in food culture, the history, culture, and tradition pour a more nuanced flavor than what people may initially appreciate. While some people might have their traditional morning blend, it might be time to take a moment to appreciate another flavor that deserves its story to be told.

Taking a trip to Puerto Rico is more than just a just plane getaway that does not require a passport. Even though the beaches delight with the sun kissed sand, the people and their heritage flavor the experience long before the sun goes down.

When it comes to Puerto Rican coffee, the crop dates back to the 1700s. When the Spainards arrived on the island, they looked at the terrain and knew that it was ripe for coffee. Even if other native botanicals filled the space, the versatile coffee bean would become an economic driver for the island.

Similar to have wine lovers speak to the benefit of altitudes, sunlight, and environmental issues influences the flavors of a grape the same can be said of wine. From the volcanic soil to the higher elevations, each element creates Puerto Rico’s unique flavor profile.

Across the Western part of the island, the coffee haciendas have a nod to the old-school life. Even though it might seem like a slice of the 1800s, the modern approaches do not slight the tradition that is integral to the flavor that makes people swoon.

For example, Café Lucero blends modern techniques with locale and tradition to ensure that every harvest maintains peak flavor. Never departing from its strict standards, the robust coffee flavor is clear in every offering. Whether it is the higher elevation or the willingness to support land conservation, this coffee offering is worthy of another pout.

At Latitude 18 at Hacienda Jacana, the coffee benefits from the volcanic soil in the area. After the devastation from Hurricane Maria, the company chose to rise again. Showcasing the strength and heart of the Puerto Rican spirit, the coffee company wants to serve as an example to its country. That sentiment can be tasted in very offering.

These two examples are just a small selection of the many devoted craftsmen that roast Puerto Rican coffee. Even though other nations might get accolades for the storied names, the Carribean nation deserves to be part of the conversation.

While no one will ever overlook that iconic Pina Colada or turn down a serving of mofongo, the reality is that Puerto Rican coffee deserves to be part of these food and beverage conversations. Maybe the next morning mantra should be raising a mug of the coffee from the island of enchantment.

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