In the 19th century, Puerto Rico was one of the world’s leading coffee origins. In 1896, for example, the island was the sixth-largest coffee producer in the world. But in the 20th century, coffee apparently became lost in the complex political and economic shuffle that marked Puerto Rico’s passage from agricultural economy and Spanish colony to developing American commonwealth. On the eve of the apocalyptically destructive Hurricane Maria of September 2017, almost all Puerto Rico coffee was sold internally, and Puerto Rico imported more coffee than it exported.
Nevertheless, over the decades before Maria struck, entrepreneurs repeatedly tried to revive Puerto Rico as a source of gourmet coffee. Perhaps these efforts will succeed at some point, hopefully accompanied by a restored and normal post-hurricane life for the people of Puerto Rico. At best, those sporadic high-end Puerto Rico coffees were impressive examples of the Caribbean style, soft yet powerful, with a fragrant, fruit-toned sweetness. But all too often lesser examples were tainted with various shadow processing defects, most frequently a faint mustiness.
However, Maria’s devastation of the Puerto Rico coffee industry has offered agencies like World Coffee Research, TechnoServe and others the opportunity to help rebuild it in ways that hopefully will combine awareness of the opportunities of the specialty market with the latest coffee science.
Puerto Rico Coffee Ratings and Reviews
Click here to view ratings and reviews of coffees from Puerto Rico.