It’s difficult for many people to resist the appealing aroma of hot coffee. For many, the best way to start their day involves getting up in the morning and sipping on a cup of fresh coffee. When you think about it, coffee is a beverage that’s always present in our daily lives. It’s usually readily available at the office or other workplaces and a popular choice for when you want to meet up with friends. Because of this, it’s important to choose a coffee option that is delicious and environmentally friendly. For lots of coffee drinkers, Puerto Rican coffee is a delicious option that fits these criteria.
Puerto Rican Coffee Origins
Puerto Rican coffee is a popular beverage that dates all the way back to the eighteenth century, after the Spanish conquests in Central America. Today, the most popular coffee in the Caribbean is Puerto Rican coffee. The coffee came from Santo Domingo in the 1730s, and quickly expanded its production to the whole island.
Puerto Rican coffee beans are grown in the mountains of central Puerto Rico. This island in Central America is one of the world’s main coffee producers, with one of the main coffee growing areas at an altitude of 2300 feet in the Uroyan Mountains, in the west of Puerto Rico. The volcanic soil here makes this coffee one of the most in-demand due to gourmet and luxury characteristics.
Along with the growing conditions of Puerto Rican coffee, the harvesting and roasting processes also play a key role in the taste and quality.
How is Puerto Rican Coffee Different from Other Coffee Types?
Puerto Rican coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans, meaning that there are no trades of Robusta coffee. This leads to a difference that is noticeable in the coffee’s body and flavor. Compared to other coffee types, it has less bitterness and is smoother. For this reason, the characteristic flavor of this coffee along with the elaboration process mean that it is often referred to as gourmet coffee. The production of Puerto Rican coffee requires certain climates, growing conditions, and care that other coffee types do not have.
How to Tell If Your Puerto Rican Coffee is Authentic
All you need to do to check if Puerto Rican coffee is authentic is look at the packaging, in most cases. The best Puerto Rican coffee will be made with 100% Arabica beans, so if any other beans are included in the blend, it’s not authentic. Many coffee brands use ‘Arabica’ to describe their beans, but upon a closer look, you will notice that they are often blended with Robusta too. Along with this, authentic Puerto Rican coffee will go through an artisanal elaboration process which is designed to guarantee that its best qualities are preserved.
Is Puerto Rican Coffee Good for You?
Since Puerto Rican coffee tends to have a lower caffeine content compared to many other coffee types, it can be easier on your stomach. Caffeine is the main compound that is responsible for the bitter taste of coffee. 100% Arabica coffee has a lower percentage of caffeine, making it less intense and with a lower risk of heartburn.
What is the Difference Between Different Puerto Rican Coffees?
While all Puerto Rican coffees share the main characteristic of being 100% Arabica coffee beans, the different manufacturing processes used for different coffee types will change the flavor. It’s important to pay attention to the type of irrigation that is used with the plants. Whether the coffee beans are sun-dried or machine-dried will also ultimately impact the taste, along with how the coffee is stored. The more natural the processing of the coffee, the richer the taste.
How to Brew Coffee the Puerto Rican Way
Most of the time, making coffee at home is done using a coffee pot or another machine that uses filters and burners. However, you don’t need any of these fancy coffee machines to brew authentic Puerto Rican coffee at home the traditional way. All you need is a saucepan and a coffee sock. To brew Puerto Rican coffee, take the following steps:
- In your saucepan, pour one cup of water for each cup of coffee you want to make
- Bring the water to a simmer, but avoid bringing it to the boil
- When the water is simmering, add one heaped teaspoon of ground coffee for each cup you want to make
- Stir the mixture for around a minute, making sure that the water continues to simmer without boiling
- Remove from the heat, before allowing the coffee to brew for around a minute, and then stir
- Use a coffee sock to strain the mixture and remove the coffee grounds
Popular Puerto Rican Coffees to Try
The unique aroma and flavor of Puerto Rican coffees such as Allo Grande coffee and Porto Rico coffee are among some of the top characteristics that make it a delicious and unique beverage to drink. It offers a combination of the sweetness from chocolate and a nutty neutrality. Once you have learned more about Puerto Rican coffee including how and where it is grown and how it is processed, it’s worth learning about some of the best coffee options in Puerto Rico. Some of the best Puerto Rican coffee brands include:
This is a 100% Arabica coffee that is grown on a plantation in the agricultural region located in the center-north of Puerto Rico. This Puerto Rican coffee maker offers one of the most ecological coffee options. Beans are processed in a mill using rainwater and no agrochemicals. Beans are dried in silos at low temperatures for twenty-two hours. Finally, the size and weight of the beans is selected in a very careful process. This results in a coffee with a relatively mild flavor and a combination of acidity and sweetness.
Founded in 1924, this coffee cooperative is one of the only Puerto Rican coffee brands that is vacuum-packed. By storing the coffee in this way, the intense aroma is better preserved. The brand is headquartered in Ponce, located along the southern coast of the island.
A local farmer who loved the coffee industry, Miguel Ruiz, founded this coffee brand in 1896 in Miramar. In 1916, Yaucono coffee was purchased to continue the family business after Ruiz’ death. It offers an intense aroma and flavor, which is an ideal choice for those who prefer a strong cup of coffee in the morning.
Like lots of other Puerto Rican companies, this coffee is produced by the same family, and has been for several generations. Since 1989, it has been located in the Lares region of Puerto Rico and has a strong policy of always producing products that are 100% perfect. Farmers are in charge of the planting and care of the coffee plants, along with harvesting, washing, and getting the beans prepared for roasting.
This coffee has been part of a family-run company for four generations. It is grown on a plantation that is located in the Yauco mountains, at over three thousand meters above the seal level. The entire process is carried out manually from cultivation of the coffee beans to drying and sorting. It’s one of the best-selling coffee brands in Puerto Rico and is qualified as ‘nature friendly’ as the process uses tools to reduce CO2 emissions and recycle water during the process of drying.
This is a coffee brand that you will find in many Puerto Rican coffee shops. It originates in the mountains of Jayuya and has been run by a family for over four generations. It is one of the sweetest coffees available on the island and there are options available with rosemary or sage flavoring to try. It is grown and picked by hand and goes through a very artisanal drying process that has been carried out in the same way for over a century.
This coffee is one hundred percent Arabica coffee that has been grown at an altitude of over one thousand meters above the sea level in the center of the Yauco mountains. It is dried in the sun and then stored under controlled climatic conditions before grading. It is known for being an acidic coffee that has notes of spice and caramel. It’s grown and produced on a farm that has been in the same family for several years.
Since 1830, this coffee has been produced in the Lealtad hacienda and preserves the traditional Puerto Rican coffee flavor. The plantation is around four hundred meters above the sea level and shady. Coffee beans are left in the sun to dry before being roasted in a dark press. It’s an ideal choice of coffee for those who like to drink it with milk.
Tesoro del Sol
This coffee is produced at the top of the Uroyan Mountains and is one of the tastiest and healthiest Puerto Rican coffee brands around. It is produced using environmentally friendly methods including no pesticides and a natural maturation process after which the coffee is hand-harvested. Strict quality standards apply to drying and storing the coffee.
Made with 100% Arabica coffee, it’s easy to see why Puerto Rican coffees are known to be some of the best in the world.