Best Coffee In Puerto Rico

Once known as a coffee-growing powerhouse, Puerto Rico is making a comeback in the coffee production industry. This presents a golden opportunity for coffee enthusiasts to indulge in high-quality specialty beans before their prices soar. Discover the potential of six Puerto Rico coffee brands that our experts believe could become the next big thing.

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Choosing the Best Puerto Rican Coffee Brands

Is Puerto Rico renowned for its coffee? Absolutely! After facing some challenging years, the Puerto Rican coffee industry is reemerging and reclaiming its rightful place among the best-tasting coffee beans on the planet. To help you select the perfect coffee brand from Puerto Rico based on your preferences, we have compiled some helpful guidelines.

The Flavors of the Islands

Puerto Ricans adore coffee, and it’s no surprise why. As they often say themselves, the challenge for exporters is meeting the overwhelming local demand. Puerto Rico being a small island, coffee is grown under similar conditions, resulting in smooth and full-bodied flavors with naturally low acidity. The predominant flavor is chocolate, often accompanied by hints of sweetness like honey or caramel. The key differences between brands lie in their processing methods and roasts.

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Any Roast Can Be Right

The best roast for Puerto Rican coffee beans is the one that suits your taste buds. Darker roasts tend to have less distinct flavors from the beans and more from the roasting process, offering bittersweet chocolate and toasted nut notes. Medium roasts showcase the coffee bean itself, with flavors like milk chocolate, honey sweetness, or ripe fruit. Light roasts reveal the coffee bean’s complex and subtle flavors while emphasizing acidity. As Puerto Rican coffee beans are naturally mild, smooth, and low in acidity, medium to dark roasts are the most common.

Opt for Whole Beans If You Can

For the freshest and most flavorful cup, we recommend buying whole beans and grinding them just before brewing. However, if you do not have a grinder at home, it is acceptable to buy pre-ground coffee. The key is to choose the correct grind size based on your brewing method. Remember that espresso requires a much finer grind than drip coffee.

Certifications Are Few and Far Between

As Puerto Rico is just re-emerging in the international coffee scene, few brands possess recognized certifications like organic, Kosher, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance. However, this should not discourage you from trying Puerto Rican coffee. Many small farmers employ sustainable practices, even if they lack the infrastructure for certification. If certifications are important to you, we suggest researching the coffee estates themselves instead of relying solely on labels.

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The 6 Best Puerto Rican Coffee Beans in 2023

We have tasted so much Puerto Rican coffee that we’re practically vibrating in our chairs. But it’s all for a good cause. Here are six brands guaranteed to transport your taste buds to the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico.

Hacienda San Pedro Coffee Beans

Volcanica – Hacienda San Pedro: This coffee marks the rebirth of Puerto Rico as a specialty coffee-growing region. Sourced from Hacienda San Pedro, a family-run farm with a century-long history in the mountain town of Jayuyu, these premium beans are rare outside the country. The care and expertise poured into growing these beans result in a rich and smooth cup with flavors of caramel sweetness, chocolate, and aromatic spices.

Café Lareno Coffee Beans

Café Lareno: Founded in 1989 in the high mountains of Lares, Café Lareno began with a small 35-pound roaster. Now, with the fourth generation at the helm, they maintain a hands-on approach, from planting and harvesting to drying, roasting, and packaging. The result is an approachable coffee with flavors of chocolate and caramel, mild acidity, and no bitterness.

Yaucono Coffee Beans

Yaucono: As one of the largest coffee roasters on the island, Yaucono has thrived even during the industry’s decline. Loved by islanders, this coffee boasts an unbeatable flavor. It is a very mild, easy-drinking coffee with a smooth and balanced profile. Expect a hint of chocolate and a delightful caffeine boost. Puerto Ricans usually enjoy it as an espresso or mixed with steamed milk and a touch of cinnamon.

Alto Grande Super Premium Coffee Beans

Alto Grande Super Premium: If you seek a coffee fit for royalty, look no further than Alto Grande. With a history dating back to 1839, this brand proudly calls itself the “Coffee of Popes and Kings.” Grown at higher elevations, the Arabica trees on the farm produce limited quantities of exceptional beans. Offering a delicate chocolate flavor and an exotic aroma, Alto Grande provides a taste of the tropical paradise. Act fast as supply is always limited.

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Cafe de Oro Coffee Beans

Cafe de Oro: For those who crave a rich and bold flavor, Cafe de Oro, or Coffee of Gold, is the ideal choice. These 100% Arabica beans are grown in the Lares region’s mountains and undergo a dark roast. The result is a strong and smooth coffee with bittersweet chocolate and underlying caramel sweetness. Enjoy it black, as the natural sweetness requires no additional sugars. It also makes an outstanding espresso.

Cafe Di Laris Coffee Beans

Cafe Di Laris: As Puerto Rico’s first certified Kosher coffee brand, Cafe Di Laris adheres to a meticulous process without any additives. Grown in the mountainous Lares region, these 100% Arabica beans are sun-dried and processed solely with water before reaching a perfect medium-dark roast. The natural drying process gives them a sweeter, fruitier taste reminiscent of naturally processed Ethiopian beans.

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The Verdict

With Puerto Rican coffee finally back on the market, this is an excellent time to savor these once world-famous coffees. For a medium roast that beautifully captures the island’s flavors, we recommend Volcanica’s Hacienda San Pedro. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the unique delights of Puerto Rican coffee!

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