Coffee was introduced to Puerto Rico in the mid 1736, because of the ideal geographical location, mountainous terrain and unique soil conditions favorable for growing coffee. It soon became a major export produce to Europe, and one of the most important cash crops on the island. Eventually, Puerto Rico developed into one of the worlds most important producers of fine coffee, a status which it lost, after the devastation of its coffee crop by several major hurricanes. Nonetheless, coffee cultivation and production has survived and is heavily treasured by many.
In the Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Haiti & the Dominican Republic, coffee is typically grown at altitudes ranging from 1000 to 3500 ft. and higher. It is processed by the traditional 24 hr wet fermentation, wash & 5 to 7 day sun drying method. It possesses a characteristic gentle flavor of the region in which they are grown, is softly or agreeably acidic and typically medium to dark roasted to enhance its hint of cocoa like flavor & pleasant palatable after taste, making it a favorite morning and after dinner coffee. Jamaica and Puerto Rico have the rich bauxite soil and geographical location suited for coffee growing. This makes Jamaican Blue Mountain & Puerto Rican coffee very similar, in terms of texture, taste & quality.
During the early part of the 19th century, events in Europe forced a migration of residents from the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. They arrived to Puerto Rico and were quickly told that if they wanted to farm, they would have to go to the highlands for all the valleys were taken by the Spanish immigrants. They settled in the Southwestern mountainous region of the island. By the 1860s they dominated the coffee industry on the island and then made two important decisions that would affect the course of their history. Puerto Rican coffee received a premium price all over Europe and by the 1890s represented a standard of excellence in production that many other countries sought to imitate. The island’s production was the sixth largest in the world. Just like Hawaii Kona, Puerto Rico’s labor cost reflect U.S. Government standards. Puerto Rico also follows U.S. environmental standards.