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History of coffee in Puerto Rico in the United States

Published: 2024-05-20 Author:
Last Updated: 2024/05/20, There are many islands in the Caribbean Sea, and the soil and growing conditions of these islands are very suitable for growing coffee. Therefore, there are currently many coffee-producing countries in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, Cuba, Dominica, etc. However, in the Caribbean, coffee is also grown in Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico is fully known as the Autonomous State of Puerto Rico

There are many islands in the Caribbean, the soil and growth conditions of these islands are very suitable for growing coffee, so there are many coffee producing countries in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, Cuba, Dominica and so on.

However, in the Caribbean, there is coffee grown in Puerto Rico, which is known as the Autonomous State of Puerto Rico (The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). Puerto Rico is not a country, but an autonomous region of the United States.

Puerto Rico is located in the eastern part of the Caribbean island of the Greater Antilles, bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the south, the United States Virgin Islands and the British Islands to the east, and Dominica to the west through the Mona Strait, covering a land area of 9104 square kilometers.

Mountains and hills make up 3x4 of the whole island of Puerto Rico. The Central Mountains run from east to west, stretching from the center to all sides, and the coastal areas are plains. And Puerto Rico is a volcanic zone with a tropical rainforest climate with ample rainfall and an average annual temperature of 28 ℃, making it ideal for growing coffee.

Puerto Rico began to grow coffee as early as the 18th century, and it was Spanish colonists who brought coffee seeds to the island as a cash crop.

By the end of the 19th century, Puerto Rico's coffee production soared, with an annual output of 30 million pounds of raw beans, making it the seventh largest coffee producer in the world at the time.

But then the United States seized the island from Spanish colonial rule and greatly increased the cost of growing coffee. According to statistics, more than 10,000 Puerto Rican farmers have given up growing coffee, and many farmers have begun to turn to cash crops such as sugar cane and pineapples. Since then, coffee production on the island has continued to decline.

However, some farmers still grow coffee to supply the United States, and from 1926 to 1928, Puerto Rico was hit by a series of large typhoons, which destroyed many coffee farms and many farmers went bankrupt. In addition, increased coffee production and low prices in Brazil have replaced Puerto Rico's coffee market in the United States.

However, two major hurricanes hit Puerto Rico in 2017, destroying nearly 90% of coffee plants and another catastrophic Hurricane Isabel in 2020, seriously affecting the local coffee industry.

At present, Puerto Rico coffee fields are mainly distributed in the southwestern mountains, and the Yuko area is of the best quality. There are about 4000 coffee farmers on the island who produce about 3 million pounds (1.4 million kilograms) of raw coffee beans each year, generally only 8 to 10 percent are used for export and the rest will be consumed on the island.

However, Puerto Rico's coffee industry is gradually recovering and is funded by the United States. In addition to Arabica coffee, the island also grows Robusta and Liberica varieties. In addition, in the past, only water washing, sunlight and other traditional treatment methods were used, but now some experimental processing methods are being introduced.

In addition, Puerto Rican coffee is also gradually emerging in the international market, and there will be more opportunities to see Puerto Rican coffee beans in the international community in the future.