A taste of locally grown coffee will give you a new appreciation for the quality of Puerto Rico’s beans.

Café, por favor

(Coffee, please.)

Waking up in Puerto Rico includes having a good cup of café colao', whether it be puya, cortaditotérmino, or clarito, and, when you visit a local family around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m., you will also be offered a cup of coffee.

In Puerto Rico, drinking coffee is a habit deeply woven into our culture. Coffee has been grown in the mountainous area of Puerto Rico since the 18th century. In the 19th century, it was one of the most important industries on the Island, with substantial local coffee exports to Europe. In fact, although the brand was never identified, both the King of Spain and the Pope were said to consume Puerto Rican coffee.

Even though the Island's coffee industry has greatly diminished, there are still working coffee haciendas that you can visit and experience first-hand the environment where our jíbaros used to live and work. On these haciendas, you can see the process of growing, harvesting, and roasting coffee and taste fresh coffee prepared with freshly ground beans.

In this episode, we invite you to join us on a road trip to Hacienda San Pedro in the central mountainous area of Puerto Rico, and Rebecca Atienza will teach you how to order a coffee cup like a Boricua.

In this episode of our "Sounds like Puerto Rico" series, we invite you to join us on a road trip to the central mountainous area of Puerto Rico, and we will teach you how to order a coffee cup like a local. How do you take your cup of coffee?

Facts about local coffee

The most common coffee bean on the Island is the Arabica bean.

The history of Puerto Rican coffee goes back 200 years when it was introduced to the Island in 1736.

The first coffee beans were sown in Puerto Rico towards the end of the 18th century.

It used to be called the "coffee of popes and kings" because it was the main export from the Island to Europe.

Aroma and flavor: Puerto Rican coffee has sweet, dry fruit nuances with chocolate undertones and almond and plum hints.

The acidity gives subtle citrus and non-bitter notes.

Texture: The body of the coffee is rich and supple.

Common ways of ordering coffee

Cargao u oscurito – Coffee with just a little bit of milk, more on the "pure/heavy" side. 

Prieto o negro – Black coffee, without milk

Puya – without any milk or sugar  

Término medio – "Half and half," just the perfect balance of coffee and milk (not too light, not too dark) 

Cortadito – an espresso with a layer of steamed milk. 

Café con leche – like a traditional latte, served in a large coffee cup with a large milk ratio.  

Café bibí – a very light latte. The ratio of milk is higher than the ratio of coffee. 

Pocillo – a regular espresso served in a small cup, usually containing four to six ounces. 

Café aguao - refers to coffee with a low concentration of coffee, "watered down." What Puerto Ricans call a café americano or American coffee.


Café, por favor

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