the progress after hurricane María
Puerto Rico bets on a coffee comeback, BBC News
Caffeine Culture: The History of Coffee in Puerto Rico, Passion Passport
13 Months After Maria, a Major Investment in Puerto Rico’s Coffee Sector, Daily Coffee News
the unexpected beginning
I flew to Puerto Rico a few weeks ago – could feel my heart beating really fast. I was finally going to see my family, my friends, my island as well as the devastation Hurricane Maria has done. This trip to the island was scheduled for the day right before the passing of the hurricane and as expected, all flights were cancelled. Now everything was on hold, my meetings with coffee farms and attending to the annual Coffee and Chocolate Expo 2017, with the hopes of discovering another tasty specialty coffee. I’ve been preparing myself for this trip for a long time – learning, researching, tasting and listening to anybody who had a word of advice. I was ready to get this business going but nature was telling and teaching me a valuable lesson: “Wait. Learn some more. Listen some more. Everything at its own time.” The island was suffering the aftermath of such devastation and I couldn’t do much from far. I knew my family needed help as well as the rest of the country, but it wasn’t the right time to go.
I waited until the situation in the island was a bit “better” and after a few weeks, I was finally on my way home – what a surprise! From the plane I could see nature, bright green, just growing back – it was a good sign for the island, including the coffee farms. After spending time with my family, listening to their stories and seeing for myself the harsh conditions the country was left after the hurricane, I was even more determined to help in any way possible. Soon after my arrival, I went to the Hacienda Muñoz in San Lorenzo to check how were the conditions of the farm after Hurricane Maria. Fortunately, the hacienda was still standing strong, not everything was lost in the farm, many coffee trees were gone but a few survived. Luckily, they have picked their crops right before the storm and they also had a reserve. I sat down with Sr. Muñoz, the owner, who I’ve met and talked about my plans on my last trip – good news, Sr. Muñoz honored his word, he saved some of his coffee for A Cup Of Puerto Rico! Many other coffee farms around the island suffered bigger damages and are working hard to cultivate and grow their coffee once again. Now I am back in the west coast committed more than ever into helping in the recovery of Puerto Rico and keep supporting the island’s coffee industry.
We are able bring to you an exciting variety of specialty cafés from the Hacienda Muñoz, so enticing to your palate that you will want more, sí señor!
I will keep bringing you a variety of the best specialty coffees cultivated in the mountains of the tropical land. For now, I invite you to sit back and relax with A Cup of Puerto Rico.