café don ruiz – best coffee shop
10 Best Coffee Shops in Puerto Rico, Conde Nast Traveler 2019
I found myself in Los Angeles, missing that sweet and comforting taste of home I could only find in a cup of coffee from Puerto Rico. Whenever I gave Puerto Rican coffee as a Thank You present, the feedback was always: “Where can I get more?”. One day, after returning from a trip to the island over Christmas, I gave to my Colombian-born landlord a bag a Puerto Rican coffee, as a holiday present. The next morning I receive a call from him saying that he was drinking my coffee with his son and they were wondering where they could buy some more because they loved it. This was a huge compliment coming from a Colombian coffee drinker, since they are also producers of great coffee. It was right there when the light-bulb went on, and the desire to share more of our delicious coffee with the rest of the world was born.
It was great timing because I was going through a kind of crossroads phase during that time. Every day I was asking the universe to send me a sign. I wanted an idea for my career path that I can feel passionate, connected and can make a difference with. So little by little I started educating myself in the coffee world, taking classes, workshops, tastings, talking with farmers, meeting with a business mentor and absorbing as much knowledge as possible. A few months later, I went back to the island in search of the best specialty coffees from the coffee haciendas who are committed to cultivating 100% Puerto Rican arábica beans with undeniable dedication and care. Without revealing my intentions, I took tours, spoke to the farmers and employees and tried to get to know more about each hacienda, their coffees and what makes them unique. I am grateful to have connected with amazing coffee farms that cultivate and produces with so much love and dedication premium coffee. I look forward to keep growing this business and keep sharing the love for Puerto Rico’s delicious café.
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.