One of the newest additions to our freshly roasted coffee offerings comes this high quality Puerto Rican coffee from the Adjuntus Region.
Adjuntas (Spanish pronunciation: [aðˈxuntas]) is a small mountainside municipality in Puerto Rico located central midwest of the island on the Cordillera Central, north of Yauco, Guayanilla and Peñuelas; southeast of Utuado; east of Lares and Yauco; and west of Ponce. Adjuntas is spread over 16 wards and Adjuntas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). Adjuntas is about two hours by car westward from the capital, San Juan. It is the principal city of the Adjuntas Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Adjuntas is nicknamed "the Switzerland of Puerto Rico", because of its relatively chilly weather. Many Puerto Rican mountain towns have cooler weather than the rest of the island; Adjuntas is no exception: the average yearly weather is 21 °C (70 °F) (High: 28 °C/83 °F; Low: 14 °C/58 °F). Its mild climate attracts a good number of islanders tourists during the summer months. The town has a small hotel named Monte Rio and a good size parador, or country inn, called Villa Sotomayor.
Coffee production in Puerto Rico has a checkered history between the 18th century and the present. Output peaked during the Spanish colonial rule but slumped when the island was annexed by the United States in 1898. In recent years, the gourmet coffee trade has seen an exponential growth with many of the traditional coffee haciendas of the Spanish colonial period being revived. Puerto Rican coffee is characterized as smooth and sweet.
Coffee was first introduced to Puerto Rico as a minor cash crop during Spanish colonial rule from nearby Martinique, and was mostly consumed locally. By the end of the 18th century, the island produced more than a million pounds of coffee a year. By the late 19th century, coffee production peaked, and the island was the world's seventh largest producer of coffee. Utuado was the most prominent site in coffee production before 1898. This rapid rise in the quantity and quality of coffee produced in the island is attributed to immigrants from Europe who brought their expertise to bear on its growth.
In 1898, the United States annexed the island from Spanish control, and it subsequently saw a decline in coffee production, as emphasis was more on growing sugar cane commercially. However, there is now a resurgence of coffee production, with the traditional hacienda estates reopening, and additional areas being brought under the crop. New coffee farms have been started in the Cordillera Central where the nutrient content in the volcanic soil is conducive to high value production of gourmet coffee.
The island's coffee producing areas are spread throughout Puerto Rico, lying at an elevation range of 2,400–2,780 feet (730–850 m) in the western central mountainous terrain extending from Rincón to Orocovis. There is also potential for growing coffee in the higher elevations in places such as Ponce, with a peak of 4,390 feet (1,340 m) in elevation.The main areas which produce coffee are in the municipalities of San Sebastián, Lares and Las Marías in the northwestern central part of the country. In recent years, production has been affected by factors such as cloud cover, climate change, high cost of production, and the effects of political unrest. It is also reported that about half of the crop remains unpicked due to non-availability of pickers.
Coffea arabica is the main variety of coffee grown; popular brands are Bourbon, Typica, Pacas and Catimor. The local consumption accounts for one third of the produce. Coffee from Dominican Republic and Mexico is also imported for local consumption. The exported quantity is, however, very limited. Other local varieties of coffee are Yauco Selcto, Rioja, Yaucono, Café Rico, Crema, Adjuntas, Coqui, and Alto Grande Super Premium; the last variety is the island's most popular brand.