Coffee 101

There’s so much to learn about coffee! Behind each cup there is hard work, tradition, inventiveness, and a bunch of fun facts that every coffee lover should know.

So, refill your cup and become an expert with our Coffee 101’s lessons.

Coffee is a cherry!

Don’t get confused! A coffee seed is what we commonly known as a coffee bean, but it is found inside a red or purple fruit often referred to as a cherry.

Arabica vs. Robusta

There are over 100 coffee species but Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta are the main ones. What is the difference between them? First, Robusta beans are circular, whereas Arabica are more oval. Robusta trees are more resistant to pests and need less care. This species is characterized by its strong and full body flavor, that has to do with its high levels of caffeine. Robusta constitutes 30% of world production. The other 70% is Arabica coffee, which has a strong aroma, less caffeine, and higher range of flavor characteristics. Arabica grows 1,000-3,000 feet above sea level, is more easily affected by pests, and requires more care.

The Journey of the Bean

The coffee production has three main steps: the harvesting and processing of the coffee beans; the roasting and grinding that is made in the coffee-roasting plant; and, of course, the brewing.

When and how is coffee harvested?

In Puerto Rico, the harvest begins in September and ends in December for Arabica coffee, while Robusta starts in December and ends in February. Both unripe and overripe fruits are stripped from the coffee tree or they can be picked selectively, which is a process usually reserved for Arabica beans that are completely ripe.

What’s pulping?

In Spanish, we called it beneficiado. It is the removal of the pulp and skin from the fruit that reveals the coffee bean. It is also known as wet-process coffee or washed coffee (beneficiado húmedo) because a wet mill is used. After the fruits are washed, the second phase of the process is the drying (beneficiado seco) that ends with the parchment coffee.

Know your roasts!

Roasting is a chemical process by which aromas, acids and other flavor components are created, balanced or altered. Roasts fall mainly into four categories: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. Which one is your favorite?

How should I store my coffee?

To goal is to preserve the aroma, body and taste. That’s why you should store your coffee in an airtight container and place it away from heat, humidity and direct sunlight.

How do Puerto Ricans enjoy their coffee?

Every year 1 billion cups of coffee are consumed in Puerto Rico. You can imagine Puerto Ricans love coffee any way possible! In the mornings, some prefer a café negro (black coffee) with or without sugar (Puya). Others opt for their café con leche (coffee with milk). The amount of milk that is usually added can vary, so if you order one you must decide whether you want it oscurito (dark), clarito (more milk than coffee) or término medio (half coffee and half milk). At 3 o’clock in the afternoon it is tradition to have a cup of coffee, whether you are at home or at the office.

We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about coffee and our coffee culture.  Please come back and learn some more by joining our Mailing List.