Puerto Rico Coffee Tour
By Tyler Workman
We thought it was just a café but were delighted to find not only a café but a roastery, processing center, and farm – it was a full farm to cup operation! Eeeek! Parking the giant jeep we were driving was a bit of a challenge but we managed to squeeze in between a couple vehicles, hopped out and curiously poked around the property. Our noses led us right to the café where a roast was just about to drop. We ordered a coffee and took a seat on the large deck overlooking the farm. Ahhh, bliss.
The highlight and reason we made the trip to the mountains was Sandra Farms. Having been in touch with @Collective_Perspective about our trip he graciously set us up on a coffee tour. We were met by Israel, the owner of the farm and escorted up a small hill to his home where Sandra, Israel’s wife was finishing up another tour. Israel fixed us a couple of coffees and we settled in to listen to Sandra. She discussed the history of the once famous Puerto Rican coffee industry and where it’s heading as well as what led Israel and Sandra together, the Peace Corps – cool! Carmelo, who was very informative, led our tour of the grounds. He graciously translated in English, as well as Spanish for the 15+ tour participants. We were taken around the property viewing various plants, reviewing the damage from hurricane maria, as well as checking out their roasting and processing facilities.
We had planned to stay at Sandra Farms accommodations called Green Haven but they were booked which drove us to find somewhere nearby to stay. Luckily we were able to stay at another nearby coffee farm, Hacienda Pomarrosa. Having sustained a lot of damage to their crop during the hurricane, it was hardly evident upon our arrival; the lush gardens and immaculately manicured property were a gorgeous sight. We stayed in one of five villas, villa geisha, overlooking the south side of the island and surrounded by rich greenery. Breakfast was served in the morning and we had a lovely chat with the owners, Eva and Kurt. I was most amazed to find out that their wooden villas were unharmed by the hurricane, Kurt is German and built everything himself – albeit one roof didn’t make it, I was still stunned!
All of the farms we visited offer day tours and are a mere 2 hours drive from San Juan, and well worth the trip!
Also, on a side note, our 2 favorites for coffee in Rincon were Cafe2go (order a Tamboo coffee), and Friend's cafe (cappuccino) xx