7 Best Puerto Rican Coffee Brands

Here’s a quick summary of our 7 best Puerto Rican coffee brands! 

The Coffee

Available As...

Alto Grande


Puerto Rican Alto Grande Coffee

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Sweet, notes of chocolate & caramel

Julian Coffee


Puerto Rican Julian Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Light, Medium

Taste: Balanced & mild, notes of chocolate

Café El Coqui


Puerto Rican El Coqui Coffee Ground

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich & robust, nutty & citrus notes

Café Yaucono


Puerto Rican Yaucono Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Mild, yet complex, notes of cocoa & caramel

Café Oro de Puerto


Puerto Rican Cafe Oro Coffee Ground

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of caramel & chocolate

Café Lareño


Puerto Rican Café Lareño Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate & caramel

Café Rico


Puerto Rican Cafe Rico Coffee Ground

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Rich and strong, notes of chocolate & caramel

There's a lot of options. Deciding can be tough, we know. If we absolutely HAD to pick just one, it would be Alto Grande!

We'll look at each of these in more detail in our best Puerto Rican coffee list below!


Puerto Rican Coffee History & Reputation 

Still here? Great. Time for some history.

Coffee was originally brought to Puerto Rico in 1736. As it would turn out, Puerto Rico was home to an ideal coffee growing climate, altitudes and nutrient rich soils.

The introduction of coffee and the explosion of the industry in Puerto Rico is largely attributed to expertise and influence of European immigrants. It was during Spanish colonial rule that Puerto Rico's coffee output peaked.

By the end of the 1800s, Puerto Rico was one of the largest exporters of coffee in the world. Puerto Rico actually managed to crack the top 10 at during peak production. But they would not remain at the top.

In 1898, the United States annexed Puerto Rico from Spanish control. An emphasis on the growth of sugar cane replaced that of coffee. With this shift, mass coffee production become financially unsustainable, and the industry regressed.

Today, Puerto Rico produces far less coffee, exporting only about 1% of domestically grown beans. But, recent years have started to see a slow resurgence of Puerto Rican coffee. The Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters (PRCR) group, as well as a number of other individual Puerto Rican coffee brands are making leaps and bounds in the right direction.

What can you do to help? Try some Puerto Rican coffee… you won’t regret it!


Puerto Rican Coffee Roasters

We’ll start our discussion of Puerto Rican coffee roasters with… the Puerto Rican Coffee Roasters (PRCR). Seems logical enough, right?

PRCR was formed in 2008, with an intent to develop a productive and efficient means by which to manufacture and distribute Puerto Rican coffee. PRCR currently produces 11 recognized brands;

  • Encantos de Puerto Rico
  • Pudge Coffee
  • Yauco
  • Yaucono
  • Yauco Selecto

PRCR operates coffee farms all across Puerto Rico. Beans are distributed domestically and to the Virgin Islands, the United States and Europe. While PRCR represents the largest group of Puerto Rican coffee brands, there are others!

Café Lareño, Julian Coffee, Café Oro de Puerto and Café el Coquí are 4 of a large number of individual companies. 

Both the individual brands, and those produced by PRCR are very much worth checking out. 


Puerto Rican Coffee Taste Profile

Different beans from growing regions across the island present variations on the signature Puerto Rican taste profile. That being said, you can expect your Puerto Rican coffee to be something like this;

  • Smooth, balanced & sweet
  • An intense, powerful aroma
  • Notes of chocolate & caramel are prominent
  • check
    A mild or held back acidity 

Puerto Rican Coffee Growing Regions

Most Puerto Rican coffee is grown on small, typically family owned farms that are spread across the island. A typical farm might produce around 1000lbs of coffee each year. Let's talk for a second about some of the major coffee growing regions.

Lares 

Lares is a major coffee producing region, located in central-western Puerto Rico. Coffee from Lares has gained worldwide acclaim, carrying a high reputation in the Royal Courts of Europe and the Vatican. Comparisons have been drawn between coffee from Lares and Hawaiian Kona coffee!

Lares produces a ton of great coffee. In fact, Alto Grande, Lareno & Café Oro de Puerto all source their beans from Lares!

Yauco 

Yauco is south-western Puerto Rican region that sits just in land from the Caribbean. Yauco is a well established coffee growing region. Several popular brands use some form of “Yauco” in their name.

Yauco beans are sometimes compared to Jamaican Blue Mountain beans… which is a massive testament to their quality. You can expect a rich & complex, well balanced flavor.

PRCR contains three Yauco brands themselves, (Yaucono, Yauco Selecto, Yaucono Selecto). We’ve included Yaucono coffee in our list below!

San Sebástien 

San Sebástien is located in north-western Puerto Rico, just west of Lares. Spanish immigrants were largely responsible for the development of the coffee industry here in the mid 1800s.

The most well known coffee to come out of this region is El Coqui. We’ve included Café El Coqui beans in our list below!

Adjuntas 

Adjuntas is a small mountainside region situated east of Yauco and Lares. A cooler climate exists high in the mountains that is ideal for the growth of coffee.

Julian Coffee began in Adjuntas and continues to grow there today. We’ve included them in our list below!


Best Puerto Rican Coffee Brands

As we’ve stated, there are a number of great Puerto Rican coffee brands that are beginning to prosper after a difficult period. We’ve compiled a list of our 7 best Puerto Rican coffee brands. We’ve included several entries from PRCR and several independent companies. Take look!

It’s worth mentioning that a some Puerto Rican coffee brands seem to only offer ground coffee. We’ve noted the availability of whole bean, ground and single serve options for each entry to save you the trouble!


1. Alto Grande Coffee


Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Sweet, notes of chocolate & caramel

First up, we have Alto Grande coffee. This is one of the brands that is produced by PRCR, and a popular one at that! The full name of this product is actually Alto Grande Super Premium. It's a bit of a mouthful, but it's pretty justified. This coffee is held in high esteem by the royal courts of Europe and the Vatican.


These beans come from Lares, and are everything that you could ask for from a Puerto Rican coffee. This coffee offers a full body, with a sweet taste & aroma. Notes of chocolate & caramel are prominent, while acidity remains held back. These beans are great for making espresso, as they remain smooth and never bitter.


2. Julian Coffee


Roast: Light, Medium

Taste: Balanced & mild, notes of chocolate

Next we have an individual roaster, Julian Coffee. This company is committed to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. How committed? Their coffee bags are biodegradable! Farmers in Adjuntas hand pick only the ripest of coffee cherries and are compensated with fair US wages.


This coffee is mild and balanced, making it easy to drink black. This is the type of coffee that could convert a non-drinker into a daily drinker. Smooth from start to finish, with a slight sweetness and notes of chocolate in the middle. This coffee works great for cold brew too! Have that "tea-is-better-than-coffee" person in your life give this one a go. Trust us.

Not available as single serve


3. Café El Coqui


Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich & robust, nutty & citrus notes

Café El Coqui is a family run business that was started in 1986. These beans come from the San Sebástien region and offer a flavor profile that is distinguished from most other Puerto Rican coffees.


This coffee is rich & robust, and offers some flavor notes atypical of Puerto Rican beans. You'd usually find chocolate & caramel, but this coffee sports a prominent nutty taste, with a hint of citrus! If you're already a Puerto Rican coffee enthusiast, this could be a great change of pace for you.

Not available as whole bean

Not available as single serve


4. Café Yaucono


Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Sweet, notes of chocolate & caramel

Yaucono is another brand that is produced by the PRCR, and another great one at that. As the name would imply, these beans come from the Yauco region. This coffee is available in whole bean, ground and single serve options, which is relatively rare for Puerto Rican coffees! 


This coffee is creamy & complex, yet remains mild & smooth throughout. Sweet cocoa and caramel notes are apparent both in aroma and cup. These beans are extremely versatile. If you enjoy experimenting with different brewing methods, try making an espresso shot or some Moka Pot coffee with these beans!


5. Café Oro de Puerto


Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of caramel & chocolate

Café Oro translates to "Gold Coffee", and frankly, they live up to their own billing. Café Oro de Puerto gets their beans from Lares, where they own all of their own farms. They take an active role in the coffee production process to ensure a consistently high quality product. You could say that utilize a gold standard.


This coffee is rich and strong, just what you need to get you going early in the morning. That being said, this coffee is smooth and easy drinking, with a nice mellow aftertaste. Notes of caramel & chocolate drive a naturally sweet taste. If you've never tried Puerto Rican coffee, this is a great place to start.

Not available as whole bean

Not available as single serve


6. Café Lareño


Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate & caramel

Café Lareño proudly performs every step of the coffee production process from start to finish. These beans are grown in the mountains of Lares at elevations of 1200m. Café Lareño prides themselves on getting their coffee to consumers as fresh as possible. You can expect to receive your order within a couple days.


These beans have often drawn comparisons to Hawaiian Kona coffee. Need we say more? ...We will anyway. This coffee is silky smooth, with rich notes of chocolate & caramel. A mild acidity and a natural sweetness are balanced to perfection. These beans also have an aroma to die for. If you're brewing some of this at the office, be prepared to share.

Not available as single serve


7. Café Rico


Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Rich & strong, notes of chocolate & caramel

Café Rico was originally founded in 1924. In 1935, Café Rico was aquired by the Coffee Growers Cooperative of Puerto Rico. Today? You guessed it, PRCR. While control may have shifted a number of times, Café Rico's reputation has remained high for many years.


This coffee is rich & strong, offering prominent notes of chocolate. A caramel toned sweetness makes this one easy to drink black. Anyone that is seeking a good, strong brew, minus the bitterness that is often associated with stronger coffees should check this one out!

Not available as whole bean

Not available as single serve


That concludes our look at Puerto Rican coffee. Thoughts? Questions? What’s your favorite Puerto Rican coffee?

Let us know!

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