Perk Up Your Day With Caribbean Coffee

While most coffee-growing Caribbean islands don't produce enough to rival nearby Colombia, possibly the world's most famous coffee-growing location, many do also produce this flavorful bean. These beans are known for their unique and delicious flavors.

Growing History

Coffee was discovered in Africa, but today this drink is popular worldwide. It was passed from the Ethiopians to Constantinople's Ottoman Turks and even to Pope Clement VIII in Italy, who is said to have baptized the drink. There are many variations in the story of how the crop was transplanted to the Caribbean, but, needless to say, the region's land turned out to be ideal for growing this popular bean.

The type of coffee plant most often grown in the Caribbean region is called "Arabica." It was developed from plants grown in Saudi Arabia, inspiring the name. Coffee can be grown in many different climates, but each climate will create beans with subtle taste variations.

The higher the altitude, the more time the coffee plant will require to mature, but beans grown under these conditions are full and dense and yield the richest flavor. High altitudes are particularly important when growing coffee, which means that mountainous islands are usually better-known for their coffee than those with more level terrain.

Similarly, the geography of many Caribbean islands has played an important part in creating delicious coffee. Warm weather and volcanic soils combine to create perfect growing conditions for these plants, but each island will process the results differently.

Top Island Producers

Caribbean islands are known for sun and sand, so some visitors overlook their mountainous interiors, though others enjoy hiking and climbing through these rougher regions. Whatever visitors long to do on Caribbean vacations, they can anticipate a stimulating beverage to enjoy alongside the activity on many of the islands, but these top the list of most popular blends.

Jamaica's Blue Mountain area produces full-bodied and highly aromatic beans and is perhaps one of the best-known producers of Caribbean coffee. However, if you're visiting Jamaica, be wary of roadside vendors selling faux Blue Mountain coffee. Still, true-blue coffee makes a great souvenir for those who love this drink.

The island of Hispaniola is home to two countries, and each produces fine coffee. One of the Caribbean's largest coffee producers, the Dominican Republic offers a popular blend, and Haiti is enjoying a chance to make a name for itself as well. Fans of the dark roast should try the sweet Dominican coffee, while Haitian blends offer a more mellow taste, with plenty of flavors to suit many palates.

The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is also a great island to visit for coffee, but most Puerto Rican coffee is consumed on the island. Aficionados in particular may want to taste these island brews while visiting, since the drink can be difficult to come by outside this island. Some of the more popular Puerto Rican coffees are known for their creamy taste.

For those outside the United States, you may be able to find imported Cuban coffee, which is known for a heavy body and particularly fine dark roasts. However, these coffee products are nearly always exported to Europe and Japan. A word to the wise - don't be confused by Cuban-style coffee, which is not the same as coffee from Cuba.

Although these island producers will never have the space to grow as much coffee as you'll find in Central and South America, individual island blends each offer something unique. So try a cup of something special - coffee from the Caribbean.

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About The Author, Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith writes for http://DominicanRepublic-Guide.info, http://Aruba-Guide.info, and other Segisys travel Web sites. © 2005, Interactive Internet Websites, Inc. Article may only be reprinted if it is not modified in any way, and if all links remain live. More about Blue Mountain Coffee: http://jamaica-guide.info/what_to_see_and_do/