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Puerto Rico - Hacienda San Pedro

October 19, 2006

11 separate lots of recently harvested coffee (first harvest of the 2006 season) was roasted and rested for about 24 hours prior to formal cupping. It was cupped blind and additionally rested a minimum of 2 more days prior to brewing and pulling espresso shots. For more information on my sample roaster and method, see our reference page.

Spanish settlers brought coffee to Puerto Rico in the early 1700's and much of this heirloom Arabica Bourbon is still grown there today in the central and western highlands. The municipality of Jayuya located in the mountainous center region of the island is known for its skilled wood carvers. But it is also the location of many small family-owned coffee plantations. Hacienda San Pedro was founded in 1894 and is now owned by Roberto E. Atienza Figueroa, the plantation having been passed down to him by his forebears.

Generally speaking, Puerto Rican coffee, like coffee from any origin can vary in quality and this plantation has made efforts to maintain high quality standards. This insistence on high quality has its rewards; of the 800 "quintales" (8,000 pounds) a year produced there, 350 "quintales" (3,500 pounds) is sold to the famed Yauco Selecto coffee producers, with whom the farm has been working for the past 16 years. Now they want to market their own "Hacienda San Pedro" brand coffee.

On the cupping table, averaging the 11 lots sampled, the coffee is squeaky clean, well balanced and mild, with a silky-smooth mouthfeel, medium acidity and medium-to-full body. The aromatics are “classic island coffee ” with notes of semi-sweet chocolate, spice (sage and rosemary) and caramel/malt. These qualities are confirmed in the cup with a medium-length, slightly bitter-sweet chocolate finish. Upon cooling, the profile holds firm with no sourness or major shifting. Actually, this cup profile is right on the money for high quality Puerto Rican coffee. The 11 lots were quite uniform in cup profile, exhibiting very little lot-to-lot and cup-to-cup variation.

Following cupping, the coffee was prepared as drip, French press, vacuum pot and espresso (straight shot and cappuccino).

In all the non-espresso beverages, the coffee maintained its classic mild, sweet profile. My personal favorite was the vacuum pot, which seemed to show the coffee to its best advantage with the French press not far behind.

A deeper roast, just to the beginning of 2nd crack (441 F) was used for the espresso drinks. The coffee emerged as a non-complex, pleasant, well balanced shot. As a cappuccino, the primary flavors were a bit swallowed up by the milk and the coffee lost some of its personality. In general I would recommend that this coffee be brewed rather than prepared in an espresso machine for maximum enjoyment though both methods yield a quality cup.

11 Lots Averaged
Dry fragrance: 4.2
Wet Aroma: 4.3
Flavor: 7.3
Finish: 7.2
Acidity: 7.4
Body: 7.3
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 87.7

  • Lighter Roasts: Sweet, mild classic cup, reminiscent of island coffees
  • Darker Roasts: Sweetness increases with caramel and chocolate notes dominating.
  • As Espresso: Acceptable though not much complexity.


UPDATED: October 21, 2006