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Puerto Rico - Hacienda San Pedro

February 14, 2008

In October of 2006, we reviewed samples from 11 separate lots of green coffee from the Hacienda San Pedro farm in Jayuya, Puerto Rico and late last year we sampled another 25 lots from the 2007 harvest. The review below is an average of the 10 best lots received from the 2007 harvest.

Samples from each of the 25 lots 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 and over the years, Hacienda San Pedro has sold its coffee to the famed Yauco Selecto coffee producers, with whom the farm has been working for the past 17 years. Now they market their own "Hacienda San Pedro" brand coffee.

The prep of these 10 lots of green coffee was excellent and easily falls within the requirements of the SCAA for specialty grade coffee. Overall, this coffee has improved since the last evaluation but has not changed its general character and the basic character of this coffee is very consistent from lot to lot.

This coffee cuts across the middle in nearly every aspect. It is mild and sweet with an “island-coffee” profile. This defines the coffee with a flavor profile containing some fruity notes, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and a touch of spice (sage and rosemary) as the main components. There is very little shift in the profile upon cooling. This year's crop was even better than last year, resulting in a very clean, well balanced cup with a silky-smooth mouthfeel, medium acidity and medium-to-full body.

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 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.

10 Lots Averaged
Dry fragrance: 4.4
Wet Aroma: 4.4
Flavor: 7.6
Finish: 7.5
Acidity: 7.7
Body: 7.5
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 89.1

  • 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: February 14, 2008