Coffee arrived on Puerto Rico in 1736. It is said that the first introduced Arabica seeds were brought by Corsicans who immigrated to the island in search of better opportunities. The sugar cane was already in the hands of the Spaniard inhabitants, so the Corsicans settled in the mountains and opted for coffee to make a living. After several years, coffee became one of the top three agricultural products of the island, second to sugar cane and tobacco. Around 1860, the coffee industry was at its peak and it was at this time that European exports started to grow. In 1890, Puerto Rico was the sixth-highest country to export-grade coffee production worldwide. During this century, Puerto Rico enjoyed a second-to-none prestige in the coffee world. Unfortunately, in 1898, after the Spanish-American War, all the progress made in the coffee business started to fade. Political, economical and industrial PUERTO RICO FACTS 78 roast Navigating Origins Name Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Capital City San Juan Location Northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands Area 9,104 sq. km., or slightly smaller than the sate of Connecticut Languages Spanish and English, although English is spoken by half of the population Currency US dollar (USD) Population 3,994,259 Climate Tropical, rainy and warm. Hurricane season from June to November Terrain Mostly mountains with a coastal plain belt in the North by Rebecca e. atienza and etienne cardona the U.S. and Latin American countries threaten to vanish the current protections and the whole industry with them. Nevertheless, there is hope for specialty coffee in Puerto Rico. Since current taxes and regulations do not protect or affect special coffee, growers and producers could rely on this type of coffee to continue with the industry and, perhaps, compete in both volume and quality with the best coffees around the world. rebecca e. atienza is the sales representative for coffee Hacienda San Pedro in the U.S., Europe and Puerto Rico. She works with her dad, who has been a coffee grower for the last 30 years. Etienne Cardona worked for seven years as a quality specialist in the pharmaceutical industry, but now he is dedicated to the coffee industry. The husband and wife team are in the process of opening their own micro-roasting coffee shop. PUERTO RICO Atlantic Ocean San Juan Caribbean Sea changes almost made Puerto Rican coffee disappear.