|Coffee Regions||Central America & Mexico||Caribbean||South America||Africa & Middle East||Asia & Indonesia||Hawaii|
Coffee growing in the Caribbean Americas began in this chain of tropical islands once ruled by Europe's colonial powers -- Britain, France and The Netherlands. But today is what matters and I happily island hop by seaplane between these now independent states to sample their mellow, fruity and brightly acidic coffees.
Lets first land on the Dominican half of the Island of Hispaniola where the land and people produce a variety of complex, low altitude coffees. Flavor sensations abound, but we mostly notice their bright, light or mellow finish with spicy hints. There are seven specific growing regions established by the government with various microclimates.
Best known varietals: Santo Domingo.
Traveling by motorbike, my lovely assistant sitting on the handlebars, we cross the muddy highlands of Hispaniola and end up in Haiti where the coffee is characteristically mellow and sweet and very popular on the Continent, you know.
I like to come back to Jamaica and sample their coffees with a brightly acidic, delightfully nutty flavor and its surprising, uniquely beefy-flavored notes. The eastern end of the island produces hard to find - at least in the U.S. - Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, considered one of the finest in the world. Sweet and mellow, mon! You'll have better luck finding it in Europe or Japan where they crave it like bloodthirsty zombies!
Best known varietals: Jamaican Blue Mountain, High Mountain Supreme, Typica.
After touring the streets of Old San Juan on my scooter, I head into the wonderfully eclectic cafes in this contrasting city of old and new to sample Café Rico and other notable local coffees. Mellow, crisp and fruity cup.
Best known varietals: Café Rico, Yauco Selecto, Typica, Bourbon, Limon