Hello from Puerto Rico. This is just the way this blog goes sometimes. I go on trips for my work in the coffee industry, and while I'm gone, I have trouble posting. Sometimes there's no internet, sometimes I'm up in the mountains somewhere, sometimes I'm just having too much fun to hole up indoors and work on my computer. Then I get home from a trip, camera fat with pictures and video, and I have lots to say, and the posts come at a faster clip.
Right now I'm in Puerto Rico for a research project investigating the effect of different soil types on coffee plants and coffee flavors. Did you know that Puerto Rico has almost every type of soil in the world represented somewhere on the island? I did not know that before recently. But it does, and this project is going to take advantage of that little fact nicely.
It sounds a little funny to call Puerto Rico "undiscovered," because as far as tropical locales go, this island is as un-exotic as they come, at least for United Statesians. But as far as specialty coffee is concerned, it is indeed undiscovered; it might as well not even exist Puerto Rico has some very, very nice coffees, but you would never know that from inside the insular world of specialty coffee in North America.
Why is that? Why can you find an El Salvador coffee in every single hoity-toity super-specialty tattoo-bedecked-barista-having coffee shop in western Brooklyn, but you can't find a single Puerto Rican coffee? Is this because the coffee in El Salvador is categorically superior to that of Puerto Rico. No, it is because of a whole host of other factors, having to do with development, history, economics, and well shoot...
It's 85 degrees outside, it's Friday afternoon, the sun is starting to go down, I'm two blocks from the beach, and I'm ready for a little relaxation after a week of tramping around the research station and driving the curvy roads in the mountains. Suffice it to say, I've had an extremely interesting time, and I'll have lots more to share when I get back, on the blog, in person in Seattle, and perhaps in New York City, too, the Dear willing.
In the meantimes, enjoy your coffee, wherever you might be.