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Old 12-29-2020, 09:08 AM
 
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I lived in San Juan for six months after Maria. There's a grocer in Miramar called La Hacienda. They have a whole section of small batch, local coffee grown in the western mountains of the island.


The hurricane smashed a lot of those plantations, which I suspect is the major issue with the coffee industry in PR. The island is much more susceptible to hurricanes, and thus crop loss, than the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, which grow a similar nutty bean in their highlands. Unless one wants to pay massive insurance premiums, it pretty hard to get a multi-generational coffee, or any other kind of agricultural, plantation up and running in Puerto Rico, but such is life on la Isla de Encanta.

Last edited by michikawa; 12-29-2020 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Philly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post
Why is that? Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory for 122 years and more Ricans live in the states than the island. Is not like they have an embargo that the outsiders on the island can't taste their coffee beans. Wal-Mart sells Yaucono and you can order it by a click. It's good but not good enough to take on a very tough competition and pay the premium price. You have over 50 countries that produce coffee and most better than Puerto Rico.


Wal-Mart sells 2 lbs. bean bags (pack) of Yaucono that makes 4 lbs. for $39.99 and they have to ship it by mail to most places. Costco sells Signature Supremo Bean Colombian Coffee 3 lbs. for $10.99 and it's sold at every Costco and you can get it in person same day. Colombian is better (opinion but many agree) , better price and better access. I can give you tons of examples of beans from other countries. So outside of Puerto Ricans, explain why non-Puerto Ricans should ignore a very healthy crowded worldwide competition of coffee to stick to Puerto Rican coffee over the rest and pay outrages prices? The coffee is good but not that good to pay that much and be a powerhouse.



So how can you make Puerto Rico compete with all those countries while paying U.S. Dollars and have to obey U.S. Federal labor and environmental laws and the Puerto Rico's government outrages laws of mandatory X-MAS bonuses, paid Holidays (which Puerto Rico has a lot ) while the competition countries don't? That plays a huge part in running a business especially against low wages from the competition.

by the way, Merry X-MAS to all here. This is a great video on the difference between Latte vs Cappuccino and making it. She uses Kenyan beans but you use your favorite beans. The spoon test is something out from the chemistry class in High School and very informative.
I've already highlighted the main reasons why PR coffee is not competitive. it is not, as you say, because f quality. ask yourself, why does PR coffee arrive by mail? also, according to amazon Kirkland Supremo Bean is 26 for three pounds, not a 11. yaucono is 20 for 2 pounds. due to the issues I have already highlighted that you ignored, PR cannot compete on price; however, island coffee can be excellent and many people are not buying coffee at costco, which is the opposite of where I said they should be competing. lots of people like colombian, I don't find it better, and as I pointed out, colombia benefits from a multidecade advertising campaign (among other things). PR doesn't need to be colombia to have a healthy coffee industry, it is a small island. I have plenty of confidence that your opinion of my own tasting ability is wrong.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,896,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michikawa View Post
I lived in San Juan for six months after Maria. There's a grocer in Miramar called La Hacienda. They have a whole section of small batch, local coffee grown in the western mountains of the island.


The hurricane smashed a lot of those plantations, which I suspect is the major issue with the coffee industry in PR. The island is much more susceptible to hurricanes, and thus crop loss, than the Dominican Republic or Jamaica, which grow a similar nutty bean in their highlands. Unless one wants to pay massive insurance premiums, it pretty hard to get a multi-generational coffee, or any other kind of agricultural, plantation up and running in Puerto Rico, but such is life on la Isla de Encanta.
jamaica is typically also expensive but good. I have actually never seen dominican coffee sold stateside, or at least advertised as such, but it would make sense they would have similar coffee. indeed, you would have to purchase insurance which is likely possible in a healthy market, but PR has labor access issues and infrastructure issues. as an example, greece had the worst port in europe. it was run by the state, under maintained, and barely had any business. as a result, greek products were hard to find and expensive since they were typically shipped to other countries for export. worse, greek olive oil was often blended with italian and sold as italian olive oil despite the fact it is often as good or better. then the port was privatized, a chinese firm modernized the port which made it competitive. suddenly, greek products are sold overseas and much easier to find. the condition of the roads between ponce and the nearby coffee plantations is pitiful. (we will overlook the issues with shipping driven by the jones and foreign dredge acts for now). google says it's an average of 28 mph between utuado and ponce, in my experience that is generous because road conditions are so poor. don't get me wrong, PR will never be a powerhouse, but the coffee plantations have been overlooked for a century..and it's not the only industry, the island imports the vast majority of its food as well even where there are no issues with local production. how does it make sense to import eggs from pennsylvania? it doesn't. it's not like PR is a rich island and everyone's labor is dedicated to making microchips which they trade for food. there are some very broken aspects of the economy and much of it stems from poor decision making by the island government over many decades. businesses are to be milked for all they are worth, progress to be impeded, since the goal is to maximize bribes and patronage employment. these are huge barriers to success for any industry.

anyway, hacienda is a great little market. I also really like hacienda san pedro, excellent little coffee shop.

one of the things I found interesting from the buena vista plantation tour was that in the old days they used to mill other products on the property to help pay the bills. the location of the plantation is also relatively protected from most hurricanes and survived Maria without much damage (although it is no longer a commercial plantation so its crop area is small).
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:25 AM
 
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I agree, there's a lot of structural issues with the economy of the island that hold back the agricultural sector. The island is aging, the youth either take to Che Guevara posturing or move to the continental US for more opportunity, the corruption of the ruling class bilks dry almost all forms of opportunity that exist on the island, and the middle class just packs it up and moves to Allentown or Orlando. Two years ago I saw a couple of hundred acre coffee plantation, equipment and all, up for sale west of Ponce, but I'm sure nature has reclaimed a lot of that work by now.

PR is the richest part of Latin America, by a large margin, and wishes to remain so. The youth are encouraged to be lawyers and doctors, and the people of the island are encourage to make Viagra and microchips instead of working the land. There's more excitement and women in the illicit drug trade than there is living as a jibaro. The culture is thoroughly Americanized in the all the wrong ways, which is sad, because it'll eventually collapse upon itself. I wish the people of Puerto Rico great success, but there's a lot of work ahead of them.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Philly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michikawa View Post
I agree, there's a lot of structural issues with the economy of the island that hold back the agricultural sector. The island is aging, the youth either take to Che Guevara posturing or move to the continental US for more opportunity, the corruption of the ruling class bilks dry almost all forms of opportunity that exist on the island, and the middle class just packs it up and moves to Allentown or Orlando. Two years ago I saw a couple of hundred acre coffee plantation, equipment and all, up for sale west of Ponce, but I'm sure nature has reclaimed a lot of that work by now.

PR is the richest part of Latin America, by a large margin, and wishes to remain so. The youth are encouraged to be lawyers and doctors, and the people of the island are encourage to make Viagra and microchips instead of working the land. There's more excitement and women in the illicit drug trade than there is living as a jibaro. The culture is thoroughly Americanized in the all the wrong ways, which is sad, because it'll eventually collapse upon itself. I wish the people of Puerto Rico great success, but there's a lot of work ahead of them.
indeed, the US gets around this with the guest worker program. with decent roads, though, it wouldn't be a terrible commute from the towns to the plantations. on the plus side, putting PR on the upswing should require easy changes.

not to harp on infrastructure but in my view widening roads near san juan does not make a lot of sense, there is no where for the cars to go. better, then, to finally complete PR10 to ponce.remember that the island's largest and most modern roasting facility is in ponce.

Quote:
Before the building of the new PR-10 highway, just the stretch from Utuado to Arecibo used to take one hour to travel; it now takes 15 minutes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rico_Highway_10

understanding has not always resulted in the capability to get things accomplished but focusing on non-revenue items such as permitting is smart policy. we shall see. as you know, these are not things specific to coffee though.
Quote:
Furthermore, his administration would implement an easier permitting process through self-certifications and a “single ID so that the government does not ask for documents and information that the same government already has.”
https://www.theweeklyjournal.com/202...7205c9db8.html
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:18 AM
 
440 posts, read 102,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
I've already highlighted the main reasons why PR coffee is not competitive. it is not, as you say, because f quality. ask yourself, why does PR coffee arrive by mail? also, according to amazon Kirkland Supremo Bean is 26 for three pounds, not a 11. yaucono is 20 for 2 pounds. due to the issues I have already highlighted that you ignored, PR cannot compete on price; however, island coffee can be excellent and many people are not buying coffee at costco, which is the opposite of where I said they should be competing. lots of people like colombian, I don't find it better, and as I pointed out, colombia benefits from a multidecade advertising campaign (among other things). PR doesn't need to be colombia to have a healthy coffee industry, it is a small island. I have plenty of confidence that your opinion of my own tasting ability is wrong.
I said multiple things. You just want to read what you want to read. Let me say it again, Puerto Rico changed from an agriculture economy to an industrial economy during operation Bootstrap. That means they are under the jurisdiction of U.S. federal laws and labor laws and pay with the American dollar and have to pay Social Security, medicare and unemployment taxes. Add the Puerto Rico's government laws on labor that puts them in a huge disadvantage in production and wages with other countries in the coffee business. When Puerto Rico can't find workers and can't pick half their crops, it has more to do what I'm talking about and you haven't told us any details how you are going to change that'

$1 U.S. Dollar = 3,420.80 Colombian Pesos
$1 U.S. Dollar = 5.19 Brazilian Real
$1 U.S. Dollar = 58.19 Dominican Pesos
$ 1 U.S. Dollar = 608.53 Costan Rican Colon
$ 1 U.S. Dollar= 24.09 Honduran Lempira
$1 U.S. Dollar= 6.88 Boliviano
$1 U.S. Dollar= 19.92 Mexican pesos.


I won't even be touching Southeast Asia or Africa,. You get the picture.


I won't argue with your taste. If you think Puerto Rican coffee is superior than Colombian than you are in the minority. Outside of Puerto Ricans, I have never heard that from people all over the world that drink coffee but trying to overcome the obstacles I mentioned in running a business and production in this global market, that's something else and all you have is wishful thinking.


Colombian is superior because they have a better agricultural economy and produce a superior bean and that's why they are in high demand worldwide. It's not just advertising like you want to minimize them. You don't get to a worldwide reputation of having one of the best coffees in the world or #1 by just advertising. You can't fool everybody that drinks coffee, the product itself has to do the talking and back it up and be consistent. I know, you have that mentality that "Puerto Rico lo hace mejor" (Puerto Rico does it better) when the fact is Puerto Rico stopped having an agricultural economy for over half a century ago and the little that they grow is local and they are out of their league if they want to compete with Latin America (add Southeast Asia) in a very crowded global market.

Last edited by SanJuanStar; 01-02-2021 at 04:39 AM..
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:39 AM
 
440 posts, read 102,112 times
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvqQNe3gCx8
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Old 01-02-2021, 05:04 AM
 
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Brazil Coffee is also very good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCgz1ksVQdg
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Old 01-04-2021, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,896,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post
Brazil Coffee is also very good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCgz1ksVQdg
not a fan of brazilian coffee, PR coffee is much better and often grown at higher elevations. the point that you are missing is that most people have not actually had PR coffee so regardless of whether it is good or bad, they are ignorant. also haven't loved southeast asian coffees (well, vietnamese, java is fine but expensive) and ethiopian i steer clear of despite the fact it is the birthplace of coffee (not my style, at least what I've had). you are clearly saying I have bad taste in coffee. I would argue that you are letting your biases get the best of you and not actually tasting the coffee. I have more confidence in my taste than yours and I'm sure the opposite is true for you.

colombia has spent decades cultivating a reputation in coffee. I never said it was just advertising but ignoring advertising is foolish, you can't have a market presence without it and certainly you will never get fair prices for your beans without name recognition (you'll be stuck subsistence farming for folgers)

btw, you should probably stop making assumptions about my attitudes since you have no idea of what those attitudes are. I may as well just say that you have the attitude that PR does it worse and will make up whatever narrative you need to fit that story. clearly I am not simply stating that PR does it better. I said it does coffee well, I can taste it for myself, and I think it can produce more coffee than it does today. the island has a severe deficit of export products versus imports, it absolutely makes sense to do import substitution for certain products. yes, it won't make you the next bezos but that's besides the point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post
When Puerto Rico can't find workers and can't pick half their crops, it has more to do what I'm talking about and you haven't told us any details how you are going to change that'
the US gets around this with the guest worker program which seems apt for expansion now that Trump is no longer running the show (crops went unpicked last year in the states as well and many products would likely be outsourced with a combination of no guest workers and a $15 minimum wage). secondly, infrastructure improvements should allow for easy commute times from the towns. keep in mind, I'm not arguing that PR will suddenly become a dominant player. import substitution as well as getting a larger share of the high end fair trade coffee market are, in my view, reasonable goals. in a perfect world the disastrous jones act would be amended, it has wrought destruction on PR, AK, and HI as well as the domestic shipping industry in the continental US.
you may not agree and that's fine. clearly you have an unduly low opinion of coffee quality.

Last edited by pman; 01-04-2021 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 01-04-2021, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,896,419 times
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Quote:
These are some typical traits of the coffee production in Brazil. If you know anything about coffee, you’ll instantly realize that this is counterproductive from a quality stand point.

Low altitudes: Increases speed of maturation and makes it easy for pickers to access
No shade: Gives more sun, which translates to cherries that are ripe faster
Monoculture farms: The lack of biodiversity makes it easy to harvest but destroys the natural environment for animals and plants.
Non-selective picking: Brazil is one of the only places in the world where tractors are used for the harvest. Because of this crude picking, ripe and unripe coffee cherries get mixed.
All these things combined make Brazilian coffee slightly underwhelming seen from a coffee lover’s point of view
https://coffeechronicler.com/best-co...ans/brazilian/

Quote:
Puerto Rico might not be the first place you think of when think premium coffee beans. But despite the island’s complicated and devastating history, their coffee continues to reemerge as one of the very best beans in the coffee industry.
https://www.littlecoffeeplace.com/be...n-coffee-beans

Last edited by pman; 01-04-2021 at 11:20 AM..
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