There is no doubt that the best Caribbean coffee hails from the mountainous regions of the Dominican Republic. Dominican coffee is rich, nutty, and sweetened with notes of tart berries and chocolate. While this coffee is quite unheard of, your taste buds might really miss out on a lot of flavors if you do not give this coffee a try at least once.
A small history of Dominican Coffee
Arabica coffee beans were bought into the land of the Dominican Republic in 1735, which was a bit earlier than Central America. Soon enough, the taste of coffee took its hold on the inhabitants of the country. Today, most of the locals here majorly drink coffee than any other beverage – only 20% of the entire produce gets exported.
Coffee from the Dominican Republic is known for its high acidity content as compared to the softer lower-grown coffees. The body is well-balanced, bold and full. The coffee beans exhibit classic Caribbean tasting characteristics.
Coffee growing areas in the Dominican Republic
There are seven distinct coffee growing areas that have been established by the country’s government. They are Sierra Central, Sierra Occidental, Sierra Sur, Neyba, Noroeste, Barahona, and Cibao. The country is known for having a wide variety of microclimatic differences throughout these regions, which results in coffee beans with different taste and aromatic notes. Before these areas, coffee was grown in designated regions like Bani, Azua, Ocoa, and Juncalito.
The coffee trade here is fairly regulated and the manufacturers deal with coffee brokers and importers from countries like Canada and the United States to get the coffee into the countries for sale.
Coffee growing and harvesting season
The Dominican Republic receives rainfall all year long, which is a climate unlike anywhere else in America. This condition is perfect for cultivating coffee. Additionally, the season is also extended by the arrival of gentle and warm ocean currents and tradewinds that allow the coffee cherry to ripen at a slow rate, which produces a high-quality coffee bean.
Since there is a variety of high-altitude coffee-growing area in the region, the Dominican coffee plants blossom and bloom at different times of the year. This is the reason why high-quality coffee is produced in the Dominican Republic all year long.
Harvesting of the coffee beans is done mostly from October to June. During this season, coffee cherries are harvested by farmers by hand and then dried in large batches. On average, a coffee farm in the Dominican Republic is about eight acres in size. Only organic methods are used to grow coffee crops, including the shade-grown method beneath native macadamia nut trees, guava trees, and pine trees.
Coffee varieties in the Dominican Republic
Over 90% of the coffee beans from the Dominican Republic is the Typica coffee plant. The rest 10% consists of beans of the Arabica varietal like Mundo Novo, Caturra, Catuai, and Bourbon. The Mundo Novo is a hybrid of the Caturra.
Overall, Dominican Republic definitely cultivates unique coffee plantations, thanks to its favorable climatic conditions and terrain. Only organic methods are used to grow coffee crops. The taste of the coffee is unlike something you ever tasted before!