Coffee News: from Seed to Cup

Support Puerto Rico by Donating Roasted Coffee

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Six weeks on from Hurricane Maria, and only 30% of Puerto Rico has electricity. 23% of us still lack drinking water. And over 900 people have died on the island.

Coffee farms were stripped bare, their trees torn away by 280 km/h winds. Many cafés and roasteries remain closed. Many baristas do not have work.

But with the help of you, the international coffee community, we can rebuild. That’s why I and several local businesses have come together to set up Beans for Puerto Rico.

SEE ALSO: Puerto Rico’s Coffee Industry: 6 Weeks On

Hurricane MariaUtuado, a coffee-producing town, lost one of its bridges preventing the communities from recieving appropriate aid. Credit: Alejandro Granadillo

Why Do We Need Coffee Beans?

Among Puerto Rico’s coffee industry, the biggest issue we’re currently facing is quite simply a lack of coffee. While power shortages, staffing issues, and logistics are also causing difficulties, the destroyed harvests threaten the continuance of our coffee shops and farms.

We lost 84% of our agriculture, with coffee, bananas, and plantains the hardest-hit crops. Replanting will take at least three to five years. And currently, even importing coffee – green or roasted – is difficult.

Some coffee shops have already permanently closed down. Others are struggling to remain open, but it is hard.

coffeeFor a week, Metric Coffee Co. donated US $2 dollars from each retail bag sale to benefit the victims of Maria. Credit: Metric Coffee Co.

What Is Beans for Puerto Rico?

I teamed up with Metric Coffee Co, Máquina Coffee Roasters, Bar La Penúltima, Café Comunión and Café Regina to create a scheme whereby you can donate roasted whole bean coffee. We will then distribute this coffee among small cafés in Puerto Rico, helping them to remain open.

Roasted coffee supplies will be a great relief to coffee shops, even if it’s only enough for one week. It’s one week longer to rebuild, one week longer where baristas have jobs and customers can drink coffee.

What’s more, when purchasing roasted coffee, we have to pay between US $2.50/lb and US $3/lb in taxes – something that many of us cannot afford as we try to rebuild.

coffeeMáquina Coffee Roasters donated a percentage of their sales from October to relief aid. Credit: Máquina Coffee Roasters

How to Donate Beans

By donating beans, you’re helping Puerto Rico’s coffee community to survive. You’re giving baristas a job and café owners an income. You’re providing coffee to an island short on basic resources.

I encourage you to donate anything that you feel able to. You can sign up to do so here or email any questions here.

Written by Karla Ly Quiñones García.

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