Haitian Coffee

Haitian coffee has had a long and tumultuous history over the last century and has overcome war, political blunders, as well as natural disasters. Despite everything that the coffee industry in Haiti has been through, one thing has remained constant and that is the quality of the coffee produced in the country. Haitian coffee offers a distinct taste due to its rich and opulent flavor profile that pulls a perfect balancing act between its full-bodied dryness and sweet low tone.

Top Haitian Coffees

Haitian Coffee

Haitian Coffee

Haiti is a small country with mountainous regions non-conducive to most farm crops taking up 65% of its lands. While the highlands of Haiti are not suitable to the cultivation of regular food crops, coffee grows abundantly on such areas. Coffee plants were first exported to the French colony in Haiti in the 1720s, making the country one of the oldest coffee producers in the world.

By the time the later part of the eighteenth century came about, Haiti was already producing half the coffee consumed around the world making them the most profitable French colony. But the coffee legacy inherited by Haiti has is a colonial relic and bears the burden of forced and bonded labor and slavery. Irrespective of its dark past, the coffee sourced from Haiti is the agricultural output of the farmers and deserve to be consumed as such.

Over the years gone through many ups and downs. As Haiti was a French colony that saw the mass decimation of its indigenous population, most of the coffee plantations needed labor to be brought in from Africa as slaves. These laborers have over the course of centuries settled down in the country and own the many coffee farms that number in several thousands.

A fragile political leadership and natural disasters have caused further setbacks to the coffee cultivators in Haiti. But the coffee farms have persisted and always come through with high quality coffee. The quality and flavor profile of Haitian coffee is hard to regulate due to the over 7000 farmers involved in coffee cultivation around the country. But despite this, Haitian coffee is more or less of great quality and produces fairly consistent flavors across the board.

Why Haitian Coffee?

After a decades long disappearance from specialty menus in the United States owing to conflicts and embargos, Haitian coffee is now finally making a comeback. There are many features that lend Haitian coffee their unique profile and advantages to consuming Haitian coffee that bear a closer look. So, coffee lovers who find themselves curious about this single source and read on to find out more about this coffee.

The complex flavors

The flavor profile of Haitian coffee is complex and rich. The perfect balance between dryness and sweetness that this coffee achieves is what makes it so appealing to coffee lovers Stateside. Haitian coffee is known for its rich flavors combined with a medium body. This is accompanied by a comparatively low degree of inherent acidity which lends this coffee its characteristic sweet, smooth, and soft texture. Most of the Haitian coffee is sold under the market moniker of Haitian Bleu.

Coffee type

A major portion of the coffee cultivated in Haiti belongs to the Typica variant of the Arabica coffee. This is a high-quality coffee type that is one of the most genetically important variants of Arabica coffee originating from South America. These coffee plants are tall in stature with bean sizes that is on the larger end of the spectrum. Although this type of coffee is susceptible to coffee leaf rust and coffee berry disease, but when cultivated just right, gives a uniformly high-quality yield of coffee beans.

The processing technique

The Haitian climate along with its level of humidity and natural shade provides the perfect atmosphere for coffee cultivation and processing. Though Haitian coffee farmers have the option of using either of the wet or dry processing techniques due to their weather allowing both, traditionally they have preferred dry processing.

This is due to the facts that dry processing is the easier of the two methods and requires less water. Additionally, dry processing coffee beans also helps preserve the beans for a year or two longer allowing Haitian coffee a longer shelf life. Some farmers who can afford wet processing tend to opt for that method as it yields better third wave coffee and fetches them a higher price for their crop.

Organically grown

Haitian coffee is grown through 100% organic means. This is mostly due to the fact that Haitian farmers are too poor to be able to afford the chemical pesticides and insecticides that kill pests and increase production. This leads them to use organic manure and plant residue as fertilizers to induce further growth in their coffee plantations.

The organic nature of Haitian coffee ensures that these beans are not contaminated with harmful chemicals that are toxic to the systems of their consumers. Consequently, Haitian coffee is also environmentally more viable as these crops were not grown with the pesticides that wreak havoc on the soil quality and dependent ecosystems.

Conscientious coffee consumption

Despite the many social, economic, political upheavals faced by Haiti in the past century, its coffee industry has persisted with quality coffee yields. The economic downturn caused by a brutal dictatorship during the 1950s and US embargo in the 1990s almost entirely decimated the coffee plantations. But coffee cultivation has always been the backbone of the Haitian economy driven by wars and natural disasters.

Consuming Haitian coffee, apart from bringing joy to the consumers themselves due to its high quality, also contributes majorly towards rebuilding that impoverished country. Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake as recently as 2010, and the economy is still recovering from it. As the export with the greatest potential for growth, Haitian coffee needs dedicated patrons to help rebuild the lives as well as the societies of the people growing them.

Premium quality specialty coffee

Over the last couple of decades, a new life has been injected into coffee production in Haiti by worldwide welfare initiatives and non-profit organizations such as Singing Rooster. These organizations are committed to empowering Haitian farmers through the implementation of fair-trade practices and educating them towards organic practices.

Such education drives have geared coffee production in Haiti towards targeting the growing consumer base of socially aware and conscientious western consumers. These consumers are believed to be able to shell out the higher pricing that is attached to premium quality specialty coffee grown by small scale farmers. This reorientation of coffee production in Haiti provides impoverished farmers with the best opportunity for a better life.

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