In this article you will find everything you need to know about the benefits of coffee in the Dominican Republic. You will be able to visit the most outstanding coffee regions and historical data on a tradition of more than 300 years of cultivation . At the same time, you will find detailed information about its processing.
You will know the fruit and the seed varieties that predominate on the island. As well as a guide to the best places to enjoy a good cup of coffee in the Dominican Republic. Here you can see the most outstanding brands for their refined preparation and those that promote agroecological crops that benefit the planet.
And, of course, we will give you the best tips to prepare a good Dominican coffee. Let us begin!
Coffee regions in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has three mountain systems and the Bahoruco and Neiba mountain ranges in the southwest. Dominican coffee is produced in the regions of Juncalito , Cibao, Ocoa , and Baní . The coffee-producing provinces of Santiago, La Vega and Monseñor Nouel stand out in the North and in the South: Peravia , San Cristóbal, Barahona and Pedernales .
The geography of high plains, fertile valleys and volcanic soils allow coffee trees to offer a wide variety of seeds. The abundant tropical rains provide optimum climatic conditions for its cultivation . These factors mean that traditional planting under shade does not require agrochemicals. This is how we obtain an organic coffee as a final product .
The harvest is carried out between the months of September or October and May. There are seven or eight months in the year to enjoy the beauty of red, yellow or orange cherries fruiting on the bushes.
History of coffee in the Dominican Republic
The coffee tree began to be planted in the Dominican Republic during the first half of the 18th century (between 1726 and 1735). The introduction of this plant in Central America was carried out by the Jesuit monks . According to tradition, the first cultivated place was Loma de Panza . Nowadays there is a great experience in its cultivation.From 1768, studies of the lands began to determine if they were suitable for growing coffee. The result of these investigations turned out to be very favorable, which is why Dominican coffee is available in Central America, Europe and the United States . Currently, more than 130,000 hectares of coffee grown in the Dominican Republic move the national economy.
Why choose Dominican coffee?
The Dominican Republic has been cultivating coffee for more than three hundred years and exporting it for more than a century. His experience is undeniable.
Arabica coffee grown at higher altitudes grows more slowly, thus producing more complex sugars.
It is cultivated in 28 of the 31 provinces of the island and the altitude at which the coffee farms are located ranges between 600 and 1,500 m above sea level. This diversity of heights is the ideal pretext to go on a coffee tour and taste its varied flavors.In the Dominican Republic, numerous farms preserve the coffee tradition . It is a unique and rewarding experience to learn about the procedures, utensils and technology behind the most popular drink in the world. From wherever you are, you can comfortably access these tourist routes with the detailed guide on our website.
Know the coffee fruit
The coffee bean is covered by several layers, which must be removed without mold, in order to obtain a clean bean. The first layer that covers it from the outside in is the outer skin (exocarp or pericarp). It is red, yellow, or orange in color when the fruit reaches maturity . Its preponderant red color and shape give the fruit the name of cherry.
Then there is the pulp, (mesocarp) used as fertilizer and in infusions. The mucilage (pectin layer) is a sticky substance that has great medicinal value as an antioxidant, among other properties. It is followed by a silver film (integument) and parchment (endocarp). Each fruit contains two seeds or grains.
Varieties of Arabica coffee that you will find in the Dominican Republic
Arabica coffee is the species that is produced in the highest proportions in the Dominican Republic. Probably originally from Ethiopia, it has a recognized excellence for its qualities: body, aroma, fruity flavor and its balanced degree of acidity. The most abundant varieties are Typica and Caturra, mainly, in addition to the Bourbón and Catuai varieties .
You can easily recognize it by its elongated, oval and longer shape. As well as the central line in the form of “S”
How does Dominican coffee get into your cup? Prosecution
Behind the elaboration of the best Dominican coffee there is a careful and laborious human work. It begins by adequately fertilizing the soil and then planting the coffee plants. Once the fruit is ripe (cherry), manual harvesting begins and the subsequent cleaning and selection of the grain begins.
Drying, through exposure to sunlight and shade, is done in coffee patios or in beds raised from the ground, protecting the seed from rain.
Coffee processing begins with the extraction of its seed, for this it is necessary to discard the pulp and mucilage, as well as the other layers. There are 3 traditional coffee processes: natural, washed and semi-washed . Here we summarize each one:
- natural processing
The natural process is done manually. The fruit is put to dry directly, with all its components after having been cleaned and selected. The drying time ranges from three to six weeks, during which the cherry is constantly raked, so that its drying is uniform.
- wash processing
It is done with a mechanical processor. After the coffee bean has been classified, the pulper removes the cherry from it. The mucilage is removed by submerging in water tanks for a period ranging from 24 to 72 hours for fermentation. Then, we proceed to wash to remove remains of the fruit. And finally, it is dried.
- Semi-wash process, honey (honey) or wet shelling
It is a very old procedure, originating in Africa and Indonesia. The fruits are selected manually at their highest ripeness point. They are pulped and dried in the sun or in the shade with the mucilage attached. Semi-washed coffees are classified according to the drying time and the amount of mucilage adhered to the seed.
Compared to naturally dried coffee, washed coffee loses acidity and gains cleanliness.
The semi-wash is sweeter with milder acidity.
However, in recent decades other more refined processes have been incorporated into the treatment of coffee. Some of them are: the use of wine yeast, lactic fermentation, carbonic maceration, and anaerobic.
How is the taste of Dominican coffee? (taste profile)
Dominican Republic coffee offers a wide variety of flavors. In general, its fruity, sweet flavor predominates, with balanced acidity and an intense aroma . Its creamy body allows you to enjoy it for a longer time, since it remains on the taste buds.
Characteristics of Dominican coffee
In the Dominican Republic, coffee has a special charm. Read on to find out what traits distinguish Dominican coffee from the rest.
- The Arabica coffee that we frequently find in Dominican crops has less caffeine, from 0.7 to 1.5%.
- It combines the properties of fruity flavor, aroma and body that make it pleasant on the palate.
- You can taste an excellent “premium ” coffee in its best brands.
- Its flavor is not bitter and will remain in our taste buds thanks to its creamy texture.
- If you prefer decaffeinated coffee, you can find it in many establishments and at all hours.
- You can find coffee beans, freshly roasted, which offers a more intense flavor and smell because its oxidation is less.
Check our page to learn about the precautions you should take into account when eating food and drinks in the Dominican Republic .
Health benefits of coffee
Coffee contains numerous nutrients that provide us with benefits: vitamins B2, B5, potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, choline, caffeine, phosphorus, proteins, fats, and antioxidants. It stimulates the brain and increases the feeling of well-being and pleasure because it activates and increases dopamine . At the same time, it blocks a neurotransmitter, adenosine.
Coffee improves levels of attention, concentration, verbal memory and performance for periods of up to six hours because it stimulates the central nervous system. Helps to improve headache by being a vasodilator. Decreases the possibility of developing neurodegenerative diseases
On the other hand, coffee activates the digestive system and stimulates metabolism. Collaborate with slimming diets because it helps burn fat, as long as it is not mixed with sugar. In people who drink coffee, the risk of diabetes decreases between 23% and 50%.
There are researchers who attribute to coffee preventive properties to reduce the suffering of colon cancer, heart disease and cirrhosis.
However, coffee consumption should not be excessive because it loses its positive effects. Excess coffee in the body leads to insomnia, incontinence, increased blood pressure and heart rate.
The 3 best places to try Dominican coffee
In the Dominican Republic there are numerous cafes with professional baristas who love their trade. Here we present a short list of Dominican coffee shops to which you will surely want to return . They are located in places of tourist interest, due to their history or the beauty of the place.
Barista House. In this place you will find excellent coffee. You can also enjoy its pizzeria, serving Latin American, Spanish and international food. In addition, Casa Barista is suitable for vegetarians and offers gluten-free dishes.
Cafeteria. It is one of the oldest cafes in Santo Domingo. It offers a pleasant approach to the history of the Dominican Republic through local characters. In La Cafeteria you can have an exquisite coffee and taste a great variety of traditional Dominican dishes . Voorpret Specialty Coffee Roaster. Highly recommended to enjoy good coffee from different countries .
In this place you have the option to choose between cold or hot coffees and different types of brew. It also presents a wide variety of desserts and snack dishes.
The best brands of Dominican coffee
The Dominican Republic is one of the few countries where the differences between national and export coffee are not so marked . Premium brands and excellent quality organic coffee brands are available in the national and international market .
Even the most popular coffee has the characteristics of a good coffee, the cost of which makes it accessible to the general population. Below we recommend three brands of high-quality Dominican coffee:
- Induban Gourmet Coffee . It is characterized by its chocolate and almond aroma. Enjoy a smooth chocolate flavor with hints of fruity and citric acidity. The pleasant sensation remains on the palate due to the creaminess of its body. Its delicacy comes from the careful selection of grains according to their density, size and color.
- Cafe Santo Domingo . This traditional coffee gathers the experience of the Indugan family. The patient selection and roasting of the beans offers the palate a coffee with a balanced touch of vanilla, hazelnuts and caramel. The sweetness that comes from the fruit, together with its soft bitterness and its low acidity, provide a pleasant experience to the taste.
- Volcanic Coffee . It has more than 150 types of natural and flavored coffee, so you can choose the one that is closest to your personality. The coffee from the farm, organic, dark roasted, decaffeinated, Indonesian and Pacific stand out. Its name evokes the volcanic origin of the region’s soils. None of its presentations contain sugar or allergens.
Certified Organic Dominican Coffee Brands
The sustainability of organic farming translates into greater conservation of ecosystems, without depleting the availability of natural resources. These markets are called fair trade coffee and organic coffee . It is grown on traditional farms in the shade, among large trees of native origin.
Coffee from my land With the purchase of this coffee you support hundreds of producers to sustain crops without the use of fertilizers. You collaborate with the health of the planet and enjoy a delicious fresh coffee, freshly roasted.
You will find a diversity of brands according to your demands. People of the Island. Here you will find a fruity coffee with a delicate touch of acidity. Shipping costs are included in the price of the product. COOPASOL.
This coffee is produced using organic fertilizers, construction and production of traditional traps. In addition, its management of pests and diseases complies with the protection of nature and biodiversity. Strainer or fret? Tips for preparing the best Dominican coffee
In some of the rural areas of the Dominican Republic, the traditional way of making coffee with a cloth strainer is still preserved. The strainer retains the ground coffee inside, letting the hot water pass through , from where the coffee goes directly into the cup.
Large commercial establishments use larger machines to serve ready-to-drink coffee. However, at home or in the office, the Greca coffee maker is the most popular and used. Its original name is moka pot or Italian coffee pot. Its body is made of aluminum and bakelite handles, a plastic material with high thermal resistance.
Here we detail some tricks so that the strained coffee or in the greca looks fabulous on you:
- The best way to make a Dominican coffee is to grind the beans instantly , as this is how we obtain an intense and fresh coffee. The beans should be ground just before brewing so that the coffee does not oxidize or go rancid.
This is one of the reasons why, in the towns and rural areas of the Dominican Republic, many times “sachets” of a single elaboration are bought.
If you are going to grind a large amount of coffee, you can freeze it so it does not oxidize.
- When preparing the coffee, it is recommended that the water should be at a temperature between 90 to 95 ° C. Do not use cold water for coffee, as it takes longer to boil and overcooks.
- If you are going to use the strainer technique, remember to pour the water when it is already boiling and use fresh ground coffee .
- The fret has become ubiquitous throughout the Dominican territory. However, it is not always used correctly. Remember to fill the pan with very hot water and never use milk . When boiling, the milk clogs the pressure valve and your coffee maker can be damaged.
- There are also electric coffee makers with paper strainers. In this case it is recommended to first pour a little boiled water on the paper and discard it . The purpose is to avoid the papery taste in the coffee.
Now you know that Dominican coffee stands out for being one of the richest and healthiest in the world. But also the rum distilled in the Dominican Republic is magnificent. Discover which are the best brands of Dominican rum by clicking here .