For centuries, Haitian coffee has continued to play prominently on the world stage, though with an uncommon twist born of its heretofore ever-changing and even more challenging political situation.
Whereas other leading coffee-producing countries “benefited” from advances in farming techniques, pesticides, fertilizers and the like, Haiti’s relative isolation over the years ensured that cultivation and production techniques here remained almost entirely unchanged.
As was the case in the 1700s, all of the coffee beans grown in Haiti today are pure Arabica, the fancy gourmet stuff we all pay a nice premium for at Whole Foods. At the same time, it’s estimated that 90% of the coffee trees in Haiti are what’s known as typica, or directly descended from the coffee plants brought to Haiti by the French in those long ago colonial days.
In this way, it’s arguable that Haitian coffee offers the closest flavor experience to the java produced some 300 years ago, when the Western world was first beginning to fall in love with the bold and black stuff.
It’s similarly arguable that the coffee trees with the most direct lineage to that original smuggled tree from way back in 1720 are today, still hard at work, in Haiti.
What cannot be argued, however, is the absolutely organic nature of Haitian coffee – farmers here never learned any other way – and its incredible flavor. Truly, if you love coffee, there’s nothing better.