The words Haitian coffee has an enormous history and legacy associated with them.
Did You Know? Haiti supplied 60% of the world's coffee need in the 1700s, but found itself on the verge of extinction not long after..
In a roller coaster of experiences, Haitian coffee has seen it all over the years.
It has been lost and revived countless times, yet is still standing firm in the competition of the world's finest gourmet coffees.
This article will introduce you to the world of Haitian coffee, its history, its current scenario, and what the future holds for this smooth Haitian delicacy.
As a bonus, if you read till the end, we will share with you tips on how you can order and get this delicious coffee delivered right at your doorsteps.
A Brief History
Located in the Caribbean sea, the island of Haiti has the large mountainous area in the Caribbean.
Historically, where the other crops might not survive here, these conditions have been an ideal topology to grow the coffee bean.
In past years, this has made Haiti one of the wealthiest French colonies.
A long time ago, during the 1700s, Haiti was producing enough coffee to sustain the world's 60% demand.
Legends say that the French were the first people to bring the arabica coffee plant to Haiti. They thought Haitians to cultivate and grow coffee trees as well as the tricks of coffee production.
And all the coffee beans have produced ever since have that original arabica plant as their single origin. Understandably, the French were not very happy when they have to leave Haiti in the 1800s.
In its post-colonial era, Haiti has gone through many devastating changes. On one side, it has faced natural calamities and, on the other side, political and social displacement and caused the Haiti coffee to drop even below 1% of the world's coffee supply.
The adverse changes have affected the coffee trade in the region, and farmers have stopped growing coffee altogether in the past years.
The situation has become so bad that many people are not even aware of Haitian coffee anymore.
In recent times, however, the world is re-discovering Haitian coffee's charms and its delicious flavor profile.
Why Haitian coffee is so Special
The steep hills of Haiti island are one of the most challenging climates for any plant to grow. But for coffee, it even affects the end product of the plant.
Due to the dense air in the high-altitude areas, the plant develops a higher amount of lactic acid. This increased acidity, in turn, imparts the coffee plant with a gourmet medium body, citrus acidic, and sweet flavor and reduces any bitter aftertaste.
Many coffee connoisseurs claim that even though the Haiti coffee is strong and has a strength of espresso, it has close to none bitter aftertaste.
This feature makes Haitian coffee or Haitian green coffee the best coffee variety for a hot or cold brew. Overall, this makes Haitian coffee a unique brew experience.
In addition to the plant variety, the Haiti coffee plantation processes also add to its high quality and low acidity.
Most coffee plantations in Haiti use traditional methods with simple tools. The negligible use of chemical fertilizers maintains the organic growth of small coffee cherries.
The conventional techniques keep the natural fresh taste intact. Thus, the naturally grown and processed coffee from Haiti's island is scarce, thereby causing a significant increase in its order and high price tag.
Flavor Profile, Roasting, and Brewing Recommendations
Haitian coffee has a medium to strong flavor. Depending upon the coffee beans and the roast level, your Haitian cup of coffee can have varied notes. For example, when made into a light to medium roast, certain coffee beans release a hint of chocolate, caramel, and sweet flavor.
On the contrary, due to the Haitian whole bean's low acidity when made into a dark roast, it provides deep cherry, chocolatey, and a sweet, nutty taste.
The non-profit organization, Singing Rooster, specializes in selling whole green beans for the home-roasted coffee experience. You can find their recommendation for roasting the best Haitian Coffee here.
Also, the intense aroma of the coffee makes it the best espresso brewing choice. Interestingly, when the robust taste pairs with a medium to no aftertaste, this also makes the Haitian coffee a perfect choice for cold-brews.
Haiti and Its Current Situation
Haitian coffee has had more than its fair share of challenges. Since its freedom from being a French colony, along with the political violence and turmoil, natural disasters have proven to be the coffee industry's worst nightmare.
In the early 21st century, many disasters, including tropical storms and earthquakes, have struck Haiti.
Earthquakes have the most impact, with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastating the land in 2010.
Haiti's coffee plantation is still recovering from its aftereffects.
However, despite all the challenges the Haitian coffee industry has faced in the past, there is still hope for Haitian coffee yet.
In recent times, many companies whose sole focus on sustainable growth have come forward and trying to revolutionize Haiti's coffee stand in the world.
Their primary focus lies in helping the coffee to reach its previous level of prosperity and, at the same time, help the country recover from its economic troubles.
3 Eager Brands Looking to Restore Haiti's Coffee Economy
Below are some brands who are doing tremendous work to restore Haiti's former glory:
Singing rooster Inc. Is a United States non-profit organization. They team up with Haiti's coffee farmers at a small scale industry to help them grow the top quality of Haitian coffee beans.
Once workers harvest the final coffee crop, the company also puts the product in a retail shop and to consumers on a farm to table model.
Single Rooster works on many projects simultaneously, ranging from helping farmers with pre-harvesting credit to their income diversification and seed supplying.
They have also teamed up with the Haitian governments to bring their projects to more and more coffee farmers and increase their profits.
Joseph Stazzone, the chief coffee hunter at Cafe Kreyol company, once explained how the culture of the non-profit is causing more harm than good to Haiti's economy.
He explains that when rich countries of the world give away free stuff to the poorer countries like Haiti, they are demotivating the farmers to produce and sell crops, which eventually destroys the local farm economy.
Hence the idea of Cafe Kreyol was born as a direct trade partnership with the Haitian coffee farmers. They assist Haitian farmers in growing the best quality coffee and then helping them sell it all over the globe.
From burning coffee plants a century ago to growing and processing speciality coffee today, Haiti is exporting some incredible beans. Barista Magazine featured our team in the article and highlighted Haiti's coffee journey.https://t.co/aFdKXITRSh— Cafe Kreyól (@Cafe_Kreyol) January 19, 2022
Under Cafe Kreyol, they sell different types of coffee, Haitian farmers produce. And based on its characteristics, they sell it from medium to high price range.
Coffee Bean Corral
For coffee enthusiasts, sometimes the roasting is half the fun of drinking a good cup of coffee. In Haiti, one can smell the fresh-roasted whole beans from across many houses.
Coffee Bean Corral provides you an opportunity to take the Haitian coffee home and personalized the roasting process.
That's why they sell unrated Haitian green coffee beans.
The most popular type of coffee beans sold by Coffee Bean Corral is called Haitian Blue Organic green beans.
These are a distant cousin of the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans as this coffee grows from the same plant.
These three well known and other small scale organizations help the Haitian coffee plantation recover from their struggles. They emphasize fair treatment and fair wages, but best in the industry wages and services to the coffee producer of Haiti coffee.
Organizations like Singing rooster claim that for a pound of specialty coffee green raw beans, they pay the coffee production anywhere between $3.5 to $4.5. They focus on fair trade practices and stabilize coffee prices across the globe.
The international presence helps worldwide connoisseurs buy gourmet coffee from the open market and enjoy the smooth, low acidic Haitian coffee production from anywhere in the world.
Future of Haitian Coffee
A brand like Singing Rooster is working hard to bring back the old glory of Haiti s coffee. They teach advanced techniques to the Haitian coffee industry, which helps save the time to grow and market the whole bean.
At the same time, they are come up with new and innovative ideas to incorporate the smooth coffees flavor into products other than just coffee drink. The hilly ground of Haiti, with its organic-rich nutrient coffees, makes for the best skincare products.
These include creamy coffee body moisturizers or coffee body scrubs.
Another benefit of international exposure to Haitian coffee is that it has now inspired coffee tourism in Haiti.
Where people can come and spend time in the coffee production regions and enjoy the gourmet taste of Haitian coffee right on the island. They can also live a new and unique experience by assisting with common farm labor.
For example, tourists can help plant organic coffee trees, pick cherries, and help with depulping.
The sustainable vision of many Haitian coffee enthusiasts and organizations has open new doors for a bright future of Haitian coffee. The fair trade practices have brought a significant change in the coffee industry of Haiti.
By relating to its past and organic production process, people are more likely to buy Haitian coffee and coffee products, which will boost the economy of this small Caribbean country.
So if you are ever in the market to try a new coffee flavor, consider supporting companies whose focus is on restoring economies through economically sustainable coffee practices, like those we mentioned in Haiti.