Puerto Rican coffee leaders last week inaugurated the Caribbean’s first university laboratory dedicated to coffee tasting. The Specialty Coffee Institute of the Caribbean is located at the University of Puerto Rico’s Utuado campus in the island’s central region.
In an announcement, spokesman Derlin Joel Munoz said the $45,000 laboratory is currently open to students and teachers, and that it will seek more funding over the next three years, while opening up for academic programming.
The U.S. territory has struggled in recent years to find workers for its coffee farms, resulting in declining production and diminished exports. The Associated Press recently reported that this year’s harvest of some 80,000 pounds of coffee represents an historic low in Puerto Rico, not even meeting domestic consumption.