Cuban culture in obtaining arabica coffee dates back more than 250 years. The knowledge in the cultivation and care of the grain has been passed from father to son and so from generation to generation, becoming a family tradition. The Cuban peasant treated with desvelo their coffee plantations. Since it is still a seed, it prints the accumulated over many years and has received knowledge of their ancestors.
Each of the stages of this long process from the seed to the cup is full of love and special care. Thus, each plant comes from the earth is individually served until the ripe grain emerges, which will be picked up one to one without involving other instrument man's bare hand.
The first floor of the coffee plant that arrived in Cuba was in the XVIII century, in the hands of Don Jose Gelabert, who founded the Wajay, on the outskirts of Havana, the first coffee plantation on the island around 1748, with seed from Santo Domingo, now the Dominican Republic.
With the arrival in Cuba of French and Haitian settlers who emigrated from Haiti due to the revolution of 1791 there was a spate of coffee plantations. These connoisseurs found excellent terrain and climatic conditions for the cultivation of coffee in the mountainous areas of the country located in the western, central and eastern island. Thus they arose the great Cuban coffee plantations, which soon became powerful coffee producing centers.
Thanks to this boom, Cuba became the world's leading exporter in the early XIX century, but since 1830 was losing strength due to the mediation of Spain in the trade of the island. Metropolis imposed taxes and higher prices for importing countries like the United States, who discouraged by this situation, turned their eyes toward emerging producers at that time as Brazil, Colombia and other Central America.
Although Cuba lost its leadership as an exporter of coffee, he maintained a high quality in the cultivation and processing of grain, moving this tradition as a ritual passed down from generation to generation until today.
At present, production of refined quality gourmet coffees are directed exclusively to very select markets. Although their productions are not high, the quality of grain is first recognized in demanding markets through brands Hola, Cubita, Turquino, Extra Turquino, Serrano exclaimed and Crystal Mountain.
The coffee is only produced in the strip located between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Those closest to the equator, countries need greater heights above sea level to produce high quality coffees, while more distant from this line position that conditions at lower altitudes can get very high quality coffees.
Hence the geographical location of the island of Cuba, farthest from Ecuador with an average temperature ranging between 23 and 28 degrees Celsius, enables at an altitude between 350 and 750 m grains of exceptional quality are obtained, which they are rated among the best washed Arabica in the world.
The coffee trees grow in the shade of ancient trees in permeable soils high in organic matter and clay that allow water is easily absorbed. The most important of the island's topography, mountainous areas have places with very particular climatic characteristics that make them the main coffee-growing regions of Cuba.
CUBA has the largest number of ruins of coffee plantations around the world with archaeological, many of them excellently preserved and locked in areas that have been declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Only in LAS TERRAZAS, to the west of the country, there are more than 60 of them, as vivid testimony to the economic power that coffee gave their owners and glory that came to be reached in the first third of the XIX century.
The most famous ruins of the coffee plantations are the property of St. Sophia, Kentucky and La Isabélica, the latter in perfect condition and also has an ethnographic museum. The latter farm, located in the Gran Piedra, is related to a legend that tells the story of a French settler who is in love with a slave named Isabélica with which then married. These coffee trees, which form a magnificent monument to hydraulic engineering, road, home, funeral home and the productive system, are since 2000 a World Heritage Site.