Puerto Rico is inaugurating the Caribbean’s first university laboratory dedicated to coffee tasting. The Specialty Coffee Institute of the Caribbean (SCIC) is located at the University of Puerto Rico’s Utuado campus in the island’s central region, which is well-known for producing some of the finest coffees.
The Specialty Coffee Institute of the Caribbean will be a space for students, faculty, and residents of the island to learn about the continued development of coffee in the country. The lab will study coffee grain and boost the consumption of Puerto Rican coffee as well as the techniques needed to identify the best product.
Spokesman Derlin Joel Munoz said Thursday that the laboratory, which received $45,000 in funds from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), is currently open only to students and faculty, with plans to open to the public by August. He said an additional $300,000 investment in the next two years would provide barista training, aid in the university’s own coffee production and help revitalize the island’s coffee industry.
The U.S. territory has struggled in recent years to find workers to pick coffee beans, with the industry losing millions of dollars as a result.
[Photo by Lilibeth Serrano, USFWS, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/5662135684/ ]
For article in English, see http://www.windsorstar.com/life/Puerto+Ricos+largest+public+university+opens+coffee+tasting/8362560/story.html