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A Path to Coffee Paradise in every Sense

Hacienda Tres Angeles is the Place (Series Article 1 of 2)
Publication of Discovery: Feb. 13, 2016
Issue: Feburary, 2016

A path to coffee paradise in every sense—that is what we found at the renovated coffee plantation Hacienda Tres Angeles located in Adjuntas and Utuado, Puerto Rico. Entrance to Hacienda Tres Angeles is found at Road 129, Km. 38.4, in Portillo neighborhood, Adjuntas.

The services given by its founders and owners, Juan Meléndez and Naomi Gómez, the thorough agritourism tour experience offered by Mr. Meléndez, the around 100-acre farmland, and the specialty machinery that processes and elaborates coffee impressed us prior to witnessing the end result of an aromatic and savory 100% Arabica coffee.

Earthly is the best word to describe the experience at this coffee plantation.

As we started our agritourism experience, we found pine trees cohabitating with “maguey” plants and coffee trees, among other flora.

Mr. Meléndez explained that the “maguey” plant was used by indigenous people as loincloth, that the center of the plant is used for alcoholic beverages, and that this plant’s root is used as a natural colorant in some beverages such as whisky. As a result, the characteristic color of such whisky comes from the “maguey” root.

Then we began interacting with the Puerto Rican coffee trees, the flowers that produce the coffee fruits, the beautiful unripe green coffee fruits and ripe cherry-colored coffee fruits, and the kind of sweet-flavored coffee pulp. The fact that we had the chance to admire the coffee trees with so many fresh and healthy-looking coffee fruits was amazing.

Not only there were so many coffee trees near reach while we hiked, but we must say that the scenic views from the top of the mountain trail literally took our breath away. Throughout the years, we have had the opportunity to admire gorgeous views at different locations in Puerto Rico, but the mountain views with defined farm pathways along Hacienda Tres Angeles are one the most fascinating views we have ever seen in Puerto Rico.

At a height of around 2,300 feet, we reached a hill named “Cerro La Mira”, where the tour guide pointed out the view of “Cerro Guilarte”, “Cerro Maravilla” and “Los Tres Picachos” (some of the highest mountain peaks in Puerto Rico) as well as “Cerro del Novillo” and a valley named “Valle de Tanamá”.

Hacienda Tres Angeles’ first coffee seeds were planted in July 2013. Mr. Meléndez explained that they planted over 35,000 coffee trees during two years. He proudly announced that in 2014, 60% of the coffee was exported to Italy while the remaining 40% was distributed within Puerto Rico and the United States.

The proud founder of this renovated coffee plantation emphasized that they work daily with various key factors to foster the elaboration of premium coffee. He explained that the quality of coffee lies mainly in the coffee variety (subspecies of coffee plants) and the soil minerals. Other factors are the climate, and the height of the plantation. He explained that coffee plants need cold weather and water for a healthy plantation. As the farmland is at a higher altitude, a denser coffee bean may be produced, according to Mr. Meléndez. Needless to say, they also have to perform fumigation and other maintenance practices to process pest-free coffee beans.

At Hacienda Tres Angeles, 100% Arabica coffee beans are processed the same day when they are picked and collected, as Mr. Meléndez stated. He highlighted that the use of ripe coffee fruits is a fundamental factor to achieve a high quality coffee. As he explained, the amount of ripe coffee fruit production depends on how many times the coffee tree flourishes.

The Arabica coffee harvest period is usually from August/September to December/January, ending when the coffee fruits are picked, according to Mr. Meléndez. He explained that the coffee plantation usually flourishes from January to May. However, due to climate changes, the flourishing period has changed. In 2015, the coffee trees flourished in October. Last year, they flourished in November. Three years ago, the coffee trees flourished in December. So, as years go by the flourishing period has advanced.

Even though Hacienda Tres Angeles’ main crop is coffee, this plantation also harvests tropical and Puerto Rican typical crops such as plantains, oranges, and yautias (a root vegetable). The harvest of plantain crops nearby coffee trees is an incredible fact worth seeing.

Hacienda Tres Angeles was the first plantation certified under the Agritourism Program of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Mr. Meléndez stated that besides Puerto Ricans and tourists from the United States mainland, people from foreign countries, such as Poland, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, and Russia, have visited Hacienda Tres Angeles.

For guided tours, contact Naomi Gómez at 787-360-0019 or 787-949-0468. Guided tours take around two and a half to three hours, but depending on the group’s interest the tour might take longer. Fees: $5.00 p/p for kids less than 12 years old, and $15.00 p/p for the others.

Pay attention to our next magazine edition as we will continue sharing more about our agritourism experience at Hacienda Tres Angeles.

tour provider: Hacienda Tres Angeles
book here
where the crew ate: Tierra del Frío
photograph by: N. Michelle Rodríguez

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all details with the pertinent businesses before planning your trip. Please be cautious. The company behind this publication assumes no responsibility for your safety when participating in the activities mentioned in this article. You are responsible for confirming whether you are capable of participating in any of these activities or tours, regardless of the effort level or any other information provided in this website.

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José Miguel Ferrer Tanco, San Juan, PR- “It was a great and pleasant experience, especially to be able to learn about the coffee elaboration— from the cultivation and harvest to the point when the coffee reaches the consumer. It has been my first experience hiking on a coffee plantation trail. Juan Meléndez offered an entertaining tour and an experience to have real contact with nature and to learn about the importance of nature and the Creator of nature. ” (translation ours)

Benjamín, Trujillo Alto, PR- “This coffee plantation distinguishes since visitors can interact with the owners and learn about their experience in the hacienda's renovation. The location allows to see both the plantation and what involves the coffee processing as well as to taste coffee. The views are spectacular and the experience is enriching.” (translation ours)

Iraida Mejías, Caguas, PR – “I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about coffee. The coffee was delicious. It has a lot of flavor and is pure. The place is beautiful and service was excellent.” (translation ours)

Lissette, Trujillo Alto, PR- “What impressed me the most was how they maximize the plantation, harvesting both coffee and plantains.” (translation ours)

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