Dominican Coffee

Dominican Coffee

I arrived on this island already pretty addicted to coffee. The first item of my morning routine is always coffee, no exceptions. Unless there’s an emergency, I’m spending my first waking half-hour huddled over a steaming cup of coffee.

I drink it with milk and hot, cooled only just past scalding. My partner has drinking rights over any of my coffee that falls to warm or lukewarm because he knows I will not touch it.

If you’re coming to Cabarete and you’re anything like me, you will be thrilled to learn that Dominican coffee is seriously amazing. It’s rich, earthy and, my favourite, chocolatey. (Shout out to my dreamy daily Dominican coffee fix, Cafe Monte Real. Brown packaging with a red trim. I love it.)

And it’s all grown and produced right here in the Dominican Republic.

From hanging on the tree to when I scoop it into my percolator, the coffee never leaves the country. It’s nice to know the bag I pick up in the supermarket has only travelled a few hours from its birthplace.

The mountains, sunshine and consistent showers provide the perfect environment for coffee to grow. The growing season is stretched out extra long, thanks to the tropical weather, so that every single coffee bean can ripen to the perfect level before it is handpicked.

It’s common practice on Dominican plantations to comb over the same patch of coffee plants, only taking the beans that are fully ready to come off, and leaving the rest for next time. This personalised approach maximises the flavour that will eventually make it into your mug.

Oddly enough, though, the Dominican doesn’t export very much coffee. The high quality coffee is mostly consumed by Dominicans here at home.

Dominican Coffee Culture

Of course, visitors can enjoy the delicious coffee here (absolutely, go to town!), but it’s important to note the place coffee holds in Dominican culture.

Coffee is central to home life and hospitality in the DR. Families and friends share their stories and lives over a sweet, hot coffee. Strangers are folded into the social fabric over the fizzle and gurgle of coffee brewing.

Many Dominicans grind nutmeg into the coffee grounds in the greka (percolator), so the coffee takes on a heavenly spicy flavour.

It’s also common to add cinnamon and/or drinking chocolate to your brew and, of course, a few heaped spoonfuls of sugar. Dominicans definitely have a national sweet tooth.

La Ruta del Cafe

Coffee aficionados and ecotourists can head over to La Ruta del Cafe in Jarabacoa for a cultural, caffeinated adventure. Here, you’ll find out exactly how the humble coffee bean makes its way from the fields into your frothy cappuccino. who are keen to the local culture in a sustainable way

La Ruta del Cafe offers visitors an insight into the local coffee-growing communities. You will take part in the whole coffee process from growing the beans all the way to grinding and packaging the final product.

The Ruta takes you through two major Dominican coffee regions, Salcedo and Banao. Along the way, you’ll experience local culture in a sustainable, respectful way.

The project promotes responsible tourism and meaningful cultural exchange. This is not just about growing coffee, but a chance to share stories with and learn from the people who make it.

Dominican coffee is full of flavour and life. Enjoy exploring it. Just remember that behind your intense, earthy cup of coffee is the story of the hands who brought it about and the land where it grew.