From Asturias, Spain, coffee arrived for the first time to Puerto Rico, specifically to the town of Ciales, which became the true Town of Coffee.
This occurred in the eighteenth century, the Asturians, not only brought the grain and know how , but also their capital and knowledge of how to market and distribute coffee not only in Puerto Rico, but worldwide. Such is so that in 1875, Puerto Rico became the third country that sold its coffee to Europe and in the axis of distribution of coffee for the world.
This information was provided as part of our conversation with Don Pedro Maldonado, when visiting the Coffee Museum in the town of Ciales. Don Pedro is the third generation of coffee producers, who along with his family, keeps the tradition of coffee production alive in Puerto Rico since 1933.
Don Pedro tells us that his grandfather, Don Pedro Maldonado (first generation) acquired the assets from the Asturians with which he founded the family business, creating his brand, Café Cialito. Since its founding in 1933, Café Cialito positioned itself as one of the local leading brands in the coffee industry. Unfortunately, as it often happens, the economic crisis and small profit margins forced the closure in 1997. However, Don Pedro tells us that the deep love for the coffee industry led them to create the Coffee Museum in the old installations of Café Cialito, this in order to keep the history of coffee alive.
In the process of transition to turn it into a museum, Don Pedro discovers a wealth of historical documents of the industry, among which stood out evidence of the sale of this coffee to the Vatican. They are currently the custodians of these documents with the support of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.
The secret of the quality of Ciales coffee lies in its strict processes of quality control, that is why the Maldonado family has its own laboratory. The controls include from the land of the farms, to the drying process and finally its burning and production. The Maldonado family, with their current Don Pello Premium select brand, use only Puerto Rican harvested coffee under their controls and standards. And we, as good coffee drinkers, attest and confirm that it is very rich.
Pedro Maldonado shared with us the news that they are already in the process of introducing a new coffee brand for commercial distribution to the market. Success is assured.