The first coffee beans came from the Dominican Republic, the Santo Domingo region.
For many years, Cuban coffee did not reach the coffee gourmets who appreciated this high quality drink for a variety of reasons. Lately, positive Cuban economic changes have helped Cuban coffee to conquer world markets with increasing speed.
José Antonio Gelabert introduced the first coffee plant to Cuba in 1748, and the first coffee production company was established in Havana. By 1791, French colonists, fleeing the abolition of slavery during the Haitian Revolution, intro-duced better coffee production methods to Cuba. Coffee production in eastern Cuba during the 19th and early 20th centuries “resulted in the creation of a unique cultural landscape, illustrating a significant stage in the development of this form of agriculture”.
In the beginnings of the 20th century Cuba became the first world coffee produc-er – exporter.
By the 21st century, 92 percent of the country’s coffee was grown in areas of the Sierra Maestra mountains. The coffee harvest runs September through January, peaking in October and November.The island produces both arabica and robusta beans, with most production coming from small family farms.
As such, UNESCO has listed Santiago and Guantanamo provinces, South-Eastern region, as a World Heritage Site since 2000.