El por qué de Cuela

Cuela was born out of the nostalgia that three of our friends experienced when we were living outside of Puerto Rico. Two of us living in Madrid and another in Washington D.C., we could not find an effective way to connect with local coffee growers and/or roasters to acquire quality, freshly roasted Puerto Rican coffee.

Although there were already online platforms that offered Puerto Rican coffee, they did not do so with the emphasis of educating the consumer about the history of the product and the people behind the roaster or from the initial part of the roasting process, such as the cultivation of the plant. This motivated us to create a solution that narrows the gap between the coffee grower and the consumer so that the ritual and culture of a good cup of coffee can be enriched.

Coffee, as an industry in Puerto Rico, has been around for more than 280 years; and in the 19th century, being a 100x35 island, we catapulted as the sixth largest coffee producer in the world. This product is our blessed fruit that has gained international recognition and we have to return to it. Coffee in Puerto Rico has been affected by various reasons, such as natural phenomena, pests and labor shortages due to the consistent exile of Puerto Ricans abroad.

However, we continue to work hard to keep alive this industry that represents a lot of economic and social value for the Puerto Rican here and for those who live outside the island. For this reason, we took on the task of using technology (e-commerce) to expose and market various artisan brands of Puerto Rican coffee and, in turn, serve as a channel to maximize sales in a more consistent way. The idea is to serve as a solid economic input that will help the sustainability of the mountainous area of the country.

We recognize that there is a decrease in coffee due to Hurricane Maria, but there are many farms that are in the process of rejuvenation and with great projects for the future. This is great news! We are proud to highlight the resilience of artisanal brands, and the fact that they continue to operate motivates us to help them so that the industry can take flight and reinvent itself with more strength.

Written by Enio A Suasnávar Torres

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