Cuela was born out of the nostalgia experienced by three friends when we were living outside of Puerto Rico. Two based in Madrid and another in Washington DC, we couldn't find an effective way to connect with coffee growers and/or local roasters for quality, freshly roasted Puerto Rican coffee.
Although yes, 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 such as the plant cultivation. This motivated us to create a solution that narrows the gap between the farmer and the consumer in a way that can enrich the ritual and culture of a good cup of coffee.
Coffee, as an industry in Puerto Rico, has been around for more than 280 years; and in the 19th century, being an island 100x35, we catapulted ourselves as the sixth largest coffee producer in the world. This product is our blessed fruit that has gained international recognition and we need to get back to it. Coffee in Puerto Rico has been affected for various reasons, such as natural phenomena, pests, and labor shortages due to the consistent exile of Puerto Ricans abroad.
However, they continue to work hard to keep this industry alive, which represents a lot of economic and social value for Puerto Ricans 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 artisanal brands of Puerto Rican coffee and, in turn, serve as a channel that allows maximizing sales in a more consistent manner. The idea is to serve as a solid economic entry that helps the sustainability of the mountainous area of the country.
We recognize that there is a decrease in coffee due to the passage of 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 takes flight and reinvents itself more strongly.