There are only three Super Premium Coffees in the World, and Alto Grande has the distinct privilege of being one of them. This coffee has been described as having a “bright sparkling flavor” and “a heavy body flavor with a fragrant aroma and a pleasant aftertaste.
For over 150 years Alto Grande coffee has been grown and processed at the Alto Grande Hacienda in Lares, Puerto Rico. Lares is found deep in the central mountains of Puerto Rico which has a climate conducive to growing coffee. Alto Grande coffee is comprised of only the finest Grade A Arabica coffee beans. They certify the authenticity of this never-blended coffee and guarantee its origin since they control it from the bean up to your hands.
When we talk about coffee, like when we talk about food, we have to distinguish grades of quality; and in the same manner that there are simple and haute cuisines when speaking of meals, so are there coffee grades which gourmets know how to ask for by traits such as aroma, body and flavor.
What makes a coffee worthy of the Super Premium label?
The reasons are many. The highest quality coffee comes from a variety of shrub known as Arabic. They are delicate shrubs that only grow in humid climates, high in the mountains of the tropics. Each Arabic tree only produces one pound of coffee a year; a limited production, but of an unsurpassable quality.
Arabic shrubs arrived on the island in 1736. These beans are chosen by hand and are gathered when they are the ripest. The same day they are picked off the shrub, the pulp is separated from the coffee bean and it undergoes a rigorous and special cleaning, drying and classification process. The final stage is what makes a coffee Super Premium the coffee producer who roasts, grinds and packs it. An optimum quality is what makes our Super Premium Coffee stand out -- a coffee we guard very carefully from the time it is harvested until it is vacuum-packed, keeping it as fresh as the same day it was roasted.
The Hacienda Alto Grande, in the mountains of Lares, still keeps a true tradition of quality which has given Puerto Rican coffee its prestige among true coffee connosseiurs throughout the most prominent world capitals.
The Garrido name is your guarantee for this exceptional coffee. It is the commitment to a tradition of quality which has been the pride of The Garrido family for generations. Each structure in a coffee estate solved a problem in the production of coffee.
The traditional coffee estate was composed of a large house, a machinery house, a warehouse and a courtyard to dry the coffee.
The large house was where the Estate's owner and his family resided. Manufacturing the coffee was carried out in the lower level of the house, underneath the family's dwelling.
The machinery included the coffee processing machine and wash tank. By mid 19th century, the biggest estates had their own store, called "Tienda de Raya," which sold provisions to the peons.
The big estates needed many mules to transport the recently-picked coffee beans to the estate where the process of elaboration began.
The primary material used in the estates was local wood, carved with a rustic look. The wood used for walls and floors were fastened with wood blocks. During the 18th century, roofs were of straw or tile, and by mid 1800's, using zinc for roofs and walls began.
Coffee is the product with which our people have most identified, and it is extremely important to the Island's social, economic and cultural history.
Disuse, fragility of materials, and weather have caused most of the 875 coffee estates that existed in 1899 to disappear. For the most part, the only thing remaining are the courtyards, and a few pillars which helped support the big house or the machinery house. There are few remaining today, one of which is Hacienda Alto Grande in the mountains of Lares.
The concrete courtyard, called "glacils", is used for drying the coffee and is in front of the machinery house.