What Type of Coffee is Grown in Trinidad?

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Written By Anh Dung Pham

The coffee history of the Republic of Trinidad has been enriched by its vibrant cultivation practices on the Caribbean island. While not as well-known as coffees from other regions, Trinidadian coffees offer unique flavors influenced by the island’s terroir.

This coffee guide explores the major coffee bean types grown on the island and what makes them special, under the title “What type of coffee is grown in Trinidad?“.

Overview of Coffee Production in Trinidad

This place is where Trinidad and Tobago is located. Coffee was first introduced to Trinidad by the Spanish and further cultivated, a key part of Trinidad and Tobago coffee beans, in the late 1700s by French colonists.

Commercial production began in the 1920s, assisted by the establishment of the Cocoa and Coffee Marketing Co-operative and the Cocoa and Coffee Industry Board to support, regulate, and facilitate coffee and cocoa marketing in the fledgling industry.

Overview of Coffee Production in Trinidad

This island has a tropical climate ideal for growing high-quality Arabica and occasionally, Trinidad Robusta coffee. The hilly southern regions of the island, such as San Fernando Hill and Northern Range, offer rich volcanic soil and just the right amount of rain and sun needed for the coffee trees to thrive, impacting the oil content by origin.

There are approximately 180 small coffee farms and estates spread across the island. They are mainly centered in traditional cocoa-growing areas, allowing farmers to intercrop coffee and cocoa for added income, sometimes using coffee as a cash crop. The crop is grown both in the shade and in the open sun.

Annual cafe production in Trinidad and Tobago, along with fair trade and coffee bean export activities, contributes to local coffee brands, with ranges from 80 to 100 tons, making the island a small specialty coffee origin.

However, unlike the renowned Blue Mountain coffee, the limited quantities on the island ensure the amount of coffee, including those that ship coffee beans to other ports, is crafted with care – from planting and harvesting to coffee processing and coffee export.

What type of coffee is grown in Trinidad?

During my Caribbean travels, I discovered that Trinidadian produces distinctive Arabica coffee varieties influenced by the island’s ideal growing conditions. I’ll guide you to exploring Trinidad’s coffee history and culture, popular coffee beans used like Typica and Bourbon, small-batch processing, and the complex flavors that make this island coffee special.

What Type of Coffee is Grown in Trinidad

I’ve found Trinidadian coffees to exhibit tasting notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuts with a smooth syrupy body. Read on for an insider’s guide to the flavors of this lesser-known Caribbean coffee origin.

Trinidad Typica – A Smooth, Well-Rounded Coffee

The most widely grown coffee in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the Typica variety. It was the first Arabica variety introduced to the island and remains popular for its well-balanced flavor profile.

Typica is one of the original coffee varietals, traced back centuries to Ethiopia. It has since been cultivated around the world but always maintains its signature characteristics.

Trinidad Typica - A Smooth, Well-Rounded Coffee

The beans, different from Cuban coffee beans are elongated and curved, with a light, greenish-blue color when fresh. When brewed, perhaps even in cafes and coffee shops like Cafe Vega, Trinidadian Typica coffee presents flavors of milk chocolate, honey, and nuts. Due to coffee variations, the body is round and silky, followed by a sweet, pleasant aftertaste.

This versatility makes Typica suitable for all brew methods and considered some of the best coffee. The smoothness also allows the original flavors to shine through beautifully. A medium roast is recommended to retain the bean’s inherent sweetness, allowing the true nature of blonde roast beans and flavors to be experienced.

Bourbon – Rich Taste and Enticing Aroma

Bourbon is another common Arabica variety grown on the island’s coffee plantations. Originally from the Indian Ocean island of Réunion, also known as Bourbon, it was brought to the Americas in the 19th century.

What sets Bourbon apart is its rich, complex flavor balanced by good acidity. The coffee has a full body and distinct aroma often described as chocolate and caramel-like.

On the palate, expect captivating notes of brown sugar, ripe red fruits, and spices. There is a lingering sweetness and pleasant dryness in the finish.

When roasted lightly, the coffee’s intrinsic qualities are highlighted. The medium to high acidity cuts through milk nicely in espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Caturra – Small Beans with Intense Taste

A third important variety is Caturra, a natural mutation of Bourbon discovered in Brazil. It thrives in the fertile soils and moderate climate of Trinidadian.

The Caturra tree is compact and short which allows for dense planting. The plants produce good yields of small, dense coffee beans.

Caturra - Small Beans with Intense Taste

Inside the small package of Caturra beans are layers of complex flavors – citrus, brown sugar, and dark chocolate. The coffee has a silky mouthfeel and a clean finish.

Caturra adds a distinctive character to the island coffee blends. Its high caffeine content also makes it perfect for espresso drinks. Roasting deep can help balance the intensity while enhancing the nutty qualities.

New Hybrid Varieties

Trinidad’s coffee farming sector and evolving coffee culture continue to adopt new hybrid varieties suited to the island’s conditions. Some types gaining popularity include:

  • Catimor – A cross between Caturra and Timor hybrid bred for resistance to coffee leaf rust disease. It produces an aromatic, well-balanced flavor.
  • Catuai – Created by crossing Caturra with Mundo Novo. Catuai yields more coffee cherries while retaining Caturra’s taste profile.
  • Pacas – Developed in El Salvador, Pacas matures early and is tolerant to disease. It brews a smooth coffee with mild acidity.

These new varieties, perhaps even developed with input from the Trinidad Coffee Company, allow farmers to improve productivity and cafe quality. Their disease resistance and green coffee production methods also make the crop more sustainable in the long run.

Why Trinidad Coffee is Special

Several factors combine to make the island unique, especially considering what Trinidad and Tobago grow, in the world of specialty coffee.

  • Terroir – The volcanic soil, temperate climate, and hillside terrain impart distinct flavors.
  • Rarity – As a small origin, quantities are limited. This adds value to the island coffee.
  • Culture – Coffee growing has generations of tradition and farmers’ care is evident in the final quality.
  • Varietals – Local farming practices bring out the best attributes of varieties like Typica, Bourbon, and Caturra.
  • Blending – Producers expertly blend different varieties to craft complex, balanced flavors.
  • Processing – Attention to harvesting, and wet and dry milling highlights the coffee’s inherent qualities.

In a cup, these factors result in a coffee that is complex yet approachable, with prominent chocolate notes and smooth mouthfeel. A Trinidadian cafe is a unique experience for any coffee lover.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coffee was introduced to the island in the late 1700s and commercial production began in the 1920s.
  • The island’s volcanic soil and hillside terrain provide ideal conditions for growing high-quality, perfect for a flourishing coffee estate and the world market.
  • Popular varieties include Typica known for its sweet, well-rounded flavor; Bourbon prized for its richness; and Caturra valued for its intense taste.
  • New hybrid varieties like Catimor and Catuai are also gaining ground, contributing additional pounds of coffee beans while being prized for their disease resistance and productivity.
  • Trinidad’s rarity and the distinct taste of coffee from Trinidad, coupled with care in cultivation and processing, contribute to a uniquely flavored.
  • When brewed, Trinidadian coffee often exhibits tasting notes of chocolate, caramel, fruit, and nuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of coffee is grown in Trinidadian?

The island focuses on growing high-quality coffee varieties such as Typica, Bourbon, and Caturra as well as some hybrids like Catimor and Catuai.

Where is coffee grown in Trinidadian?

Coffee is cultivated mainly in the hilly southern regions of the island which offer fertile volcanic soil, ample rainfall, and sunshine suited for coffee trees.

Why is Trinidadian coffee special?

The island’s singular terroir, traditional farming practices and care in processing lead to a coffee with distinct flavors of chocolate, nuts, and fruit balanced by sweetness and medium acidity.

What flavors can I expect from Trinidadian coffee?

Common tasting notes in Trinidadian coffee include chocolate, caramel, honey, nuts, brown sugar, citrus, and spices. The coffee has a smooth, sometimes syrupy mouthfeel.

How much coffee is produced annually in Trinidadian?

The island produces a small output of 80 – 100 tons, or 160,000 – 200,000 pounds of coffee, per year. However, the limited quantities ensure personalized care goes into production.


Trinidad, not widely known for its coffee trade, may not be the first Caribbean island you associate with coffee, but its coffees deserve a place among the world’s special origin brews.

The island’s terroir helps craft a unique coffee with layers of flavor not replicated anywhere else. From the traditional Typica and Bourbon to new hybrids like Catuai, the island’s coffee reflects generations of localized farming practices. Savoring a cup is a chance to experience the chocolate, nut, and fruit notes that define this special island brew.

Please visit the website lido18.com to learn more about the origin, preparation, flavor, characteristics,… of various other types of coffee in the world.