Everything You Wanted To Know About the Coffee of Trinidad and Tobago
Coffee is grown in the hilly areas of Trinidad and Tobago by both estates and small farmers. The industry has declined in recent years due to coffee diseases and pests, inefficient farming practices and uncertain economic conditions.
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is located in the southern Caribbean south of Grenada and just off the northeast coast of Venezuela. Coffee production in Trinidad and Tobago in 1985 was 2,361 tons, and this declined to lower than one thousand tons in 1999.
The small farms of Trinidad and Tobago grow a variety of crops including beans, rice, potatoes, peas and other vegetables as well as fruits primarily for the home market. Large estates grow primarily export crops and are typically managed by a specialist and hire large numbers of laborers.
Sugar is the main commercial crop of Trinidad and Tobago and is grown on a few large estates and also by thousands of small farms with about two-thirds of the overall crop produced by the large estates. Like Trinidad and Tobago coffee, sugar production is down. For example in 1999 about 95,000 tons were produced while in 1961 250,000 tons were produced.
Cocoa and Coffee Industry Board of Trinidad and Tobago
In 1961 the Cocoa and Coffee Industry Board of Trinidad and Tobago was created with a mandated to ensure the best arrangements were made regarding the handling and grading as well as the purchases, sales, exportation and marketing of Trinidad and Tobago coffee as well as cocoa with the goal of helping out the cocoa and coffee industries to the benefit of entrepreneurial individuals and the national economy.
The Board oversees buying of Trinidad and Tobago coffee beans and cocoa from small and medium sized farms and helps with the process of grading, packaging and certifying the products for both the local markets as well as the international market which involves exporters and licensed buying agents.
The Cocoa and Coffee Industry Board of Trinidad and Tobago also administers a price scheme covering the products and supervises the industry overall.
Also see: World’s Best Coffee
Coffee Grading System of Trinidad and Tobago
A series of criteria are laid out to delineate the procedures to follow in buying coffee beans and these criteria include: Grade 1 which specifies a moisture content not above twelve percent, no more than two percent commercial defects (and not more than one percent of these can be black beans), and the Trinidad and Tobago coffee beans must be clean and with a good aroma.
Grade 11 is also a clean coffee with a nice aroma and overall appearance, and must have no more than six percent total commercial imperfections or defects as well as a moisture level that is not above twelve percent. Grade 111 has the same moisture requirement but allows eight percent commercial defects of which not in excess of five percent can be black beans.
Grade 1V includes the undergrade Trinidad and Tobago coffee beans which has in excess of eight percent commercial defects and is not to be purchased. Commercial defects are defined as black beans, cherries, broken beans, stones, shells, sticks, white beans and beans damaged by insects.
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