Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 18 Apr 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 08 Mar 2022)
📄 The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
• The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
• All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.

Specialty Coffee Cupping Workshop Tour in Old San Juan

Coffee lovers rejoice! Puerto Rico’s coffee culture is making a resurgence! You can witness this yourself by checking out the specialty coffee shops opening up around Old San Juan.

Due to its climate, geography and soil, Puerto Rico is a perfect place to grow high-quality coffee. While the majority of the coffee farms produce beans for commercial grade coffee products, there is now an increasing number of small coffee farms that are producing small quantities of premium coffee beans. Along with this, people’s interest in coffee, and coffee quality, is also growing. There are a few schools and labs that have opened to provide information in the art of coffee — from cupping to Barrista classes to official tasters and graders.

Flavors of San Juan Coffee Tasting

If you want a quick and tasty introduction to coffee "cupping" (tasting) of Puerto Rican specialty coffee, Cuatro Sombras offers an informative 1-hour class. So, if you want to learn what makes a good cup of coffee and taste the differences between different grades of coffee, you have got to check this out!

The tour (more of an informal class, actually) is conducted in the back room of the Cuatro Sombras coffee house in Old San Juan. The owners of Cuatro Sombras, Pablo and Mariana, have invested in the Hacienda Santa Clara coffee plantation in Yauco, and are in the process of restoring it to its former glory. Some of their coffee bushes are from the original bushes planted in the 1850s. Luckily, coffee bushes are resilient and many of the old originals still produce fruit. All of their coffee bushes are the tipica variety of the Arabica species. The beans from this farm are used to produce Cuatro Sombras single-origin specialty coffee.

Flavors of San Juan Coffee Tasting

I have to tell you that me and Ray are not "into" coffee at all, so we were not so excited we when were approached about taking this tour. But I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised, and really enjoyed this tour. Pablo’s excitement about their experiences with coffee was contagious, and it made the class extra interesting and informative. It kind of made us want to plant a few more coffee bushes on our property!

Our Class

Mariana greeted us when we arrived in the shop, and walked us back to the classroom/teaching lab. As you walk through the cafe, you can’t help but notice the aroma of coffee and the large red coffee roaster. Pablo would be our guide, and Luis would be the Barrista, for the class today.

Pablo started off with a slide presentation of coffee production, from the types of coffee bushes, through harvesting, grading, roasting, and packaging. The photos (historical and current-day) in the slides were really pretty, and almost all of them were from their Hacienda Santa Clara coffee farm. They showed us green (un-roasted) specialty grade beans side by side with commercial grade beans, and explained the visible differences. And we discussed Puerto Rico’s past and present coffee production, and the challenges faced by the local coffee industry today.

Flavors of San Juan Coffee Tasting

After we went through the slide presentation, we started with the hands-on coffee cupping part of the tour. Coffee cupping is the term used to describe a specific process of tasting coffee to really quantify the aroma and flavors of the coffee. Professional master tasters are the people who grade the quality of coffees. What Pablo and Luis do in this class is bring the important aspects of coffee cupping down to a level that that can be easily understood by anyone. They give you a good idea of what qualities to look for in a cup of coffee.

They give you a rating sheet that is used to record your rating for each aspect of the coffee tasting. Pablo explained how coffee should be a balance between things like body and acidity. To illustrate these points, we where given samples of milks and waters to taste so that we could feel the differences in our mouths.

Flavors of San Juan Coffee Tasting

Then it was time for the coffee. We compared 3 different specialty coffees (one freshly roasted that morning), and one commercial grade coffee.

We started by looking at the differences in the dry coffee, and smelling the dry coffee grounds. After adding hot water and waiting for it to brew in the cups, we learned the correct methods of deeply sniffing the coffee, and slurping the coffee so that its flavor characteristics spread all over the mouth and the tongue.

The goal was to try to judge the different characteristics of the coffee’s aroma, taste — things like sweet, sour, bitter, salty — and how it coated your tongue. We were amazed at the differences even coffee-ignorant people like us could perceive in the different samples. It was really interesting.

Flavors of San Juan Coffee Tasting

After the cupping, Luis made us some artfully foamed cups of coffee, and even made Ray an amazing hot chocolate while we sat and discussed the future of Puerto Rico coffee production, possible standards for quality, coffee farm tours, and the hopes for future specialty coffee tourism boom.

You can already see more premium coffee houses opening up around Old San Juan and the San Juan metro area. These cupping classes will educate coffee lovers so they can better appreciate a good cup of coffee … hopefully a delicious Puerto Rico grown coffee!

Normally, when we review an activity that is not free to the public, we pay the admission price out of our own pockets. However, we just want you to know that the folks at Cuatro Sombras were kind enough to offer us this tour for free. While we don’t feel that this free ride influenced our review one way or the other, we felt that we should tell you, just as a matter of fact.
Ray & Gwenn

Details

Flavors of San Juan Coffee Tasting

$89 for a cupping workshop. Call or use their website for reservations.

The Cupping Workshop is offered by reservation. The class lasts about 1 hour. The tasting tour takes about 20 mins.

You can call Cuatro Sombras at 787-724-9955 or visit their website under the tab “Learn” for more information or to book this tour.

You can visit the Cuatro Sombras web site for more information or to book this tour.

Cuatro Sombras is located at 259 Calle Recinto Sur in Old San Juan. You can stop in for a coffee or snack.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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