When I first had the idea to bring Dominican coffee to the US, I did my homework. The island is home to some of the world’s best coffee plantations, so there were choices, but I wanted to get it right. I wanted a farm in the north of the country- where I’m from- and I needed a company that was already prepared to export and had done their paperwork.
Finally, I got in touch with the Belarminio Ramirez farm, and the process began. It was a little scary, but I had hopes of creating a great and long relationship. We reviewed the paperwork, and placed our first order, a little fearful of all of the things that could go wrong, but hopeful all the same.
The Belarminio Ramirez family farm is now in their fourth generation and has been producing coffee that has been on the market for 79 years now. Besides producing really excellent coffee beans, the company runs their business with an eye to the community- in their employment, and in their ethical principles, making the company a great place to work.
Ramirez coffee beans are picked by hand- a process that requires more than 400 people, 40% of whom are women, but the hand-picking makes an important difference. When each bean is selected by hand, they can be picked at the height of their ripeness, when the flavor is at its best, ensuring a uniformity of quality that just can’t be achieved any other way. As they said it, “Our bright red cherries are handpicked at maximum ripeness to guarantee the best coffee bean in Latin America.”
The choice we made here at Hato Viejo was the right one. This month, El Mercado, a famous Dominican magazine, recognized Belarminio Ramierz as the number 1 coffee producer in the Dominican Republic. Last year, they made a list in the US, by Coffee Review Magazine, as one of the 30 best coffees in the world.
Nowadays, Belarminio Ramirez Farm is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region, and Jarabacoa is referred to as “the City of Eternal Spring” for its very pleasant weather. It’s also the reason we are able to provide, here in the states, the amazing coffee I grew up with in the DR. We are so proud to be involved with the #1 coffee producer in the Dominican Republic.