Next time when sipping your irresistible cup of coffee, imagine there is a small hidden valley in the north of Gran Canaria, where we will take you now, in your thoughts. Here in the shade of mangos, oranges, guayabos, wine, bananas or avocados grows a coffee of an extraordinery quality.
The variety of arabica typica is one of the best ones in the world but for the demandingness of its production many countries had already stopped its plantation. Here in the special microclimate of the Valley of Agaete it had found the perfect condition to be cultivated.
But lets start from the beginning, with a brief history of coffee. According to a legend from the 12th century from Ethyopiopia, a shephard told the monks about strange behaviour of his animals who do not sleep at night and instead of that all the night they jump from side to side in the stable.
The monks discovered this conduct was caused by eating a plant that we know nowadays as a coffee. Since than they could pray all the night in the monastery drinking a kind of tea made by cooking the coffee fuits.
Despite of that, coffee was originally planted in Yemen already between the 11th and 14th century, and the Arabs distributed it all over the world. In the Western Europe we first saw coffee in 1576 and it was thanks to the German botanist Rauwolf who brought it from his travels to the Orient.
In the 18th century it was very usual to find the coffee plants in the botanical gardens and for example from the one in Amsterdam it was sent to many colonies in Latin America.
But how did the coffee arrive to Agaete?
Before the road from Agaete to Las Palmas have been constructed, the main mean of transport used to be the maritime. And being situated on the western coast of Gran Canaria, Agaete had a lot of business with the island of Tenerife. And this is where the coffee came from – from the botanical garden of Orotava.
The coffee was spread out over Agaete during the 19th century and already the famous british traveller Olivia Stone mentiones it in her book when she visited the region.
The coffee was cultivated in several areas but the best results it obtains in the special microclima of the Valley of Agaete. Fertile volcanic lands, sufficient water sources and stable temperature all year round enabled the plantation of one of the best varieties of coffee – arabica typica.
The coffee from Agaete is considered to be the best from Gran Canaria. Learn more about how the coffe is planted, collected, peeled, dried and roasted and join our Tuesdays Gran Tour. On the last stop you will visit a coffee plantation that could be proudly called a “small paradise” and after learning more about the coffee, you will enjoy a hot cup of this delicious drink. After your visit your morning mugs of coffee will never be the same.
By the way, did you know, why do we call the coffee Java? It is because the coffee from he indonesian island of Java used to be so widely exported so that it became a slang expression for coffee. The first coffee that came to Holland in 1719 proceeded from where else? from Java!