Some roasted peas with your coffee, sir/ma’am?

If it’s one thing that we can all agree on is that people love coffee. No matter where you go in the world, coffee is there in all its glorious and special blends.

For years most Cubans, enjoyed a “special” blend of coffee and roasted peas. That’s right: roasted peas. See in the 1960’s, following the 1959 revolution, Cuba began this mixing of roasted peas and coffee as a way to stretch supplies. Pure coffee returned to the market in 2005 but surprisingly few people were enthousiastic. Juan Hernandez Pedroso, a street sweeper, told AP “I like it better with peas, I don’t know, maybe it’s because it’s what I’m used to.”

Now that coffee prices are rising around the world and Cuba has an economic crunch, the authorities announced that the blend is back. a trade ministry note states “In the past year, Robusta coffee prices had jumped 69% to $2,904 a tonne, it said, while peas had climbed merely 30%, to $500 a tonne.”

So what does it taste like? Apparently it’s more bitter than pure coffee. Isa Morena is quoted as saying “It’s got a thin, sharp taste.” Some Cubans living in the USA even prefer it to Starbucks and have even taken to brewing it themselves.

Want to taste it? Well you may not have to visit Cuba after all, though it’s supposedly a lovely place. Raul Castro said “If we want to continue drinking pure, unrationed coffee, the only solution is to produce it in Cuba, where it is proven that all the conditions exist for its cultivation, in sufficient quantities that satisfy our demand and enable us even to export it.”
The same would go for peas.