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Coffee Pioneers

Manuel, son of fruit and nut farmers, born in Dúrcal, Granada, Spain in 1935 immigrated to France at the age of 21 earning a Doctorate Degree in Languages & Literature and then completing a Master’s Degree in Canada and achieving a second Doctorate Degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Manuel traveled the world with his family and moved them to Big Rapids, MI in 1981 where he founded the Languages Department at Ferris State College now Ferris State University.

After 30+ years of teaching and leading 17 study abroad programs, he and Eloisa retired in 2001 and moved back to their home on the tropical Mediterranean coast of Europe located in Almuñécar, Granada, Spain.

Since retirement, Manuel has dedicated himself to continuously perfecting the 9 languages he is fluent in and his forever love of coffee and beer. In 2010, Manuel went to the Canary Islands and brought back 20 Arabica coffee plants.

Manuel Puerta Perez, Costa Tropical Coffee Pioneer,
Almuñécar, Granada, Spain June 2022

Actual Image of Puerta Family Picking Coffee Almuñecar, Granada 2022

He planted in 100 square meters the coffee plants between 12-16 existing Sub-Tropical Fruit Trees: Mango, Papaya, Guava, Banana, Custard Apple, Passion Fruit, Persimmon, Pitanga, Star Fruit, Fig, Grapefruit, Plum, Olive. It took two years to receive the first crop.

Today, Manuel has 100 plants and produces 20 kilos of coffee per year in two harvests. No one is producing coffee in volume in South Spain. There are known small cultivations of coffee currently in the Canary Islands and Portugal.

Manuel has calculated a 40-mile Mediterranean coastline (similar to Santa Marta, Colombia) for coffee cultivation which is plenty fertile and has some existing farming where coffee can be planted in-between Tropical trees and crops.

Currently, nowhere in Europe is there a sustainable coffee cultivation for the demand of the European market nor is there a known identified Spain coffee brand. Spain’s currently importing green coffee from Colombia, Vietnam and Brazil among others.