21 Jun 2016 --- For decades, they had eyed each other with mutual hostility, but it seems that relations between the US and Cuba could be further thawed by a love of coffee.
Nestlé’s Nespresso is to become the first brand to sell Cuban coffee in the US in over 50 years.
The landmark move has come about after the US officials this year added coffee to a list of products allowed to be imported from Cuba by Cuban entrepreneurs, as the US and Cuba look to improve diplomatic and commercial relations between the two countries.
The Nespresso brand is an espresso roast called Cafecito de Cuba and will be available in the fall of 2016.
Made from Cuban coffee beans, it will be available initially as a limited edition product.
Nestlé’s says that Cuba makes some of the "greatest" coffee in the world, aided by its fertile soil and ideal climate.
“At Nespresso, we always aim to delight consumers through exclusive, unique coffee experiences,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, president Nespresso USA.
“Nespresso is thrilled to be the first to bring this rare coffee to the U.S., allowing consumers to rediscover this distinct coffee profile. Over the long-term, we have a view to supporting the development of environmentally sustainable coffee farming practices for smallholder farmers which benefit the farmers themselves and their communities.”
“Ultimately, we want consumers in the U.S. to experience this incredible coffee and to enjoy it now and for years to come.”
Nespresso and its partner TechnoServe, a non-profit development organization, will explore how to work with smallholder coffee farmers in Cuba with the goal ultimately being to support farmers in their production of sustainable coffee and contribute to expanded economic opportunities for them in the long-term.
The move is just the latest sign of thawing relations between the two countries.
In 2015, the US reopened its embassy in Havana as US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro looked to improve relations following decades of hostility.
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