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article imageNespresso announces plans to sell Cuban coffee in United States

By Nathan Salant     Jun 23, 2016 in Food
Havana - Coffee grown and roasted in Cuba should be available in the United States this year for the first time in five decades, European coffee giant Nespresso announced this week.
Recent changes in U.S. rules governing trade with Cuba make the importation of coffee possible, the Swiss coffee producer and machine maker said Monday.
“Nespresso is thrilled to be the first to bring this rare coffee to the U.S., allowing consumers to rediscover this distinct coffee profile,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, president of Nespresso USA, in a written statement.
Nespresso USA is owned by Nestle.
The Cuban coffee, made from beans grown in the Granma and Santiago de Cuba provinces, could be available as early as this fall, according to Fortune magazine.
But the coffee, to be called Cafecito de Cuba when it is sold in the U.S., can only be made using the company's Nespresso OriginalLine machines, the magazine said.
Nespresso also said the first Cuban coffee imports will be in limited quantities while it works with farmers in the Caribbean nation to increase availability.
The company claims Cuba produces some of the best Arabica coffee in the world, the magazine said.
But imports of Cuba's coffee have been banned from the U.S. since 1962, during the Cold War with the former Soviet Union, when the island was led by Fidel Castro.
Castro's retirement in 2008 created an apparent diplomatic opening and initiatives undertaken by the government of U.S. President Barack Obama have led to a relaxation of the embargo and an increase in commercial contacts since 2014.
The countries formally restored diplomatic relations last year and reopened their respective embassies.
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