Café o chocolate? Why not both!
We were very excited to head to our first ever Coffee and Chocolate Expo at the Puerto Rico Convention Center on Sunday, March 26. As coffee and chocolate enthusiasts, this was our first time to go to a big event that featured two of our favorite things. It was also our first time to head to the T-Mobile district area of San Juan and the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
|At the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan.
We arrived right at the start of the event, and were able to find affordable parking at the location. Although almost everyone purchased tickets in advance electronically, we did still have to wait our way through quite a long line to get into the convention center hall. That being said, I really think it only took us about 15 minutes to get in.
|Waiting for our first cup of espresso!
Now let’s talk about the main event: coffee and chocolate. There were by far more vendors of coffee and coffee related products than chocolate so that’s where we started our adventures. Most places that were giving samples featured a 2 ounce pour for free.
The coffee represented was primarily from local roasters and ranged in price from $12-$20 a pound, other international brands like Starbucks were also represented. I am a morning only coffee drinker and Lyndon primarily drinks decaf, so this was quite the excitement for us. I think Lyndon had about six samples and I capped out at eight.
|Julie's last cup of coffee for the day!
The event also highlighted specific chocolate and coffee workshops for an extra fee. We did not attend any of these. There was also a center stage with a chef, making delicious treats with either chocolate coffee or both.
|Some tasty samples of Cortes chocolate. Yum.
There are several cacao farms on the island of Puerto Rico, and several of them were represented at the expo. We were delighted to try three or four different types of chocolates from Cacao 360, Hacienda Chocolat, and Cortes. Cortes was quite generous with their samples, giving three different types of chocolate to sample!
|Lyndon trying some super mini pancakes.
After 2 1/2 hours of chocolate, coffee, and crowds, we made a couple of purchases to enjoy later and headed out to briefly look around the T-Mobile district of San Juan. Distrito T-Mobile is an entertainment and retail district complex located adjacent to the Puerto Rico Convention Center, part of a redevelopment of the Convention Center area. It’s a great indoor/outdoor area filled with food, entertainment, and shopping. I think the Sunday afternoon family friendly DJ and sea creature overhead videos were my favorite parts of the area.
|Long lines and lots and lots of people.
Although we are more fans of nature than crowded spaces, it was great to see a different area of Puerto Rico that we had not been to before. And it certainly was delightful to have all those delicious samples! To top it off, I found a non-crowded exit to the parking lot and we headed back to our beach home without a problem. Buen Provecho!
|Chocolate makes you strong! Or so they say.