Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Sint Maarten

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Welcome expatriates to the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Sint Maarten, where we offer insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene. Whether you're a coffee lover or a newcomer to the field, our guide will provide you with all the information you need to immerse yourself in Sint Maarten's coffee traditions and customs.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Sint Maarten is home to several coffee plantations and farms, many of which are located in the northwest of the island. Coffee production in Sint Maarten dates back to the 18th century, and the beans grown here boast a unique flavor profile that reflects the island's geography and climate. Locally grown coffee is typically more complex and floral than imported varieties, with notes of chocolate, citrus, and tea.

If you're interested in exploring coffee plantations, we recommend starting with the Lotus Esso Express Coffee Plantation, which is located near the Orient Beach. This plantation offers tours that take visitors through the coffee-growing process, from pruning and fertilizing to harvesting and processing the beans. You can also purchase freshly roasted coffee beans and brewed coffee products at the on-site gift shop.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Sint Maarten is blessed with a diverse array of coffee style drinks, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences. Traditional brews include the Creole Coffee, a rich,full-bodied drink made with Robusta beans, sugar, and condensed milk, and the Sint Maarten Coffee Shop Espresso, a bold and flavorful espresso shot made with high-quality Arabica beans.

Specialty blends are also popular, such as the Orange Cream Coffee, made with orange peel and condensed milk, and the Coconut Coffee, made with coconut milk and sugar. Sint Maarten is also known for its unique coffee drinks, such as the Caribbean Coffee, made with coconut milk, rum, vanilla, and nutmeg, and the Sint Maarten Café Chocolati, made with dark chocolate, espresso, and honey.

If you're looking for recommendations for expat-friendly coffee shops and cafes, we suggest checking out the Lotus Cafe, located in Philipsburg, and the Caribbean Coffee House at Orient Beach, which offers a wide range of coffee styles and drinks, as well as freshly baked pastries and sweet treats.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Coffee plays a significant role in daily life and social interactions in Sint Maarten, and local coffee customs and traditions are deeply ingrained in the community's culture. Sint Maarten is known for its cafe culture, with cozy cafes and intimate coffee shops where locals gather to enjoy their morning brews or catch up with friends over a cup of coffee.

Coffee is also a prominent feature in many traditional Sint Maarten customs and ceremonies. For example, during festive occasions such as Carnival and Christmas, coffee is served alongside traditional dishes and desserts, often infused with spices and flavors that reflect the island's culinary heritage.

In social settings, coffee is used as a way of building connections and communicating respect. When accepting an invitation or formal offer, it's customary to respond with a cup of coffee, which is seen as a sign of appreciation and thankfulness.

To respect local customs and traditions, we recommend following basic coffee etiquette in social situations. This includes refraining from adding too much sugar or cream to your coffee, as this can be seen as a sign of disrespect. Instead, enjoy the rich flavor profiles of locally grown and roasted beans.


In conclusion, the rich coffee culture of Sint Maarten is a gateway to connecting with local communities and experiencing authentic cultural experiences. By embracing the dynamics of coffee production, style, and culture in Sint Maarten, expats can immerse themselves in the island's unique coffee traditions and customs, while respecting and honoring local customs and traditions.

We invite expats to explore the coffee plantations and cafes, taste the unique coffee drinks, and engage with the local coffee culture. Our guide will provide you with all the information you need to navigate this dynamic and engaging world of coffee in Sint Maarten.