Saturday 26 September 2015

JAMAICA: Coffee Should Be Your New Fall Staple

Now that September is here you will see many get into “the fall mood” by persistently Instagraming their pumpkin-spice lattes. Meanwhile, coffee connoisseurs everywhere have turned their thoughts to the cool and mist-shrouded Blue Mountains of Jamaica, which will begin to yield its world-famous Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, the crown jewel of the coffee-drinking world.

The economic downturn of 2008 did slow down demand, even in Japan, where some of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee's most ardent fans reside. But improvement in both the global and local economies is reason enough to feel optimistic. Wallenford Coffee Company recently announced that it will supply Starbucks Japan with Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, starting this month.

Coffee culture all over the world continues to demand more sustainability, authenticity and ethics, and Caribbean growers are making an effort to strike a balance between expansion and finding more sustainable means to produce, fertilize and manage pests.

Taking advantage of technology is also paying off. Marley Beverage Company in Jamaica, for example, has been selling iced coffee in a can since 2013, and allowing consumers to get their fix by ordering beverages online, all while embracing sustainability as well as more organic and higher environmental standards of manufacturing. Puerto Rico is also selling coffee from various local growers online.

Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee in particular has also been seducing trend-setting consumers and millenials at Pasión de Cielo coffee houses in Miami, where customers can sit-and-sip, grab on-the-go and customize their brews out of three different locations. Besides Jamaican coffee, this retailer also sells coffee from Cuba, known for its bold flavor and low acidity.

Dominican coffee and Haitian Bleu have seen a resurgence in demand, and even Starbucks has been serving and selling Puerto Rican coffee since 2002.

As Agritourism continues to grow in popularity, coffee plantation tours, tastings and in-property lodgings lure tourists and locals. The Dominican Republic offers tours of various coffee regions like Bonao, Atabey, Salcedo and Samaná; while Puerto Rico's “Ruta del Café” trips by Adventours PRoffers stops at various working haciendas in Maricao and Las Marías.

So while for many, this season may bring that much-anticipated pump of flavored pumpkin syrup into a venti paper cup, we all know the true flavor of fall is ready to descend directly from Caribbean heaven.

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