Ground Espresso is the NI Travel News’ team coffee of choice – where you can also grab a copy of your favourite travel and tourism newspaper 😉 but did you know that the paradise island of Jamaica has its very own coffee festival?
Coffee lovers worldwide unite and honour one of the world’s most sought-after coffee beans at the 6th annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival. This year the festival marketplace takes place on Saturday 25th March in its usual home, the historic Newcastle Parade Grounds in St. Andrew, Jamaica.
Blue Mountain Coffee is grown on the Blue and John Crow Mountains in eastern Jamaica, the longest mountain on the island at 7402 ft and one of the highest peaks in the whole of the Caribbean. It is also one of the rarest and most expensive coffees in the world due to consumer demand for the speciality coffee.
Loved for its fragrant aroma, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee has a rich, sweet taste without the bitterness found in many other types of coffee, it also contains a number of vitamins and nutrients making it beneficial for daily consumption. Previously, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee was the base for the popular coffee liqueur brand, Tia Maria.
This highly anticipated annual coffee festival aims to provide the ultimate experience for coffee enthusiasts. It will be an immersive experience from farm to cup (and plate) and a time to learn about Jamaican cuisine, coffee and culture, with indigenous arts and crafts showcases, reggae music performances and tours to some of Jamaica’s best kept secrets.
The Festival Market place will take place on the Newcastle Parade Grounds and will showcase coffee related-products, food stalls, tastings, demonstrations and workshops. The day will open with cultural presentations, include a Conversation with Coffee panel discussion, Barista Competition finals as well as live entertainment.
Every weekend throughout March, coffee enthusiasts can enjoy the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival SIP and SHOP experiences which include culinary trails, farm tours or hike and bike the Blue Mountains as part of the month-long celebrations. At over 3,000 feet above sea level, The Blue Mountain Culinary Trail invites visitors to indulge in Jamaica’s delicious cuisine at a number of restaurants, cafés and hotels.
The one-of-a-kind festival provides farmers, businesses and vendors with the opportunity to share their produce and demonstrate the versatility of the coffee. With several performances, panel talks and competitions scheduled, coffee entrepreneurs and consumers from all over the world have lots to look forward to.
In order to keep its quality standard, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is certified by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA). Only coffee that is grown between 3,000 and 5,000 feet can be labelled as Blue Mountain Coffee, anything below that is classified as Jamaica High Mountain Coffee.