Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (2nd left) enjoys a cup of Nitro Cold Brew at the Deaf Can! Coffee booth as deaf baristas Wadia Barnes (2nd right) and Carlyle Gabbidon (right) sign their pleasure. Looking on are (l-r) Chairperson of the Tourism Linkages’ Gastronomy Network, Nicola Madden-Grieg; Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace; Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations, Joy Roberts and the Ministry’s Communications Strategist, Delano Seiveright. Photo and cutline credit: South Florida Caribbean News
The minute the shuttle bus inched inside the Newcastle compound, the sweet aroma of various kinds of coffee saturated the air that not even the fresh cool breeze of the Jamaica Blue Mountains could whisk away.
It was the second staging of the three-day Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Marketplace 2019 held at New Castle last weekend (March 1- 3).
Vendors were sure to showcase their culinary skills on the use of the renowned Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. The menu was filled with unfamiliar dishes from coffee brined fried chicken, coffee popsicles drizzled in chocolate, coffee cupcakes mixed with rum and cherry on top, to coffee ice cream, among other decadents.
For purely bred coffee buffs, if roasted coffee samples were not enough to whet the palate a number of booth holders offered hot cups of black coffee and decaf coffee. Then for sure, there were also coffee latte, expresso and similar delights.
Coffee-lover, Sherlyn Roache, praised the organisers for a good show of coffee but expressed disappointment that “there was not a coffee plant present”.
Not wanting to miss the opportunity to enjoy and share Jamaica Blue Mountain and High Mountain coffee after the festival, locals and tourists grabbed their crocus (burlap) bags of coffee for themselves and to be shipped to loved ones aboard.
Food aside, coffee-infused cosmetics products were also on display. One patron after testing the coffee scented perfume infused with coconut was compelled to purchase a bottle of the portion and commented that it smelled like coconut drops. Patrons keen on their beauty were enticed with coffee body scrubs and coffee tanning oils.
Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, dubbed the festival marketplace as the event for all things coffee.
“What we are doing here is to show the long and lucrative value chain of coffee and to encourage people to get involved and tap into it and to use coffee not only as a commodity for export but as a feedstock for various other creative applications that all have economic value,” the Minister said.
The day’s event simmered down with a barista competition, which promoted the exquisite use of the bean and ended with a high-energy performance by Reggae royalty, Freddie McGregor.
As an investor, you do not want to miss the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Marketplace 2020. Organizers and partners hinted that it will not only be bigger and better but more will be on show, promoting coffee from farm to the plate and the home.
Shelly-Ann Thompson- Blog Contributor