Coffee producers and baristas were out in their numbers last Saturday at the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Marketplace in Newcastle, St. Andrew.
Many booths had hot coffee to keep patrons warm in the fog, such as Cafe Blue, Stoneleigh (Mavis Bank 100% Blue Mountain Coffee), Toyota Coffee House, Starbucks, Perk Up and Country Traders Limited (Coffee Roasters Blue Mountain Coffee).
Cafe Blue also had their Milk and White Chocolate covered Coffee beans that I enjoy.
My husband enjoyed the smooth, hot brew offered by Perk up, from Flamstead Estate. Perk Up had a soft launch at the Coffee Festival, as they are planning to enter the market more competitively. They are currently at a few cafe outlets, including Shelly’s Cafe at U.T.E.C.H.
Deaf Can Coffee Baristas were there, brewing at 3 different tents including Cannonball Cafe and Jamaica Toyota Coffee House.
I was impressed with Cannonball Cafe that uses Jablum Coffee. They were the only ones I saw that offered Frappes and Coffee Martinis. I had the Caramel Crunch Cafe Frappe for just $300JMD. They had Paint and Sip for $1500JMD along with a free Espresso Martini overseeing a picturesque view too! There were cold brews from Cafe Blue and Stoneleigh, but I prefer Frappes. Even though it was a cool atmosphere being up so high, the sun was still fully out and I warmed up after walking around the venue.
Cannonball’s coffee infused desserts were a treat too! My nieces and I enjoyed their Coffee and Chocolate Brownies for a steal of $100JMD, Mini Eclairs with Coffee infused cream ($300JMD) and Coffee Bread Pudding with Coffee glaze ($300JMD).
Cannonball Cafe can be found in Barbican (Loshusan Centre), New Kingston (Barbados Ave.), Manor Park (Lower Manor Park Plaza) and Sovereign North Plaza.
Restaurants other than Cafe Blue that are on the Blue Mountain Culinary trail were out, such as Belcour Lodge with their line of Preserves and Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages. Blue Ridge had a tasty Coffee Cake for $300JMD.
The experienced and poised hostess, Emprezz kept the patrons well-informed throughout the day and presented prizes and surprises, hosted short interviews and more.
The suits of Tourism came out, shook hands and spoke to the patrons. Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlet along with his entourage, as well as Adam Stewart, Chairman of The Tourism Linkages Council were there. The council has been making great strides, developing projects to increase our influx of visitors to Jamaica via the Gastronomy network, Shopping, Health and Wellness, Sports and Entertainment and Knowledge. The Jamaica Coffee Festival Marketplace branched out across all these networks, with major focus on the Gastronomic Network. Key initiatives and Projects such as development of a Blue Mountain Coffee experience, strategic partnerships with other networks and the promotion of food festivals were all achieved. Kudos to them and the great turn out of patrons to support such an important initiative. Tickets were sold out!
If the endless amount of coffee wasn’t enough, Tarrus Riley entertained the crowd for over an hour!
CB Chicken, Copperwood Pork and Best Dressed Chicken were out to feed the masses. The Best Dressed Booth was quite popular with their Gourmet Hot dogs, loaded fries and more. I enjoyed their Jerked Chicken.
Island Blue, which you normally see in our hotels, displayed and sold their Jamaica Coffee Liqueurs from Baronhall Estate, Coffee Beans, Branded mugs and more.
Kande’s Delights had long lines for ice cream including coffee flavours of course.
Various Arts & Crafts exhibitors were about, but one of the Skin Care exhibitors, I Love Sweetness Coffee Scrubs grabbed my attention with their body scrubs, scented soaps and skin tonics. Their representatives were quite knowledgeable about their products and marketed them well.
There were representatives and Informative pamphlets from Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) on the story of Jamaican Coffee. Jamaican Coffee Recipes were available too.
Hollywell provided information on tours and events, signing persons up to receive information on events in the future too. They also had persons chatting up a storm about their Coffee Rice and Peas cooked by ‘Natural by Nature’ in their community.
Congratulations to the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Team. Great initiative, efficient use of space and well executed event. #SugaEndorsed
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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