Jamaica coffee at Starbucks 2017

Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee supplier Amber Estate will resume selling roasted beans in April. Until then it supplies green beans to Starbucks.
In its place, the makers of Amber, Gold Cup Coffee will supply Gold Cup Supreme peaberries. It’s a lovely chocolate with lemon delight. Pure beauty for the lips enjoyed best as a pour over or French press.

  • Producer: Gold Cup
  • Elevation: 2000-5000 feet 
  • Processing Method: Washed
  • Tasting Notes:  Balanced with chocolate and citrus
  • Beans: peaberries 
  • Body: Medium
  • Acidity: Medium
  • Pairing Flavors: Nuts, citrus, baking spices
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Starbucks Jamaica to follow Colombia’s lead

Starbucks plans to consider opening a coffee store in Jamaica.
When Jamaicamocha spoke to Jamaica Blue Mountain farmers on the implications most had a mixed bag of views.
Some say it will benefit the local industry provided the local authorities force Starbucks to follow the lead of Colombia.

Others say it will hurt the local cafe sector, still burgeoning and still educating the public on how to drink brewed coffee. Remember that this luxury coffee producing nation generally drinks tea and imported instant coffees.

Those who want Starbucks to buy local also acknowledge another problem: How can Starbucks sell coffee at a similar price-point as in major markets while using expensive Jamaican coffee?

A solution involves using cheaper Jamaica low mountain beans but also allowing the giant to import commodity beans for blending as Jamaica Blue Mountian blends.

Even this solution would likely result in farmer protests and calls by other cafe players of favoritism.

Let’s see what brews.

Starbucks opened its first store in Colombia in 2014 and now has 11 stores. Medellin its latest, opened last September. But the chain wants to open 50 in that coffee producing country.

Starbucks now has over 1,000 stores in Latin America since entering Mexico in 2002. The new store, located in Medellín’s Milla de Oro on Poblado Avenue, is designed to honor Colombia’s rich coffee heritage while celebrating the city’s eclectic vibe.

“Since opening its first store in Colombia, Starbucks stores in the country have served 100 percent locally sourced and roasted coffee for in-store beverages to honor the country’s coffee heritage and the company’s 45-year history of sourcing premium arabica coffee from the region,” confirmed Starbucks on its press pages. “Customers can explore different varieties of Colombian coffees including Starbucks single-origin Colombia Nariño, Colombia Espresso, Colombia Espresso Decaf and the medium-roast Colombia coffee.”

Jamaica Blue’s newest UK cafe sells Wallenford beans

Jamaica Blue made its debut in the United Kingdom opening its first cafe, on 8th December. The chain of 170 cafes within Europe, quickly grew that number to three in the UK with its third in Chelmsford is in the Bond Street complex.

Based on packaging the chain sells single source from Wallenford, blends from Jamaica, and coffees from other parts of the world.

If you are in the UK check them out. The cafe boasts vertical grass walls and lighting made from recycled Jamaica Blue Mountain barrels. Very cool, trendy and what you’d expect from cafes trying to enter a mature market.

Their Wallenford coffee would offer the signature balance of chocolate, vanilla and spice. It’s a profile known globally and respected among coffee nerds as the world’s finest.   If you are however not visiting the UK anytime soon. Consider Wallenford as your next coffee.

The motto of the Jamaica Blue brand is the Jamaican proverb, ‘Wan wan coco ful baskit’. The company bends its meaning focusing on slowing down to fulfill goals. More correctly it represents fulfilling goals one deed at a time.  However the simple philosophy of the chain includes serving great coffee, food and service. 

“From our humble beginnings twenty-odd years ago, we now have a growing international network of over 170 stores operating in 7 countries,” stated the company on its website.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Prices to Fall

The price of Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee jumped so much in 2015 that it now rivals the price of Kopi coffee and outpriced itself from Hawaiian Kona, but what goes up comes down.

Coffee bars around the world historically offer Kona and JBM at roughly the same prices . The 2015 local coffee shortage and rise in Japanese demand changed that with JBM retailing at about $60 per pound from about US$35 a pound a few years earlier for quality beans.

It resulted in the wealthy huffing and puffing but still buying the luxury super-uber-yummy coffee from Jamaica. The regular rich however choose to drink tea instead ( Starbucks buys Teavanna ).

Jamaicamocha spoke to key dealers who predict the fall in price of JBM by 2017 due to reduced demand in Japan and ramp up in supply. “A large Japanese dealer stopped carrying JBM and other roasters in Japan are bailing and crying about the price,” said dealer A. 

With the rise in prices for JBM every farmer’s son and grandson returned to till the soil. The rise in farmers on resuscitated lands will result in a jump in production and the magic number is 350,000 boxes for the crop year.

Hitting that target would put supply at a decade year high.

Another dealer said that JBM’s market is like a pyramid the higher the price the smaller the market. Simple economics dictates that price remains when demand and supply are in equilibrium: Yet demand is falling and the supply is rising.

Jamaicamocha believes on advise of dealers that the prices will fall back to about $45 a pound by 2017. Until then small poor farmers benefit. Dealers benefit and the discerning consumer gets his uber fix without counterfeits.

Coffee drought in jamaica rasta!

Coffee shortage continues to affect the availability of Jamaica Blue Mountain JBM beans. Its based on a confluence of factors now led by drought.
Less beans resulted in price increases of roughly 40% in real terms to consumers. Interestingly small farmers benefit with box prices of coffee cherries inching past J$8,000 (U$70).
” I hear they paying up to J$9,500 a box,” a source indicated.
To consumers it resulted in a shortage of favourite brands.
For instance, the beans of large supplier Jablum remain out of stock–going three months now or since November. “We won’t have brand before April,” another source said this week.

Twymans –started restricting sales.

Amber–only has ground available but peaberry beans are still available in its ‘Supreme’ brand

Island Blue –beans are once again available in limited supplies

Wallenford Estate–has beans

Cafe Blue —beans available

Coffee Traders–beans available

CRJ –beans and kcups available.

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Salada brewing new products

Salada Foods, a large coffee maker in Jamaica plans to launch new coffee products this year, according to its annual report.

The move comes within the context of increased rival coffee competition in both the instant and brewed segments.

“We strongly believe that creating new value for our customers is imperative to the success of the company, and with this in mind, in the upcoming year Salada will re-energise and revitalise our coffee category, providing our customers with new and improved products in the market space during the year,” stated the then Acting Managing Director Keshia Nelson-Brown in a statement accompanying the annual report 2014.

The annual report avoided disclosing additional information on the products. In late December, Salada advised that Jerome Miles would “replace” Nelson-Brown and commence work on January 5, 2015 as general manager.

Salada Foods, a large coffee maker in Jamaica plans to launch new coffee products this year, according to its annual report.

The move comes within the context of increased rival coffee competition in both the instant and brewed segments.

“We strongly believe that creating new value for our customers is imperative to the success of the company, and with this in mind, in the upcoming year Salada will re-energise and revitalise our coffee category, providing our customers with new and improved products in the market space during the year,” stated the then Acting Managing Director Keshia Nelson-Brown in a statement accompanying the annual report 2014.

The annual report avoided disclosing additional information on the products. In late December, Salada advised that Jerome Miles would “replace” Nelson-Brown and commence work on January 5, 2015 as general manager.

Marley Coffee Laments coffee price hike

The price of Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee jumped 40 per cent in real terms in a year based which worries Marley Coffee.

Coffee remains scarce based on a confluence of factors now led by summer drought which killed beans.

“We are committed to ensuring our supply chain and providing our customers JBM. We are diligently working to secure more JBM as the market we created for it continues to expand. There still is a high demand for JBM in North America, but limited supply and rising costs may hurt sales,” stated Marley Coffee to its investors this month in filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The sale of JBM beans largely gives the brand prestige, as the majority of Marley Coffee sales are from cheaper coffee growing regions outside of Jamaica.The company bought US$290,000 worth of JBM over nine-months ending October or two-thirds less than a year ago, financials state.

We are currently working to address the supply issues and while we believe we will be in a far better position in Fiscal 2015 with respect to JBM availability,” noted the company.

Over nine-months the company recorded a US$7.8 million net loss from US$6.7 million in coffee sales or three times higher losses than a year earlier. Part of the losses are the result of payments to executives at Marley Coffee which surpassed US$1 million over three-months.

Marley Coffee based in Denver, USA, recently gained distribution in over 5,000 stores in North America, with plans to enter 10,000 stores.

Haitian coffee vs Jamaican coffee

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Selecto brand from Haiti provides a dark roasted brew. Its nutty with a cigar masculinity but with a clean aftertaste.
Its definitely a brand we will sell in addition to Jamaica Blue Mountain.
Only caveat is that the dark roast kills the fruitiness of the beans. But despite that the quality still brews true.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Stout

US based AleSmith Brewing Company and Mostra Coffee launched
‘Jamaica Blue Mountain Speedway Stout’ since March.

Since its launch online fans have been mostly supportive but some question the use of high quality coffee as a “quirk”.

The team will source beans from Mavis Bank Coffee Factory in Jamaica makers or JABLUM.

The company says that US based coffee roaster, Mostra Coffee carefully roasted and cold brewed Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans to complement its award winning Speedway Stout.

They will lightly roast the coffee to enhance aromas and well-balanced chocolaty finish and add to the stout.
“Thanks to Mosta’s diligent work, these 100% Blue Mountain beans were sourced from the renowned Mavis Bank Coffee Factory in Jamaica,” added the company.

Speaking about the collaboration, Mike Arquines, Roaster for Mostra Coffee said, “This opportunity is surreal. Prior to this collaboration, AleSmith was one of my all-time favorite breweries! Speedway Stout was my first “gateway” craft beer experience. It blew my mind because I didn’t know that beer could taste like this. My Mostra team and I feel like this has been a match made in craft beer and coffee heaven because it brings together two companies who pride themselves with being able to provide an un-compromised experience and product. Cheers to more amazing collaborations in the future!”

George Allen, General Manager for AleSmith echoed Mike’s sentiments about the collaboration, “AleSmith prides itself on sourcing the highest quality coffees for our single varietal Speedway Stouts. With this in mind, we reached out to local roaster, Mostra Coffee. Mostra shares our commitment to quality and bettering the customer experience. After several cupping sessions we found the perfect match in Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. “

The beer goes on sale online (via Brown Paper Tickets) on Monday, March 3rd and AleSmith will host a release party at the brewery on Saturday, March 8th.

About AleSmith Brewing Company
AleSmith Brewing Company was founded in August 1995 in San Diego, California. The company currently employs 28 people and is projected to brew 15,000 barrels in 2014.

About Mostra Coffee
Mosta Coffee is a San Diego, California based artisan micro-roasting company that sources, roasts, brews and serves premium, fair-trade specialty coffee.

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