Airport for Starbucks in Jamaica

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A private entity is now actively engaged in raising capital to carry the coffee chain Starbucks to Jamaica, it is understood.

 

The entity secured the services of an investment house to consider viable methods of raising funds, it is understood.

The players want to put the first location in Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. There are over 4 million passengers that commute through the airport annually. Visitors to the airport can buy an array of coffees from the airport including from Cafe Blue, Jablum, Coffee Roasters Jamaica.

Earlier this year local media reported that Starbucks is considering entering the island along with other Caribbean territories in the medium term.

Who are the two private sector players seeking to acquire the
Starbucks franchise in Jamaica–They are both in hospitality sector, the
media says.

Of course local players are concerned about the implications of a coffee giant entering the land of luxury coffee. Brands that sell to Starbucks including Amber Estate and Wallenford.

Will Starbucks increase the coffee culture? Will Starbucks improve a
cup of local coffee? Or would it simply increase the price? Let’s see. Not all cafe players are upbeat about the prospects especially those who earn from the tourist market.

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Starbucks in Jamaica will target travelers

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Starbucks would drop two cafes in Jamaica which will target tourists primarily at least initially, according to Coffee dealers who spoke to Jamaicamocha .

The talk is that the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay
could see a location followed quickly by another, at a new business
hotel under construction in Kingston. (Let’s avoid names for the moment.)

Of course, last month the Gleaner reported that Starbucks is considering entering the island along with other Caribbean territories in the medium term.

It just so happens that the busy Montego Bay airport which currently
doesn’t have any store slots available will see 25 per cent of the
stores come up for contract renewal this year, according to media reports.

Sources say that’s where the Starbucks franchisee will snatch up a vacancy and outbid an
existing operator. But it might not even have to come to a bidding
war, as the franchisee already supplies the airport with food
and beverage. (I have already said too much.)
Who are the two private sector players seeking to acquire the
Starbucks franchise in Jamaica–They are both in hospitality sector, the
media says.

Will Starbucks increase the coffee culture? Will Starbucks improve a
cup of local coffee? Or would it simply increase the price? Let’s see. Not all cafe players are upbeat about the prospects especially those who earn from the tourist market.

 

 

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

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.”

Starbucks Guatemalan Antiguan versus Jamaica Blue Mountain

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I’ve oft heard that Antigua Guatemala best compares to beans from Jamaica. So I bought a bag at Starbucks and compared.

Bean inspection: Mid-sized and fairly consistent. Not surprisingly, Starbucks over-roasted the beans. Its more medium-dark than medium as described. This meant that the lemons and fruitiness would likely have given way to a stronger chocolate taste profile.

Method: Coffee press

Taste profile: Spicy on top, deep spike of chocolate in middle, and smooth on back end.

Tips: Lovely and chocolately with heavier body brewing methods such as coffee press over paper filters.

Comparison to JBM: More spicy but less balance. JBM chocolate tends to emerge more gradually and often times balanced with vanilla tones.

JBM costs four times as much per pound compared to Antiguan. So it is a great coffee for the price. Of course JBM remains quality that’s rarely matched.
Personally I would mix JBM and Antiguan together to get a quality affordable cup.

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.

Starbucks sells jamaica coffee this month

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Starbucks started selling Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee this month at select stores in the United States.

 Starbucks will buy beans originating from Amber Estate and St  Cloud Estate in the Jamaica Blue Mountains. It will then ship, roast and bag the beans to Starbucks specifications.

The beans from Amber Estate are without doubt a superior bean. Its brews a coffee that’s heavy cacoa, gushing with lemony citrus.

Starbucks, which had stopped offering the beans for about a year in the US, sells an 8.8 oz bag for just under US$30. It describes the coffee as perfectly complex.

“This is a complex coffee with layers of citrus flavor and a hint of chocolate,” states the tweet.

On Starbucks’ official page, it indicates that its the 6th year featuring the coffee described as a “customer and partner favorite”.

“This world class coffee is always limited and we are delighted that we can enjoy it again this year,” stated

Jamaican coffee remains in short supply due to a series of natural – such as the recent drought – and man-made events.

“This coffee was grown beneath the peak of the 7,400-foot Blue Ridge. The dew, along with plentiful rainfall and fertile soil, helps create ideal growing conditions. After the harvest, each bean is scrutinized and certified to ensure nothing short of the highest quality. The result: a complex cup with layers of citrus flavor and a hint of cocoa,” Starbucks added.

Salada Coffee complains of JBM prices

A respected local coffee brand SALADA Foods Jamaica Limited complained of Jamaica coffee price increases.

The increases slashed its gross margins by more than one-quarter, the company stated. It’s the latest processor to complain about the over 30 per cent price hike in one year, and 250 per cent hike over two years, towards $11,000 per box of coffee cherry. However the price rise is due to a severe supply shortage based on drought, disease, farm decay and now fire. Concurrently, large overseas buyers are demanding more coffee from Jamaica. On the micro-level farmers are demanding more per box due to the impact of currency depreciation on farm costs, and also the cost to protect the coffee against disease and theft. Two years ago processors paid roughly $3,000 for a box of coffee cherry to farmers.

“Profits continue to be adversely affected by the increases in price of coffee beans realised in the first quarter and the performance of its subsidiaries Mountain Peak Food Processors Ltd and Pimora Company Ltd,” stated Salada in a notice prefacing the financials signed jointly by Chairman Patrick Williams and Director Aubyn Hill. “The gross margin for the six months was 27.5 per cent, a reduction of 27 per cent when compared with the same period in the prior year. This resulted from the higher cost of coffee bean now being processed.”

Salada made $37-million profit before tax in the March quarter 2015 on $220 million in revenues, or 184 per cent higher profit year-on-year.

Just this week, large coffee processor Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Ltd makers of Jablum indicated that fire damaged at least $200 million worth of farms thus far. Last week US-based Marley Coffee cautioned its investors that the supply shortage of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee could affect its sales going forward.

In recent times, Salada has faced increased local coffee competition in both the instant and brewed markets. Salada in its previous quarter hinted that it would seek to launch new coffee products this year. However, its latest March financials failed to add information on product development.

Last year, large coffee company Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Ltd launched True Brew, an instant coffee. It also launched Jablum Caribbean Blend, a mixture of beans from Jamaica and the Caribbean. In 2012, it also launched a high-end product called Jablum Gold.

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.