Last week, I received an interesting message via my 'contact me' link on my website.
It was from (yet) another ardent fan of My-Island-Jamaica.com. This time: Robin Plough.
He wanted me to freely share with you what he described as the full "Jamaican Coffee Experience".
Here is his initial email:
Obviously very curious as well, I responded and assured him that I'd be happy share it with my website visitors.
So he sent me this follow up (below), outlining the offering.
From what I read, it sounded like a rich and worthy Jamaican experience to consider on your next vacation; something very different from the regular sun, sand and sea stuff :-)
I added headings to make it a little more reader friendly for you.
This was his response, describing the 'experience'.
THE FULL JAMAICAN COFFEE EXPERIENCE
My Dear Sir;
Thanks for your quick reply to my message.
To put the whole idea in context:
I am retired, a pensioner, from England: and was lucky enough to find this place to retire to: I feel that the "Gods" who found this place for me, wanted me to share it with others: exactly what I am trying to do!! As long as I cover all my costs, with a small profit: we will be totally happy!!
The idea, which has been in my mind for some time: is to give visitors a much better appreciation of our Jamaica's Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee, much more than they can possibly get from a short visit to one of the bigger estates: who; for obvious commercial reasons, want their visitors to spend the maximum time in the "gift shop" and cafe.
Spread over 2 or 3 days ( very informal accommodation here, or at a nearby hotel ): during the coffee picking season ( January to April /May) guests would experience the whole process, literally from coffee bush to cup.
From a detailed explanation of planting, growing, and pruning the coffee bushes: a "hands on" appreciation of the whole of the processing process: and the details of making and "cupping" a "brew".
A guided tour of the coffee plantation, and the gardens; loads of my own-grown coffee, and all the information they can absorb, on the planting and growing, picking, processing, and "quality" considerations of our JBM coffee.
THE FULL EXPERIENCE
If everything transpires to get the "perfect" day: drinking the coffee, in the middle of the coffee bushes the coffee came from: when the coffee bushes are in full bloom and the air is suffused with the scent of the coffee flowers ( a scent not remotely akin to the coffee brew ).
And later; about half an hour after sunset, the house and surrounding area is filled with the overpowering magnificence of the scent of the Night Jasmine: For myself: exactly what living here is all about!!!
They can enjoy the other fresh ( pick-your-own ) produce from the plantation: Bananas, Citrus fruits, etc: as are seasonally available.
BUT: there is a heavy bias towards a relaxing experience in the fresh, clean mountain air of these Blue Mountains.
My plantation is situated at the very top of the Buff river valley, under the shadow of John Crow peak: the views are spectacular!!
A few steps ( 25 yards!! ) and you are looking down the Yallahs river valley. With almost no light pollution, the night skies are brilliant with stars.
Then they go out and pick some coffee cherries, from the bushes: process them through their own fingers ( and our hand operated pulper ) and going through the process of fermenting.
Using a previous batch, the washing and cleaning, before getting the beans out to drain, and dry.
It takes a few weeks for the coffee to dry; so using a previously dried batch, they hull, winnow, sort and grade the coffee, before roasting it in a dutch pot, on a "camp-fire" - the real traditional way.
The coffee they have roasted, they take home with them: and when the coffee they actually picked ( kept totally separate from all the other coffee ) has been finished off; it is mailed on to them, at home.
There are just too many variables to be able to give a price: but my thoughts would be for a couple, staying here for 2 days, and one night, inclusive of all coffee, food, and taking away ( including the mailed-on coffee ) some 4 or 5 pounds of coffee; between US$175, and US$200. With a second nights stay ( including food ) for about US$80.
Wine, beer, rum, etc would be provided on a "contribution" basis.
Each visit would be "tailor-made" to guests requirements: any special foods, transport from Kingston, etc.
I do not have a web site; and do not want one!!! Anyone interested should contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org
for details and a customized visit plan.
Very Best Regards,
P.S. I've included a few pictures to give you an idea of the location.