I had a question recently from a customer asking me why our Blue Mountain was not available anymore. I thought the answer would make for an interesting blog post, and it would also give me the opportunity to announce the arrival of our newest Rare Coffee.
But first, Jamaica. It’s really not going well for them! They lost the majority of their crop due to leaf rust. Hemileia vastatrix is a fungus that produces an abundance of rust colored spores. By attacking the leaves, the trees cannot produce their fruits. And the current epidemic is the worst they have ever seen! Furthermore, the Japanese buy 2/3 of their annual production and demand is ever increasing.
On a good year, Jamaica would produce up to 450 000 barrels at an average cost of 3500$/barrel. Last year, they only produced 150 000 at an average of 7000$/barrel. The price has doubled!! And according to a reliable source, Jamaica is now importing coffee to meet domestic demands.
So, if you’re able to get Blue Mountain coffee in the coming months, it will probably be :
1. very expensive
2. a blend (with maybe 1/3 of Blue Mountain)
3. not really Blue Mountain
Their next harvest should be in December. If we are lucky, we might get some then. But realistically, we will probably have to wait until the second harvest, in approximately one year. Also, expect a substantial increase in prices 🙁
That said, as I was mentioning above, we do have some good news! Coming from the land of giant turtles, our newest arrival in our Rare Coffee selection : the Galápagos San Cristobal Bourbon!
The Galápagos is a difficult coffee to find, and a coffee of exceptional quality!! It’s rich taste has an aroma of caramel and a delicate acidity that gives it a slight citrusy undertone. It has a good length on the palate and one can easily perceive a light chocolate taste, as well as notes of tobacco and leather and even salted herbs. The “Medium roast” seams to be best suited for this delicate coffee, as a darker roast would mask the subtleties of its flavors and aromas.
As the name suggests, it is cultivated on the island of San Cristobal, where the use of fertilizers and chemicals are strictly prohibited, which makes it an organic coffee (though not officially). When ripe, the fruits are hand picked and washed naturally and ecologically in pure water. A unique climate, tropical rain and a fertile volcanic soil give this Ecuadorian vintage a rich and slightly acidic aroma. An excellent example of the balance between full bodied flavor and relative acidity.
A well balanced organic coffee with an intriguing finish coming from the most exotic place in the world. An absolute must try!
image courtesy of Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org