Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee: A Statement About True Jamaicanism
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival returned Saturday, March 25 to the Newcastle Parade Grounds after its 2022 Devon House staging. Despite transportation setbacks — the result of an accident en route to the venue — coffee lovers from near and far came out to enjoy not only the world-famous java but also its attendant festivities.
The annual event, fuelled by the Tourism Linkages Network, is Jamaica’s flagship coffee experience, demonstrating the tradition of coffee production while showcasing Blue Mountain Coffee and the diversity of coffee through products and experiences.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett underscored the importance of the festival in his opening remarks. “The purpose of a coffee festival is really an arena to showcase the culinary delights of this great cultural product of Jamaica. We have not only been on the commercial market, but have also been acknowledging that coffee is a statement of true ‘Jamaicanism’. Blue Mountain Coffee is only found in Jamaica, so in order to experience it, you have to come to Jamaica, where the coffee comes from. The fact is that we in tourism have found that consumption is what we thrive on. That is what we do; we travel to consume. And the consumption patterns are created by the cultural offerings of the various destinations that we go to.
He continued, “And so in order for us in Jamaica to attract varying demography, all types of people, from all over the world, we have to increase the offerings of experiences that we have here. A key area that we can maximise this experiential tourism is coffee, because of its diversity and its broad application. We want to tap into this very large coffee value chain, because every link-up has the potential for economic growth for individuals and communities. Our dream is to build a coffee innovation town where we can utilise the various attributes of coffee to bring well-being, enjoyment and satisfaction.”
The Blue Mountain Coffee Festival presented a wide range of coffee purveyors, local manufacturers and artisans, and afforded food tastings, cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, showcasing baristas and mixologists who brought the coffee bean to life.
Thursday Food shares highlights from the hills of Newcastle, St Andrew.