Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee: A Statement About True Jamaicanism
Indomitable in their duty, yet fuelled by the finest brew. From left: Lance Corporal Williams, Lance Corporal Dwyer and Lance Corporal Graham exemplify the epitome of sophistication, coffees in hand and bravery in hearts! (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

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.

(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited displayed coffee from fruit to dried beans. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett sipped a cup of coffee from Cafe Blue.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
CEO and founder of Kande's Delights Kevin Dean (right) gave chief executive officer Walter Peter, his executive assistant wife Evelyn and their daughter Cosima an unforgettable ice-cream experience. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Ann-Marie Goldson (left), court administrator, managing director of RMB Builders Maurice Ellis, and Tracy-Ann Moulton, management accountant at the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, were spotted enjoying iced lattes from Cannonball Café.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Meet the Mitchells personalities (from left) Jax Mitchell, Wayne "Wayne Marshall" Mitchell, Atlas Mitchell and Tammar "Tami Chynn" Mitchell were among the many patrons out in support of the festival. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival barista competition judge Gariel Ferguson (left) and managing director at Geophysx Jamaica Robert Stewart shared the Choco Coffee Cream from Kande's Delights. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
It was a 'Wata with wow' moment for (from left) senior lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica Janet Brown; Christine Campbell, attorney-at-law; and businesswoman Georgia Uwoms-Colahar.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Collegiates and high-schoolers were also on the scene: University of Technology, Jamaica Business Administration student Ariana Cyrus (centre) shared the frame with nursing student Ashley Eccleston (left) and Glenmuir High School student Jayden Wolfe, whilst showing off the Coconut Cappuccino cookie from Mountain Peak.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Brand representative of Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake Veniessa Mais was all smiles for the photo op.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Dr Juliet Lee (left) and Leovia Taylor, records manager at RGD, opted for the Truth or Dare frappuccino from Jamaica Mountain Peak. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Gastronomy Network Chair Nicola Madden-Greig presented the first-place trophy to barista Ricardo Jackson from Café Blue, who won the barista competition.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Gastronomy Network Chair Nicola Madden-Greig presented the first-place trophy to barista Ricardo Jackson from Cafe Blue, Constant Spring, who won the Barista competition. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Barista Ricardo Jackson's winning beverage When Me Nice A So Me Gwaaan (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Barista Ricardo Jackson's winning beverage When Me Nice A So Me Gwaaan (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
A selfie was a must for the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Festival barista competition winner Ricardo Jackson and barista competition judge Chris Reckord. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Gastronomy Network Chair Nicola Madden-Greig presented the second-place trophy to barista Travis Kerr, who represented Toyota Coffee House and Deaf Can Coffee. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Barista Travis Kerr's beverage was Red Velvet Coffee Milkshake (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Barista Dimel Ballen from Danya's Coffee Barrel walked away with the third-place prize from the competition. Gastronomy Network Chair Nicola Madden-Greig presented the prize. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
For the competition barista Dimel Ballen prepared the Crazy Mocha.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
From left: The Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) team of Tracy-Ann Francis, manager for quality assurance, stand and verification; Hervin Willis, senior director of coffee; and Tiffany Hedge-Ross, acting research coordinator, were recognised for being among the first certified Q-Graders in the Jamaican coffee industry. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
From left: Jennifer Griffith, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Tourism; Gastronomy Network Chair Nicola Madden-Greig; Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett; Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill; and Tourism Enhancement Fund Executive Director Dr Carey Wallace shared satisfied smiles upon the execution of yet another Coffee fest. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

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