June 2015 - JAMAICA BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE & CULINARY WEEKEND

Jamaica Blue Mountains

Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Garden                                                                          OR                                                                                                                                     Blue Mountain Greenwich Cottages

Space Limited

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Join us in Jamaica’s exquisite Blue Mountains where the truest, world renowned, Blue Mountain Coffee beans are grown.  Like France’s ‘Appellation D’Origine Contrôlée Champagne’, which strictly controls where authentic Champagne grapes may be grown, the area where Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee plants are cultivated, is also strictly controlled.  With annual production of Jamaica Blue Mountain green coffee extremely low and with 85% to 90% of it exported to Japan, just finding a genuine cup of Blue Mountain Joe is no easy task. This weekend is a quest for the best Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, Rum and Cuisine the island offers.
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Throughout Jamaica’s history each newly arrived ethnic group has taken a turn stirring the pot, adding another layer of complexity to Jamaican cuisine. Begin with the Taino, add the Spanish, French, British, East Indian, Chinese and African – all are intricate to Jamaican cooking.
 
This is an Insiders Experience, you will visit private homes, gardens, and kitchens; markets, farms, restaurants, cook-shops and bars, high and low. You will enjoy Jamaica’s passion for food, cooking, and hospitality. Most islands are simply too small or overdeveloped to sustain local agriculture and must rely on imported foods. In Jamaica eating ‘local’ and eating well, is a point of pride!
 
 
We are delighted to invite you to our table!
 
 
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OUR HOSTSMe on Belcour lawn

BELCOUR with Cookbook Author, Robin Lim Lumsden. Belcour is a beautiful and peaceful place in a valley, surrounded by the Blue Mountains and with the Mammee River running through the bottom orchard. It was a coffee plantation in the 1800s and Robin Lumsden and her husband Michael live in the original old, wooden, overseer’s house. Robin had always dreamt about creating Jamaican products that could be marketed internationally, it seemed a realistic life goal whilst watching her grandfather Peter Desnoes, creator of Red Stripe do this.  Robin’s new cookbook, BELCOUR, celebrates Jamaica’s diverse culinary landscape as well as her family’s legacy of love, food and  hospitality. http://www.belcourpreserves.com/about/

 

                                        Clifton Mount Coffee Estate Clifton Mount

One of the oldest and finest Blue Mountain Coffee Estates in Jamaica, and the largest private exporter of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.  The estate is family owned by brothers, Richard and Jason Sharp.   Their Jamaican coffee company is fully integrated with operations across the full spectrum of the coffee business; including coffee farming, green bean coffee processing and roasting operations. images-1Their innovative Café Blue Coffee Shops are an established Jamaica brand.  The company’s Coffee Processing Plants in Kingston are among the city’s largest employers.   The lovely Clifton Mount Blue Mountains Estate House, in a garden full of flowers, is the last of few surviving 19th century Coffee Great Houses.

                           

10453018_799260300093985_9121167855307683623_oEITS Food Basket Café & Organic Garden – http://17milepost.com/eits-cafe/  

                                                                         

The Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee Estate, was the first coffee estate to beimages-2 awarded a license to process and sell their own estate coffee, opening the door for all single estate Blue Mountain Coffee’s marketed today. Mother and son, Dorothy and David Twyman are the islands’ Artisan Roasters, offering several types of roasts as well as the specialty Peaberry and Aged Coffees.  http://www.jamaicanproductsusa.com/old-tavern-coffee-estate/

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STRAWBERRY HILL HOTEL, GARDEN & FIELD SPA

 Strawberry Hill at 3,000 ft. marks the lowest boundary for growing genuine Blue Mountain Coffee. The property was the 18th century coffee estate of Sir Walpole the Earl of Orford and Jamaica was the largest exporter of coffee in the world. The historic property has a centuries old reputation for it’s gardens and unrivalled hospitality.  It is a pleasure to visit Strawberry Hill, today, a beautiful 16 room Hotel, Garden and Spa, set on a hilltop with 360 views. The Strawberry Hill garden features over 300 species of exotic plants, flowers and trees and an animated bird life.  www.islandoutpost.com

Blue Mountains

Jamaica Coffee & Culinary Blue Mountain Weekend Includes:

.  All excursions, transportation and admissions on Itinerary:  Blackwell Rum Punch Welcome, Belcour Tea; Clifton Mount Blue Mountain Coffee Estate and Kingston Roasting Plant; Coronation Market, Street Food Tasting, Fleet Street Murals, National Gallery; EITS Luncheon; The Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee Estate; and Strawberry Hill Brunch.

.  4 Nights Accommodations – Your choice, either Strawberry Hill Hotel, Garden & Spa or Blue Mountain Greenwich Cottages.

.  Strawberry Hill – 4 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 2 Lunch, 1 Tea.

.  Greenwich Cottages – All Meals included, 4 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 2 Lunch, 1 Tea,  4 Dinners.

.  Optional Hiking and Birdwatching.  Wonderful hiking trails carry you along quiet parochial roads, through fern forests, small farms, and rural communities. River pools and waterfalls provide swimming opportunities. This is where you’ll find the best birding on the island. The Blue Mountains are home to all 28 endemic species of Jamaican birds.

 .  Airfare and Airport transfers are not included, however, shared rides from the airport may be possible depending on arrival / departure times of guests.

Cost:       $1,250.00 Double Occupancy                                                                                              Single Supplement, Strawberry Hill $500.00;  Greenwich Cottages $300.           Deposit:  $500.00 to confirm reservation.                                                                       Final Payment Due:  May 15, 2015

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Where you will be sleeping:                                                                                      search

Strawberry Hill – The historic Strawberry Hill Hotel, Garden & Spa is perched on a Blue Mountain hilltop at 3,100 feet above sea level, nestled in a 4-acre tropical garden with spectacular 360 views of mountains and the city of Kingston. Experience the cool mountain breeze and beauty of the garden, established in 1890 as a coffee farm.  Amenities include:  Restaurant and Bar; Swimming Pool, Field Spa.

Greenwich Cottages  –  The private Blue Mountain homes in the community of Greenwich are idyllic for enjoying and exploring the region. Near Newcastle, at 4,000 ft. above sea level, the fresh mountain air is glorious, the views thrilling and the gardens are pure delight. Superb birding and hiking trails, including Hollywell National Park are literally at your doorstep.  All meals included, you will enjoy exceptional Jamaica home cooking served family style.

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Itinerary:

Day 1 – Thurs, June 4th                                                                                                       Blackwell-RumClassic Blackwell Rum Punch Welcome.

Chris Blackwell is an international music icon, entrepreneur and cultural pioneer. His reputation and lifestyle are the inspiration behind Island Outpost’s Strawberry Hill as well as Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum. This is not a simple light rum, known by Jamaicans as Black Gold, Blackwell Rum is colourful, rich and complex, like the spirit of Jamaica. We will introduce you to Jamaica’s best cocktail – the classic Rum Punch – while enjoying the cool beauty of a Blue Mountain sunset and the magnificent display of Kingston lights.      Unpack and prepare for a weekend of fun, fantastic food, and an education on the best rum and coffee in the world!

Day 2 – Friday, June 5th                                                                                                       Early morning is your own!  Sleep, Hike, Bird, Read, Spa… By Noon we will head downtown Kingston.  Coronation Market – the heartbeat of Kingston.  Experience the exhilarating pandemonium of Jamaica’s largest produce market – the experience is intimate and honest; eye opening and pure fun, Jamaica culture off the  grid.  This is where we will enjoy Street Food at it’s best.  Not to be missed – the imgres-2Fleet Street Murals have helped transform a downtown neighbourhood.  Jamaica’s National  Gallery is right on our path, providing a wonderful opportunity to view the island’s vibrant culture through the work of our extraordinary Artists. 

Blue Mountain Coffee, bean to cup, is incredibly labor intensive, seeing the process, enhances your appreciation of this exceptional brew.  We will visit the Kingston head office for Coffee TradersCafé Blue and Clifton Mount Estate, to meet the Sharp brothers, this is where the Roasting Plant lives, and a wonderful place to buy excellent Blue Mountain Coffee.

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By Tea Time we will arrive at Belcour, where we will be the guests of  Robin and Michael Lumsden.  Starting Belcour Preserves was a culmination of Robin’s passion for cooking and gardening. Robin began bee keeping because she thought it would enhance her garden, so her bees are the lucky recipients of many years of gardening and obsessive plant collecting. Belcour presently operates an apiary with over 75 bee colonies. Enjoy Belcour’s beautiful garden and Apiary, then relax into a scrumptious Belcour Tea with all the trimmings, including a taste of Belcour’s spectacular line of Jams and Sauces.   Robin is an amazing Chef and the afternoon recipes will be culled from her outstanding Belcour Cookbook, that will be available for purchase, and signed by your gracious hostess.

Day 3 – Sat. June 6th                                                                                                           Mid-morning excursion to Newcastle and Clifton Mount Coffee Estate.                        Newcastle – established in 1841 as a  healthy base camp for the British Army to escape the Malaria and Yellow Fever epidemic in Kingston. Today the picturesque old camp serves for training the Jamaica Defence Force. Newcastle’s motto: No obstacle too difficult, no task too great!

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At a back security gate we receive permission to pass through the old camp,  on our way to CLIFTON MOUNT COFFEE ESTATE.  (with Optional Hike.)

Clifton Mount

At 4,300 ft., Clifton Mount offers superb views over the Yallahs Valley and the grand ridge of the Blue Mountain range including Blue Mountain Peak at 7,402 ft.  The historic coffee property (160 acres) was purchased  by it’s present owners, the Sharp family in 1977. The farm had long ceased to grow any coffee.  Flowers, carnations and roses, were being propagated for the cut flower market in Kingston.  In 1980 Hurricane David severely damaged the estate, Clifton Mount was quiet for a while, but Barbara & Laurie Sharp’s sons where coming up, and Richard – who is the farmer – had a dream to restore the property as the prestigious Coffee Estate is had been in the 19th century.  He planted the first coffee in 1985.   Jason Sharp supported the endeavour with his marketing expertise,branding many labels of blue mountain estate coffee’s and founding Jamaica’s first chain of coffee shops, Café’ Blue, waking the island to coffee culture.

Today Clifton Mount is flourishing Coffee Farm and Pulpery with a charming historic coffee house surrounded by a exuberant garden full of flowers.   The house will be opened for us; we will have a cup of the best coffee in the world, with a biscuit, and sit on the balcony to marvel at the views.  There will be an option to hike into the property!

Robin Fox

Robin Fox, EITS Proprietor

Lunch – EITS Food Basket Farm to Table Cafe. EITS Café, acronym for “Europe In The Summer”, offers an exquisite dining experience. From their own Food Basket Farm  EITS Café incorporates Fresh Salad greens, Herbs and Produce into delectable dishes, in a fusion of European and Jamaican cuisine.  

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Day 4 – Sun. June 7th                                                                                                         After Breakfast this morning we will pass Hollywell National Park, through The Gap at 4,000 ft. above sea level, to The Twyman’s Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee Estate. The Twymans, Dorothy and son David, are obsessive about all aspects of Blue Mountain Coffee production and their enthusiasm is infectious. The estate is laced with with hugely enjoyable trails, up to the old wooden house where the coffee roasting takes place.  The views from here toward Buff Bay are stupendous!  Our Sunday morning walk will culminate in a tasting of the different roasts and beans including Peaberry and Aged Blue Mountain Coffee, these coffee artisans produce.

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STRAWBERRY HILL BRUNCH

                                                                                    Each Sunday, without fail, Strawberry Hill hosts an exceptionally tantalising weekend brunch. Choose from a variety of cold salads and hot appetizers, a delicious selection of jerked meats, well-seasoned accompaniments, homemade desserts and our own strawberry bliss bubbly wine. An event unto itself, the Strawberry Hill Sunday brunch redefines the traditional concept of a lavish feast in the heart of a Jamaican utopia.

Day 5 – Mon. June 8             JAMAICA FAREWELL

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For More Information, Contact:

Lynda Lee Burks

Jamaicatoursociety@gmail.com

(876) 357-1225

About the author

Lynda Lee Burks has lived in Jamaica most of her adult life. She supports her passion for living by the sea, by organizing tours of Jamaica, producing events – dub poets to destination weddings, and as artist and teacher.  

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