“Happy” Jamaica Blue coffee on Christmas morning from Carolines

We are starting our Christmas morning with Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee from RSW Estates. It is a real treat to drink such an exotic cup of coffee — but well worth it.

My wife joked that she hid the bag of coffee in the back room, so we wouldn’t open it until Christmas morning. We succeeded.

We bought the coffee from Carolines Coffee Roasters in downtown Grass Valley. We drink Carolines’ own brands each morning.

Earlier this month Carolines received its shipment of the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee — an annual tradition for the small, family-owned business. “The Jamaican is a remarkable coffee, processed with the utmost of care. It comes from the RSW Estates located on the slopes of the Blue Mountains,” owner Holly Fike writes in Carolines newsletter. “This Jamaican is unique in that they have their own processing station, and the coffee is sun-dried and packaged in wooden barrels, instead of the usual burlap sacks.”

Here’s some background from RSW Estates’ website: “RSW Estates is a partnership of three of the original Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Estates — each of which dates from before 1800 — whose owners have joined together to recreate the fabled barreled Blue Mountain Estate ‘Marque’ coffees of years past. We grow and process only our own coffee; we do not buy coffee from any other grower.

“The separate, family owned coffee farms of Resource, Sherwood Forest, and Whitfield Hall have been growing Blue Mountain Coffee on the original Estates’ acreage and under the same ownership for 30 to 40 years.

“RSW Estates Blue Mountain Coffee has been available through selected specialty shops. We produce about one percent, on average, of the total Blue Mountain crop. With only a fraction of this coffee available for direct sales to consumers, supplies are extremely limited.”

What’s their secret? “In our conversations with our hosts, they emphasized that if you want great coffee
you need “happy” coffee trees tended by happy farmers who are eager to ensure that the trees are properly shaded, pruned, fertilized, weeded and pampered. Between harvest and flowering you must carefully prune deadwood and fertilize the dormant trees if you want ongoing great results,” said one reviewer who has visited the Estate.

And how does the coffee taste? “The delicate slightly floral aroma develops into a clear, round, ‘bell like’ sweetness in the cup with hints of nuts and light citrus acidity. A lingering almost buttery finish with hints of baking spices leaves your taste buds smiling.”

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