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Travel Photo Thursday: Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee beans

Famous internationally since the 18th century, Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee, which gets its name from the location where it is grown, is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. The rich soil and cool climate of the mountain, make it the ideal location for coffee growing. It is strictly regulated.

Jamaica's Blue Mountain

Jamaica's Blue Mountain

Only coffees grown in the higher elevations — between 3,000-5,500 feet — can bear the Blue Mountain label. Between 1,500-3,000 feet, it is known as Jamaica High Mountain, and below 1,500 feet, Jamaica Low Mountain or Supreme.

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee

After I took this photo, I heard voices and looked in the direction where the sound was coming from. There were at least two people, each wearing floppy hats with bags strapped around their waists. As they released the berries from the trees, they dropped them into their bags. I watched for a few minutes, fascinated at how adroitly they navigated the side of the mountain without falling. Did I say how steep the mountain is? At this point, we’re about 4,000 feet. It’s almost a vertical drop.

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee

Following handpicking, the berries are then floated in water to remove those that are underdeveloped or have been damaged by insects. They are inspected then washed again, to remove the sugary substance on the outer section of the beans, and dried. Following the drying process, the beans are bagged and warehoused for at least 10 weeks.

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee beans

Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee

They are then hulled to reveal the bean which are polished and sorted according to size. They are also tested for taste, body and color. The last step is an inspection by hand to check each bean for defects.

1737, Jamaica exported over 83,000 pounds of coffee.

Approximately 7,000 farmers cultivate coffee in Blue Mountains, about 40% of them are women.

Japan was the largest importer of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee however, since the economic downturn, they no longer take the bulk of the crop, approximately 80%.

Average price of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee:

In the US – $48

In Japan – $62

Average payment to a farmer for a 60-pound box of berries: J$3,000 or about US$35.

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

Weekly Photo Challenge, The Louvre

Sometimes, a photo what describes WordPress’ Weekly Photo prompt doesn’t readily come to mind. I was about to pass on this week’s challenge when I discovered that I have a few photos that I can use. Let me know what you think.

Weekly Photo Challenge, Bath Cathedral

Weekly Photo Challenge, Bath Cathedral

Weekly Photo Challenge, The Louvre

Weekly Photo Challenge, The Louvre

This is my submission to this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Soulful Sundays: Ken Boothe

Ken Boothe, photo from the Internet

I listen to music a lot, I wouldn’t say all the time but pretty regularly. As I cleaning up around the house yesterday, I let iTunes DJ set the mood.

Ken Boothe, photo from the Internet

Ken Boothe, photo from the Internet

At first, the music was jazzy and breezy, then it took a sharp turn into old school reggae with a Ken Boothe song, Everything I Own that took me back, way back. I stopped what I was doing and listened.

You sheltered me from harm

Kept me warm, kept me warm
You gave my life to me
Set me free, set me free
The finest years I ever knew
Was all the years I had with you

And I would give anything I own



Give up my life, my heart, my home

And I would give anything I own
Just to have you back again



If there’s someone you know
That won’t let you go
And taking it all for granted
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away

And you don’t hear a word they say



And I would give anything I own

Give up my life, my heart, my home

And I would give anything I own

Just to have you back again
Just to talk to you, words again

If there’s someone you know

That won’t let you go

And taking it all for granted
You may lose them one day

Someone take them away
And you don’t hear a word they say



And I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give anything I own
Just to have you back again
Just to talk to you, words again
Just to hold you, once again

I thought of the lyrics which are so simple and yet so profound. Everything I Own, was written by an American, David Gates. It was a hit in Jamaica and reached Number One on the UK Singles chart in 1974. An interesting fact about the song –  instead of singing it as written, Boothe sang Anything I Own.

Boothe, who has been performing since the 1950s, has recorded more than 25 albums and compilations. Another of Boothe’s hits which he also wrote, The Train is Coming was featured in the movie, Money Train.

Ken Boothe was born in Kingston in 1948. In 2003, the government of Jamaica awarded him an Order of Distinction (OD) for his contribution to Jamaican music.


New Jamaican Airline Set to Launch

FlyJamaica Airlines, image from the Internet

FlyJamaica Airlines, a new Jamaican airline, is set to launch as soon as next month. According to a report in the local news on March 21st, the new airline’s principals are Guyanese but the majority owners are Jamaicans.

FlyJamaica will operate between Kingston, Georgetown, the Guyanese capital, New York’s JFK and Toronto.

FlyJamaica Airlines, image from the Internet

FlyJamaica Airlines, image from the Internet

The announcement of this new airline comes days after REDjet, the Caribbean’s first budget airline, signaled that it was halting service on all routes. FlyJamaica Airlines is expected to compete with Caribbean Airlines on its Jamaican and Guyanese routes.

Only time will tell whether FlyJamaica Airlines will achieve profitability and fill the void left by the loss of the national carrier, Air Jamaica.