HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Tourist trap Jamaica BM (6 msgs / 132 lines)
1) From: Bryce Decker
Hi all, 
        Here's a tale with outcomes  that won't surprise any old timers on
the list, but it may be of interest to a lot of you.
        Two friends were on a bridge cruise in the Caribbean last month and
they each kindly presented with a gifts of a pound of Jamaica Blue Mountain
coffee they had bought in shops in Kingston catering to visitors.  This is
my report.  
        Each gift came in a small burlap bag labeled 100% Jamaica Blue
Mountain Coffee. Sewn inside the burlap was a pound of whole coffee beans
sealed in a valved bag.  Valved bags offer some hopet, I thought.  One of
the valved bags had  a price tag of $17.50 on  it, and on the back a label
exhorting sale "before 19 Aug 2001".  I thought to myself:  "Oh, oh! 
probably old stock camouflaged in new burlap.  Sure enough when I opened
it, the aroma was stale, stale, stale, and the roast included many small,
missshapen and broken beans.  The resulting sour brew would have done
credit to a greasy spoon diner in 1950.  (I learned to drink coffee in such
places).  It is sad, but we can't bring ourselves to drink any more of it. 
It is ready for the compost heap along with our spent coffee gorunds.
        The other burlap bag was labeled with some geograpical information 
"Mavis Bay 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee", and  included a business
card that suggested at least some pride.   I expected more disappointing
junk, but no!  It was a city roast PEABERRY and not even labeled as such,
and the aroma was promising and only slightly stale.  We find it quite
drinkable laced with half & half..  Through the staleness comes a residual
very mellow aroma.  It might have been quite nice coffee some weeks ago.  
        I am left with two very serviceable small burlap bags for storing
green bean.
        The casual tourist in Kona is presented with the same situation my
friends were in Jamaica.  They know there is good coffee growing here, but
cannot reliably find fresh good stuff on the shelves of tourist shops and
supermarkets.  I have seen local farmers argue with shopkeepers about
keeping months-old stock with the farmer's estate label on it.  In one
case, the farmer replaced the old stock with new free of charge to the shop
keeper to prevent visitors being disappointed by stale coffee.  Policing
shopkeepers' shelves can be added to the many challenges facing a Kona
coffee farmer who want to make a name for his estate label
        Be grateful for Tom.  A good middleman is hard to find.
        Cheers, -Bryce

2) From: Tom & Maria
Can you believe that I have received 4 emails and phone messages with an
intimidating "we need to talk" message from the jamaican coffee board. This
because of my disparaging , but ... I feel ...  extremely truthful,
comments on our web pages jamaican coffee cupping report. Its just plain
odd they wont let a little guy with a home roasting web site have a
critical opinion without trying to influence it, and I suppose it is a good
case for truly *independent* middle-perons in a trade. I mean, I am loyal
to producers with great quality and value.   But its just offensive to the
"coffee quality" argument to have a small farmer in central america
rewarded only with a subsitence (or often less) wage, while this JBM coffee
commands huge premiums and cups so poorly on average, and only rarely cups
like a nice mild coffee, like a decent Mexican coffee... its not a good
standard to set...
                  "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
           Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria

3) From: Dave Clark
 This reminds me of an old co-worker from New England that stopped
by today while in Texas on business. He was raving about the JBM
he gets at BJs, a warehouse store in New England. So not quite the 
Jamaica story, but I asked him, "You wanna try some *good* stuff?" 
So I brewed up a pot of St. Helena, roasted on Thursday night, in 
the vacpot. It blew him away... As well as the 40 pounds of green 
and the HWP, folks think I'm nuts till they get a taste of it!
 My next victim is a friend in Chicago, He's getting half pound
samplers of St. Helena, Harar, Maui Moka, Hamburgo & Timor Aifu.
The best I have to offer and a whirlybird grinder. Yet another 
convert in the works...
Dave Clark                                             Austin, Texashttp://www.jump.net/~davec                            N 30d 27.526m
mailto:davec                                  W 97d 48.826m
         The beatings will continue until morale improves!

4) From: Robert Cantor
tell us what they say     :)
Bob C.

5) From: Gary Zimmerman
Now THERE's a real professional who takes pride in his crop.  Sounds like a 
very Tom-like thing to do, and that's high praise indeed.
-- garyZ

6) From: Michael Rochman
There's a simple solution to this dilema for them. Simply invite them 
to participate here and ask them to put their green beans where 
there mouth is. 
I've had some really fine Mavis Banks green beans that we felt 
were well worth the money. And, on the second order, we had 
some that weren't nearly as good as the Tres Mex we get from 
Mavis Bank JBM lack of consistency is inappropriate and the 
range of inconsistency is almost beyond belief. Wallenford and the 
other one I tried who's name escapes me, are not worth writing 
about...totally less than mediocre beans.
Without a return privilege, I won't be buying any more JBM green 
beans, no matter how "official" they might be.
On 10 Sep 2000, at 18:44, Tom & Maria wrote:

HomeRoast Digest