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Shoreside Review

Caribbean Mountain Coffee  –  I am not a coffee drinker, but my officemates are obsessed with Libbie Oliver’s Caribbean Mountain Coffee. Six months ago, she dropped some by for them to try, and they are hooked. I must admit, it smells amazing when they grind the beans in the office’s Magic Bullet. Then the scent lingers all day after they brew a pot or two. When I ask Nick why he likes it so much, he calls the flavour “bright and nutty” and says it’s richer than other coffees he’s had.  

Caribbean Mountain Coffee tastes better than other coffees, Libbie tells me, because it is shade-grown, organic coffee from the highest mountain range in the Caribbean. “I went there searching for the best coffee I could find. I lucked out and found a small association of farmers with limited processing equipment and built a relationship with them.” Typically, Libbie adds, coffees from the DR and other Caribbean islands use mixed beans gathered from an array of farmers who grow their coffee on all different terrains—from sea level to mountaintops. “Coffee grown at a high altitude is harder, denser,” Libbie says. “You can roast the beans darker with mountain-grown beans than beans grown at a lower altitude without the coffee getting bitter.” It becomes bold instead of bitter because of the density.

Photo by Libbie Oliver.

Caribbean Mountain Coffee offers two roasts—medium roast, which Libbie describes as a “broader range” of flavour and the “bolder but narrower” dark roast. Coffee addict Nick says, “The regular roast is great when sweetened and on ice. The dark roast has a smooth and rich flavour. I also like to eat the dark roast beans like M&Ms because they have a natural sweetness similar to chocolate.” Libbie intends to offer a blend of both roasts in the future.

Photo by Libbie Oliver.

Other future plans include introducing the first commercial coffee roaster to the BVI so that she could roast the beans here. She also hopes to begin a line of Caribbean products similar to her coffee in that she would find the best that the Caribbean has to offer and bring them to the BVI. Libbie tells me that she wants to offer authentic Caribbean products to retailers and food servers so they can give their customers the opportunity to choose Caribbean. “The response has been good,” she says. “I can’t keep it on the shelves. Necker Island couldn’t find it on the shelves, so they tracked me down.” Other hotels and restaurants in the area serve the coffee, and local gift shops and grocery stores sell it.

Photo by Traci O'Dea.

Libbie’s company also directly benefits the BVI because she employs the participants enrolled in BVI Services’ adult day programs to assist with packaging and labelling the coffee. “I’m so relieved to have BVI Services on board. It’s great having them,” she says and mentions that she's happy to help the community. For more information and ordering info, check out the website: www.caribbeanmountaincoffee.com.  

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