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Vacation in St. Lucia

I got back last week from a wonderful trip to St. Lucia, a little island in the Caribbean. I had a few coffee experiences and a few other "adult beverage" experiences. Since I want my coffee shop to be more than just coffee, I am always looking for drink ideas.

After 8 hours of flying and the most miserable 1.5 hour drive through the winding mountains, we arrived at our resort. The resort was nice, but the best part was the food and drinks...but we'll focus on the drinks.

One of the first things I noticed was that when they asked if I wanted coffee, they would say, "would you like an Blue Mountain coffee?" I thought that was weird at first but then I realized that I was very close to Jamaica. So they were pointing out that they provide Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. I was excited because Jamaica Blue Mountain has that reputation of being one of the best coffees in the world. I have also read that was a long time ago because the soil was not taken care of properly so the quality has degraded dramatically. Either way, I was excited to have it...and it was good. They made their coffee nice and strong. I half expected watered down hotel coffee, but it seemed they brewed it well. It didn't have any sort of distinct flavor, because it was still mass produced. I would say it was probably the best diner coffee I have ever had.

I wanted to buy some to bring home and share with my friends, but the gift shops were selling it for $28/lb. Holy Cow! They are selling the reputation more than anything. That's crazy talk. Now if I had gone to Jamaica and bought from some vendors, I'm sure I could have gotten a better price. To be honest, my island was nice and I enjoyed my vacation, but if I would have remembered that Jamaica produces a good amount of coffee, I would have chosen it over St. Lucia so I could do a farm tour.

In the evenings our beverage changed to the alcohol variety. After a day or two, I was so sick and tired of fruity drinks I couldn't stand it. So I looked at the bartender and said, "make me something with Beaily's." He replied, "I'll hook you up." He then started looking at random bottles and started mixing. He made us a drink with Vanilla Vodka, Chocolate Liquer, Bailey's and Milk. I found out later that people call that a chocolate martini. It was amazing. We got one...or two...every night.

Later, I asked that same bartender to talk to me a little about St. Lucia Rum. He taught me about how rum is made and how the people's favorite changed and how locals like to drink (they finish bottles in one sitting). He let me try a shot of Chairman's Reserve. I don't really drink anything straight, but this actually had flavor and didn't taste just like fire. He followed that up with a cocktail of Rum, Lime juice (not sweet/sour) and Sugar Juice, as he called it (basically simple syrup). This was amazing as well.

We had a great time and learned a lot about different drinks. I look forward to sharing these with people in the future.

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