There is nothing that beats that special weekend pleasure of indulging in truly awesome coffees, and in honor of the project of the unique history of the coffee island of Guadeloupe that I am working on as I am writing these lines, I am enjoying an AMAZING coffee from Habitation La Grivelière, the OLDEST coffee plantation still in operation today, located in the heart of the tiny town of Vieux-Habitants on Basse-Terre in this magnificent Caribbean island nation. A little over a year ago I had the immense pleasure of visiting this farm first hand, and while Guadeloupe is the closest I have ever come to find true Paradise on earth with its incredible lush and green mountain valleys, La Grivelière plantation is the closest you can come to “Disney Land for Coffee Lovers” today. The farm dates back to the early 1750s and has produced coffee continuously for close to 300 years. The notes of these wonderful beans are similar and as outstanding as in my earlier report on Guadeloupe coffee, so please enjoy this coffee review here below!
And remember, the new crop of this tiny boutique origin is just NOW between March and May hitting the retail stores in a few select markets including Paris and Tokyo, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to try these beans! For more on Habitation La Grivelière, please see this report;
JAN 24, 2015–UPDATE: SpillingTheBeans has ARRIVED in Guadeloupe and is drinking coffee from Guadeloupe IN Guadeloupe, crazy exciting and looking forward to share lots and lots of insight details with you in the coming days and weeks!
It’s not for nothing that French roasters Malongo Coffee call their Guadeloupe Bonifieur blend the “rebirth of an exceptional coffee” from the heart of the Caribbean. One of the first islands and origins in the world to embark on coffee cultivation in 1721 Guadeloupe is one of the 20 something “world’s tiniest coffee islands” but one of the only tiny islands home to a real coffee industry.
Much of the revival and restructure of the island’s coffee industry is owed to Malongo’s involvement which, starting close to two decades ago, brought new-found interest to the coffee of this beautiful little island. And all us coffee lovers REALLY ought to be happy about that because this Coffee of The Day is truly extraordinary; the perhaps best island coffee I have ever tried, Guadeloupe coffee is superbly well balanced with a full aroma, incredible body, elegant acidity and the medium-roasted beans leaves a mind-blowingly beautiful after-taste lingering for hours after the last zip.
Happy Coffee Drinking
Dear Maja, I am very much interested in getting some Guadeloupe Bonifeur, could you please advise on the procurement details? I have been wanting to try this type of coffee about 4 years ago, but it seems to be HARD getting one. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Best regards, Kester
Dear Kester, thanks for your mail and I have to admit that going to Guadeloupe this year was a real dream come true, I have for years been in love with the Bonifeur coffee… but as you say, it is extremely difficult to get hold off, both because of the seasonality but also because it is such a tiny crop, and of the entire harvest probably half is sold in the local market, mostly tourists. The little share of the crop, usually the very best beans, are sold almost exclusively to the Malongo Cafe company in France which usually sells it in their stores across Paris, including one in LaFayette where I normally get friends visiting Paris to bring me a few pounds. There are also a few other coffee shops/roasters in Paris selling the “Vanibel” brand from a single estate in Guadeloupe. And then there are small lots going to Japan. Occasionally the Sea Island Coffees roasters in London also sell the Vanibel brand. I am not sure if you can actually buy any of this online, but I will try to find out and get back to you. In the meantime, and I don’t know where you live, but your best bet is to try to get someone to bring you a pound in whole beans from Paris. It’s not easy, but it is SOOoooo worth the efforts because it really is among the Grand Cru of coffees 🙂