Spread the niceness

Cradled in the crisp subclimate of the Blue Mountains lies the Clifton Mount Estate. Established over 270 years ago, it is said to be one of, if not the oldest coffee estate still brewing! At the time of my visit with other Love Not Likes members, it was known as the only local coffee-selling farm with a certified Rainforest Alliance Seal. This indicates a successful audit to meet environmental, social, and economic sustainability standards.

To preserve its environs, Clifton Mount Estate isn’t open to public tours

Unbranded photos by David Newland

Clifton Mount Coffee Estate

Beyond the Jamaica Defence Force’s Training Camp is a shaded roadway that leads to the estate’s proudly displayed signage. Either direction from there will take you to a treat!

Clifton Mount Estate Coffee Tour

To the left is Clifton Mount’s working coffee factory where one of Jamaica’s hottest commodities (literally) is made. While roaming the property you’ll notice coffee blossoms and beans among the plants. If lucky, you could sample a ripened ruby-coloured bean. Our host Mr. Jason Sharp demonstrated how the machinery separates good coffee beans, washes them with fresh water from the valley, then peels and grinds them ahead of fermentation. It wasn’t a manual hands-on experience like another coffee tour I did previously; it’s nice to see varied tools in the coffee-making process. As we stood on the platform to observe the beans being processed, the rolling mountains in view perfectly complement the whole scene.

Clifton Mount Estate produces Blue Mountain coffee for a favourite local chain, Cafe Blue

Clifton Mount Estate Jamaica

To the right of the entrance sign is a descending slope that’ll lead to a pleasing sight. In addition to the enviable 360 green views, the sizable property boasts a colourful floral collection. In the centre of the manicured gardens is a pond, with a charming pastel house and mountaintops completing the backdrop. I’ve visited a botanical garden in the mountains before, but the kaleidoscope of tiered flower beds and whimsical trees really left me awestruck!

Coffee barrel replicas befittingly hold the door of the quaint yellow cottage open. Its old-fashioned furnishings and decor create a comforting warmth; the best way I can think to describe it is like being at grandma’s house. In here we shared a couch by the fireplace to learn more about Clifton Mount Estate and of course, our world famous Blue Mountain coffee .

After a quick history lesson, the kitchen brought out helpings of fragrant pour over coffee and Cafe Blue pastries. We enjoyed our delights with a side of views, just outside either end of the house. With both doors left open, the cool air danced throughout the house, making the steaming cup of brew that much more satisfying! Before the entrance is a white bench providing a front row seat to the cascading gardens. There’s also a small wooden gazebo adorned with wrapping shrubbery. At the rear end of the cottage is a flight of flower-framed stairs descending to a wider gazebo facing the bluish hue of the mountains. 

Travel Tip: Wear comfy shoes and bring a sweater

Cafe Blue , Irish Town Jamaica

We ventured to the original Cafe Blue for lunch, one of the eateries of the Blue Mountain Culinary Trail. It sits lower on the elevation and offers a selection of sweet treats, meals, and coffee drinks. Whenever I’m hosting visitors to the island, I usually opt to visit this location as 1 of my favourite things to do in Kingston. From the plain, it’s not that long a drive compared to some of my other favourite places in the mountains. 

I’m very thankful I was fortunate enough to be invited to this beautiful place that only some get to experience.

From what I’ve shared, what feature of the historic Clifton Mount Coffee Estate intrigues you the most???

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