REMOTE RASTAFARIAN VILLAGE | Blue Mountains, Jamaica


This is real. No tobacco. No nothing in it. It’s pure 100 % herb. Good morning, guys, and welcome back to Vagabrothers. Right now we are in the misty, gorgeous Blue Mountains of Jamaica. We’ve taken a crazy steep road up from the Port of Kingston, and we’re up here with some coffee. If you’ve heard of the Blue Mountains, you’ve probably heard of it because of Blue Mountain coffee, which is one of the most expensive and sought after coffees in the entire world. We’re going to the Old Tavern Coffee Estate and find out what makes Blue Mountain coffee so special. I’m Alex. Hi Alex. How are you doing? David. Hi. Marko. We’re on the Old Tavern Coffee Estate, which is a family farm started by my parents as a hobby and has grown into a substantial commercial farm. We grow, roast, package and sell coffee both for local consumption and for overseas and as far as we can for direct sale to a consumer. How much coffee do you produce compared to I don’t know, like maybe in other countries where they grow a lot of coffee? Even some of our Central American neighbors will be producing easily 15-20 times the amount of coffee Jamaica does. What is the life span of a coffee plant? Think of a coffee plant almost like a person. Its prime of life is from 5 or 6 years old until it’s about 40. So we’ve got 10 years left, Alex. And then we’re going to wither away. Nobody’s going to drink our coffee. Getting old. Yup, but then the ladies keep on coming back to you because they say, “Yeah, but..” That’s my coffee. That’s the real one.That’s a cup for me. It’s all in the wisdom. It might not bear every year, but when it does, oh boy. After much anticipation, trying Blue Mountain Coffee. It’s extremely well balanced. It’s really not that bitter at all. It’s super mild. The reason that this is so expensive and so sought after is for two reasons: on the supply side, there’s not a lot of it. This coffee has to be grown at a certain altitude. I believe above 4000 feet, and there’s only five certified estates. On the demand side, there’s just high demand, especially in Japan where 80 % of this coffee is shipped. Right now we are walking down to the actual plantation where the coffee is being grown. It’s a pretty incredible feat of natural perseverance. The coffee plant can grow on an almost vertical slope. You can see coffee actually comes with a pulp around it like this. Before the coffee makes it to your cup, the bean is harvested, the pulp is removed. It’s then dried and then roasted. These are also actually the same mountains that inspired Bob Marley’s song Natural Mystic and Misty Morning. This is a very, very cool experience. We have been going to so many coffee shops around the world and seeing the final product, learning about origins. But to actually come to the place where it is grown. And to come where it is grown is such short supply and at the perfect time for harvesting. This has been such an awesome experience sampling some of the world’s best coffee right at the source. We’re going to head over to a different part of the Blue Mountains and experience something else that is quintessentially Jamaican, Rastafarianism. You ready? Let’s go. We’ve left the coffee plantation, and now we are heading to a Rastafarian village that’s deep in the Blue Mountains. We’ve just parked the car, and we still have to walk, but it’s pretty insane. You can already hear the drum circle. I’ve only experienced Rastafarian culture through popular media, like music and TV. This is an actual village. It’s a way of life that is very organic to here, in Jamaica. So let’s go check it out. It’s very steep. These valleys just go up, down, up ,down, which is why cool things can be preserved in mountains. I have been a big fan of reggae music for a very, very long time, but this experience….. I have no idea what to expect. This is going to be cool. The main ceremony is finished. They’ve broken for lunch, and we’ve been invited inside of the high priest’s house. He’s going to explain a little bit more about what Rastafarianism is. I am Priest Dermot Fagan, the founder for this society in the Blue Mountains. The society’s name is Selassie, School of the Jah. When you say school, not academical, but theological. I didn’t put church because when you say church, most people try to shun the idea so I say Here’s Selassie, School of the Jah. Bible study, prophesy, so much worship. Our mission at this time is to sensitivise the people and respect to the Christ which is not an easy road Some people are offended trying to propagate the emperor as the returned Messiah. When we say returned messiah, we are seeking to say it was him that came 2000 years ago in a different name, Yahushua, by the Hebrews. All of us Rastans don’t say the same thing, but speaking from School of Jah point of view, we want the world to know that we don’t have no place for racial superiority or racial inferiority. By the device of the emperor, what we look at is universal brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ, regardless of your race. We prefer the understanding that our flesh is created equally in the sight of the Almighty God. I think that was incredible. I think Rastafarianism is so 100 % authentically Jamaican. Blue Mountain Coffee is something you only find in this exact region. I think when you’re traveling to the Caribbean, you’ve got so many choices of islands. Why choose Jamaica? The answer is things like these; this is an exporter of culture throughout the whole region. Jamaica makes its mark felt on its neighbors, and what we just experienced today are two experiences you would not find anywhere else and that we’re very privileged to have seen. I didn’t know much about Blue Mountain Coffee before hand. I just knew that it was expensive, and I had never tried it. But having tried it, honestly, it’s just the smoothest coffee I’ve ever had. Coming here and exploring the Blue Mountains and hiking up to this remote Rastafarian village and being welcomed by the villagers; being allowed to witness and partake in their sabbath day was just something that was unforgettable and one of the coolest cultural experiences I’ve had in a long time. Thank you. But we are not done yet with the Blue Mountains. We’re heading deeper, and we’re going to be exploring an older and equally interesting story: that of the Maroons. Stay tuned.

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