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Guadeloupe Coffee History
In 1723, Gabriel Math
Dieu de Clieu, a young French Naval officer fell in love with the exquisite taste of coffee, by then a newly discovered product. Mr. de Clieu was so infatuated with the taste of the arabica Typica coffee variety that he took many risks and exposed himself to many perils in order to take a coffee plant from the Royal Botany Garden in Paris to the the Island of Martinique in the Caribbean to start to grow it there. He thought that the climate of the Caribbean was ideal to produce excellent quality coffee.
Shortly afterwards, in the year of 1726, the same Mr. de Clieu introduced from
Martinique some coffee seedlings to the neighbor Island of Guadeloupe. Mr. de Clieu
became Governor of Guadeloupe in 1728.
Guadeloupe is the oldest region in America growing coffee commercially today,
although in a very limited way since its production is very small.
The coffee produced in Guadeloupe is of the arabica Typica variety and is the purest arabica Typica in the world today since it comes directly from the seeds introduced by Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu to Martinique in 1723.
Since Guadeloupe is an Island, the arabica Typica variety introduced in the year 1726 has remained totally and absolutely pure since no mix with other arabica coffee varieties occurred because no other arabica coffee varieties have been introduced to Guadeloupe ever.
We can say without any doubt that this is the original and purest arabica Typica that exists in the world today, it exhibits the same original taste of coffee produced almost 300 years ago and the same taste that made Mr. Gabriel Mathie de Clieu fell in love coffee.
This is a unique situation since all the coffee producing countries in the world have
experienced throughout the years many introductions of different varieties like Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Catuai, etc. so the pure, original taste of typica has been lost due to the inter-varietal mix that occurs naturally, as a result, the resulting taste is a mix of the taste of all those varieties.
Domaine de Vanibel
The Vanibel Estate is a charming self-catering accommodation located in the South of Guadeloupe, the French island with its butterfly shape.
The estate is situated 350 meters of altitude near the small village of Vieux Habitants, in the heart of the region named “Côte sous le Vent” well-known for its traditions and natural environment. The reason of the Vanibel name is because the farm still produces natural vanilla. The estate is owned by Mr. Joel Nelson and his wife.
Domaine de Vanibel coffee is 100% Typica introduced directly by Monsiuer de Clieu to Guadeloupe in 1726. In order to protect the delicate quality of this coffee it is produced following the highest environmental and quality standards, our coffee has the following characteristics:
• 100% arabica Typica (notice reddish-colored leaves in the picture)
• Altitude: 350 meters above sea level
• Natural fermentation"
The coffee produced at Domaine de Vanibel is carefully processed mostly by hand in order to preserve its unique and delicate characteristics.
This is a coffee that doesn`t express any of its taste characteristics in a strident way, in other words, you don`t have a high acidity, or a strong body, or a heavy aroma, instead, what you have is a mild, delicate expression of the acidity, body, and aroma , this mildness is what makes this coffee different and unique and is probably what made Mr. de Clieu fall in love with it. This is definitely not an everyday coffee, this is a coffee that, like an extraordinary wine, should be enjoyed just for very special ocassions.
Domaine de Vanibel coffee is produced in very limited amounts and it is extremely difficult to obtain. Most of the production is consumed locally in gourmet restaurants at 5 star hotels. Its price is expensive when compared with other conventional coffees but its quality and uniqueness makes it worth the price. Guadeloupe is a French territory so the labor costs are very high when compared with other coffee producing countries, this fact also contributes to the high price of this elite coffee.
Tradition and authenticity
A fine coffee never dies, at least if we apply to preserve the authenticity. The unquestionable remains of the 19th century coffee mill testify to Vanibel hold coffee farming tradition.
Privileged, as located in the south of the island, "Vieux Habitants" is precisely situated on this coast beneath the wind on the hillside. Vanibel is the ideal place for the coffee farming, with its volcanic ground, its high humidity level and hydrometry.
The coffee farming had, for a long time, providing wealthiness to the farms located on “La Côte Sous le Vent”. The Coffea Arabica was brought in Guadeloupe around 1725; at that time the guadeloupean coffee was considered as on of the best coffee in the world.
Thus, the Vanibel Estate has managed to bring out and put together the agricultural heritage (coffee, vanilla and banana farming) with the local architecture symbolised by its self-catering accommodations in the country