Sourcing Great Coffee Beans for Sint Maarten

Getting good coffee on this island is a challenge. That’s funny because we live right in the middle of the some of the world’s best coffee countries. So you’d expect a larger selection. Sadly, the opposite is true.

While every coffee selling business here seems to focus on making coffee from cups (Nespresso, Lavazza, Illy) and the local population mostly used to and stuck with cheap, large scale, commercially produced filter coffee such as Santa Domingo ground coffee, very few places have whole coffee beans to begin with.

When I started to make an inventory of the equipment needed to create a Specialty Coffee shop on St Maarten, I immediately noticed the lack of good grinders & espresso machines, long delivery times, uncertain product availability and total lack of good single-origin coffee beans. Malongo, a large French roaster with a presence on the French side of this island (Saint Martin) was the exception. Sadly, their stock was low, the beans old (almost a year after packaging date, no roast date mentioned anywhere!) and the selection limited to four countries: Brasil, Colombia, Rwanda, Ethiopia. And they had just survived hurricane Irma as well but I have no idea how good or bad their stock survived that storm.

So I am doing what everybody here does: if you can’t get it here and people won’t get it for you, you find and buy it yourself in the US, send it to Miami, FL, and have it shipped here by one of the several shipping companies that visit the island at least twice week. Here’s the list of roasters that I’ve contacted and who’ve replied to me they’d be interested in selling us beans at wholesale:

I’m very excited to make a choice from these wonderful companies, their coffee descriptions online give me a lot of confidence that they are indeed “Third Wave Roasters” and take quality seriously. I still have an order coming in from Malongo that will last a while, but their orders take 2 months to fulfill and that’s simply too long. I contacted Smit & Dorlas in Curaçao but they don’t have single origin coffees, only blends – but can ship these in 2 weeks -, and blends are not what I want to serve in the Double Dutch Cafe for black coffees, if at all possible.

I will blog about the progress that I’m making in getting serious coffee to St Maarten and having people take coffee more seriously on this island. 🙂

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No Pressure Coffee and Double Dutch CafĂ©

Proud to announce a cooperation between No Pressure Coffee and the new food corner inside the Market Garden supermarket: Double Dutch.

The Double Dutch Café, also known as the Market (Garden) Café, serves breakfast and lunch with a variety of ready-to-eat products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies, to espresso, Cappuccino and Cortado, iced coffees, to sandwiches, overnight oats, fruit salads, rotisserie chicken, sushi homemade soups and Johnny Cakes baked fresh all day long.

No Pressure Coffee provided consulting on the coffee corner in the cafe. Where to place.the espresso machine, which grinders would work for the expected volume, which beans to use, calibration of the machinery and the coffee recipes. 4 local employees where chosen to get elementary training to make the top 3 key popular coffee drinks: espresso, cappuccino and latte. Work book with guides and rules were established fitting for a coffee shop that aims for establishing specialty coffee on the island of St Maarten.

The cafe is competitively priced and features an outside seating area. The new food corner complements the already well-known breakfast and lunch buffets of the supermarket. The Double Dutch food corner also serves the hotel guests who are staying in the Commodore Suites, so there is a steady flow of people and products.

The final layout of the food area inside the supermarket is not yet established so expect to see some changes throughout the year until we settle in what works the best.

Expect more choices among the favorite dishes from around the world in a mix of international foods and snacks.