A Tale about Coffee, Macaws & the Caribbean
In the 1720s, a French naval captain named Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, who was stationed in the Caribbean, wooed his way into the hearts of several members of French royalty and secretly gained access to coffee seedlings from the Royal French garden. Although coffee was not yet available in the Caribbean, de Clieu was convinced that coffee plants would thrive there, so he personally (and illicitly) escorted these seedlings by sea back to the island of Martinique (hence, leading to our use of the fabled Martinique Macaw in our logo).
Along the way, he and the ship’s crew faced significant trials that threatened their lives and delayed their arrival, including near capture from pirates, a huge tempest and then a windless calm that left the ship dead in the water for weeks. As a consequence of the delays, the crew were forced to ration food and water. So, Captain de Clieu devotedly shared his scanty water rations with the coffee seedlings.
When the ship finally arrived in Martinique, the captain planted the one surviving seedling on his estate. The outcome was astonishing. De Clieu’s belief that coffee plants would thrive in the region was absolutely correct. And from that one plant, many others grew rapidly across the island and eventually across the region. In fact, the vast majority of coffee in the Caribbean today is still said to find its origin from de Clieu’s original seedling.
Thankfully, lots of things have changed since the 1700s, within and beyond the coffee industry. However, we at Caribbean Coffee Company share some of the same core values associated with de Clieu’s historical endeavor. Our coffee production starts with the highest quality green arabica beans from around the world, which we roast with the greatest care and ingenuity. We’re driven by that same passion and love of coffee and we’re committed to bringing excellent coffee to all the people and places it belongs – namely, to you, our customers and those to whom you seek to bring joy and the refined pleasures of the culinary arts.