Stoneleigh Estate - The Shirley Family
Our family’s passion for coffee began more than thirty years ago when our father, St. Clair Shirley, decided to follow his dream and farm one of the most sought after coffees on the planet. Impressed by the distinct characteristics of the Stoneleigh Estate, he knew this land would help bring his dream to life.
Our father’s work ethic and attention to detail in all aspects of this tender process has made all the difference in the consistency and quality of the beans. We watched our father teach the farm workers how to till the soil, plant the seedlings, tend the trees and make sure that only the ripest coffee cherries were handpicked for maximum flavor. We also learned, first-hand, how to process, dry and sort only the finest beans and now we, his sons, have mastered the roasting process to bring the finished Stoneleigh Coffee to the market.
We, the Shirley family, now bring the expertise of both father and sons to take the Stoneleigh Coffee to another level all the while reinforcing the importance of ethical and sustainable practises for Jamaica, our home.
Our family is actively involved in promoting the coffee industry and committed to growing, processing and exporting the best quality Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
In the early 1700s King Louis XV shipped three coffee plants from France to the island of Martinique. Two of these plants did not survive, but one did, and cuttings from this plant were then brought to Jamaica five years later. These cuttings were planted in the rich Blue Mountain soil and thrived. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jamaican coffee plantations have faced many challenges over these many years, from labour shortages, to impactful weather conditions. Many farms folded under these pressures and others started to blend the beans to maximize their profit. As a result, the quality of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee was compromised. The Jamaican Coffee Industry Board was developed in 1953 to create and enforce standards for the country to follow. Stoneleigh Estates not only upholds these standards, but also continues to play an integral role in shaping them.
Stoneleigh Estate continues to adapt, face all challenges head-on, and find new and better ways to make superb premium coffee. The roasting process is just the final addition to our dedication.