Stoneleigh Estate - The Shirley Family
Stoneleigh Family Business - David & Stephen Shirley
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 the tender coffee bean cultivation process has made all the difference in the consistency and quality of our beans. As young boys we watched him 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 flavour. As we grew he taught us, first-hand, how to process, dry and sort only the finest beans. Now we, over the past ten years, have mastered the roasting process in order to bring the richest Stoneleigh Coffee to the market.
The Shirley passion for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is fortified through “team work”. We have created Stoneleigh Coffee by combining our new roasting skills with the ingrained expertise of our father.
Our family is actively involved in promoting the coffee industry while reinforcing the importance of ethical and sustainable practices for Jamaica, our home. We are committed to growing, processing and exporting the best quality Jamaica 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 5 years later. These cuttings were planted in the rich Blue Mountain soil and thrived and the rest, 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 for many years. The Jamaican Coffee Industry Board was developed in 1953 to create and enforce standards for the country to follow. Stoneleigh Estate not only upholds these standards, but also plays an integral role in shaping them.
We, the Shirley family, continue to face all challenges head on and adapt by finding new and better ways to make superb premium coffee. The roasting process is just the final addition to our dedication.