From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Blue Brew

Sohm looks at the color and how fine the mousse is — the fine streams of bubbles — a sign of great quality.

Wine and Spirits

How to Drink Grower Champagne

Legendary sommelier Aldo Sohm on rarer bubbles.

Tonga Room, San Francisco.

Wine and Spirits

The Sweet Escape

On the enduring allure of the tiki bar.

The Hoodie of the Future


The Hoodie of the Future

British clothier Vollebak makes garments for today’s superhero.

Bumping along a dirt track in his mud-spattered Land Rover, with two huge dogs riding in the back, Alex Twyman inspects the ripening red berries of his crop on the northern slopes of a 130-acre estate in Jamaica's Blue Mountains. In his rumpled work shirt and scruffy boots, he doesn't look like a coffee baron. But what started out as a hobby for Twyman in the 1960s has turned into Jamaica's premie coffee plantation. At present, he's the only planter licensed to market his herbicide-free beans independently; others are obliged to sell their harvest to the local coffee board.

Twyman is also a longtime advocate of an appellation system, similar to that used by vineyard owners in France and California, to classify Blue Mountain coffee estates. In other words, Jamaican coffee could eventually cost as much as a Bordeaux premier cru.

At 4,000 feet, the Jamaican rain forest is usually shrouded in mist, which means a longer growing season and concentrated flavor in the bean. And, as most caffeine addicts can tell you, the island's java ranks right up there with Kona or Sumatra blends.

Twyman waxes poetic about the proper way to make a cup of coffee—never freeze the beans, grind no more than five minutes before percolating, sweeten with honey instead of sugar. A custom-built, propane-fired roaster takes pride of place in the farmhouse pantry, where his wife, Dorothy, processes every pound of Old Tavern Proprietor's Choice by hand. The result is an exceptionally complex brew with hints of spice and wine, but not the harsh jolt of regular coffee. "Blue Mountain has half the caffeine of other beans," says Twyman, who won't sip anything else. As a British expat, he has good reason: "I'm actually a born tea drinker." $40— $50 per pound. Orders can be placed by calling 800-642-5282, or faxing 404-233-6528. Old Tavern Estate, P.O. Box 131, Kingston 8, Jamaica; 876-924-2785;


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.

Come On In

U.S. issued American Express Platinum Card® and Centurion® Members, enter the first six digits of your card number to access your complimentary subscription.

Learn about membership.