The Caribbean island nations were some of the first places coffee was grown for European markets, and their bittersweet presence coincides with a history of colonization and the slave trade. Sugar, cacao and coffee have all been intertwined in the economies of the Caribbean.
Coffee was labor intensive, but more limited geographically due to the altitude and climate it needs to grow. While the Caribbean nations were once the major suppliers of the world’s coffee, they now figure much less in the global supply chain. And in fact many communities drink all the coffee they grow, so there is little left over to sell abroad!
In terms of taste, there is more in common with these coffee regions, due to the climatic factors influences of island agriculture. Marine weather patterns combined with the moderate altitudes of coffee production result in mild, medium to low-acid coffees. Some of the most sought-after, like Jamaica from the Blue Mountains are pleasant, soft coffees, but globally they are difficult to relate to the intense top-note coffees of other regions.