Haitian Bleu coffee unavailableThe devastating earthquake in southwestern Haiti occasioned a report that Haitian Bleu coffee is unavailable in North America. Coffee has long been a major crop in the island nation, but it was "ordinary" coffee and not premium coffee. In the early 1990s US aid workers encouraged Haitian farmers to grow a premium coffee that became known as Haitian Bleu. It was similar to--but less expensive than--the much prized Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Unfortunately, Haitian coffee farms were badly damaged by a hurricane in 2008. What small crops have been produced since then have gone entirely to France. For more, see here.
Alcoholism and the search for morality in Jamaica (article)
Cannabis and West Indian migration (article)
James Mills, "Cannabis, Colour and West Indian Migration to Britain, 1945 to 1960,"Revue Francaise de Civilisation Britannique 14/3 (2007): 103-114.
Hurricanes and coffee
Recent hurricanes threaten Jamaica's coffee production. For details, see here.
Drunkenness in the West Indies (article)
Claire E. Swan, "'A life of debauchery, vice and drunkenness': the journal of Jonathan Troup, or two years in the West Indies," Scottish Archives 12 (2006): 29-41.
British West Indies garrison, 1792-1815 (dissertation)
Robin Walter McCarter, "Johnny Newcome's poison: alcohol use and abuse in the British West Indies garrison, 1792-1815" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Connecticut, 2001).
Tobacco in 17th cent. England and Jamaica (article)
Georgia L. Fox, "Interpreting Socioeconomic Changes in 17th-Century England and Port Royal, Jamaica, Through Analysis of the Port Royal Kaolin Clay Pipes," International Journal of Historical Archaeology 6/1 (March 2002): 61-78.
Corpse pickled in rum
According to this Reuters report, a group of Hungarian workers found the body of man in a cask of rum. It had been in there for twenty years. The rum had a "special taste" which the enjoyed until the discovery. Reminds me of an Edgar Allan Poe story.
A website entitled 'The Afrocentric Experience: Ganja - The Herb of Inspiration' can be found here. The site outlines the role of marijuana in the religious and cultural life of Rastafarians from the Caribbean, the United States, Europe and Africa.
Alcohol In Caribbean Slave Societies
An essay by Frederick H. Smith, entitled "Spirits And Spirituality: Alcohol In Caribbean Slave Societies," can be found here.