Choosing your coffee !

When purchasing coffee they are so many different kinds to choose from! From dark to light, Blue Mountain, Italian, Guatemalan, whole beans, already ground… it can be overwhelming to say the least!

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To create a really great cup of coffee or shot of espresso, you need two things: high quality coffee and high-quality equipment. The type of bean you use, for me it’s Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, combined with your chosen equipment, is the determining factor to the taste, flavor, and satisfaction you get out of your cup of coffee or shot of espresso.

Tales of the beans:

What species of coffee beans? Arabica or Robusta? These two beans varieties are harvested, used and taste differently. Robusta beans are more function over style whilst Arabica beans are all about style and substance. Knowing the difference between the two will help you when purchasing coffee that will meet your expectations.

Generally, Arabica coffee are grown at a high altitude, and cultivated with a lot of tender love and care. They carry more chromosomes than Robusta and also they are dark green in colour when green compared to the Robusta that is pale green and a bit smaller in size.

The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is from the Arabica species and as a result it is a superior brew whose flavors are milder, more aromatic, and overall less bitter than those produce by Robusta beans. This is what makes the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee richer in every sense of the word.

Coffee and wine are my superpower !

I will refer to today (Feb. 17, 2019) as Sunday Funday, because even though I didn’t do much it was a fantastic fun loving day with the family. Sundays for me are really a chill day. Usually I get out of bed when I am ready and everything that I do during the day is really at my own pause.

I have coffee every morning but some mornings it’s a bit more magical to sit and sip my Blue Mountain coffee, without any distractions. This morning was one such morning as I got up before everyone and as I meditate the black coffee tasted super delicious. The morning was easy going, when the family woke up, I made breakfast and we chatted and laughed as we ate.

During the day we ran a few errands and went and supported our friends daughter at a swim meet.

We return home and everyone settled in our own routine. I opened a lovely bottle of George Duboeuf, Brouilly 2016 red wine. It was very easy to drink by itself, releasing lively fruit flavors with balanced acidity and medium finish. I liked wine from I was in my twenties. But I just like it more now in my forties. As they say wine gets better with age, I guess my palate gets better with age.

This bottle of red wine is light to medium body, with clear ruby red color and it releases ripe raspberry and cherry aromas. I think to myself life is good! And it was even more delicious with my Sunday pork chops.

Come back soon Sunday!

#onelove

Wine lady Rica

Cricket in my blood ๐Ÿ

For many of us who were born in the 70’s, cricket was a family activity with the entire family. Man, I remember as a child, we would play cricket using what ever we have at the time to bat and bowl. I am talking about sour orange, stuffed box juice box, yea box juice box and the occasional real ball. Then we would use bats made from coconut husk, and any possible thing you can imagine. Life was great!

When the West Indies team played, we would listen on the radio. My father would have his radio and we would rally. Hence Sir Viv (the master blaster) will forever and ever be my favorite cricketer.

Fast forward to recent times; our boys were not the same! But as I always say win, lose or draw I rally. Over the last week, I felt a renewed sense of pride. The West Indies vs England test series is almost finished and I had the opportunity to cheer on my team during the 2nd test match, and what a fantastic win it was.

On the first day I went to the Sir Vivian Richard stadium at 4pm, and even though England was not doing good, the English supporters were out in there numbers and were in good spirits. On the second day, again I went late at 3pm, because I had to work. I could hear the barmy army chanting and trying to motivate their team, but the West Indies team was on point; they were playing ball. I met some friends, and two were celebrating birthdays so we used the opportunity to celebrate the birthdays and the direction the Windies were going. On the third day needless to say I was at the venue early.

The game finished in three days and with England batting first and scoring 187 and 132 while West Indies scored 306 and 17 without loss. The Antigua massive showed up and rallied. This day was magical, from the crowd giving a standing ovation when Alzarri Joseph came out to bat in memory of his mother to Roach bowling.

And just like that the game came to an end. Since no cricket tomorrow why not extend the cricketing day. My crew and I decided to stay in the party stand. The after party was wikid! We went to the party and we do what we do best… we drink, dance and celebrate as only we can in the West Indies.

#rally #rallyroundthewestindies #nowandforevermore

Cricket lovely cricket ๐Ÿ

I had the opportunity of being in the same space with the West Indies Female Cricket team, and what a wonderful experience it was! The ladies were such good sports and the camaraderie between each other was a beautiful display of how a team should be on and off the field.

I am a cricket fan! Win, lose or draw. I #rally for both the male and female West Indies team (even though sometime the boys make it hard). But after my first time watching the female team in 2017 I fell in love with them. They played with passion and a winning attitude.

I was all hyped for the ICC Women T20 World Cup semi finals and final, that played in Antigua and Barbuda, November 22 and 24, 2018. My crew and I were at the venue two hours before the game started. Our girls won the toss and decided to let Australia bat. The Aussies made a good show but we were not afraid, we will pass that score we thought #rally. Unfortunately, we were bowled out and we lost the match.

I was sad that we didn’t win! But, my heart went out for my girls when the team walked around the stadium. They were sad and some of them in tears. We cheered them on and we rallied around the West Indies.

Great job ladies! I am so proud of every one of the beautiful women and I wish only the best on and off the field for them.

Thanks for the PASSION, LOVE AND RESPECT you showed to the game and the fans.

One love

Wine lady Rica

Nola and Phoenix – cheers to a great time!

I love vacations! It is time to relax, free up and let go… my vacation this time took me to New Orleans, Louisiana and Phoenix, Arizona.

I was already excited before I left Antigua and nothing or no one could possibly spoil that. I was going to see my one and only daughter, my love, Christina and celebrate her birthday with her. On the morning of August 30th I went into office for a meeting, which started late and took longer than I anticipated. Needless to say I have to finish packing, so I was not amused. But alas I went home packed and headed to the airport.

Boarded my flight and settled in my seat for the three hour plus flight. A lovely couple was seated beside me. It was their first time visiting Antigua and they were so excited to share their stories at Galley Bay Hotel. The highlight being the turtle hatch watching and the wonderful staff and people of Antigua. I arrived at Miami International Airport and I had four hours layover. Oh Lordy! What am I going to do? I decided to find a nice airport restaurant and have a meal of salmon and Prosecco! Dinner for one never taste so good ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿฝ. After a few glasses it was time for the next leg of my journey. This flight was ram packed, so I sat at the window seat and it was nap time. Here comes another couple next to me but this time I felt as if I was about to pass out as a very unbearable smell filled my nostrils and stirred everything in my tummy. Oh lord I have to move from this seat but as luck would have it NO MORE SEATS! Worst flight ever.

Got into New Orleans and just like that I didn’t remember my awful experience on the flight. The daughter and one of my two nieces came to the airport and both of them jumped on me. Highlight of the day! The following day was a school and work day and everyone had on costumes except Alex. She had to wear her uniform.

In the night the neighborhood came alive in a spooky kind of way. We went to a Halloween party and the decorations were extreme. They were amazing from the entrance to inside the house to the courtyard were fabulously decorated.

The wines list was extensive and some really lovely ones were in the mix of things. Names and labels were appropriately matching themes for the night. These are the ones I had:

The rest of the trip was filled with live music, art show, shopping, dining out and laughters, Algiers Fork Art Festival, Bourbon Street and how could I forget visits to UNO and hanging out with my only daughter.

I was very happy to be in New Orleans, especially to celebrate Tina’s 19th birthday with her.

Now on to the next leg – Phoenix, Arizona

The flight into Dallas was uneventful and I got to catch up on some well needed rest. Likewise, the one into Phoenix was also uneventful, except I watched a movie.

Welcome to the desert. It was 10 pm and I was ready to crash but crash I will not. The family was at the airport and in true Douglas style (or should I say Mommy) ready to chat and laugh.

The following day I followed Cheryl to her Chemo Doctors for an update and this was the best day ever! The News was excellent. The family WhatsApp went on a blast. After work, 10 of the Douglas20 (everyone in Arizona) gathered and celebrated with Pizza, wings, brownies, champagne, wines and desserts. Giving thanks to the most high ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ.

The rest of the trip was fantastic, the vibes the atmosphere was filled with love and blessings. The only thing I would change about this trip is to have my husband, Mike and my one son Chris, with the rest of the family.

#onelove

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Level up! Cocktails Friday

Thereโ€™s ย a drink for every occasion and equally one for everyone’s taste! ย Cocktails are versatile alcoholic mixed drinks. I love to have a great cocktail and I try to identify the bar and the mixologist who make my favorite one; so the cocktail of choice for me depends on where I am. Also, it is a good way to enjoy a nice lime at home!

In my everyday work, I assist my customers with developing their cocktail menu and also identify and supply the best ingredients for the delicious and refreshing cocktail that they offer. If your preference is on the rocks, I also have you covered. My customers includes, but not limited to hotels, restaurants and bars.

Everyday I visit the most beautiful places with fantastic views in Antigua. If you are living or visiting this gem of an Island, spend some time and explore the many hotels, bars and restaurants and enjoy the amazing cocktails and delicious foods that they offer.

This is the actual cocktail I had today. It’s a Pinacalada, the ingredients are Malibu rum, Cavalier dark rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and a hint of salt. It was fantabulous!

Level up! It is cocktail Friday. Have a super duper weekend people.

One love!

Wine lady Rica

Red red wine ๐ŸŽผ – Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black, because of the pine and cone shape of dark colour fruits. Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climate, but the France Burgundy region is its home.

So much to learn about Pinot Noir; but for now I will tell you that I normally enjoy a great bottle of dark red. I recently had a bottle of Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir Louis Latour 2015. My oh my did I enjoy it!

It was dangerously easy to drink with or without food; this was perfectly paired with my pork chops and with the company of Mike, Krish and Christopher made it even more delicious and soothing while chilling in the West Indies.

I tasted all the different flavors exploding in my mouth! My taste buds were happy as different notes of sour cherry, raspberry, licorice and mocha dance in my mouth and released smooth tannins and very nice freshness on the finish.

The only thing that is better than a bottle of wine, is to share it with the people you love and cherish. Love the wine you are with, because all you need is LOVE and a bottle of wine.

One love!

Wine lady Rica

Corporate wining

It was Friday! It was a business event! The event was dubbed as an office opening of a new company in Antigua, with the ever fabulous host and her colleagues from different parts of the world.

We got started at five in the afternoon and were slated to finish at 8pm; but needless to say the EMC crew was there until 10pm. The Dream Team (minus one) showed up and delivered!

We ensured that the guests were served the beverage of choice. The list was extensive even though it was initially a wine bar service but on short notice, it was a full bar service. The wine option was impressive, guests were able to chose Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, Sancerre , Pinot noir, and Malbec. The other options were vodkas, gins, rums, Scotch, beers, and the good old H2O. Oh and how could I forget the guest who requested Red Bull because he had just landed and needed a picker upper. That was added to our bar list in 10 minutes. We believe in going the extra mile.

Overall at the end of the night, I believed everyone was satisfied. As a result EMC Services was requested the following day for a concierge service. This service was not on the list before but it is now the newest member of the EMC family. Call us and we will organize your cooler for your next adventure, on land, sea or air.

One love!

Island girl baecationing in the island

The Caribbean! One happy place made up of a number of islands. The people are full of life and we have great food and beaches. A Red Stripe Beer, Hellshire fish and festival are my beach favorite but when I am not in the land of by birth, Jamaica, I mix it up a bit.

I am a Jamaican living in Antigua for the past ten years. I would love to visit more islands but that is a very expensive venture. However, from time to time I do visit a few.

This weekend, the hubby and I are visited another beautiful Island with magnificent beaches.

From our room nested on the third floor, I sip on a glass of Argentina Merlot and listen to the waves from the Caribbean Sea crashing in on the shores. Fantastic way to relax after a day of cricket ๐Ÿ at Kensington Oval, Jamaica vs Barbados Regional Super50. I think I was the only one, other than the Jamaican players, that had on a Jamaican shirt and we won . #rally… I paired my medium light body with soft finishing Merlot with a medium-well steak and watched re-runs of Sex and the City.

Exploring Barbadosย 

Barbados is a really beautiful place with lots of things to do. We did a bit of exploring in our four days visit and we had a fabulous time. The cricket matches were not as excited as I have anticipated but a great time was had, even without our usual cooler when ever we go to cricket matches.

A tour of the island took us to one of the local rum distilleries and as we know Caribbean people are rum people. The tour was very informative and tasteful, I would suggest to anyone visiting the islands to go on a rum tour, if one is available.

Dining in Barbados varies in prices and quality but our best lunch was our six hours lunch with two friends . The conversation and laughs were priceless, and that my friends is what life is about.

A day of shopping and walking around the historic Bridgetown by myself was a well spent day. I had a few of the local beers, Banks and Deputy Beers with Lamb Neck stew. The Banks beer in Barbados taste much better than the one that is exported and we are good buddies now; sorry the Deputy on the other hand is not my buddy. It was my first time having Lamb Neck stew and I recommend you give it a try if you are in Barbados.

Barbados you were good to me . Cheers and see you next time, hopefully during your food and rum festival.

One love!

Thursday cloudscape

“Girl I need something to drink” exclaims my friend… “I only have water and wine” I replied!

The beverage of the evening was water and wine…separately of course lol. The kids chatted on the other side of the room and watched tv and we talked about our day and the upcoming weekend. Life is so special and beauty is all around us in so many different forms.

The bottle of the evening was Borsao Bole from Spain; it is a very reasonable priced wine which is good value for the money. I enjoyed this bottle from Spain, as a matter of fact I realized that I really like Spanish reds. This is also one of my favorite blend – Grenache and Shiraz. It has the zing of Shiraz supported by the body of Grenache. Oh the scent of vanilla flavor, the taste of wild berry yummy yummy.

The cut flowers on the table look magnificent, while the cactus looks down on it with similar beauty but yet so different. Somehow this is how I see my dear friend and I; two beautiful ladies that are similar but different.

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My home is my castle and I arrange it with things that are meaningful and pretty to me. I really don’t have a style of decorating, I just use what moves my soul. And I totally love to have my family and friends share and enjoy my space. It was a lovely hour on a rainy Thursday afternoon, September 27, 2018.

cheers to life!

Wine a bit ๐Ÿท

Wine tasting anytime or anywhere is spectacular but more so an unexpected one on a Friday afternoon.

Gathering up my stuff from the office to head home to open a bottle of Moscato that I have never had before. But then I was enticed to stay back at a tasting by a long time friend. What a fabulous evening it was!

2015 Cre Du Beaujolais was the pick of the day! Yummy….Beaujolais is the most southern wine growing region in Burgundy, and very different from the rest of Burgundy and is often though of its own appellation. I totally enjoyed all the afternoons selections.

Brouilly Georges Duboeuf 2015 :- this is a light bodied very easy to drink wine with medium tannin level and fruity aroma.

Morgan Domaine la Javerniere 2015 :- on the nose flowers, black tea and fresh herb. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Julienas Chateau des Capitans 2015 :- smooth and not too dry with a mild sweet scent. This was my second favorite of the evening.

Moulin a Vent Domaine du Pourpre 2015 :- a nice simple wine, this was my favorite. Good flavor, cherry, strawberry and some mild spice.

These are very refreshing reds with low tanning and bright acidity, with juicy fruity aroma.

Cheers to exploring and discovering.

Wine Lady Rica ๐Ÿฅ‚

My way ๐Ÿ’—

So I have two friends who are the reasons I even start thinking about blogging. Both of them love to write and I consider them very good writers. One has actually published books….

So Ms B is always telling me to start blogging about my wine experiences because she knows how much I love wines and the hunger I have to learn as much as I can. (Reason for the birth of EMC2).

.The other lady Ms K is just a really positive person that loves to write. So one day she sent me one of her blog via email because I was mentioned in it. We started talking about blogging and I told her I am not a good writer, and I would blog if I was a better writer. I also express to her that I did a few post years ago but it was not for me.

Anyway! Fast forward to September 8, 2018. My dear friend did a blog and asked a few questions… one of which was ” what is your writing style?” As I read all the replies I decided then and there that I will give this thing a try using my own style of writing.

I don’t have any particular topics except wines, but I will do it my way as the heart leads me.

Cheers

Wine Lady Rica

Woman who work

I am not sure if it is that I love my work or if it is the products that I love! Haha but what ever it is… I love what I do and I do what I love!

Having said that, as I walked into the office this morning I was greeted by big smiles and hearty good morning by all my co-workers. I checked my reports, emails and sent a few emails . Our retail store is one of my morning rituals so I went to get my morning water and echoing from the back I heard “Erica Babu how are you” and I reply “Shane ma man”.

The simple things in life! Live, love, laugh or have a drink ๐Ÿพ

Our Wedding Anniversary

Sixteen years ago on July 26th my love Michael Renford Doulas and i got married at the Ridgemount United Church and had the most amazing reception at this parents home in Mandeville. There we approximately 200 families and friends to celebrate with us.

Over the years we had our ups and downs; mostly up and have produce two brilliant children Christina and Christopher and with God by our side we hope to do a great job teaching them the right way to live and be as much as they can be.

I totally enjoyed celebrating the day and the entire weekend with my love. Both of us went to work late that morning and had a lovely Subway lunch at home. We had 7pm dinner reservation at Curtain BluffHotel and that was fantastic. On arrival the staffs were very polite and everyone knew it was our anniversary; thanks to our new and dear friend Anique. We went to the bar and have a nice cocktail before we went to dinner table. During our dinner there were a live band that did a great job. We eat our meal and we were very satisfied, after which we continue having champagne and listen to the band. Mike asked the band to sing our song that we danced to at our wedding “at last”; to this we danced, we were the only one dancing but we did not care. It was beautiful.

The entire weekend was blissful, we just hang around with each other and lime with a few friends Saturday afternoon.

Even though I miss the kids, I totally enjoy this week end with my hubby alone.

Helping others

I have alway know that giving of oneself is the most rewarding thing to do.  But i have learnt over the year, never to expect anything (not even a THANK YOU) in return!  When i was a child growing up and i would observe my mother and grandmother giving of themselves and not been appreciated or recognized and i would be furious.  I often wonder why!

But here i am as an adult experiencing the same thing and surprisingly i am dealing with it just as my mother and grandmother dealt with it.  And i am so proud of myself!!! Children really live what they learn…  I am very happy that i have followed in there footstep and i hope i am not on of those people as we would call them in Jamaica “ungrateful people”.

But it is all love to one and all!  And to all you in cyber world please remember never stop giving.

One love!