At the recent International Agriculture Show in Paris, I had the occasion to purchase a 250g bag of 100% Arabica, whole-bean Vanibel coffee, labeled “Guadeloupe Bonifieur.”
Back at my place, brewed in a French press, it exuded rich, smooth, satisfying flavor. In short, it was an extraordinary cup of coffee!
From what I can determine from browsing the Internet, the word bonifieur is not an official classification, apparently because the quality of production differs from producer to producer. One source that I found declares that the name bonifieur (improver) comes from the name given to the polishing machine that is used to remove the silver skins from the coffee beans and to give them extra polish. In any case, production of this coffee is limited and I was fortunate to come across it at the agriculture salon in Paris. I doubt that I will ever find it for sale in Paris again at the price that I paid, which was only 10€ for a 250g bag.
Vanibel is a small plantation in Guadeloupe located on the southwest coast of the island of Basse-Terre near a small village called Vieux Habitants. As well as growing coffee, the Vanibel estate rents bungalows to travelers seeking respite from the bustle of big tourist areas.