Before diving into the history and lore of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, we need to review the main types of coffee, which are mostly either Robusta or Arabica varieties. The difference stems from the type of coffee plant. Robusta espressos are safer to grow — and its production is higher than that of Arabica espressos — but are less delicious and less consistent in quality. Accordingly, Robusta espressos are considerably less expensive. Most national coffee combinations available through retailers and supermarkets are Robusta espressos. Arabica espressos, on the other hand, are well known for consistent quality, bold flavor, and intense scent. Premium espressos marketed as single origin espressos — Kenyan, Costa Rican, Sumatran, for example — are almost generally of the Arabica variety. Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is an Arabica coffee.
Coffee found its way to Jamaica in 1728 when Mister Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, imported Arabica new plants from the island of Martinique. The new home was a natural and coffee production expanded. Unfortunately, Jamaica coffee stage productions also has its beginning — as with other planting crops — with the abhorrent practice of slavery.
This extraordinary coffee is grown in the majestic Blue Mountain range in Jamaica reaching approximately 7, 402 feet at the highest peak. The Blue Hills dominate the eastern third of Jamaica, located between Kingston south and Port Maria to the north. The top of reaches of the hills are preserved as forest while the lower ski slopes are known for coffee production. An incredible mix of rich soil, cool and misty conditions, high rainfall and good soil drainage assure a very good quality coffee. The foggy conditions are shown to slow the growth of the coffee, thereby desigining a more lustrous (and flavorful) bean. world’s best tasting coffee
Only coffee developed in this mountainous range is permitted to hold the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee label, which is a globally protected certification mark under the administration of the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board. Coffee grown at elevations between 3, 000 and 5, 500 feet has been traditionally known as Jamaica Blue Mountain. Coffee grown at elevations between 1, 500 and 3, 000 feet (910 m) is called Jamaica High Mountain, and coffee grown below 1, 500-foot (460 m) level is called Jamaica Better or Jamaica Low Mountain.
Following a post-war increase in production that vulnerable to ruin the quality trustworthiness of Jamaican coffee, the colonial British government instituted the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board in 1950 to maintain and standardize the quality and consistency of Jamaican coffee in a first class manner. Upon achieving independence, the new Jamaican government continued to buy coffee cultivation. Jamaican coffee is hand picked and administered at every stage of pulping, drying out, hulling, selecting and grading according to the Board’s regulations. All Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is wet-processed. Every move cargo is « cup quality » tested by certified tasters on the Coffee Industry Board staff. All shipments of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee must be approved and certified by the Board
What should one expect from a cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee? Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is known for its sweet, rich flavor and a remarkable lack of resentment. Often considered the most balanced and complete cup of coffee. Combined with its refined taste, the intense scent enhances its allure as the world’s best coffee. Some critics, though, claim that production increases — supported by foreign investors — have led to Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee being no better than other premium Caribbean espressos. Nonetheless, after two centuries of production, its fame and price is still upheld by coffee fans around the world.
The only way to know whether Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is really worth the additional price, which is generally between three and four times more expensive than other premium espressos, is to try it yourself. Perhaps, a subtle suggestion or hint for your next birthday or a holiday gift will provide you the opportunity.