The ultimate guide to Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

There are many premium coffees in the world and exciting bean varieties that produce distinguished coffee cups, but one that stands out as a one-of-a-kind, rare, and highly sought after is the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. This exquisite tasting coffee has a lot to its name and we’ll cover everything you need to know about it in this guide.

What is Jamaican blue mountain coffee?

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is coffee grown specifically in the legally defined Blue Mountain region in Jamaica, covering the parishes of Portland, St. Andrew, and St. Thomas. With elevations of up to 7,500 feet above sea level, the Blue Mountains are some of the highest points in the Caribbean.

Small farms in the Blue Mountain region have been cultivating coffee for over 150 years, refining techniques and improving the coffee each harvest, without losing its authenticity. With such a gifted natural environment, these mountains have an exceptional site for coffee cultivation. The coffee trees grow in a perfect micro-climate because of rich volcanic soil with excellent drainage, pure mountains water, a lot of mist and precipitations.

This ideal climate and rare conditions produce a unique and flavourful coffee profile. Jamaica Blue Mountain is naturally bright, sweet, and creamy, but not all Jamaican coffees are the same.

Authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is certified

To be considered authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, the beans need to be certified by the Jamaica Commodities Regulatory Authority (previously Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica). The board outlines that coffee must be grown on the eastern part of the island of Jamaica on the Blue Mountains in the parishes of Portland, St. Andrew, and St. Thomas.

Traditionally, only coffee grown at elevations between 910 meters (3,000 ft) and 1,700 meters (5,500 ft) could be called Jamaica Blue Mountain. Coffee grown at elevations between 460 meters (1,500 ft) and 910 meters (3,000 ft) is called Jamaica High Mountain, and coffee grown below 460 meters (1,500 ft) elevation is called Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain.

Why is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee so rare?

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Although the country is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the Caribbean, after Cuba and Hispaniola, it spans approximately 11 thousand square kilometers in area, which pales in comparison to big coffee producers and exporters such as Brazil, Colombia, and even Vietnam.

Now remember only a fraction of the island cultivates coffee, and not all coffee produced in Jamaica is Jamaican Blue Mountain. It is speculated that only around 15% of Jamaican coffee is certified authentic by the board and over 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan.

For both natural and regulatory reasons, not much coffee is produced each harvest - but the number of people wanting to try it for the first time or make it an everyday favourite is ever increasing.

Jamaican Blue Mountains

How to brew Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee?

This coffee is versatile and can be enjoyed in all brewing methods. We recommend Espresso and Filter if you're first experimenting with Jamaican Blue Mountain. For best enjoyment it is important to follow the brewing parameters of coffee to water ratio according to your preferred brewing method.

How does Jamaican blue mountain coffee taste?

Low supply and high demand aren’t enough to put you among coffee royalty if aroma and flavour don’t deliver. Rest assured Jamaican Blue Mountain isn’t just hype. These legendary beans have a distinguished creamy mouthfeel and extremely well-balanced body. The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness.

This is what you can expect from Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee:
  • Mild, well-balanced flavor
  • Nutty, chocolatey tones
  • Sweet, herbal aroma
  • Clean, medium acidity
  • Absolutely no bitterness

Why is Jamaican Blue Mountain more expensive than other coffees?

Great coffee doesn't have to be expensive. Our online coffee store has plenty of options for you to find your favourite barista-quality coffee without the price tag, but there are plausible reasons as to why Jamaican Blue Mountain is priced higher than most specialty coffee anywhere in the world.

Most coffee grown around the world is produced on flat land that presents less challenges to cultivate. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is grown on top the Blue Mountain Ridge, which isn’t necessarily the easiest of places to work coffee crops and require more labour to produce and harvest. 

A covered, this coffee isn't produced in high numbers for both natural and regulatory reasons. Jamaica is only able to produce around 4 to 5 million pounds a year, which really isn’t a lot when you consider that other countries can easily produce ten times that much in a typical growing season.

Luckily, if you're looking to buy Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in Canada or in the United States Portfolio Coffee is the best place as all coffees are offered at lower price points than most comparable specialty coffee brands. Since we work every step of the supply chain, we're able to avoid traditional markups that inflate the final price of the bag of roasted coffee beans you take home to brew a delicious cup.

Where to buy Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

Try this single-origin coffee that comes from the Nunk Farm in the Cedar Valley - St. Thomas, Jamaica. At a medium-light roast, it is super balanced and smooth, with hints of sweet herbs, nuts and a long chocolate finish.


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