If you like smooth coffee with big flavours you’re going to love Blue Mountain coffee. It has a worldwide reputation for excellence with a price tag to match.
What Is Blue Mountain Coffee?
Simply put: it’s coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, which sit at 7500 ft above sea level are found between Kingston (South) and Port Antonio (North). This is the highest mountain range in the Caribbean and it’s warm and humid; perfect for cultivating Arabica beans.
True Blue Mountain coffee must come from the parishes of Portland, St Andrew, St Mary or St Thomas and at altitudes of between three and five and half thousand feet.
Why Is Blue Mountain Coffee So Expensive?
The two main reasons are: limited supply, and the actions required to keep the quality high. Heres a little more context:
- 80% of it is exported to Japan – the remaining 20% is left for the rest of the world.
- Limited growing region – these beans come from a small island and they need to specifically come from one of just a few different locations on the island to be certified JBM beans.
- Time consuming to grow – take roughly ten months to mature; twice as long as typical coffee (1), making them even more difficult to produce on a large scale.
- Difficulty in harvesting – coffee trees are grow in small groups (often on steep mountains), where workers need to take great pains to access them.
- Quality control – every single bean is hand-inspected through a painstaking system that treats their product like gold, weeding out defects and making sure that only the best coffee (most uniform beans) make it into the bags.
With all this in mind, it’s important to keep perspective. These beans are genuinely made with painstaking effort, and buyers should keep this in mind when shopping. These workers deserve their hard-earned wages. They’ve gone above and beyond for that cuppa you’re craving!
The important thing with Blue Mountain is to make sure that you’re getting the real deal. Although you will find Blue Mountain available on eBay and Amazon, it’s not a route we’d recommend you take when buying your beans.
How To Spot Fake Blue Mountain Coffee
Because of the premium price, dishonest coffee sellers may use the name to sell other products. Even in Jamaica itself, unwitting tourists bring home bags of beans that are not what they say they are.
The most common traps are being sold what you think are blue mountain beans, but in reality are just low quality Jamaican beans, or a blend.
A lot of coffee sold as Jamaican is not true Jamaica Blue Mountain, or is blended. If you pay $15 per Lb. for Jamaica coffee, it cannot be true Blue Mountain