Like Kona coffee, Jaimaican Blue Mountain coffee is regarded as one of the most prized coffee beans in the world.
Coffee was introduced in Jamaica in 1728 by its then Governor, Sir Nicholas Lawes. Starting in the central mountain system of the island, the cultivation of this already very lucrative crop expanded and eventually reached the country’s longest range: the Blue Mountains. Along this range is the country's highest peak known as Blue Mountain Peak reaching above 7400 feet above sea level.
The Blue Mountain range is blessed with a climate ideal for coffee growing with its year-long mild temperatures, abundant rainfall, rich soil and almost perpetual mists that give this mountain range the bluish color from which its name is derived. The combination of all these factors creates a “perfect storm” for producing a fantastically unique coffee bean that has captivated the world by….”storm”.
Today, Blue Mountain coffee is more than just a type of coffee or an indication of origin. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is a certification mark issued by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica, a regulatory body that controls all stages of coffee production, only certifying the batches that fully comply with its high standards of quality. These parameters cover the gamut. From manually verifying the absence of defects in the beans to tracking the specific elevations in which they were grown, the standards are rigorous to say the least. For example, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee must come from only four specific parishes: Portland, St. Andrew, St. Thomas, and St. Mary. Blue Mountain coffee has to be grown between 3000 feet (914 meters) and 5500 feet (1676 meters). Coffee grown at lower elevation is called “High Mountain” as opposed to “Blue Mountain”.