Jamaican’s world-renowned Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and is one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world, the majority of which is exported to Japan.
Known for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness, only coffee that grows at least 2,000 feet above sea level and in the Blue Mountain range (which spans the eastern section of the island, including four parishes–St. Andrew, St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas) is called 100% Blue Mountain Coffee.
In this hilly, rugged terrain, the climate is cool with lots of rain and the soil is rich— considered the perfect condition for farming coffee. The beans are shade-grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other additives. Biodiversity and organic farming methods make for healthier soil, prevent water contamination, provide habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds, and form a vital component of their exceptional flavor.
The unique combination of climatic conditions, cloud cover, soil type and diurnal temperature allows for slower maturation of the cheery coffee and its superb cup taste. It is admired for its delicate balance of floral aroma, acidity and full body. However, it is the sweet, mellow, lingering finish that elevates this coffee above all others. In addition to its use for brewed coffee, the beans are the flavor base of Tia Maria coffee liqueur.
Visitors to Jamaica can experience first-hand:
- Clifton Mount Coffee Estate Tour – the largest exporter of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee by a privately owned company. Hear the Clifton Mount story and walk the farm, which also grows flowers commercially. Tour includes a picnic and is hoted by Island Outpost – Strawberry Hill. https://www.islandoutpost.com/hotels-and-villas/tours-activities/trails/blue-mountain-estate/
- Blue Mountain Craighton Estate, Strawberry Hill: The Craighton Estate is where the “king” of coffee beans is grown and harvested. The estate offers a tour of the plantation to learn how the bean that keeps you moving is produced up in the vast Jamaican Blue Mountains, including the 200-year-old Craighton Estate Great House. Tastings are included. https://www.strawberryhillhotel.com/explore/hiking-trails/sample-excursions-3/
- Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Tour – Home of the world famous JABLUM Blue Mountain Coffee, now offers facility tours. Be guided by experienced tour guides and see all the processing operations from the pulping of Blue Mountain Cherry Berries to the addictive aroma of the roasting plant. After the 40-minute tour-sit under the picturesque gazebo and enjoy a cup of JABLUM – 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Truly “the coffee experience beyond compare”. http://www.bluemountaincoffee.com/?method=AboutUs.CoffeeFactory
Places to purchase Blue Mountain Coffee in the US:
- New York Gourmet Coffee