Is Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee worth the cost?
...Okay, I suppose I should probably elaborate. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is considered to be one of, if not THE best coffee in the world. Jamaica produces only 0.1% of the world’s coffee, so these beans are relatively rare. A meticulous and laborious inspection process is in place to ensure the high quality of these beans. Beyond the limited supply and large amount of work behind Jamaican Blue Mountain beans lies another reason that they’re so expensive. Quite simply, they are in fact, some of the best tasting beans in the world. This is a largely undisputed viewpoint that the vast majority of coffee connoisseurs share.
As to whether it is worth the cost, that depends how much you love coffee. If you’ve found yourself researching Blue Mountain coffee, you probably care enough about coffee to appreciate these luxurious beans.
If you're just here for some recommendations, feel free to skip to our best Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee picks!
If your thirst for knowledge is not yet quenched, read on. We'll take a closer look at everything you need to know about Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
Here's a quick summary of our recommended Blue Mountain beans.
Blue Mountain Peaberry
100% Certified Blue Mountain
Blue Mountain Blend
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Price
Still here? Great, let's dive in. First thing is first, let’s talk about the price. The high cost of Blue Mountain coffee is something that many people fixate on;
Why is it so expensive?
Beyond the obvious reason that it tastes really good, a few factors contribute the the exceedingly high cost of Blue Mountain beans.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee requires a long time in order to properly produce. The beans mature at a very slow rate due to the high elevations that it is grown at. The beans are often grown on hillsides, and must be handpicked. This takes a lot of time and labor. Beyond all of this, each individual bean is hand inspected to ensure that the quality is up to par with the lofty reputation.
Supply & Demand
Simple economics will tell you that when the supply for something is low and the demand is high, the price will be high. Jamaica produces just 0.1% of world’s coffee, and not all of that is Blue Mountain certified. The supply is therefore quite scarce as compared to many other types of coffee. The demand exists and continues to grow as Blue Mountain coffee becomes more widely known.
As painful as the high price might be, it can work as an indication of legitimacy. That is not to say that every expensive Jamaican Blue Mountain product is legitimate, but a cheap product is most definitely not the real deal. You should always be careful to ensure that what you’re getting is 100% certified. Let’s chat a bit more about what it takes to be certified.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Certification Requirements
In order to be given the official 100% certified Blue Mountain label, a rigorous set of criteria must be met.
Growing Region & Altitude
To be certified, beans must be grown in one of these four parishes; St. Andrew, St. Mary, St. Thomas or Portland. Also, beans must be grown at an altitude between 3000 and 5500 feet.
The most well known estates are Wallenford, Langley, Silver Hill and Mavis Bank. If you see these names on a product, it’s a good thing.
100% Blue Mountain Beans... No Blending!
To be certified, a product must consist of 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain beans. Many blends exist, but they are not the real deal. There are no regulations as to what can be considered a Blue Mountain blend, so many include only a small fraction of Blue Mountain beans.
Beans must also be packaged in Jamaica to qualify. If there is an indication of processing or packaging in a different country, avoid that product!
All products that are certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica will have the certification image on the packaging. Double check for it!
In short, if you want the true Jamaican Blue Mountain experience, you have to opt for a 100% certified product. This certification ensures that the strict criteria has been met.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Blends
Let’s clear the air, I'm not saying that all Blue Mountain blend are inherently bad, just that they aren’t the true experience and should not be in the same cost ballpark.
If money were no object, sure, I’d subscribe for a monthly (or weekly) auto-delivery of some Blue mountain beans and drink it every day. Unfortunately, money is most definitely an object to myself, and most people for that matter.
Let’s be real, the vast majority of us aren’t going to shell out the cash to drink Blue Mountain coffee every day. But once you’ve tasted to this luxury, how do you go back? Well, I won’t sugar-coat it, it’s not easy. If you’re hooked on that Blue Mountain taste, your best bet is to find a good blend that can satisfy your craving.
Yes, it’s true that we talked before about ensuring that you go for a 100% certified product, so this is a bit of a 180. And let’s be clear, to get the true Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee experience, you should absolutely do this. But for the sake of practicality, I’d like to offer a potential solution to your Blue Mountain withdrawal.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Taste Profile
Okay so we have yet to address a pretty obvious question. What makes Blue Mountain coffee so good? What does it taste like? As is the case with most coffee, there is some variance in the available taste profiles. That being said, you can expect your Jamaican Blue Mountain beans to produce a cup with at least a few of the following characteristics;
Getting the most out of your Jamaican Blue Mountain beans
So you’ve decided to splurge on the real deal. It probably goes without saying that you’d like your purchase to be worthwhile. Here are a few tips to follow to help you get the most out of these luxurious beans.
As I’m sure you know, purchasing whole bean coffee and grinding the beans yourself as needed is always the way to go. But if you really want to get the most out of your beans, it’s essential that you use a Burr Grinder. I could ramble on for ages about the importance of using a Burr Grinder… so I did. You can check out the article below if you’re interested!
The take home point here is;
Grinding your Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans with a Burr Grinder immediately before you intend to use them will yield the best tasting results.
If you’re interested in Blue Mountain coffee, you probably know a thing or two about the many coffee brewing methods. You probably have a preferred option, and that’s great! However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you should use an immersion technique.
French Press, AeroPress, Siphon, Clever, the list goes on.
The important thing is the immersion aspect, as this technique allows for the best extraction. Better extraction allows you to get the most out of your coffee, and therefore the most out of your money!
Jamaican Coffee History
The history of coffee in Jamaica dates back to the 18th century and is closely connected to the island's colonial past and the emergence of a distinctive coffee variety known as Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee.
Coffee was first introduced to Jamaica in the early 18th century by Sir Nicholas Lawes, who served as the Governor of Jamaica from 1718 to 1722. He brought coffee seedlings from the nearby French colony of Martinique and planted them in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, on the eastern side of the island.
The fertile volcanic soils, high altitudes, and unique climate of the Blue Mountains provided ideal conditions for coffee cultivation. The coffee plants thrived in this region, and coffee production quickly became a significant part of Jamaica's economy.
The Jamaican coffee industry experienced growth in the 19th century, and coffee plantations, known as "pens," were established throughout the Blue Mountain region. The coffee produced in this area became highly sought after for its distinctive flavor and exceptional quality.
The unique characteristics of Jamaican coffee were attributed to the combination of factors found in the Blue Mountains, such as the cool misty climate, well-drained soils, and regular rainfall. These environmental conditions contributed to the slow and even maturation of the coffee cherries, resulting in a flavor profile that is mild, smooth, and well-balanced.
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee gained international recognition and became known as one of the finest and most expensive coffees in the world. Its reputation for quality led to its demand in high-end specialty coffee markets.
The coffee industry in Jamaica faced challenges in the 20th century, including market fluctuations, hurricanes, and competition from other coffee-producing countries. Despite these challenges, the production of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee remains relatively small compared to other coffee origins, and its limited supply adds to its exclusivity and prestige.
To protect the authenticity and quality of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica was established in 1950. The board regulates the production, processing, and marketing of Jamaican coffee and ensures that only coffee produced in the designated Blue Mountain region can be labeled as "Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee."
Jamaican coffee culture remains deeply ingrained in the island's heritage, and coffee tourism has become popular in the Blue Mountain region. Visitors have the opportunity to tour coffee farms, witness the traditional coffee processing methods, and taste the renowned Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee.
Today, Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee continues to be highly regarded and sought after by coffee connoisseurs around the world. Its unique flavor profile and limited availability make it a prized coffee experience for those seeking an exceptional and luxurious coffee drinking experience.
The Best Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Okay, you’re now armed with plenty of knowledge regarding Blue Mountain beans, it’s time to take the plunge and pick your poison!
Luckily for us, there are several options available online that are well worth your time and money. Here’s a couple of our favorite Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee brands. You'll also find a more affordable blend option!
Blue Mountain Peaberry
Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee
Taste: Sweet & clean with notes of chocolate, orange & mint
Don't worry, this one is also 100% certified. It's also peaberry! One of the best coffees in the world, peaberry style, is nothing short of a luxury. This coffee sports a nice sweet taste, with prominent notes of chocolate and orange, as well as hints of mint. A balanced citrus-toned acidity is present, but the cup remains clean throughout. A pleasant chocolate aftertaste lingers long after the cup is complete. This coffee is truly exquisite.
100% Certified Blue Mountain
Roasted By: Cubico Coffee
Taste: Complex, sweet, nutty tobacco & citrus notes
This is perhaps one of the best coffees currently available on the internet. Coming with a nice little gift box, this makes a great gift for the coffee lover in your life... or you know, for yourself. This coffee has an intensely sweet aroma, as well as a sweet taste. Nutty tobacco and citrus notes are on display. A vibrant acidity adds to the complexity of this cup, and then fades away for a clean, mellow finish. This one is worth splurging on!
Blue Mountain Blend
Roasted By: Magnum Exotics
Taste: Rich, notes of nuts & chocolate
Please note that this is NOT 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. This is a blend. What this also is, is affordable. This is a great every day coffee that shares many characteristics to the real deal, without breaking the bank. This coffee is rich, with notes of chocolate and nuts. A moderate sweetness and acidity contribute to a taste profile that is smooth and nicely balanced. This one can fill the void that Blue Mountain coffee may leave when it runs out!
And there you have it. What are your thoughts on the esteemed Jamaican Blue Mountain bean? What’s your favorite Blue Mountain coffee? Let us know!
Have a coffee question? We may have the answer. Ask away!
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