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Legendary Coffee - Jamaica Blue Mountain

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

One of the most successful coffee marketing varieties by country in the 21st century, no doubt is Geisha from Panama. And what is the most successful coffee marketing by region by country in the 19th century? It must be Jamaica Blue Mountain.

The name of “Blue Mountain” comes from the special micro climate in St. Andrew in Jamaica. In the afternoon, the fog and mist surrounds the mountain, after sunshine reflects in the air, the mountains look like they are covered by “blue” color. Coffee was brought to Jamaica in the 18 century. In the 20 century, Jamaica was one of the biggest coffee exporting countries. However due to the lack of labor and the issue of quality, the coffee industry in Jamaica productivity declined. In 1944 Jamaican government established a Central Clearing Coffee operation (now named Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority) to control coffee quality before exportation.

Here are some criteria of “real” Jamaica Blue Mountain.

  1. Only coffee grown in St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland regions with elevation 1,000 to 1,700 meters can be certified by the government as Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. (that’s one of the reasons JBM is so expensive and low quantity)

  2. There are 3 grades of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee.

    1. No. 1: 96% bean size - 18/17, and defect rate less than 2%

    2. No. 2: 96% bean size - 17/16, and defect rate less than 2%

    3. No. 3: 96% bean size - 16/15, and defect rate less than 2%

The good thing for this mechanism is the coffee quality gets controlled. However, on the other side, it restricted coffee roasters to direct trade with local farmers. Belux Coffee Roasters had worked with a government certified farm named Sherwood. When we request a sample, it needs to be sent to the government facility and then sent to us. Meanwhile, if we want to purchase coffee directly from a farm, we need to spend a few thousand dollars to apply for an import license from Jamaican government.

Jamaican government currently certified some farm/brand of Jamaica Blue Mountain. And the one Belux Coffee Roasters carry, Clydesdale, is one of the government certified farms. Clydesdale coffee farm located in St. Andrew region, now is owned by smallholder farmers. The coffee tastes very clean and creamy with dark chocolate, nutty flavors. It’s good for espresso and pour over. We also recommend our clients to use siphon to taste its outstanding flavor with dark chocolate finish.

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