Origins: Jamaica


Overview

Altitude Range: 600-2000m 


Language: English, Creole


Annual Coffee Production (lbs.): NA


Varieties: Blue Mountain, Geisha, Bourbon, Typica


 

Growing Regions

Blue Mountains

In its name, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee has maintained a “must-have” status for specialty roasters offering a rare, exotic, and well-known coffee to its clientele.  In the cup, this coffee is a multi-faceted product rich in flavor, history, and value.

General Cup Profile

Hits on all cylinders, fragrance, acidity, rich flavor with intense heavy, thick syrup.

Processing

Primarily ripe cherry is delivered by small farmers to large central processing mills where it is then fully washed and dried.  More recently, a few producers do micro-processing and drying their own coffees.

History

First planted in the parish of St. Andrews outside of Kingston, the coffee plant would soon flourish on the slopes of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains.  As the story goes, a French naval officer by the name of Gabriel de Clieu transported a single seedling across the Atlantic, introducing the crop to the Caribbean island of Martinique.  Sir Nicholas Lawes, the Jamaican governor at the time, purchased descendants of this seedling, bringing coffee to Jamaica in 1725.  

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has historically established itself as one the highest-priced coffees in the world, but this did not come easily.  Initially, the production was entirely driven by forced labor and with the abolition of slavery in 1807, a decline in output resulted.

After the creation of the Coffee Industry Board in 1943, Jamaica would experiences a large increase in the production of coffee.  The introduction of hybridized varietals and favorable loans granted by the Japanese increased production and guaranteed a market for this soon-to-be desirable coffee. 

Today, the large majority of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee ends up in Japan, with the U.S. as it’s second largest importer.  

Looking Forward

As of 2015, we have established direct relationships with Blue Mountain farmers.  In efforts of liberation from the quantity-driven system, Cafe Imports has pre-financed harvests, giving producers the chance to process their own coffees for the first time.  Through the sharing of production, harvest, and processing knowledge, we believe that the quality of Blue Mountain coffees will only rise with each new crop.  Project plans for the future include varietal-specific lots and maintained efforts of innovation to increase the quality of this fine coffee.