19 Oct 2022
What makes Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee one of the finest in the world, like all great experiences, is a blend of some unique characteristics that give it the famous mild flavor that makes it so desirable.
There are some conditions that, when combined, make Jamaica Blue Mountain® a rare and unique coffee with special characteristics that set it apart from the rest, and it is distinguished by a refined, smooth, and creamy sweetness, without bitterness, with notes of sweet herbs, nuts, and chocolate.
The Blue Mountains range
One of the most important aspects that make Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee unique is the region in which it is grown. Not all coffee grown in the Blue Mountains is considered Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee.
The longest mountain range in Jamaica is the Blue Mountains, which includes the island´s highest point, the Blue Mountain Peak (7,402m). It is within this mountain range that Jamaica Blue Mountain is grown, but it will be certified like this if it is cultivated between 3000ft and 5500ft above sea level.
The region is a 6,000-hectare established area in Jamaica's Blue Mountain range, which is located to the east of the island. The Jamaican Coffee Industry Regulation Act is solely responsible for determining the area of the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee growing zone.
What makes this region so unique?
What distinguishes the Blue Mountain region is its "perpetual fog," also known as "the mist." This mist is caused by the contrast between the heat of the ground and the mountain winds, allowing the coffee bushes to produce fruit slowly for more than 8 months. As a result, the coffee grown in the Jamaican mountain ranges has privileged growing conditions: mild temperatures of around 22°C, rich soil, abundant rain (200 inches per year), and cloudiness.
A natural production system
Another feature of the Blue Mountain coffee, is its manufacturing system, which is distinguished by its low use of chemical products. Organic fertilizers and manual harvesting are popular in Jamaica. This means they try to not use highly concentrated chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, and they try to avoid the use of any chemicals or additives. Weeds are also removed by hand, so no herbicides are used. Jamaican Blue Mountain® coffee is picked and inspected by hand.
The wet method of grain processing is used, and the grain is sun-dried.
Handmade wooden barrels
Jamaica Blue Mountain® is branded as a "rare and unique specialty coffee" and is usually associated with its famous barrels as a luxury and gourmet product. Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee is the only one transported in wooden barrels in the world. These barrels are handcrafted from white wood to prevent outside odors or flavors from contaminating the grain.
Furthermore, these barrels come in various sizes, which contain varying amounts of coffee.
The scarcity of Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee makes it valuable
Jamaica produces under 2 Million pounds of coffee annually (less than 1%% of global coffee production), including Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee production. As a result, it is a rare and highly sought-after product.
Japan controls approximately 80% of its exports. Japan is the world's largest consumer of this delicatessen, making it scarce in the rest of the world.
Appellation of origin
Every barrel of Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee exported includes a certificate of authenticity issued by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA). The coffee must come from one of the following Jamaican parishes: St Andrew, St Mary, St Thomas, or Portland.
The JACRA, formerly the Coffee Industry Board (CIB), oversees all quality control of Jamaican coffee products entering the international market. It is also responsible for the color, roasting, flavor, aroma, acidity, body, and end-flavor tests. If the product meets the requirements, the appellation of origin will be granted and the granted permission to export.
This is an important feature to consider in your Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee. There are many imitations of this coffee on the market, but they differ greatly in flavor, aroma, characteristics, and so on. In the end, it will not provide you with an intimate experience of the delightful cup of coffee that is Jamaica Blue Mountain.
If you want to learn more, we suggest watching this short documentary from the Blue Mountains.