Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

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125 grams of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee beans certified by Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Authority.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee or Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The coffee was introduced to Jamaica in 1728.[1]

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is an Arabica variety of the coffee bean that is called Typica[2] that originated in southwestern Ethiopia.[3]

The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness. Over the past few decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. Over 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan.[4] In addition to its use for brewed coffee, the beans are the flavour base of Tia Maria coffee liqueur.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a globally protected certification mark, meaning only coffee certified by the Jamaica Commodities Regulatory Authority[5] (previously the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica) can be labelled as such. It comes from a recognised growing region in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica, and its cultivation is monitored by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.

The Blue Mountains are generally located between Kingston to the south and Port Antonio to the north. Rising to 2,256 metres (7,402 ft), they are some of the highest mountains in the Caribbean. The climate of the region is cool and misty with high rainfall. The soil is rich, with excellent drainage. This combination of climate and soil is considered ideal for coffee.[6]

The Coffee Industry Regulation Act[edit]

Coffee is roasted in a cast iron skillet at James Dennis' Coffee in Section, Portland Parish, Jamaica.

The Coffee Industry Regulation Act specifies what coffee may use the Blue Mountain label. Additionally, it restricts the use of the Blue Mountain trademark to those authorized by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (formerly the Coffee Industry Board). Broadly speaking, coffee harvested from the parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint Thomas, Portland and Saint Mary may be considered Blue Mountain coffee.[7]

Traditionally, only coffee grown at elevations between 910 metres (3,000 ft) and 1,700 metres (5,500 ft) could be called Jamaica Blue Mountain. Coffee grown at elevations between 460 metres (1,500 ft) and 910 metres (3,000 ft) is called Jamaica High Mountain, and coffee grown below 460 metres (1,500 ft) elevation is called Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain. (All land in Jamaica above 1,700 metres (5,500 ft) is a forest preserve, so no coffee is grown there.)[citation needed]

Classifications of Blue Mountain Coffee[edit]

There are generally three types of grades of Jamaica Blue Mountain ranked by size and defects. Number 1 beans as the largest and most desired with least defects, followed by number 2 and 3 beans. Separately, there are peaberry beans which are smaller beans which appear shaped as a rugby ball as opposed to the usual flat beans.[8]

As with most other varieties of coffee, there are several grades[which?] assigned to different lots, based on factors such as size, appearance, and defects allowed.[9]

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Day[edit]

In December 2018,[10] the Japanese Government accepted a motion from the Association of Japanese Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) to recognize January 9, 2019 as the very first Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Day.[11] This day is in recognition of January 9, 1967 when 60% of that year's harvest was shipped from the Port of Kingston, Jamaica to Japan.[11][12][13] This very large shipment of coffee marked the beginning of a new relationship between Jamaica and Japan after the second world war.[13] To date, Japan continues to be the largest consumer of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.[10]

The Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee day includes promotional activities that lead up to the day and is celebrated locally in Jamaica and Japan as well as large cities around the world such as New York and London and several Jamaican embassies.[14]

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Festival[edit]

The inaugural Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Festival took place over three days on March 23, 24, 25 in 2018 at Newcastle in St. Andrew, Jamaica.[15] The following year, it occurred on March 1, 2, 3 in 2019 in the same region.[16] Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the event was canceled in 2020.[17] Organizers switched to a virtual event in 2021 that was offered internationally as a live event on social media.[18] The expanded grand festival took place in-person in 2022 on March 4 and lasted a whole month until April 2.[17]

The festival featured Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee products, promoted vendors, and showcased performers, tours, barista competitions and food demonstrations for local and international attendees from producers, processors, consumers and vendors.[16][15][19]

The festival offered the opportunity to promote products to tourists, educate current farming producers through a Trade Day, and to create opportunities to form matchmaking for buyers, processors and exporters. [15]

During the festival, workshops, seminars and networking sessions where offered by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN).[16][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Guide: All You Need To Know". January 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "About Coffee – Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority". Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  3. ^ "Arabica Coffee Varieties | Typica". varieties.worldcoffeeresearch.org. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  4. ^ "Embassy of Jamaica - Tokyo". Archived from the original on 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  5. ^ "Background – Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority". Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  6. ^ "Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee: The History, 2020" Eighty Seven Plus Coffee
  7. ^ "Rules & Regulations—Coffee Industry Board". Archived from the original on 2001-12-22.
  8. ^ "Jamaican Coffee". wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm.
  9. ^ "The Jamaican Coffee Industry Board Quality Certification Process". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  10. ^ a b McLeod, Sheri-Kae (2021-01-12). "#ICYMI: Jamaica Celebrates Blue Mountain Coffee Day". CNW Network. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  11. ^ a b "Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day – Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority". Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  12. ^ Shiga, Hersey (2022-02-03). "Jamaican Winning beans". HERSEY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  13. ^ a b "Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee". Wild 'n' Free Diary. 2021-09-01. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  14. ^ "Blue Mountain Coffee Day 2022 to share 'legendary luxury' globally". Our Today (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2022-01-08. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  15. ^ a b c d "Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Begins on March 23 – Jamaica Information Service". jis.gov.jm. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  16. ^ a b c "Trade Development Workshop Kicks Off Blue Mountain Coffee Festival – Jamaica Information Service". jis.gov.jm. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  17. ^ a b "It's Back! The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival". Jamaica Observer. 2022-03-03. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  18. ^ "Tourism Round Up Features the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Gone Virtual March 12 2021 – Jamaica Information Service". jis.gov.jm. Retrieved 2022-10-16.
  19. ^ "JAMAICA Blue Mountain Coffee Festival – The Caribbean's Premier Coffee Festival!". Retrieved 2022-10-16.

External links[edit]