Choosing a coffee is a very personal decision but Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee has become renowned among coffee drinkers for its high standard of bean. We look at the reasons it has such a good reputation, what makes it different and why it could be time for you to go over to Jamaica Blue Mountain.
- It’s considered to be the best coffee in the world
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee has a well-earned reputation. That’s something that is fiercely and proudly protected by the growers and the coffee industry in the region, so they work hard to ensure the beans deliver the flavour that coffee drinkers want.
Only coffee grown in legally designated areas can be called Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee and the quality is carefully monitored. The coffee is graded by hand and the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica inspect every barrel, checking the colour and sizes of the beans, as well as tasting the coffee to check it has the right quality and flavour.
All this means that when you buy Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, you know that you’ll be receiving the product you expect and love.
- It has a unique flavour
Once you’ve tasted the coffee, you’ll understand that it tastes like nothing else. The geography of region contributes to the flavour.
David Shirley, one of the coffee growers who manages the Blue Mountain crop, explains. “The geological area known as the Blue Mountains has a unique soil composition and the altitude gives us perfect temperatures to grow the highest quality of bean. There is definitely something magical happening when all these factors align.”
The volcanic soil and cool conditions bring a taste that’s like no other coffee. The high altitudes means that it takes about 10 months for the coffee berries to mature before they can be harvested, which is almost twice as long as other regions. But that extra time pays off, as it creates a denser bean which delivers a richer flavour.
- It’s in relatively short supply
Because of the size of Jamaica and the limited geology where Blue Mountain Coffee can be grown, the output is much lower than coffee from other regions. The total output from Jamaica is between 4-5 million pounds a year, compared to almost 6 billion pounds for Brazil and 1.5 billion pounds for Colombia. That means that you’re getting a more exclusive product.
- Single estate coffee lets you taste the difference
If you’re a wine drinker, you’ll appreciate the difference it makes when you drink a fine wine made from grapes from a single vineyard. Indeed, the specific conditions (the terroir) affects the taste of the grapes and therefore the finished wine. That’s why some wines command such a premium.
The same is true of coffee, although often we don’t get the opportunity to experience it. Single estate coffee has a flavour that comes from the specific growing conditions and, as with wine, each estate’s product will have its own unique characteristics.
To really experience the difference, choose a coffee that’s 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain from a single estate. That’s what we offer at Stoneleigh - no blends, no other coffee beans.
- Grading is carefully controlled
Even if you buy whole coffee beans, rather than ground, you may not know much about coffee grading. Although each country grades their coffee differently, all systems are based on the size of the bean and the number of defects.
With many coffees, the grading is done by machine which is quick but often inaccurate. At Stoneleigh, all our beans are meticulously graded and selected by hand by highly-training individuals. This means you get beans in excellent condition - something that translates to the taste.
- It’s a little bit of luxury in your cup
Yes, Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is more expensive but you’re paying for the extra time and quality that comes from the work of a small group of dedicated growers.
As David Shirley says, “Expensive is relative. The bottom-line is a supply and demand issue. There are many different nations that love Blue Mountain Coffee and because the crop is limited each season it is more and more sought after. As more people try the brand, the more they want that rich quality and total satisfaction out of every cup. It is a luxury brand.”