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Gourmet Foods 101
Did you know?
"The average working American consumes 3 cups of coffee per day"

Blue Mountain Coffee

Only the Best Arabica Beans

One of the most well known types, and best-named coffees by the way, is Blue Mountain coffee. There is a majestic range of hills in the eastern part of Jamaica known as the Blue Mountains. The land in the Blue Mountains is heavily wooded and the area is maintained as a forest reserve. The terrain, the rainfall pattern and the mist of the Blue Mountains are perfectly suited for the cultivation of delicious coffee.

Jamaican coffee has been famous around the world since the 18th century. The coffee gained prominence in the 19th century when many Jamaicans started to grow the crops on their own pieces of land. Most of those coffee growers chose the mountains, including the rugged and steep slopes of the Blue Mountains, for planting their coffee. Blue Mountain coffee is made exclusively from the Arabica Bean. This bean is more fragile to grow, but it is considered to be more flavorful and it has less caffeine than the Robusta Bean, which is grown in many parts of the world.

There are various brands and producers of Blue Mountain coffee. To make sure that the consumers get value and quality when buying coffee from Jamaica, the Jamaican coffee industry has legislation in place that marks the geographical boundaries of coffee classified as Jamaican Blue Mountain. This legislation is reinforced by strict inspection of the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board. Most of the coffee grown in the Blue Mountains is exported around the world, mainly to Japan.

Following the devastating hurricane of 1951, there were only three coffee processing plants still operating in the Blue Mountains. In 1973, those three processing plants at Mavis Bank, Silver Hill and Moy Hall, along with a newcomer from Wallenford, registered the name Blue Mountain Coffee. Several years ago, the Twyman family's Old Tavern Estate Coffee won the legal right to also sell its coffee under the Blue Mountain name.

Coffee plants need to be well watered, well drained and also need to experience periodic coolness during some stages of development. To be called Blue Mountain Coffee, it has to be grown at altitudes between 2,000 and 5,000 feet. It also has to be grown in the parishes of Portland, St. Andrew and St. Thomas and most importantly, it has to be grown on one of the estates of the processing plants of: Mavis Bank, Silver Hill, Moy Hall and Wallenford. If the coffee is grown anywhere else in the Blue Mountains or in Jamaica, it cannot be called Blue Mountain Coffee.