Jamaican Blue Mountain

In Stock: 11 Lbs
Jamaica
Saint Andrew Parish
Members of the Jamaican Coffee Farmers Association
Typica, Blue Mountain, Geisha
1000 masl
Washed
Citrus and heavy with cedar flavor
Medium (City Roast)

Taste:  Balanced, rich, heavy mouthfeel but surprisingly mild. Rare in supply, high in demand – no wonder this coffee consistently fetches such a dear price.

Roast: Like it’s Hawaiian counterpart, this coffee is best roasted to Medium (City Roast) – maybe just a tad beyond.  For the money you pay for this bean, you may not want to “cook” out the intense flavors with a darker roast.

About:  Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is mainly produced by the Wallenford, Mavis Bank, Moy Hall, and Old Tavern Estates. It is consistently the highest-priced coffee in the world (outside of an auction system). A typical Jamaican farmer will pick his or her own “cherry-berry,” and drop them off to these estates for processing and payment. For the 15–20 years that we have been buying Jamaican coffee, we have not been able to work or communicate with the producers or farmers.

In 2014, our supplier met a young Jamaican coffee farmer who is a member of the Jamaican Coffee Farmers Association, a group of about 250 small producers in Jamaica that are trying to band together, process their own coffee, and bypass the big estates’ processing services. Since meeting and visiting their farms in Jamaica, they have pre-financed Arthur and the Jamaican Coffee Farmers Association, so that they can produce and process their own coffee and gain a greater share of the income generated from this coffee.

History: Coffee legend tells the tale of the French naval explorer named Gabriel de Clieu, who is widely (and probably falsely) given sole credit for transporting the first coffee plant from France to the island of Martinique in the Caribbean, but it is said that his coffee plant is the parent of the very first farms in the New World. Sir Nicholas Laws, the governor of Jamaica in 1725, allegedly bought seedlings that were descendants of de Clieu’s plant, thereby beginning the story of coffee in Jamaica.

The Blue Mountain region, Jamaica’s highest-elevation area, is also one of the highest-profile coffee-growing regions in the world, in large part because of the limited supply of the coffees, and the island’s worldwide renown as a luxury vacation destination lends an air of exoticism and romance to the coffees for those who have visited (or dreamed of visiting) the island. Blue Mountain coffees are so significant to the coffee economy of Jamaica that the coffees themselves need to be inspected and certified by the Coffee Industry Board before being labeled with the Blue Mountain name.

The average Jamaican farmer has between 80–175 coffee trees, and collects their coffee cherries in boxes (equal to 60 pounds) to sell to the processor or mill. A 60-pound box of cherries will yield about 12 pounds exportable green coffee.

Mavis Bank is the other most recognizable name in Jamaican coffee: Mavis Bank is a privately owned coffee estate and mill (formerly owned by the government) located about 10 miles north of the capital city, which is one of the main employers for the community in the immediate surrounding area (which is often also called Mavis Bank, as a kind of “neighborhood” moniker). Mavis Bank processes coffee from roughly 6,000 farmers, which is the vast majority of the growers in the country. Wallenford is another large processor of coffee on the island.


 

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