Produced in the valleys where the sounds of reggae and gospel music drift freely across and over the highest peak – the Blue Mountain itself – Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a world-famous classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The classification is specifically noted for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness.
Over the last several decades, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee has developed a reputation for being excellent, making it the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world.
In fact, the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is so valued that it is protected worldwide as a certification trademark. This means that only coffee certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica can be labeled as Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. The Board is monitors the production of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee from its cultivation to its production as coffee beans or ground coffee sold all over the world.
By the Coffee Industry Regulation Act, the types of coffee that may use the label Blue Mountain are specified, in addition to the general restriction of coffee that may use the Blue Mountain trademark. In broad, the said Act states that coffee harvested from the parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint Thomas, Portland, and Saint Mary may be considered as Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.
Below are the specific boundaries defined by the Act:
“Starting at Skibo and proceeding in an east-south-easterly direction to Swift River;
thence east-south-easterly to Chelsea;
thence east-south-easterly to Durham (Samba Hill);
thence south-easterly to Belleview;
thence south-easterly along the western slope of the John Crow Mountain to Cedar Grove;
thence westerly to Font Hill;
thence north-westerly to Ramble;
thence westerly to Good Hope;
thence north-westerly to Dallas;
thence north-westerly to Industry Village;
thence north-westerly to Maryland;
thence north-westerly to Golden Spring;
thence northerly to Brandon Hill;
thence north-easterly to Tranquility;
thence east-north-easterly to Skibo.
In addition to these fairly extensive boundary restrictions, only coffee grown at elevations between 3,000 to 5,500 feet may be called Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. If the area of cultivation is only between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, the coffee is called Jamaica High Mountain while those at 1,500 feet below are called Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain.
Under the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee label, there are five classifications. They are the following:
* Blue Mountain No. 1 – For Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee to be graded No. 1, 96% of its beans must have a screen size of 17/18.
* Blue Mountain No. 2 – For coffee to be graded Blue Mountain No. 2, 96% of the coffee beans must have a screen size of 16/17.
* Blue Mountain No. 3 – 96% of beans must have a screen size of 15/16/17.
* Blue Mountain Peaberry – 96% of the beans must be peaberry.
* Blue Mountain Triage – the bean sizes are varied and no more than 4% of the beans must have significant defects.