Ian Fleming declares in Live and Let Die, (1954) “Blue Mountain Coffee, the most delicious in the world.”
It has been one of the most expensive coffees over the past 200 years, but is it really the most delicious? Like coffee from any producing country it can be wonderful, though the same rules apply: it must be carefully grown, harvested and processed. Then it needs to be properly roasted, ground and brewed just before serving. There can be both bad and good Jamaica Blue Mountain – despite the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board’s strict criteria for export grade.
Authentic Blue Mountain is grown in a demarcated area, just to the northeast of Kingston. It is steep terrain, rising from 2500 to 4500 feet above the Caribbean. There are no “Blends” or “Styles”, and the cost per pound is anywhere from $30.00 to $50.00. But, who says you have to buy a full pound? For around $10.00 you can brew a pot or two and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
When I began roasting in 1982, Blue Mountain was unavailable in the United States. I was determined to offer it on our list, and made numerous trips to Jamaica. I shot a video in 1983 where an agriculture field expert describes the difference between Typica and Geisha, varieties that are currently in vogue. In 1984 or so, I was able to offer my customers pure Jamaican Blue Mountain, and I’ve been happy to supply it ever since.
While there are numerous coffees from around the world that exhibit arguably as good or better cup, there are few friends or relatives who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive some fresh, honest, Blue Mountain as a special gift.