My love of coffee is unquestionably a hereditary trait. My grandmother, my mother, and I, have all affirmed that coffee is our one true love.
Nevertheless, my mother is a strict and cautious woman. So, no matter how much I begged her when I was growing up, she always refused to let me (or my siblings) drink coffee. It wasn’t until I was sixteen going on seventeen (yes just like “The Sound of Music”) that she finally relented and let me drink my first cup.
However, she wasn’t going to let me squander my coffee virginity on just any old coffee. She made sure that my first was a cup of real Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
And that’s when I unabashedly fell in love.
How Does Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Taste?
Now, I could go the easy route and say that the taste is “indescribable” or that “you have to taste it for yourself to truly understand”. If I did, I wouldn’t be lying. However, in an effort to share my passion and hopefully convert you to a Blue Mountain lover, I’ll try my best.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has a relatively mild but energetic level of acidity that is complemented by a smooth texture, leaving very little bitterness in your mouth. It is a coffee that I can only describe as having a “clean” taste.
On the aromatic side of things, I personally get hints of nuts that are intermingled with sweet flowers and herbs. The smell of the Blue Mountains.
Real Recognize Real – Avoid Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m Jamaican – born and raised. I’m also a self-declared coffee lover. What do these two facts have to do with anything?
It means that it’s virtually impossible for me to fall victim to buying fake Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. However, chances are that you don’t to have my experience in this regard. So, here’s what you need to know about fake Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and how to avoid it.
Why is Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee So Prevalent?
The answer to this question can be broken down into two simple facts: supply and demand.
Jamaica is a small island and the Blue Mountains cover a relatively small area. In addition to this, it is time consuming to grow and prepare. All of these factors keep the supply fairly limited.
To put it mildly, the demand for it is high and this is primarily thanks to both the quality and the flavor. You don’t have to take my word for it, just ask Japan.
Approximately 80% of the Blue Mountain Coffee that is produced is exported to Japan – so their love for the coffee is also partially to blame for the limited supply. In fact, January 9th is “Blue Mountain Coffee Day” in both Jamaica and Japan.
How to Tell the Difference Between Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee and the Real Deal?
The Seal of Certification
The “Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica” is a division of the “Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority”. They are the governing body that establishes and enforces guidelines, rules, and regulations that are related to Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
One of the simplest yet most effective ways that they do this is by using a seal of certification and approving every label that is being used for Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
Read Everything on the Packaging
Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee will always boldly try to imitate the real thing. They will do this by stating things like “Made in Jamaica” or “100% Jamaican” on the packaging. What you need to do is read the fine print.
Oftentimes these fakers will say that they are made in Jamaica but they will have a tiny line of text that says it was packaged in the USA or some other area.
The real Blue Mountain coffee is grown in Jamaica, roasted in Jamaica, and packaged in Jamaica.
Familiarize Yourself with the Packaging of Real Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica approves all labels and packaging that are being used to sell authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. If you’re a coffee lover that has lived in Jamaica for some time, then you’ll no doubt be able to easily identify these labels.
If you’re a tourist or someone that is buying from overseas, then you won’t be able to tell what’s real at first glance. Don’t worry, as long as you do your research and know what to look out for, you’ll be okay.
Why Does It Cost So Much?
My mom didn’t solely drink Blue Mountain coffee when I was growing up; we weren’t rich enough for her to do that every day. Instead, her everyday cup was a local blend that contained around 25% Blue Mountain coffee. This was about half the price of the real thing and still managed to contain some of the flavor that she loved.
Her real Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee was her “feel good” coffee for when she wanted a pick-me-up.
Even if you’re a coffee lover that has some extra money to throw around, you will most likely still be surprised at how pricey authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee can be compared to your other coffee imports. Why is it so expensive?
- It takes much longer for it to mature.
- Every bean is hand inspected and beans with defects are weeded out.
- Harvesting takes time because of the steep slopes and secluded locations.
- The Blue Mountains are large but only a few select regions have been deemed suitable enough to grow the coffee.
- Approximately 80% of the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee that is produced is exported to Japan.
My Recommendations for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
If I had to recommend just one brand, then it would be no contest – JABLUM all the way! JABLUM Classic has been my go to coffee for years and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Wallenford comes in second but that doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means, it’s wonderful. It’s just that JABLUM is a step above it.
As for blends, I could recommend at least a dozen local blends. The only problem is that you won’t be able to order them online. One online blend that I can recommend is Volcania Coffee’s Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Blend. It has a 30% Blue Mountain coffee content and (in my opinion) actually rivals some local blends that I love.