Good coffee, one of life’s most delicious little luxuries, is available in almost overwhelming variety. One little corner of the market, however, has become particularly well-known across the globe for its incredibly smooth and flavorful beans. Jamaican coffee is something any coffee lover has got to try, and is mild and smooth enough that even those who aren’t hooked on the drink will love it. Before you try it, though, it will definitely help to know the difference between Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaican High Mountain coffee, and all other Jamaican coffee.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
The breathtakingly beautiful Blue Mountains run from Port Antonio in the north down a southern path to Kingston. Here, at elevations from 3,000 to 5,500 feet, grows Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. This name is a globally protected certified mark. This means that in order to be properly certified and labeled as such, the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica must conduct a thorough inspection to ensure quality. The rigor is truly worth the final product. The resulting brew you can get from these beans is one of the most sought-after in the world; it is mild, and remarkably without bitterness, yet with an incredibly aromatic complexity. Environmental conditions are the secret for this perfect taste; a nutrient-rich soil under cool and misty air grows the beans that world has fallen in love with.
Jamaican High Mountain Coffee
Just below the sloped fields of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, at elevations between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, grows the coffee called Jamaican High Mountain. Though not quite up to par with the sophisticated complexity and lack of bitterness of its higher altitude cousin, these beans will still brew a deliciously smooth, semi-sweet, and highly aromatic beverage. For those with a tight budget who still want the experience of the coffee from Jamaica’s mountains, this is an excellent option. Like other coffees from the region, it needs to be certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica, so be sure to check the label before you make your purchase.
Other Jamaican Coffee
All coffee grown in Jamaica below 1,500 feet is known as Jamaican Supreme or Jamaican Low Mountain. Conditions at this level are not ideal (you could view one side of a mountain a bit like a line on a graph, indicating increasingly favorable environmental conditions for cultivation). Though the coffee you can get from this region is not necessarily bad, if you are going to have a taste of Jamaican coffee, you should at least try to find some Jamaican High Mountain, if not Jamaican Blue Mountain.