Have you ever wondered what some of the best coffee in the world tastes like?
Don’t get me wrong. Taste is subjective, and it varies in every individual. That’s why there aren’t many coffee varieties that a whole lot of experts can agree are better than any other coffee out there. But there is one noteworthy exception for many.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is one of the rarest and most sought after coffee beans in the world. And there’s never a shortage of people willing to pay large sums of money to get their hands on a bag of this exquisite-tasting coffee.
So what’s the reason behind all this hype? I’ll get to that in a moment. But if you’re in a rush, here’s our top pick for the best Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans:
Alternative Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee At A Glance
What is Blue Mountain Coffee?
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is heralded as one of the most popular and delicious coffees available today. It’s grown none other than in Jamaica, in the parishes of Portland, St. Andrew, and St. Thomas. With elevations of up to 7,500 feet above sea level, the Blue Mountains are some of the highest points in the Caribbean.
The perfect storm of high altitude, cool climate, rich soil, and adequate rainfall produce this mouthwatering arabica coffee. Jamaica Blue Mountain is naturally bright, sweet, and creamy. And that’s why every coffee aficionado treats these beans like royalty the world over.
Regulated by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is so distinguished that some people try to pass off cheap, knock-off beans as “Blue Mountain” coffee. Because of this, the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica has developed a rigorous set of checks with what’s called the Coffee Industry Regulation Act.
In this act, the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica lays out the qualifications necessary for using the Blue Mountain label on coffee beans. For the beans that are 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, the board allows the use of their seal of certification on the label.
As I mentioned, coffee grown in the parishes of Portland, St, Andrew, and St. Thomas are considered authentic Blue Mountain coffee. And more specifically, the coffee must be grown at an elevation of at least 3,000 feet to earn recognition as certified Blue Mountain beans.
Blue Mountain Single Origin Over Blends
It’s important to note that only single origin coffees are regulated by the Coffee Industry Board (CIB). This means that the board does not restrict blends that supposedly contain Blue Mountain coffee. So, a blend could contain as little as 5 to 10% of genuine Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, and you won’t even be sure of the quality of beans in that bag.
Always check out the label before buying it. If the roaster doesn’t indicate how much of the blend is authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, it’s probably not much.
Besides, you probably won’t be able to really appreciate the beauty of this world-class coffee in a blend. Poor quality beans can overshadow this coffee’s qualities, so I wouldn’t recommend a blend even if it’s a lot more affordable.
Genuine Blue Mountain Beans Are Expensive
As with any great coffee, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans come with a hefty price tag. But they’re so good that there’s an insane demand for them despite that.
Like I mentioned previously, this coffee must be planted at least 3,000 feet above sea level. This practice contributes to a maturation period of around ten months and a much sweeter bean. But it’s also because of this that coffee farmers aren’t able to produce vast quantities of this magnificent coffee.
On top of that, farmers are super strict with inspecting every batch of beans that comes their way. They hold Jamaica Blue Mountain beans to such a high standard of quality, as the coffee is handpicked one by one. This ensures that any and all defects they come across are removed.
When supply is low, and demand is high, price naturally increases. And for this coffee that’s grown only in select areas in Jamaica, the market interest is very, very high. The blossoming coffee culture in Japan consumes around 80% of the produced Blue Mountain coffee in Jamaica each year. This leaves just 20% of an annual harvest for the rest of the world!
Though Japan values these beans the most, people worldwide are willing to pay as much as they have to get their hands on a bag of this tremendous coffee.
What Do Blue Mountain Coffee Beans Taste Like?
Some people call Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee the Rolls-Royce of coffee beans. You’re likely wondering what’s behind all the hype surrounding this legendary coffee. But a better question would be, where do I even begin?
Firstly, the terroir of the Blue Mountains contributes to the superb quality of these beans. “Terroir” refers to the natural environment of the coffee plants, from the soil they plant to grow in through to the rainfall they get.
And the tropical climate in Jamaica makes it ideal for developing the beans’ sugars to the fullest.
Aside from its creamy mouthfeel and perfect body, you can expect these flavors in this world-class Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica:
- Mild, well-balanced flavor
- Nutty, chocolatey tones
- Sweet, herbal aroma
- Clean, medium acidity
- Absolutely no bitterness
“Mouthwatering” would be putting it lightly. So I won’t delay you any further from getting your hands on Blue Mountain beans!
The 6 Best Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Beans 2021
Peaberry is a mutation that naturally occurs in around 5% of JBM coffee beans, where a cherry contains just one seed instead of two. These beans are denser and have a rounder, larger shape than your common beans.
This results in a unique taste that many coffee drinkers argue is often more balanced than normal coffee.
Volcanica Coffee have cracked it with this medium roast Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. It’s incredibly sweet, bold, and intensely aromatic. This coffee is super-rich, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most sought after beans in the world.
If you tend to like chocolate-toned coffees, this coffee might be for you. It’s also by Volcanica Coffee and is a single estate bag like their peaberry beans. This coffee is incredibly rich and flavorful, with the perfect balance of chocolate, floral, and even fruity notes.
The Clifton Mount Estate has been growing high-quality Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee on the slopes of Catherine’s Peak since the late 1700s.
Their expertise is reflected in the superb quality of these coffee beans. It has a great balance of flavor, and has absolutely no bitterness!
All in all, highly recommended!
I’m the type of person who enjoys going down the rabbit hole of the most exotic coffees I can find. And if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy this medium roast Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee!
Unlike the previous options on this list, the flavors of this coffee from the Mavis Bank Estate are more mellow and woody. It actually tastes quite similar to a refreshing glass of root beer! It has floral hints to complement its light sweetness and that distinct richness that’s characteristic of all Jamaican Blue Mountain coffees.
This coffee is the perfect example of the taste you can achieve with the ideal growing conditions. The flavors are so pronounced and developed, and it’s probably unlike any coffee you’ve tasted before!
Clydesdale Estate is located in the heart of the Blue Mountains, making this the heart of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Everything people know and love about Blue Mountain coffee is present in these beans.
If you’re a fan of fruity coffees, this medium roast Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is for you. It has a terrific balance of acidic, fruity flavors, with a taste as sweet as its aroma. And this is one of the cleanest and clearest-tasting coffees you’ll ever experience.
This single estate coffee from Clydesdale is a product of centuries worth of perfecting farming practices. It’s a uniquely roasted coffee, and you’ll see why as you brew yourself one cup after another.
These coffee beans from Wallenford Estate are the “normal” brothers and sisters of the peaberry coffee I mentioned earlier. But even though I prefer the peaberry coffee, I need to give respect where it’s due. What I love about this coffee is the tasteful complexity of its flavor profile.
It has strong notes of dark chocolate, with a hint of orange peel to balance it out. These are underscored by a distinct buttery flavor that I didn’t expect to taste so good alongside the other flavors. The finish is long and clean, and it’s easy to forget that you’re even drinking coffee. It’s sweet and doesn’t have any bitterness.
If you enjoy identifying different flavor notes and getting the perfect balance in your brew, these could be the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee you end up enjoying the most from this list.
For the home-roasters reading this review, don’t worry: I didn’t forget about you! Fresh Roasted Coffee allows you to purchase the unroasted version of their delicious Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. If you want to try and bring out better and bolder flavor from your beans, home-roasting is a sure-fire way to do that.
Fresh Roasted roasts their beans medium, but you might prefer a lighter or ever-so-slightly darker roast for your brew! Regardless, you can expect that bold body and unique flavor that only the best coffee in the world can deliver.
The Blue Mountain Buyers Guide
How to Brew Jamaican Blue Mountain
Think of these beans as an investment in coffee enjoyment. As such, you’ll want to milk them (without actually adding milk) for every cent that they’re worth. You’ll want to maximize both the amount of coffee and the amount of flavor you can get in every cup.
In my experience, the ideal way to do that would be through your drip coffeemaker or using an immersion method such as the French press. These will allow you to slowly sip and savor the full spectrum of flavors that these beans have to offer!
And as with any other bean, make sure you only grind your beans as you’re about to use them. This will have your coffee tasting a lot better than if you pre-grind your coffee or buy pre-ground coffee. This is a general rule for all coffees – not just Blue Mountain coffee beans!
Beware of Fake Blue Mountain Coffee
Due to its price tag, there’s a lot of money to be made from Blue Mountain Coffee. That’s why some people try to turn a quick profit by selling blends, or worse, low-quality beans disguised as the real thing.
I don’t think I need to discuss the issue with knock-offs of these beans. Meanwhile, the problem with blends is that there’s no control over quality. These don’t have to pass standards of the CIB, so poor quality Blue Mountain coffee is often used. This doesn’t mean all blends are a scam. But there are ways to protect yourself from one!
For supposedly 100% Blue Mountain coffee, make sure the beans have the official seal of certification of the CIB on the bag. Without this seal, there’s a higher chance that the beans you’re buying are fake or haven’t passed official quality standards.
As for blends, I really wouldn’t recommend getting one if it’s your first time trying out these beans. As I said, it won’t really provide you with an authentic experience. But if there’s a bag of coffee that really catches your attention, make sure it indicates the percentage amount of Blue Mountain beans in the bag.
There could be as little as 5 or 10% Blue Mountain coffee in your bag without this indication. And there’s no way you should be paying a premium price for such a blend!
The Final Verdict
My favorite beans from this list are Volcanica’s Jamaica Blue Mountain Peaberry coffee.
But yours might be another one of our picks, and that’s okay too. The best Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee for each of us depends on what exactly we each enjoy.
But you can rest assured knowing that all these options are certified 100% authentic, and you’ll be getting nothing less than excellent quality beans from each one. In fact, you could make a case for any one of these choices to be the best coffee in the world!