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Blue Mountain Jamaican Coffee

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Blue Mountain coffee comes from the mountains of Jamaica.  Blue Mountain coffee is known for its mildness and a distinct lack of bitterness. Over time, it has become the most expensive coffee in the world, and the most sought after. Besides making incredible brewed coffee, the Blue Mountain coffee bean is used as a base for the famous Tia Maria coffee liqueur.

The Blue Mountains of Jamaica are located between Kingston and Port Maria. Rising to an impressive height of 7,402 feet, the climate is cool and misty, and gets a lot of rainfall. The soil is rich and drains well… an ideal situation in which to grow coffee. Coffee beans were first brought to Jamaica in 1728 by the Governor, Sir Nicholas Lawes.

Once the beans are harvested, they are pulped and washed. The beans are then dried and cured for at least twenty weeks. Next, the beans go through a sorting process. Only a very few countries besides Jamaica allow the coffee beans to age at least six weeks. Aging improves consistency among the beans. Before exporting, the coffee is checked for appearance, and some is taste tested to insure quality.

As with other varieties of coffee around the world, there are several different grades of Blue Mountain coffee. For Grade 1, which is the best quality, 96% of the beans must fit a 17/20 screen size. No more than 2% of the coffee beans can have significant defects.

For Grade 2, 96% of the beans must fit a 16/17 screen size. No more than 2% of the beans may have any significant defects. There is also a Grade 3, a Blue Mountain peaberry, and a Blue Mountain Triage, which is a combination of the top three grades.

There is quite a lot of interesting trivia about Blue Mountain coffee. Many commercial coffee blends add a bit of Blue Mountain coffee to enrich the quality of their blend. Due to the strength of the Blue Mountain coffee beans, more cups of coffee can be made for the money. And even James Bond loves Blue Mountain coffee. The author of the James Bond series, Ian Fleming, lived in Jamaica for a part of every year. In his book, “Live and Let Die,” he has James Bond sitting to breakfast declaring, “Blue Mountain coffee, the most delicious in the world…”

In 1988, Jamaica lost a great deal of its coffee industry, due to damage from Hurricane Gilbert. It is just recently that production has been restored to previous levels for this unique coffee.

Out of all the coffee lovers in the world, Japan is the largest importer of Blue Mountain coffee. They invest a lot into the coffee industry, and they import approximately 80% of the Blue Mountain coffee crop every year. The rest of the world wrangles over the remainder. And is it worth the fight? Anyone who has tasted it would say yes. Blue Mountain coffee is sweet, smooth and mellow… all in all, an excellent cup of coffee.



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