Jamaica's Coffee - Here's The Secret To It's Rich Flavour?

by Denise Salmon
(Jamaica)

Jamaica's Coffee

Jamaica's Coffee

There are many factors accounting for the unique flavour of Jamaican coffee.

One of the main one though is the aromatic coffee beans used here. They produce a rich, yet gentle flavor and goes down so smoothly.

It's taste is tied to the geographic and climatic conditions found only in a small part of Jamaica. Yes, less than 30,000 acres of land is devoted to coffee production, but only 9,000 acres between Kingston and Port Antonio are within the boundaries of the Blue Mountains. And the superior beans are produced at highest elevations of over 2000 ft!

Coffee is certainly one of the islands delights, even though it is not native to Jamaica. It actually originated in Yemen and Europeans took it across the World.

It is said that Louis XV of France sent three plants to Martinique in 1723. But unfortunately two plants died on the journey and the one remaining plant ended up in Jamaica.

Coffee quickly spread throughout the islands after it started growing in Jamaica, but the coffee with the best flavor is still the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.

The Jamaican coffe comes from the Arabic bean, a bean that is far more flavorful and fragile than the Robusta bean which is commonly grown in South America.

It also has less caffeine than the ordinary coffee.

In order to get the heavenlty taste though, Jamaican growers allow the seeds to germinate for one to two years. They then cut off one of the two root systems before it is planted.

This method causes slow growth and takes approximately 5 years before first harvest. But after that is done there is usually a high yield crop with high acidity.

Jamaica's High Mountain mist keeps the plants damp and cool. The average temperature on the mountains is simply ideal for coffee plants. Not too cold just cool.

Harvesting is a lot of work, and this is done when the beans or cherries are ripe. They are hand picked, one at a time before they are processed.

There are 4 estates where processing is done. Wallenford (owned by the Government), Mavis Bank, Silver Hill and Moy Hall.

These estates produce the authentic Blue Mountain Coffee. The others are Blended Blue Mountain Coffee as not all coffee from Jamaica is grown on the mountain.

So the next time you drink coffee, I hope you'll be drinking Jamaica's Blue Mountain- still the best coffee in the world!

-Denise Salmon

More on Blue Mountain Coffee

See Also: Tasty Jamaican Foods

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