The coffee we know as Jamaica Mountain Blue was first cultivated by freed enslaved peoples in 1838, following the British abolishment of slavery.
In 1891 efforts were made to improve the country's agronomy and during this time JBM rose to international prominence. In 1950 the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board was established to promote, regulate, monitor and guide the development of the coffee industry of Jamaica and to assure quality of Jamaican coffee.
Today, JBM is grown on the Wallenford Estate and is considered by industry experts to be the "cream of the crop" of Jamaica Blue Mountain Certified coffees.
Wallenford Estate coffee is grown within a strictly defined region in the Eastern Blue Mountains at 1,500 mt - 2,400 mt above sea level. This is one of the highest coffee regions in the World. Only coffee grown in this precise geographic region under exacting and well governed conditions, is Certified.
The celebrated and majestic mountain range rises in the eastern end of the Jamaica island. This micro environment has been recognised by UNESCO with unique and endangered species of birdlife, butterflies, animals and flora.
Here, the terroir qualities of high altitude, fertile soil rich in iron and minerals, warm Caribbean temperatures which do not fluctuate much seasonably, plentiful rainfall and a thick Blue Mountain mist that envelops the hillsides each afternoon, emulating a shade grown micro climate, create perfect environment conditions for this elusive bean.
The trees are old Bourbon and Typica varietals which are pruned from the crown of the tree so that the branches spread to receive maximum light, moisture from the clouds and ease of harvest by hand.
The slopes are steep and treacherous, while the producers are the among the best paid producers and certainly the best paid workers in Jamaica.
They receive 50% of the revenue of the crop along with medical and other support from the parent company, This contributes to the high price of the exported beans, yet in the home, this coffee can be brewed for just $2.60 per cup, which is far cheaper than a beer, or a wine. Only 15% of the coffee grown in Jamaica is Certified and authenticated as Jamaica Blue Mountain. It is the pedigree of taste, nuanced and long, which makes this coffee most sought after.
Jasper Coffee's love affair with this special coffee started in 1995 when a rum broker had used packs of Mavis Bank coffee as ballast to fill a container.
He was unfamiliar with coffee sales or coffee and handed us the lot to sell. This was an immediate special caffeine hit and resounded through the market at prices never before dreamed of. We have been roasting and selling this Certified coffee since with only two selected release times in the year.
The cargo of coffee beans arrives from Jamaica in distinctive wooden barrels, which hold 15,30 or 70kg. Our process of quality control includes measuring the moisture and density of the beans prior to roasting. We then do sample roasts to understand the optimum roast profile for the new crop and to reveal the unique qualities of this rare coffee. We then roast to specific profile to ensure optimal cup flavours of arguably the most famous of all coffees.