Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee History

Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is one of the most sought after coffees in the world. It has an unmistakable deliciously rich oily, butter body, that carries with it subtle notes of ginger, vanilla, apricot and orange blossom. Traditionally, only coffee grown at elevations between 910 metres (3,000 ft) and 1,700 metres (5,500 ft) could be called Jamaica Blue Mountain. Coffee grown at elevations between 460 metres (1,500 ft) and 910 metres (3,000 ft) is called Jamaica High Mountain, and coffee grown below 460 metres (1,500 ft) elevation is called Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain. (All land in Jamaica above 1,700 metres (5,500 ft) is a forest preserve, so no coffee is grown there.
Only coffee grown in the legally defined Blue Mountain range in Jamaica can be certified as Blue Mountain Coffee. The area is favoured by the ultimate combination of the ideal altitude, mineral-rich soil, gentle cloud cover, mountain shade and ample sunlight.
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee can claim its origins from a decision taken by a French King in the 18th Century. In 1723, King Louis XV sent three coffee plants to the French colony of Martinique – another lush, fertile island 1,900 kilometres south-west of Jamaica. Five years later in 1728, Sir Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, received a gift of one coffee plant from the Governor of Martinique. The rest is history.

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