In the central region of Jamaica are the beautiful Blue Mountains, a cool and misty range with high rainfall. This classification of coffee grows at an elevation of 3,000 to 5,500 feet. It is here that Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee originates and it is one of the most expensive coffees you can buy.
Since the early 19th century Jamaica led the world in coffee production, after WWII the British government regulated production and established the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica. Even after emancipation from the British, the Jamaicans adhered to these guidelines set by the Board.
The Coffee Industry Regulation Act indicates what may be labeled as Blue Mountain and restricts the use of the Blue Mountain trademark.
Only coffee grown between 3,000 to 5,500 feet could be called Jamaican Blue Mountain, coffee grown at elevations between 1,500 and 3,000 feet is referred to as Jamaican High Mountain. Coffee grown below 1,500 feet is known as Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain. No coffee is grown over 5,500 feet as this is considered forest preserve land.
Blue Mountain coffee is graded based on defects allowed, appearance and size. The Coffee industry Regulations Act allows for five categories, all of which can have no more than 2 percent significant defects with the exception of the Triage grade which allows for 4 percent.