A perpetual mist hovers above the mountains in the eastern third of Jamaica, producing a blue haze that lends to their name. These mountains are wondrous in natural and historic ways, but they’re also the home of the world’s greatest coffee.
The coffee produced on the Blue Mountains is known to be herbal, floral, and whole-bodied, all while being evenly acidic. The nutty overtones are every bit as welcome as is the lack of bitterness. All of this adds up to what is known as one of the smoothest coffees in the world. So how do you choose which one to buy? Are you ready to shell out the money?
Figuring out the right Jamaican coffee can be thought of as a long hike, but we’ve strapped on our boots and grabbed our walking poles. In these reviews, you will hopefully find everything you need to know to purchase your next favorite cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.
A Quick Glance at our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Volcanica Wallenford||
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|Green Coffee Traders||
|Best Ground Coffee Pick||Coffee Traders||
The 6 Best Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Brands
1. Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, Wallenford – Best Overall
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Volcanica has built a reputation as a great roaster of gourmet Arabica beans, so it’s not much of a surprise to see them top this list. This will be a soft cup with a sweet and orangey, buttery feel. Once you’ve swallowed, the chocolate and orange will linger, but in a good way.
Some roasters would maybe cower to the Blue Mountain bean and roast it as little as possible to really let the flavor out, but Volcanica is confident in roasting it at a medium level. They say that this is the best way to experience the flavor that the coffee of the Blue Mountains has to give.
They also guarantee delivery of the bean between 3 to 30 days of roasting, so you can count on a fresh batch of coffee arriving to your house. Of course, if you live in Atlanta, Georgia, you can just go pick it up. But for the rest of us, we can sleep well knowing that we’ll only receive fresh, wonderful beans from the Blue Mountains via Atlanta.
The bean itself is clean and won’t muck up your grinder. It is also 100% certified by Jamaica Coffee Industry Board.
SEE ALSO: Our Complete Volcanica Coffee Review
- Fresh delivery
- Clean bean
- Not too light
- Eventually the bag is empty
2. Magnum Exotics Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Blend
When you’re out there looking for the Jamiacan Blue Mountain variety, there are a few things to keep your eyes out for. First, is the price. If it isn’t really pricey, then there’s a good chance that it’s either not 100% Jamaican coffee, or not Jamaican coffee at all. This coffee would be the former, as it contains roughly 20% of Blue Mountain coffee.
With that being said, the flavors of the other coffees blended with this one take away from the sweet chocolate and orange pow you get with the Volcanica single origin. It’s also not as smooth of a cup.
However, there is also the price point to consider. If you want to get a feel for what premium Blue Mountain coffee tastes like, this is a wonderful gateway for you to experience some of the notes, a nice little tease before the big show. And, for being such a good gateway to Jamaican Blue Coffee, it was easy to choose this as our runner up.
- Smooth cup
- Not as expensive
- Blended (only about 20% JBM)
- Other beans shine through
3. Green Coffee Traders 100% Jamaica Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Green Coffee Traders is a neat little outfit that offers unroasted green beans. Whether or not you want to roast your own beans is up to you, but it adds another layer to the coffee process some may appreciate. We can also help you with that if you’d like!
If you don’t want to roast your own coffee, they send it to you in a medium City Roast, which comes out as a nice, deep brown. Another perk is that they don’t roast the coffee until you order it. Some might not prefer this as they want delivery right now, but from what we can gather it doesn’t really add too much time to the delivery process.
This product is 100% Blue Mountain. It ain’t cheap.
- Can roast your own
- 100% JBM
4. Coffee Traders One-Hundred Percent Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee – Best Ground Coffee Pick
If you’re spending this much money on the coffee, you may prefer the full flavor of freshly roasted beans. But if you prefer the convenience of pre-ground coffee, the Coffee Traders 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a good option.
This is another great coffee from Jamaica that you can buy in quantities small enough that it probably won’t go bad. In reality, this stuff is so good you’d run through it no matter how much you bought. The flavors here are what you would expect from a JBM; chocolate with orange notes and a smoothness that’s unmatched in coffee.
This pre-ground coffee is 100% certified and you will receive proof of origin upon purchase.
- Brilliant JBM coffee
- Proof of origin
5. Dancing Moon 100% Board Certified Genuine Jamaica Blue Mountain Ground Coffee
Another example of great Blue Mountain coffee, Dancing Moon’s 100% Board Certified Genuine Jamaica Blue Mountain Ground Coffee reminds us that when you have your coffee pre-ground, it takes away your options in brew methods. That really is a shame with JBM because the flavors are so rich and diverse and could be highlighted in so many ways.
It’s hard to say anything about this coffee that hasn’t been said about the others. It’s another 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain, no blend here. The flavors are as listed above in the other reviews. This roaster is cool because 5% of the profits they make go to charity, a noble cause indeed.
There have been reports that sometimes these beans show up stale. For the amount you’re paying, that’s pretty darn risky.
Here’s a tip if you are getting Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee pre-ground: make sure the water you are using is hot enough or that the drip coffee maker you are using is able to get to suitable temperatures. You want to be between 195 degrees F and 205 degrees F. You do not want to use boiling water! It will burn your coffee, and this is coffee you do not want to burn.
If you are going to buy ground coffee, especially of this quality, you’ll probably want a proper storage method. Here’s an article to help you get started.
- 5% to charity
- Jamaican Blue Mountain quality
- Might arrive stale
6. Landor Trading Company Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
This coffee claims to be 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain but doesn’t quite have the pop that the others do. The price of this item also makes us a little skeptical. As in, it’s not as expensive as it should be for something that is 100% Blue Mountain. Who knows, maybe they got rejected cherries from the farms?
It’s a fine cup of coffee. It’s a great price. But we personally prefer some of the other picks on this list when it comes to taste.
- Good cup
- Good price
- Taste could be more interesting
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
The Blue Mountains create the perfect habitat to grow coffee. The environment is cool and misty, and there are frequent rains that pass through the region’s nutrient-rich, high drainage soil. Since these beans are so prized, cultivation is tightly regulated, and only certified beans can carry the name.
JBM coffee is widely regarded as the best and worth the money you’ll spend on it. But there are shady people out there, and shady roasters, too. You may want to be cautious when shopping for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Do your due diligence. There are some things to consider.
It Should Be Expensive
It’s the best coffee in the world. It will be priced accordingly. Another force driving up the cost of Blue Mountain Coffee beans is that Japan receives more than 80%. They are also a main ingredient in the popular Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur.
If It’s Inexpensive…
It’s probably a blend, and a blend just has to have a little Jamaican Blue Mountain in it to call itself Jamaican Blue Mountain. You might not be able to taste what you are attempting to buy. Even worse, it…
Could Be a Shady Roaster
Dishonesty is human, and coffee is what gets humans going.
How To Tell If the Beans Are Authentic
True Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans will always come with a certificate of authenticity. Specifically, you want to look for a certificate somewhere on the package issued by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority. In some cases, it will be a round badge with a barrel over a map of the country and the words Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee around the border.
However, it’s important to remember that a manufacturer can mix certified beans with other varieties to create a blend, so a certification on the package does not guarantee 100% Blue Mountain Beans.
The Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee bean produces a full-bodied drink that’s moderately bright. It’s perfect for any time of the day but is best when relaxing so you can enjoy it. This coffee has a sweet aroma and is usually roasted to a medium grade, though others are possible.
Whole Bean vs Ground
Whole beans will stay fresher than ground beans, which can lose their flavor extremely quickly. Many coffee experts will tell you that most pre-ground coffee is already stale before you buy it. A grinder is required, which is an added expense, but you will have full control over how coarse the result is. Finer grinds will produce stronger coffee, and you can also use beans in different types of coffee makers that require a different grind.
|It is possible to purchase your coffee bean unroasted so you can do the work in your kitchen. It might be difficult to find Blur Mountain beans in this state since they are rare, but purchasing unroasted beans gives you complete control over the final flavor.|
|Drying is the first stage of roasting that all beans must go through. It ends just before you hear the first crack.|
|If you have several beans in an oven or roaster, stopping the roast when you hear the first few cracks will give you a cinnamon roast. This temperature will produce a light and grainy flavor that is highly dependent on the quality of the bean|
New England Roast
|If you leave the beans in your roaster until most pop, signifying the first crack, you will have the New England roast. The new England Roast is a light coffee that retains the taste of the bean.|
|Just beyond the New England roast is the American roast. The American roast is a light-medium roast coffee that is less acidic than the others we have looked at so far but still has plenty of bean flavor. This coffee will start to darken and have a browner color than the greenish ones we have looked at so far.|
|City roast is just beyond American, and these beans will have an even darker color than the others. This roast ends just before the beans begin to crack for a second time, and it will have a balanced flavor of the original bean plus the roast.|
|Once you hear some of the beans get the second crack, you are officially into the dark-roast territory. These beans will be very dark and oily, especially a day or two after roasting, and they will have a strong roasting flavor the starts to mast that of the beans.|
|Just beyond Full City is Vienna. Many of the beans will have their second split, and the color will be very dark. The differences in coffee beans become less noticeable, and they are more oily than Full City beans.|
|When almost all of the beans have achieved their second crack, your beans will be French roasted. The coffee will also be very oily and will have a strong roasting flavor that many people like while others say tastes burnt.|
|Italian is the darkest roast, and these beans have a black color and strong burnt taste. There is little difference between beans, and most brands will taste nearly identical.|
Here are some other exotic coffee locations we have looked at:
This is the best coffee in the world, and pretty simple to get your hands on – if you have the know-how and the money. We’ve found our favorite to be the Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Anything that is certified by the CIB is bound to be amazing. It is one of their top-grossing exports, so they don’t mess around.
We can’t stress this enough: make sure it has the certification stamp. If the price looks too good to be true, then you need to believe your gut instinct, because it is too good to be true. Also, remember to look out for blends. They might have certified JBM in them, but only need to have a little to be able to say it’s there. Choose one of the above coffees to ensure that you’re getting the best Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee currently available.
So, there is a good amount to sift through, but once you know what you are looking for, it can narrow your focus quite a bit and make your shopping experience much less overwhelming. We hope these reviews have helped you on your journey towards the best cup of coffee in your life!
You might be interested: 10 Best Peet’s Coffee – Reviews & Top Picks
Featured image credit: 3D_Maennchen, Pixabay
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