The Difference Between Blue Mountain and High Mountain Coffee

Are you a coffee drinker? If so, you have probably heard of Jamaica Blue Mountain and High Mountain blends. Have you ever wondered what the difference is, other than the name? There is actually a significant difference, one which greatly affects the taste and quality of the beans grown in these respective areas.

Knowing which one to buy is particularly important if you prefer a certain flavor, regardless of whether or not you are an avid drinker. It should also be noted that the beans produced in the Jamaican mountains bear a certification mark that is recognized globally, primarily due to the sheer popularity of the products being produced in this country.

The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica holds the responsibility of determining, and ultimately labeling, these beans as “Blue Mountain” or “High Mountain” blends. In any event, both types are bold and delicious, which is why they are imported in large quantities to countries all over the world. Here is some helpful information for understanding the difference between each.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Gourmet Coffee Blend

As you can probably imagine, Blue Mountain coffee beans are grown and harvested in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Located between Kingston in the south and Port Antonio in the north, their expanse is vast and the highest point of the mountain range is roughly 7,500 feet. Their size has earned these mountains the title of being the highest peaks in the Caribbean. Coffee bean growers do not plant their products this high, though, as they tend to stick to the elevation between 4,000-5,000 feet. The soil is very fertile here and the air is crisp. In addition, the area receives a considerable amount of rainfall annually, making it ideal for planting. The result is a cup of gourmet coffee with mild flavor that lacks a bitter taste.

Jamaica High Mountain Coffee

The term “high mountain coffee” is actually a bit deceiving, as beans that fall into this classification are actually planted at a lower elevation than their counterpart. The range tends to be about 1,500-3,000 feet. Given that the higher altitude climate is more suitable for growing, High Mountain coffee beans have a noticeably more bitter taste. However, these blends are still highly sought after, due to their smooth, sweet taste. Therefore, if you want gourmet coffee and are on a budget, this may be the better option than Blue Mountain products.

Coffee is one of Jamaica’s top exports, and for good reason. The gourmet blends they export are some of the best. If you are interested in the High or Blue Mountain varieties, make sure the company you are buying from has certified bags that have received the stamp of approval from the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.

Alicia D. Walker

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