If you love coffee, its taste, color and the whole culture surrounding it, then you have surely heard about (and tasted) Blue Mountain coffee. The delicious Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, one of the most aromatic and exotic coffees in the world, is cultivated in the beautiful Blue Mountain region and sold all over the world. Coffee plays an important part in Jamaica’s economy, but its role doesn’t just stop there. Coffee is embedded in Jamaican culture just as surely as Bob Marley or rum is. For coffee lovers, Jamaica is the best holiday destination in the Caribbean, so if you are planning on a beach vacation anytime soon, why not indulge in your love of the dark, bitter brew? Here’s a coffee lover’s guide to Jamaica to give you a taste of what’s in store for you.
Blue Mountain Region
Blue Mountains, photo by Jason Riedy
Those who hate coffee will still love the Blue Mountain region, because apart from producing the beans that make up the JBM coffee, it is one of the most pleasant natural areas in Jamaica. These are the tallest mountains in Jamaica, and since they are almost perpetually shrouded in mist they seem almost blue from a distance, hence the name. The landscape is lush and tropical, and the coffee grown in these mountains is one of the most expensive in the world. Coffee estates have been flourishing in the region since the French brought coffee to Jamaica in 1728, and the beans grown in the mountains have instantly been recognized as far superior to the ones from the lowlands. Many coffee estates are scattered in the Blue Mountains, but most of the coffee is grown on small farms and is processed according to the farmer’s own secret recipe. You can visit many of these estates and farms, and find out how the coffee beans are prepped.
Gap Café, Hardwar Gap, John Crow Mountain National Park
Gap Café in the Blue Mountains is reputed for many things: spectacular views of Kingston and Newcastle, delicious Jamaican cuisine, but most of all it is said to serve the best cup of coffee in the world. The Blue Mountains coffee beans are freshly ground and lovingly brewed into a perfect cup of coffee as you sit back and take in the scenery.
Coffee Museum and Cafe, Ocho Rios
photo by Christian Kadluba
This coffee-shop/museum/gift shop is all that a coffee lover could wish for. You can indulge in a nice cup of joe, look at the displays revolving around the production and processing of Jamaican coffee, and then load up on goodies at the gift shop. You can buy coffee-making accessories, coffee-based sweets and most importantly, bags of Jamaica’s fines coffees. A 3 in 1 coffee paradise like this could not possibly be left out of a coffee’s lover’s guide to Jamaica.