Why Is Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee So Expensive?
What is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee?
Jamaican Blue Mountain (JBM) coffee is known for both its deliciously smooth taste, and its expensive price point.
There is no doubt that it is excellent coffee. It is smooth, clean, and mild without being bland, and boasts a flavour profile with a delicate balance of bitterness and sweetness.
So, why is JMB coffee so expensive?
Simple supply and demand economics.
This coffee is grown in the beautiful Blue Mountains of Jamaica. But simply being grown in those mountains is not enough to warrant the JMB status. It must also be grown between 3-,5000 feet above sea level in one of four specific parishes: Saint Andrew, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, or Portland.
The limited topographical range of production, and the strict regulatory requirements, means that very little coffee can be grown.
For context, the full volume of coffee exported from Jamaica every year is less than 0.04% of what is exported from Brazil.
And of the small amount that can be produced, 80% is exported directly to Japan. That leaves a paltry 20% for the rest of the world.
The extremely limited supply, coupled with the high demand, results in a high price point.
Image of Blue Mountain by Photo by Yves Alarie on Unsplash. Image of coffee beans by Marc Babin on Unsplash.