Learning your JMBC Flavor & Characteristics

Each batch and each order that’s ready for shipment is physically assessed and cup tested by the Jamaica Coffee Industry Boards Quality Assurance Department, if the batch passes this exacting process the Coffee Industry Board then grants written approval to proceed with the shipment. 

The cup taster at the Coffee Industry Board looks first for faults then the desirable attributes—body, sweetness and acidity. It takes years of training to acquire the sharpened sense of taste and smell that a cup taster must have to be able to distinguish and identify many different coffees. Additionally, and incredibly important, the cup tasters need well honed sensor taste and smell perceptions as they are blind folded when they are cup testing. The authenticity of 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is crafted from a deep rooted commitment (350 years) by the growers in the industry to deliver uncompromising and distinguishing single origin coffee on each and every occasion.

The Jamaica Coffee Industry Board’s first cup tester was its chairman, Mr. Keble Munn, his family’s connection with coffee growing extends back to 1885. The earliest coffee related picture of Keble Munn was taken when he was 3 years old, standing on a coffee drying rack (a coffee barbecue) surrounded by parchment coffee. He was at Strawberry Hill Estate on that occasion.

Mr. Munn returned from serving in World War II in 1945 and became actively involved in coffee growing. He was an exclusive Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee farmer since 1945. Mr. Munn used to say “ Cup testing is really a human response—you are looking for acidity and flavours good or bad—and the big thing to remember is that coffee takes up the smell of anything around it”.

The roots of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, JBMC, at Flamstead Estate.

It is widely know and accepted that in 1728 SIR Nicholas Laws the governor of Jamaica acquired coffee beans and plants from Martinique and from this crop introduction was the beginnings of Flamstead Estate coffee. 

Little know though, is at the same time of your visionary Governor’s coffee plants and beans acquisitions, a planter on his own volition, from the area of Vere in the parish Clarendon also acquired some coffee beans. Fortunately, one bean germinated and grew from this batch of beans. When this bean grew, almost reflecting the biblical analogy, the demand for the subsequent crops was so great that he was receiving four pence, a considerable sum in those days. Flamstead Estate Coffee from humble beginnings, as all Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee rapidly gained the enviable reputation as the premiere coffee of the Empire and the world. 

Best of all, JBMC has earned its reputation, out of honoring our environment. JBMC is not the result of marketing maneuvers by bottom line focused multinationals or a manufacturing innovation or a sanction by some traders on another greedy financial deal. JBMC’s affordable luxury, is a reputation earned by establishing  good farming practices and of the glorious gift from the greatest source of all “ Mother Nature”.  

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Flamstead Estate

The first recorded export of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee was in 1737 when total coffee exports was 83,400 pounds and as one could expect this shipment and subsequent shipments were sold to agents in London. Eventually duties were imposed on the importation of coffee to Briton in an effort to protect the importation of tea by the East India Company.
As a result of this protectionist action by Briton,  Jamaican coffee production fluctuated and dropped as low as 24,800 in 1746. The market was also being flooded by coffee from the French Caribbean especially Haiti which in 1789 was the world’s largest producer of coffee exporting some 77 million pounds per year.
In 1789 Haiti had a slave uprising and the coffee industry collapsed and overnight this huge coffee production ceased and all the world scrambled to get hold of coffee, whatever coffee was available. 

At Flamstead Estate and other coffee estates in Jamaica good prices for their coffee returned, of course, many of the coffee estate owners and workers who ran away from Haiti resettled in Jamaica.

 They transferred their expertise towards the coffee production in Jamaica. Good prices and an influx of knowledgeable coffee farmers led to the expansion of coffee production at Flamstead Estate and other plantations in Jamaica. Flamstead Estate Coffee evolves with a rich history that is reflected in its rich aroma, full body and sweet after taste satisfaction.

Until the Hatian slave uprising Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee’s unique quality was the toast of the British Empire, however thereafter Jamaica Blue Mountain’s coffee became world renowned. Flamstead Estate Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, why don’t you enjoy an affordable luxury. 

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The following Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee recipes are usually prepared at special occasions and as an after dinner coffee with very special friends.

 Coffee Spanish Main,

 In memory of Port Royal. 

6 fl ozs( 175ml) Jamaica Rum, 

Grated rind of one orange,

6 tbsp, (tablespoons) brown cane sugar,

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg,

1 stick cinnamon,

6 cups(two and a half pints, or 1.5 liters) hot Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.

Place all the ingredients except the coffee in the rum and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add the coffee to the rum mixture. Serve immediately.

It’s enough for 6 servings.

Café Calypso 

2fl ozs (50ml) coffee liquor, Tia Maria / Kahlua, etc:

1fl oz (25ml) Jamaica Rum,

2 cups (3/4pint or 50ml) hot coffee.

Whipping Cream

Mix the liqueur, rum and hot coffee together. Pour into cups and top with whipping cream. Serve immediately.

It’s perfect for 2.