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Jamaican Blue Mountain Mavis Bank

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Jamaican Blue Mountain Mavis Bank

Product Code: 1JamBlue

Availability: In stock

5 for $224.50 $44.90per pound
Click "Customize and Buy" to choose Type, Roast and Grind for your wholesale coffee bean order of Jamaican Blue Mountain Mavis Bank in 5 pound bulk bags.

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5 for $224.50 $44.90per pound

100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Mavis Bank

Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, MBCF, is Jamaica’s largest and only fully integrated Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee facility. Approximately 1.4 million pound of green beans from over 6000 farmers are processed here annually.

Coffee was introduced to Jamaica in 1728, when the governor of French-controlled Martinique sent Jamaica’s British Colonial Governor, Nicholas Lawes, a few coffee trees to be planted in and around Kingston. However, Lawes and his administration were too preoccupied with battling the famous pirates and privateers of the day to become coffee aficionados, and it wasn’t until the late 18th century that coffee started to boom. This was due to the lowering of tariffs, a huge increase in demand for coffee in England, and the navy’s success in stamping out piracy. By the early 19th century, Jamaica was one of the biggest coffee exporters in the Caribbean, with over 800 estates producing 34 million pounds a year at its peak in 1814. This is almost twice as much coffee as Jamaica produces today.
The production fell off significantly after the abolition of slavery in 1838. Many of the coffee plantations were abandoned in the first few years after emancipation. Other estates were carved up and converted into small farms by the former slaves who used the land to grow food for themselves instead of growing coffee or other cash crops. In addition, the free laborers who worked on the remaining coffee plantations had to compete with other coffee growing regions in the Caribbean that had not yet eliminated slavery. Jamaican coffee picked by paid laborers was more expensive than coffee picked using slave labor, causing demand for it to decrease.

It was also difficult to attract new workers to fill the jobs on the coffee plantations. Many laborers preferred Jamaica’s domestic sugar industry, because it was a tradition on the sugar plantations that the workers could eat as much sugar as they wanted while they harvested, while a similar deal was not offered to the coffee pickers. Also, it was hard for the owners of the plantations to recruit labor from abroad because Jamaica was very hot and outbreaks of diseases like cholera and malaria were common. In 1849, Asiatic cholera killed over 30,000 Jamaicans, more than 1 out of every 13 inhabitants of the island.

There were other price fluctuations in Jamaican coffee. After the Revolutions of 1848, the drinking of coffee was discouraged by the English crown. This was because coffee and coffee house culture was seen subversive or radical, the drink of revolutionaries. This was the time the English became the tea-drinking nation we know today.

By the 1890s, the Jamaican coffee industry was in shambles. The government passed legislation to provide “instruction in the art of cultivation and curing by sending certain districts, competent instructors”. This initiative had some success, but quality control was a challenge for the next fifty years. In 1944, was the decision by the Jamaican government to establish a Central Clearing Coffee operation where all coffee for export had to be processed. The second was the creation of the Jamaican Coffee Industry Board (or the JCIB) in 1950 empowered to improve, control and maintain the quality and reputation of Jamaican coffee.

Rarity:

Jamaica does not export much coffee. In fact, in 2013 it only produced around 7,000 tons of coffee, representing about 0.1% of world production. And Jamaican Blue Mountain represents only 15% of all coffee grown in Jamaica. So, why is it so rare?

There are two main reasons. First, the area where Jamaican Blue Mountain can be grown is relatively small. The coffee must be grown on the eastern part of the island in the parishes of Portland, St. Andrew and St. Thomas, between 2,000 and 5,000 feet above sea level. The climate and environment in this area is a big part of what gives the coffee its famous sweet flavor. Not a lot of land means that only a small number of coffee trees can be planted and harvested every year.

The second reason for Jamaican Blue Mountain’s rarity is the Jamaican government’s rigorous coffee certification process. In the first place, there are only five estates that are certified to grow Jamaican Blue Mountain: Wallenford, Mavis Bank, Old Tavern, Silver Hill and Moy Hall. But even coffee grown at these locations must meet Jamaica’s very high standards. Every barrel of coffee (yes, they traditionally store coffee in barrels in Jamaica) must go through the Coffee Industry Board for quality control. There the green coffee is carefully inspected before it is exported. The JCIB sets strict standards for the growing, harvesting, processing and marketing of the coffee, making sure that the result is always an excellent cup of coffee.