Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee prices hit a high of roughly US$60 per pound this year for roasted beans amid increased demand and reduced supply.
Consumers however will find solace in knowing that producers are expecting prices to fall by as much as 25 per cent in the next two years. It will mean that the cheapest Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) in years whether from Jablum, Wallenford, Amber or any other brand.
The price fall is the result of an expected increased supply of beans on the market as farms return to full or near to full capacity. The increased supply will result in an overabundance on the market which will, at least in economic terms, reduce the price.
In anticipation of this price drop, brands including Jablum introduced a Premium Blend of coffee that incorporates 30 per cent JBM and 70 per cent regional balanced beans. Thus price conscious enthusiasts can buy a pound for as little as US$32 plus shipping.
Over the last few years, a confluence of factors affected the supply of the beans led by drought, fires, infertile farms and disease.
Over the last two years, roasters in Japan wanted the bulk of beans from Jamaica and were willing to pay anything for the luxury cup.
During that period, the price at the farm level jumped fivefold from US$20 to $100 per box of coffee as small farmers gained influence in price setting.
The coffee nation of Jamaica will hike imports amidst slashing its local production by nearly half to 20-year lows.
Consequently, Government aims to formulate a coffee importation policy.
“Its a troubling situation,” said John Minott, president of the Jamaica Coffee Growers Association, (JCGA) at the Coffee Industry Stakeholders Retreat on the weekend at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
Rust disease, hurricanes and the abandonment of farms has reduced available trees and therefore production since the onset of the Western financial crisis in 2008.
“It’s not something that the JCGA is trying to promote but the stark reality is that today…we have to import coffee for certain segments of the market.”
Minott argued for an importation window during which replanting should occur.
Coffee imports hit some US$1.78 million in 2012 up some 23 per cent since 2008, according to data from the International Trade Centre (ITC) a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.
Contrastingly, exports dipped by double-digit levels to some US$17.3 million in 2012, according to the latest Bank of Jamaica data. But the crop traditionally earned about US$25 million annually up to the onset of the financial crisis.
Simply put Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) is the premium brand and Jamaica High Mountain is the satisfactory brand.
JBM is characterized by a smooth, low acidity and full body. Jamaica High Mountain is characterized by fuller body, chocolately taste with mid (acidity) bitterness.
JBM at $25 per 8oz is basically twice the price of high mountain.
Geographically JBM is grown at an elevation beyond 2,000 ft in the mountain range of the Blue Mountains on the easterly side of Jamaica. Whilst High mountain comes from various areas in the island.
JBM is serious coffee and the microclimate offers that premium super luxury taste that’s renowned globally. That said, High Mountain is the better choice for mixed milk based drinks including cappos, lattes and the sort.
Large Jamaica coffee brand WALLENFORD ESTATE hiked coffee rates in order to compensate for currency fluctuations management indicated to Jamaicamocha.
A typical 8ounce bag of beans can now go for over US$30 online (price + shipping).
Wallenford is amongst the most known brands of Jamaica Blue Mountain. So what the company does affects the industry.
The move resulted in all their products from Blue Mountaint to High mountain coffee increasing between 20-30%.
Brand loyalty will be severely tested in coming months based on price rise. The good news is that Jamaicamocha still offers the lowest rates based on our logistic efficiencies.
The annual crop earning of Jamaica coffee dipped to $11m from $18m due the reduced crop output due to rust disease. In fact the reduction in supply actually upped the price. However we at JAMAICAMOCHA continue to keep prices at bay due to sourcing.
Wallenford, the largest producer of coffee in the island.
6x4oz whole beans
100%Jamaica Blue Mountain
Admired for its delicate balance of floral aroma, mild acidity and full body. Wallenford® Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee has long been regarded as the world’s finest coffee, and the number one choice of coffee connoisseurs.
It is one of the oldest and most renowned coffee companies in Jamaica. Wallenford ® promises and delivers the perfect cup of coffee. Historically owned and operated by the coffee regulator–Coffee Industry Board: The regulatory and marketing arms split about a decade ago in order to focus on separate yet ultimately united objectives. Wallenford therefore is CIB certified.
Wallenford sells 1.5 lbs for US$48.99 with free shipping or half off retail price.
SAFE: ALL SHIPMENTS RECEIVE TRACKING NUMBERS. TRACKING NUMBERS ARE INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIABLE BY JAMAICA POST OFFICE WHICH UPDATES TRACKING STATUS VIA EMAIL. SHIPMENTS TO USA TAKES UP TO 29 DAYS AND UP TO 45 FOR REST OF WORLD.
Cafe Blue, the largest Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee chain is contemplating changing its cappuccino preparation and finish, sources say.
It could result in creating a pillowy top on the head compared with the current thick coffee creme head existing (see picture).
The change if ok’d will take effect as early as June 2013.