Tones of chocolate, nut and spice without bitterness. That’s the classic taste profile of Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM). In other words three distinct layers of tastes. The profile can vacillate slightly with more curated brands offering a transition between chocolate, spice and fruit.
The complexity and smoothness gained a reputation since the 1960s as a coffee that stood world’s apart from your typical cup. Context is important. The 60s was an era before Starbucks, when instant coffee was largely prevalent. Additionally, the average coffee drinker opened a can of dark roasted ground beans. The industry at the time was set on delivering the cheapest cup. That often meant dark very bitter brew. Besides if people had an issue they just added sugar and milk.
Within this era of mass bitter coffee was a beverage from Jamaica that could be consumed black! A brew that allowed the subtle layers of tones to cover the palette of its drinker. No doubt this resulted in it being a delicacy which fetched a premium price.
Then came Starbuck cafes. Its entry largely killed the canned bitter coffee market and resulted in shifting the value chain from cheap to tasty beans. It resulted in the world adopting farming, harvesting, producing and brewing practices that were standard in places like Jamaica and other high end quality coffee nations. The result commodity beans are more flavourful.
Nowadays it is commonplace to source beans from around the world with satisfying taste profiles. But most cannot get the Jamaica Blue Mountain balance of chocolate, spice and fruit. Usually commodity coffees are nutty. Or spicy. Or fruity. It is very rare that they get contrasting tones in one like a quality JBM.
So what does Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee taste like: It tastes like quality.