Blue Mountain Blues

When I first began taking coffee seriously in Japan, back in 1981, Blue Mountain coffee, from Jamaica, was considered to be the best. It was certainly the most expensive, at about ¥1200 per 200 grams, at a time when the average price of standard coffee was about half that. Blue Mountain coffee was mild, with a very clean, bright taste.

Over the next few years, however, the Blue Mountain coffee I was buying seemed to be less and less appealing, tasting more and more like the more ordinary (and much cheaper) coffees, until I eventually decided that it wasn't worth the high price and stopped buying it.

Later,I heard rumors that Japan was selling annually 900% of the total Blue Mountain crop! Later still, I heard that Japanese coffee companies had virtually bought the entire mountain upon which its namesake coffee was grown, and had expanded the once limited areas on the mountain that produced Blue Mountain coffee.

Today, the vast majority of the Blue Mountain coffee crop is sold in Japan. And its taste is no longer special.