It Costs How Much?!?!

August 25th, 2009 by

There has been some curiosity amongst our readers (with me as well) as to why coffee like Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kona are so pricey. Is it the taste? Is it the location? Is it the availability? So, in response to these burning questions I did a little research to find some answers… I hope this suffices!

Kona
Let’s start with Kona because this is the only coffee produced in the United States and I am proud to be an American (oh that red, white and blue!) Americans should be proud to produce Kona because it is among the best in the World! It is also the most regulated coffee in the world. Why you ask? Well, lets start with its location first.

The Kona Coffee Belt is located on Hawaii’s Big Island, which is an ideal environment for growing coffee. Seriously this is like a coffee grower’s Mecca! With fertile volcanic soil and ideal altitude, sun exposure, temperature, rainfall and drainage, how could the coffee produced there not be amazing?!

Helloooooooha

The only problem with this location is that it is only a 20 mile stretch of land, which is only about 1500 acres. This is where the large price tag (average $28/lb) comes into play, because there is a small supply to go along with the large demand.

Now, because this is such an expensive and sought after coffee, there have been quite a few cases in which people have fraudulently sold coffee claiming that it is 100% Kona when in reality it only contains a small percentage of Kona… if any! This is where the strict regulations of this particular bean came into play. Now if you sell a coffee that contains Kona beans, but not 100% Kona you are required by law to sell it as “Kona blend” or “Kona Style.”

Rainbow

Coffee Bean Direct has both Kona and Kona Blend and there is a huge difference in the price tag! We suggest you try the Kona Blend if you want to see what all the fuss is about, but aren’t ready to jump into the price of the real deal.

Jamaican Blue Mountain
Alright, now onto Jamaican Blue Mountain, this is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica (just in case you couldn’t figure that out by the name). Blue Mountain coffee is noted for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness (or as we like to say around here “this coffee is smo0o0th!”). It’s no wonder that over the last several decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world (average $35/lb).

Jamaica!

Traditionally only coffee grown at elevations between 3,000 and 5,500 feet (1,700 m) could be called Jamaica Blue Mountain. Technically, coffee harvested from the parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint Thomas, Portland and Saint Mary may be considered Blue Mountain coffee.

Only coffee works situated at Moy Hall, Silver Hill, Mavis Bank, Langley or Wallingford estates and coffee works with the approval of the Minister can produce coffee under the name of Jamaican Blue Mountain. Coffee Bean Direct gets its Jamaican Blue for the Mavis Bank, Wallingford and Amber Estates (location approved by Minister), depending on availability.

Haha... gotta love the bottle of Red Stripe sitting on the dock!

All and all both of these coffees are worth trying, but if you are nervous and want to ease your way into the price tag try our Kona Blend or Jamaican Blue Mountain Style.

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11 Responses to “It Costs How Much?!?!”

  1. cheri Says:

    Very informative thank you

  2. Michael Whyte Says:

    Thank you very much for providing the world with some information about my beloved coffee. My family have Blue Mountain Coffee farmers for three generations. I have always known our coffee was good, but it was not until my recent introduction to the internet that I realized how thoroughly enjoyed it is all over the world. Thanks again

  3. Karlene Pratten Says:

    Great info, thanks for the post!

  4. Mick Hanson Says:

    I’ve been searching for this exact info on this topic for a long time.  Bookmarked and recommended!

  5. Pete Wyatt Says:

    I was given a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain as a gift. Knowing the cost I had to wonder, is it really that much better? I make this for special occasions or when I just want to treat myself. When I do make it I make a whole pot to drink through the day. Often, later in the day, I will have a cup and think, wow this is really a good cup of coffee, having forgotten it came from a special treat pot. Then I remember it is Jamaican Blue and it is clear to me it really is THAT superior.

  6. Herman Bechtel Says:

    I sampled both, Blue Mountain did not compare to Kona because I found it to be not as flavorful.
    I would recommend Kona.

  7. John Koontz Says:

    I would like to add some notes to the discussion about Kona coffee. We have a five acre farm (Konaloha Farms) in South Kona district, and sell our coffee online and through retail stores. In addition to it’s exceptional smooth flavor and high demand, Kona coffee costs are high because we pay American wages. For instance, it takes about 10 pounds of coffee cherry to make 1 pound of roasted coffee beans (roughly). We pay the pickers $0.60/lb. to pick the cherry; so approx. $6 of every pound of roasted coffee goes right to the pickers. Then there are the expenses of pulping, drying, dry milling, and roasting, packaging and shipping. All this in addition to growing the coffee (fertilizing, spraying, watering, mowing)
    As far as Kona blends go, my opinion is this: You mix 1 part good coffee with 9 parts inferior coffee. Do you really think you can fully taste the 10% coffee? I don’t think so!
    And the labelling of “KONA” is a Hawaii state law, so on the mainland there is no restriction on the “KONA” name. It is not protected like “NAPA” wine or “IDAHO” potatoes. Mahalo for listening

  8. David Steelman Says:

    Something I noticed in your article explaining the cost of certain coffee’s being expensive. I recall it also has to do with certain weather conditions such as the damage hurricanes can do to coffee crops as in Jamaica and if my memory serves me correctly I seem to remember that it can take 7 years for a new plant to actually start producing beans. I remember seeing this several years ago.

  9. Sherry mangas Says:

    Excellent information and most welcomed. I am entertaining a plan to open a coffee cafe in Northern Virginia and look forward to the best suppliers. Tell me about the criticalness of roasting time to drinking time.

  10. Jason Hise Says:

    There is nothing like the Kona coffee ….
    Taste soo good nothing like it ….
    Worth every penny …

  11. best jamaican blue mountain coffee Says:

    Amazing! Its actually remarkable piece of writing, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post.

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