During the 18th century, coffee has already been an established business for France for a long time. It was in this period that King Louis XV has been sending ships that carry coffee to the different parts of the known world. One of the ships going to Martinique had its coffee plants die en route. This could mean a decrease in their supply of coffee beans and led to the decision of planting the remaining live coffee plants to a certain area. The remaining plants ended up in Jamaica and the decision to plant coffee was supported by Sir Nicholas Lowes, a former governor. He planted these in the hills of St. George Elizabeth in Jamaica (though others say that it is in Temple Hall in St. Andrews).
This decision showed them that the condition in Jamaica is actually very conducive for producing coffee beans that this became a fast-growing industry within just a matter of few years. In the year 1814 and the next seven years or so, coffee plantations have reached different places in Jamaica such as in the Blue Mountains and the hills of Manchester. This period also witnessed a labor intensive coffee industry. Although labor-intensive, the production is actually not efficient; the coffee plants were just handpicked. This also led to a decrease in the industries manpower which marked the down years of coffee production.
During 1935, questions have been raised for the decrease in quality and consistency of Jamaican coffee. This problem was later addressed by the Colonial Secretary to Jamaica and the production of coffee has become more streamlined and centralized, aside from the more rigid quality control that are now being used in the newly produced Jamaican coffees.
By the time that the Jamaican coffee industry has been revived, Jamaican coffees have been divided into two categories: the Blue Mountain Coffee and the Jamaican Prime.
Those that fall into the first category have to be grown in the Blue Mountain areas, particularly in the prescribed areas of Portland, Andrew, and St. Andrew Thomas. This type of coffee is known in the world as one of the mildest and least bitter but at the same time, as a very expensive class of gourmet coffee. On the other hand, the Jamaican Prime coffees are those that are grown in the areas of St. John's Catherine, Manchester, St. Catharines Elizabeth, and are generally less expensive than its gourmet counterpart.