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Coffee with character
Shop has beans from Jamaica, other countries
Employee Margie Phillips, left, and owner Edgar Munn chat at Blue Mountain Coffee. - photo by Autumn McBride

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Blue Mountain Coffee Inc. offers three Web sites from which customers can purchase coffees. They are:;; and

•  The storefront is at 4250 Keith Bridge Road, Unit 220. Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact: (770) 889-2916.

When you walk in, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee greets your nose.

But that scent doesn’t come from run-of-the-mill beans.

And Blue Mountain Coffee Inc. on Hwy. 306 in north Forsyth isn’t your ordinary coffee shop.

You can’t get a double latte or Frappuccino, but you can buy a bag or jar of what’s considered some of the finest coffee in the world.

While they’re not licensed to sell by the cup, the staff may offer you a free sample if they happen to have a pot brewed.

“I usually have to have sugar in my coffee, but I don’t have any in this and I love it,” said Donna Fortner, a first-time customer, as she sampled a cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain during a recent visit to the shop. “This really is some of the best coffee I’ve ever had.”

Edgar Munn, a native of Jamaica, opened the storefront about two years ago, but he’s been around fine coffee his whole life.

His grandfather began the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory in Jamaica in 1921.

Munn lived in Jamaica until the late 1970s, when he moved to Florida. He said he and his wife, Christine, moved to Forsyth County five years ago after spending several years in North Carolina.

Today, Munn is approved by the Coffee Industry Board, which certifies production and export of Jamaican coffee, to import and sell Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.

The coffee is grown in a specific area of Jamaica.

Like the famed Vidalia onion of southeast Georgia, coffee can be labeled Jamaica Blue Mountain only if it’s grown in the designated area.

Munn said he is one of only about three licensed importers and distributors of the coffee in the U.S., and he’s the lone north American representative of the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory.

He and his staff of three receive shipments of “green beans,” coffee beans not yet roasted, about eight times per year from Jamaica.

The beans are picked, hulled and dried in the island nation before being shipped to Munn.

“We get about 150,000 to 160,000 pounds of beans each year,” Munn said.

Once at the shop, the staff roasts the beans in small batches.

The shop also sells the beans to individuals and businesses who want to roast them themselves.

The majority of Munn’s business comes from Internet sales.

In addition to Jamaica Blue Mountain, manager Jackie Hutchison said the shop also handles “more than 100” different types and flavors of coffee from around the world through its Munn’s World Coffee Web site.

The business sells from a total of three Web sites, she said.

Besides beans and roasted coffee and coffee blends, Hutchison said, they also do a lot of business in gift baskets which often include rum cakes, mugs and coffee supplies.

But probably the best seller is the Jamaican coffee, to which Hutchison said many people seem to be addicted.

“People will order their coffee as soon as they run out and have us overnight it to them because they can’t live without it,” Hutchison said. 

A video about the coffee company described the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee as having “a rich, nutty taste” and being “smooth with no aftertaste.”

Of course, the high quality beans don’t come cheap.

Hutchison said the Jamaican coffee goes for $38 a pound online or $30 a pound in the store, which doesn’t require shipping.

For coffee connoisseurs, though, the beans seem to be well worth the price.

“We have a lot of people who buy it 5 pounds at a time, and that’s $150 or more,” she said. “We get orders from all over the world. We’ve shipped to China, Thailand, and last year we got our first order to Russia.

“During the week of Mother’s Day, we sold more than 600 pounds.”