Edgar Munn has basically been in the coffee business all of his life; he was born into it.
The Munn family first started with coffee production when Cecil Augustus Munn, the son of Major Munn from Kent, England, came to settle in Jamaica in 1885. He bought the Strawberry Hill plantation high in the Blue Mountains. That business was taken over by his son, Cecil Victor Munn. What he discovered was that it was very difficult to get the coffee dried at that altitude. So, in about 1921, Victor founded Mavis Bank, about five acres of riverside in those days. The whole concept was that since it faced east to west, the sun hits it from in the morning until late in the afternoon, this was to be a drying depot, where the coffee would come down from Strawberry Hill to be dried. In addition the fresh spring water on the property was perfect for pulping the cherry berry and processing the coffee.
After his death Edna Munn, his wife continued the operations for some 10 years before passing it on to her son, Keble Aubrey Munn. In 2001 Keble received the Lifetime achievement Award from the Coffee Specialty Association of America.
From the beginning, there has been a mystique attached to Blue Mountain coffee, but as a result of several factors – over cultivation a main cause – the coffee had suffered a tremendous lowering of quality and quantity, so that by the 1940s there were only a small number of Blue Mountain producers – each independent, each dwindling.
In 1951, a hurricane all but destroyed the Blue Mountain Coffee Industry. Only three pulperies were operating – Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, Moy Hall, and Silver Hill. A year earlier, Keble Munn had helped develop the coffee Industry Board, which drew up guidelines for regulation and grading of the Blue Mountain coffee. Over the next 20 years, the quality and quantity of the Blue Mountain coffee regained its former mystique. In 1973, the Jamaican government decreed that only coffee processed by Mavis Bank, Moy Hall, Silver Hill, and the government station at Wallenford Estate, distributed by Rona, could be legally termed Blue Mountain coffee. (The pulpery at Langley is now certified as well.) The Board also instituted a seal of quality that certifies these coffees as 100% Blue Mountain – any coffee not displaying this seal is at best a blend, at worst….
Today, Keble’s nephew Edgar Munn continues the family tradition of growing and producing Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee from his farms in Jamaica. In addition he is the US representative for Blue Mountain Coffee roasted and packaged under the Jablum label. He is also the largest importer of JBM green bean coffee to the US market, but he is not limited to just Blue Mountain Coffee.
Edgar is now expanding to offer Munn’s World CoffeeTM after having traveled to different farms and realizing that there are many coffee connoisseurs who enjoy the variety of rich tastes offered from around the world.