Most people drink blends of Jamaican coffee thinking it is genuine Blue Mountain without realizing. But true Blue Mountain coffee stands out from the blends with its rich, smooth taste of the Blue Mountain coffee bean of Jamaica.
But how do you make sure you get the best out of this much sought after bean? This article offers tips on how to make sure you get the best tasting Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee!
Grind Small Amounts
Don't grind too much, because the delicate aromas and oils will be exposed to the heat, air and moisture. This will weaken the overall experience if you keep the grinds too long or carelessly! So, ideally, you should only grind enough for the next day's use.
Use the right grind
Coarser grinds are best for brewing methods with longer brew times such as drip coffee makers and French presses. The shorter the brewing time, the finer the grind should be.
Watch the water!
The quality of water you use is also important to get the full flavor of the coffee. Tap water is often flavored with minerals and impurities that color the taste of your coffee; you'll get the best cup using filtered or spring water. I find that soft water may have additional scale or tap water may be adulterated with fluoride or even chlorine.
One method you do not want to use when brewing Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is stove top drip or percolation. These methods actually boil the coffee, making the oils bitter and prominent rather than allowing them to gently flavor the brew. Even a coffee with no bitterness will acquire it when boiled!
Stick to some of the methods where the water temperature is carefully regulated, and the coffee is not boiled into nastiness! With all coffee this is important, but with such a delicate flavor, it's absolutely essential!
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee has a smooth, rich but delicate flavor that can be ruined by storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Such a storage method puts it in danger of absorbing moisture through the humidity of the refrigerator or the ice crystallization of the freezer.
It is best stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. If you are fortunate enough to get some pure Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee beans, grind only enough for a few days at a time and store the rest with this in mind.
There are also many pretenders to the throne, how do you know that you have true Blue Mountain coffee in your brewer?
Simply read the label! Jamaica Standard Products Company Limited is one of the most prominent coffee companies in Jamaica. One of the oldest roasting concerns on the island, it sells to a few distributors in Jamaica who then put the coffee on the retail market.
Wallenford Jamaican Blue Mountain, Baronhall Estate coffee, Mavis Bank and Old Tavern are some of the companies that also purchase authentic Blue Mountain coffee. If you see those names on the label, you know that you have authentic coffee.
Due to regulation restrictions, no company is allowed to export Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee that doesn't meet stringent government standards, thus protecting the island's reputation. Each shipment that leaves the country is inspected and approved before it travels anywhere.
You will see many bags and bins of beans as well as packages and cans of ground coffee that claim to be Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. They can do this because they do actually contain an ounce or two of those beans or ground coffee but they are blended with other, less expensive coffees.
If you see that the coffee is referred to as a blend, it is not 100% Blue Mountain. Look carefully for the estates mentioned as being authentic, and try to get a feel for how much the 100% Blue Mountain beans have been adulterated by cheaper South American or African beans.
There are also important standards that you may need to know: To qualify as Blue Mountain, the coffee needs to be grown at over 3000 feet. Otherwise, it's called Jamaica High Mountain for coffee grown between 1,500 feet and 3,000.
If the coffee beans are cultivated at lower altitudes, alternate names may be used such as, Jamaica Supreme or Jamaica Low Mountain. Under Jamaican law, there are also gradations of beans depending on size, appearance, and defects. You'll be looking for Blue Mountain No. 1 for the highest quality.
Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz has provided a wonderful picture of Jamaican Coffee Bags waiting for customers to pick up. These coffee bags are only 1lb in size! Real coffee bags would be much heavier!
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is indeed some of the world's most sought after coffee beans. With perfect growing conditions for the Jamaican coffee beans, you should find that the coffee in your cup is both smooth and full-bodied.