The Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is one of, if not the best coffee in the world. Coffee connoisseurs and aficionados love it due to its distinctively smooth yet bold flavor and aroma. What makes it so popular among coffee lovers? Or is it all hype? In this article, we will go deep into its roots, find out what makes it tick, and learn how to brew Blue Mountain coffee.
What is Blue Mountain Coffee?
The story of this iconic coffee bean began in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica in the early 1700's, particularly in the parishes of Portland, St. Andrew, St. Mary, and St. Thomas. Parishes are like counties or towns in the United States. With an elevation of 7500 feet above sea level, along with warm and humid weather, it is the perfect spot for cultivating top notch Arabica coffee beans.
Jamaica's famous coffee is not only excellent, it is hard to find as well. They only make up 0.01% of the world's coffee supply, thus giving them the authority to demand higher than usual prices.
Those who have tasted Blue Mountain coffee found its taste to be smooth and polished, coupled with vibrant acidity and very little bitterness. There are also overtones of toasty nuts and sweet florals - ingredients not clearly represented in a regular cup of coffee.
What to Look For When Buying Blue Mountain Coffee
This coffee variety is often imitated due to its prestige and high demand. Vendors would falsely label their coffee as Blue Mountain. That's why Jamaica came up with the Coffee Industry Regulation Act which makes it easier to identify whether the product is the real deal or not.
Only the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica (CIB) has the authority to grant the Blue Mountain Coffee certification mark to qualified coffee products. Always look out for the Seal of Certification when buying. The seal may be easy to imitate, but those who use fake seals can also be easily reported and stopped. Here's what the seal looks like:
Moreover, authentic Blue Mountain coffee is grown, roasted, and packaged right on the island. Authorized importers and trademark users are listed on the CIB website, but the origin should be from Jamaica alone.
Be Wary of Blue Mountain Blends
Steer clear of coffee products labeled as Blue Mountain Blends. These products do not follow a standard and could only make up less than 10% of the Blue Mountain beans.
How to Brew Blue Mountain Coffee
There are two methods for brewing Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Some people prefer to use a French press or a percolator in order to bring out the wonderful flavors. On the other hand, some prefer the pour-over method, such as the V60 or Chemex.
The Coffee V60 Method: Beginner’s Guide
Learn about the V60 method and the tools you can use to brew coffee this way.
The truth is both techniques can bring out the beautiful nuances of Blue Mountain coffee when done properly. So, it all boils down to preference. Here's a quick guide that you can follow if you want to try out both methods:
French Press/Percolator Method
- 1Grind the coffee beans - coarse grind, like kosher salt
- 2Heat water to boiling point. Wait for about 1 minute to allow the temperature to go down to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or 93 degrees celsius).
- 3Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the carafe for every 8 ounces of water.
- 4Gently stir inside the French press carafe a few times.
- 5After stirring, give the coffee time enough time to steep into the water. 4 minutes should be sufficient.
- 6Finally, press the plunger down with the attached rod and serve.
- 1Grind the coffee beans - medium-course grind, midway between iodized salt and kosher salt
- 2Heat water on a gooseneck kettle - Bring the water to a boil, and then let it cool to a few degrees below the boiling point.
- 3Put together the dripper and the filter on top of the cup. Gently pour water over the dripper in order to wash it. Make sure to dispose of the water inside the cup afterwards.
- 4Put the coffee grounds into the dripper and begin pouring a small amount water to dampen the coffee. Let it sit for for at least 30-45 seconds.
- 5Pour in the rest of the water from the kettle into the dripper in a circular motion. The water goes through the filter for about 3-4 minutes. The coffee is ready to consume soon after.
There are some variations on how to brew Blue Mountain coffee, but the ones outline above are a good way to have first hand experience of the process.
Where to Buy Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
Traveling to Jamaica is not necessary to be able to experience the taste of this highly sought after coffee variety. There are 100% verified Blue Mountain coffee products that are readily available in the market today. They are CIB-approved and have many testimonies from real users who have tried them. Listed below are 5 brands that are authentic and highly recommended:
Island Blue Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Ridgelyne 100% Blue Mountain Coffee
Hayman 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
Jah B Jamaican Blue Mountain Whole Coffee Beans
Coffee Roasters of Jamaica - 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
16 oz / 1lb