Monday, January 14, 2013

Jamaican Blue Mountain Review... So i thought..

Review of Jamaican Blue mountain

(What were meant as a review, transformed in to a guide about storage and purchase advises.)

As a gift I was given a small bag of Jamaican Blue Mountain pre-roasted coffee beans. This bag were in the same gift basket as the Kopi Luwak I have written a review(link) about. Opening the bag I was again disappointed. No aromas, only blank, flat coffee-like notes. Coffee from the supermarket smells richer than this. I brewed it only as French press, and it was a good coffee. But in no way mind blowing. I am starting to think the beans itself is not the issue. They must have been mistreated in some way. I have talked to other coffee enthusiast, who commends this particular coffee very much. Starting the detective work, I took contact to a friend of mine, living close to the shop were the beans were purchased. He went down there, and could report back to me, that the roasted beans are kept in a glass bowl, not even with a lid on it, in the sun…
What we’re supposed to be a review of a discussed and highly recognized coffee, from the legendary blue mountains of Jamaica, has become a lesson in the great importance of storing coffee the correct way. 
Roasted coffee beans are extremely fragile to oxygen and sunlight. It’s essential that they are kept in a dark and airtight bin or bag. The best possible option is a special container with a one way valve, letting gasses out, keeping oxygen from getting in. Hendrup has made a very good and enlightening guide about this topic, running over three posts.   

The lesson of this topic is that even the best and most expensive coffees can be ruined in several links of processing. The first link is the farmer, if he doesn’t care about the coffee plants, harvest or the after-harvest process it is most likely impossible to get good coffee from the bean. 

Next is the roast master. Learning the art of roasting, and getting the best flavors out of a particular bean, is a craft which takes years and years of practice, building and learning skills.

After roasting comes the storage and packing. As mentioned a one way valve bag is the optimal and most common way. Kept dark, and at room temperature. Many people storage their roasted beans, in the refrigerator, or even the freezer. This is supposed to keep the volatile aromas in the beans. This is an option; it should actually work quite well. But I prefer buying only what I can consume while the beans are fresh. This way I only get the best product.   

Different size Co2 bags - all with the same qualities

Last but not least is the brewing. There are so many techniques for brewing coffee that I won’t get in to it in this post. Essentially for all brew methods, is to read and learn about the best way to extract your ground beans, with your chosen way of brew. Learning the basics first, and then experience what suits you and your taste buds along the way. It is a long way with tons of trial and error. But that’s what makes it exciting and fun.

The best way of always getting fresh beans, and being sure of the quality, is to roast them yourself. This is a whole new adventure, with even more money and time spend. If you don’t have the time or interest in roasting, here is some things to look for when buying coffee. 

Usually you get what you pay for. Cheap coffee from the local supermarket is not worth the time if you are looking for a fantastic coffee experience. Find a store specialized in dealing fresh and good coffee , which has been pampered from the time the coffee plant was put in the ground. 
Look for the roasting date; get it when it is no more than a couple of days old if possible. If you can’t find a date, don’t buy it. A roast master confident of his product will always date the roast. 

Quality coffee are always kept in a one way valve bag, this way the roast master are certain that his product are delivered the best possible way.

If you look for these few things when purchasing, storage and brewing your coffee, you are most likely to get a great coffee experience.

It is a lot more expensive, but much more satisfying. Drinking coffee this way, it teaches you to enjoy, more than need coffee. The usual household pores down coffee, because it is a regular part of the day. Do yourself the favor of learning what really great coffee is.             

Closing up, I want to specify that I still don’t know if Jamaican Blue Mountain is a nice cup of coffee… I still have that experience to look forward at. For what I have heard, a fresh newly roasted, correct brewed Jamaican Blue Mountain bean is a heavenly, soft and smooth drink.   

Best regards

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately looks like what you got may not have even been authentic, let alone fresh. Only coffee bearing a seal from the Coffee Board of Jamaica is Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. If it does not bear the trademark, it's not the real thing.