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Pouring Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

  • History of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Planting?
    offee has been grown in Jamaica for over 300 years now and while some accounts credit the Dutch with bringing it over as they were smuggling coffee plants from Mocha, many coffee historians agree that it was actually the French that brought the first coffee plant to Jamaica. The most widely accepted account of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee origin is that it originated from a French King's decision to send 3 coffee plants to Martinique in 1723. And 5 years later, the Jamaican governor received one coffee plant as a gift from the governor of Martinique. It is believed that most of Jamaica's coffee plants originated from that one Arabica coffee plant which was planted and nurtured in St Andrew parish before coffee planting eventually extended into the Blue Mountains region. And because Arabica coffee loves phosphorous and nitrogen-rich soil, this explains why it thrived on the steep elevation of the Blue Mountains.
  • How Is It Produced?
    Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is produced at altitudes of at least 3,000 feet and in four parishes (St. Andrew, St. Mary, St. Thomas and Portland) in an area that is about 6,000 hectares. And while there are a few large coffee estates, most of the coffee is produces by small scale coffee farmers that hardly have more than 4 hectares. Given the relatively smaller growing area, annual production ranges between 400 and 1,000 metric tons which are quite small by world standards. The total amount of Blue Mountain coffee produced is just a mere 0.1% of what Columbia produces and is also quite tiny when compared to the 800 million pounds of coffee produced in Ethiopia every year. Also, About 55% of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is exported and about 80% of this ends up in the Japanese market leaving the rest of the world to scramble for the remaining 20% which further explains the high price tag. This coffee is also ranked in numbers depending on the bean size and defects. Number 1 beans are the largest and with the least defects followed by number 2 and 3. Also, there are Peaberry beans which unlike others that are usually flat are shaped like a rugby ball.
  • Planting Conditions
    The three key secrets to the awesome quality and taste of the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee are high altitudes, great soils and meticulous care for the beans when harvested.This coffee is grown in the Blue Mountain region specifically in the four parishes mentioned above and only coffee that is grown in this specific region will be certified as Blue Mountain by Jamaica's Coffee Industry Board.These areas provide excellent coffee growing conditions with good terrain and a temperate climate characterized by misty and cool conditions and with sufficient rain. The Blue Mountain area also has fertile volcanic soils and will get an annual rainfall of about 200 inches and the temperatures average around 5 degrees Celsius.These environmental factors will slow down the maturation of the coffee beans as they will take about 10 months from bloom to harvest which is almost double the time elsewhere (typically 5 to 6 months. But, the longer maturation period produces some larger and more complex beans with higher flavor concentration.
  • How is Coffee roasted?
    Like with any other coffee type, the coffee roast for your Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee will ultimately depend on your preferences as a consumer. However, it is recommended to go for a medium roast or medium-dark roast to get the best experience with the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. These roasts free up the flavors and the rich fragrances in the coffee but without losing other good coffee qualities. But, you can get the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in Peaberry, French, dark medium and light roasts as manufacturers provide different roasts to cater to different consumer tastes and preferences.
  • Best Ways to Brew It
    If you get your hands on these sacred coffee beans, it will only be fair to make sure you brew them properly to ensure you get the best cup of coffee from them. And while you can use them to make coffee in almost any method, many coffee aficionados will agree that immersion is often the best method. What makes immersion methods like French press, percolators and drip ideal is the fact that they allow you to extract every scrap of flavor from the beans. The hot water is more effective in penetrating through the beans and extracting more flavor and oils. Handy Tips for Brewing Amazing Blue Mountain Coffee Keep the coffee beans fresh by storing them in a vacuum container and not in the fridge. Grind the coffee beans as close to brewing time as possible for maximum freshness. Time the brewing time super precisely. For example, exactly 4 minutes for French press. Always use filtered water to brew the coffee Make sure the water temperature is precise (195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for French press).
  • Why is it So Expensive?
    Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is one of the most expensive types out there, and here are some reasons why you will need to pay extra bucks to get it. Low Supply – It is grown in very limited space which means that little of it is produced every year. Given the low supply, the demand easily outstrips the supply and hence it is only natural for the price to go up. Time Consuming Growth – Unlike the other coffee types, the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee takes longer to grow. In most instances, the bloom to maturity period is double of other coffee types. This longer growth time makes them even harder to produce in larger scale which further increases their price as there is less to go around during harvest time. Japanese Market Factor – Another factor that makes this coffee super expensive is that the Japanese market takes up to 80% of the entire batch produced which means that there is only 20% left for the rest of the world to share. And so it always goes to those willing to pay the most money. Cost of Production – Besides the limited space and longer growth time, there is also a higher cost of production involved in making this premium quality coffee. Given the steep terrain where it grows, in most cases, it can only be hand-picked which is often more expensive than using machines. Furthermore, every single coffee bean is hand-inspected which means it is a painstaking and labor-intensive process.
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