Hotter temperatures are reducing the belt for quality coffee in the tropics but it’s also allowing traditionally colder zones to start growing the crop that they love to drink. Growing experiments are now firmly established in places such as Sicily in Italy, California in USA and Saudi Arabia, reports the WSJ.
Deaf Can! the not for profit coffee enterprise that trains deaf students in the art of coffee got the most exposure at the Jamaica Coffee Festival even above global brands Starbucks.Why– for a few reasons.First, patrons were not seeking out Seattle roasted coffee (or re-imported Jamaica coffee). So Starbucks prominent stall was largely empty. Largely ignored.Second, Deaf Can! assisted three companies which led the company to have three cobranded booths at a coffee festival. That resulted in them having arguably the largest floor space. Third , they offered a zany cold brew coffee made from peaberries. It represented one of the most innovative core coffee drinks on display.DeafCan is currently seeking to raise about $7.5 million from the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange to properly finance their coffee farm in Mandeville. Why not check out their business model here .Over 15 Jamaica coffee brands are represnted at the festival. Notable absent brands are Jablum and Wallenford. There was a cobranded Cannonball and Jablum stall but no marketing beyond a small Jablum banner.Love Jamaica Coffee but can’t be at the festival consider these coffees .
Jablum Gold is the premium version of Jablum.
But even the Gold standard sometimes tastes like hot water but costs three times that of Dunkin Donuts. Truth, is that the hot water effect tends to occur in Jablum Gold ground coffees more often than the beans.
So my advise to persons wondering about quality. Just avoid the ground coffees. But what about Jablum Gold whole beans. Is it worth the cash?
Cupping coffee is what we do. We do these reviews to keep the companies honest and to let caffeineocrats know what to avoid and when to avoid it. We don’t need sterile labs. We prefer cupping where it counts, at home in the hills of the Jamaica Blue Mountains.
Follow the process of popping open a box of Jablum Gold and cupping via a chemex pour-over.
History: Jablum Gold entered the market about 8 years ago as the curated version of its Jablum classic beans. In other words Jablum Gold sought to address concerns that Jablum was inconsistent with its taste. That the beans tasted like hot water. Like hot almonds. Anything but luxury coffee. So Jablum Gold entered the market with fatter better beans with more flavour. It always amazes me that the company maintained this elaborate packaging to this day.
Packaging: The steps to unbox the coffee is reminiscent of the theatre involved in unboxing a watch. Pop the top apart and it reveals two sleeves: One arms to the left and the other to the right. It reveals a blue burlap bag which further reveals a shiny blue sealed bag.
Aroma: Open with a pair of scissors shows fat swollen beans which smell of brown sugar. There are other spices but brown sugar dominates in a good way.
Preparation: Grind in between fine and medium.
Brewing method: Chemex, in an attempt to enhance crispiness and fruit essences. It’s based on previous knowledge that Jablum coffees generally enhances light chocolate tones and almond tones without much or any fruit. Comparatively utilising a french press would enhance the chocolate tones and mute any hints of fruit.
Taste: Black currant which quickly transitions to deep chocolate and transitions to cream soda with low to medium acidity, and then leaves the palette with a smooth finish.
Conclusion: 7.9/10 with Starbucks daily blend 6/10. So consider Jablum Gold for that affordable luxury.
Update: Just cupped a September 2019 bag. The roasted rare peaberry beans smelt great but tasted like hot water. What can I say, the taste profile is hit or miss.
Good news, finally coffee prices are starting to fall. Consumers of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee will see a 10% reduction in the price going forward. Of course there is one proviso: That weather conditions will remain. Specifically the absence of hurricanes, and there’s one looming in the Caribbean Basin as I text. It seems hard to believe that right now it’s a buyer’s market when just a year-and-a-half ago farmers could get as high as J$13,000 a box of coffee. Now farmers are being offered $6,000 a box. Naturally most farmers do not want to sell but they’re caught in a dilemma because if they don’t sell now the ripe red coffee cherries will rot and die. There’s only one processor that is buying now and that’s Mavis Bank coffee. As a result Farmers have been protesting. They do not want to sell their beans for half its worth.
Buy now before end of September, and get a 10% discount as Paypal partial refund.
Avoid fake or bad tasting Jamaican coffee by knowing what’s the best Jamaican coffee from a ranking list . These are 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain.
Most times these official brands are great but quality can slightly vacillate based on the crop. Good news however is that more coffee lovers are entering the field. This leads to sites like ours, that curate quality beans on a monthly basis from trusted brands. So it reduces the risk to the consumer.
Fake Jamaican coffee however tries to pass as real in a number of ways. The primary method involves mixing beans from other regions outside the Blue Mountains. While blending can be legal it must be called a ‘Jamaica blue mountain blend’. Some corrupt dealers will pass them off as 100 per cent Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM).
There’s no way to easily tell if the beans are mixed from outside the Blue Mountains. You can however easily tell if the beans are inferior: The contents have two distinct sizes of beans. Uneven roasts. A number damaged or chipped beans. Lack of chocolate or nut in taste. Bitterness and other taste imperfections.
JBM usually sells for $25 per 8oz plus shipping. So JBM at $10-15 per 8oz is probably fake. No one would buy a new BMW for $9,000, no one would trust it. Yet people risk their senses and health by purchasing cheap bulk coffee.
True JBM should be balanced with complex levels of flavour and no bitterness.
Avoid bad coffee by knowing great coffees and stick to them. Test brands you are not familiar with in small quantities and compare to established brands you know.