Generally, I am unimpressed by Jablum. It sometimes tastes like hot water but costs three times that of Dunkin Donuts. Truth, the hot water tends to occur in Jablum ground coffees. So my advise to persons wondering about quality. Just avoid the ground coffess. 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: 8.5/10 with Starbucks daily blend 6/10. So consider Jablum Gold for that affordable luxury.
Just sampled this hot pepper sauce by Busha Browne. It’s more sweet than pepper. Essence of orange or guava jam with sweet and hot peppers. It was a real delight on fish I ate. But of course you can use on any meaty of your choice.
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee prices hit a high of roughly US$60 per pound this year for roasted beans amid increased demand and reduced supply.
Consumers however will find solace in knowing that producers are expecting prices to fall by as much as 25 per cent in the next two years. It will mean that the cheapest Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) in years whether from Jablum, Wallenford, Amber or any other brand.
The price fall is the result of an expected increased supply of beans on the market as farms return to full or near to full capacity. The increased supply will result in an overabundance on the market which will, at least in economic terms, reduce the price.
In anticipation of this price drop, brands including Jablum introduced a Premium Blend of coffee that incorporates 30 per cent JBM and 70 per cent regional balanced beans. Thus price conscious enthusiasts can buy a pound for as little as US$32 plus shipping.
Over the last few years, a confluence of factors affected the supply of the beans led by drought, fires, infertile farms and disease.
Over the last two years, roasters in Japan wanted the bulk of beans from Jamaica and were willing to pay anything for the luxury cup.
During that period, the price at the farm level jumped fivefold from US$20 to $100 per box of coffee as small farmers gained influence in price setting.
Lovers of Jablum will have to wait longer for roasted whole beans based on a coffee shortage which led to losses at the factory (pictured below).
Large Jamaica coffee factory Mavis Bank which makes Jablum Jamaica blue mountain coffee lost J$41 million (US$356,000) to its 50% stake holder Jamaica Producers Group up to its December 2104 year end. That equates to US$713,000 in total.
The factory continues to struggle from an island wide coffee shortage which resulted in farmers doubling prices to Mavis Bank compared with year earlier levels.
JP stated in Its just released financials that the group has a 50% holding in a joint venture company, Mavis Bank Coffee Factory
Limited that processes and sells Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. “Up to December 31, 2014,
the group’s contribution to that joint venture was $136 million (2013: $136 million) used for working capital financing and start-up.”