The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee festival 2019 takes place in the hills of the world renowned Blue Mountain this weekend. Everyone will congregate on historic grounds in Newcastle but what brands will come out in full force.
Expect all the large ones including Jablum, Wallenford, Coffee Traders, Country Traders, Jamaica Standard Products, and so on.
In terms of cafe popups expect Cannonball, Cafe Blue, Jablum & Wallenford, Coffee Roasters, Island Blue and of course Starbucks and more.
People should be most excited about the surprises: The smaller brands coming out in force to increase marketability and exposure such as Plantation Blue and Bawk coffee. But we shall see this weekend at the coffee festival.
The festival under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism aims to get locals and foreigners to experience three days of Jamaican food, coffee and culture along the Blue Mountain Culinary Trail. There will also be indigenous arts and crafts showcases, live Reggae music performances and tours to some of Jamaica’s best kept secrets.
Can’t be there but want to experience quality coffee. There’s always next year.
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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.
Ok, So there the coffee festival planned for the first weekend in March. Interested , well it depends on whether coffee is your love or your money-muse. The first day, March 1 is business Development workshops For Farmers.
Don’t let that deter you. It’s really the perfect day for overseas and locals roasters and traders who want to meet with local farmers and processors. After all we all want the access to the holy grail–Green beans. You can barter with the farmers or play hard ball with the licensed processors. Last year like this year, the farmer workshops happened in the hills of the blue mountains.
So those who need the best beans can take a visit. I doubt there’s an entrance fee like the festival itself on Saturday and Sunday at J$1,500 or about $12 USD.