What better way to start this section than to talk about one of the world’s favourites: the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Coffee has been introduced in Jamaica in 1728, beginning from the island of Hispaniola, but it took more than 100 years, with the abolition of the British slavery in 1838, for the former slaves of the Blue Mountains to start growing coffee.
This coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the blue mountains of Jamaica, known for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness, it holds a reputation that made it one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
The Blue Mountain Coffee is a globally protected mark, meaning that only when it is certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica, that also monitors its cultivation, the coffee can be labelled as such.
The Blue Mountains are the longest mountain range in Jamaica and one of the highest in the Caribbeans, with their peak at 2 256 m, they offer a cool and misty climate that, combined with the rich soils of the region, makes an ideal combination for growing coffee.
Within those mountains, only the coffee grown between 910 and 1 700 m was traditionally allowed to be named Blue Mountain. Above 1 700 no coffee is grown as a forest reserve is located there, while the coffee grown at different altitudes below 910 m are called “High Mountain” and “Low Mountain”.
There are different qualities of Blue Mountain Coffee, depending on the size of the beans, the appearance and the defaults that are authorised within them. We will not be going through all the specifics here so we will sum it up:
- Blue Mountain n°1: 96% of grains with a screen size between 17/20 and up to 2% are allowed to present defaults
- Blue Mountain n°2: 96% of grains with a screen size between 16/17 and up to 2% are allowed to present defaults
- Blue Mountain n°3: 96% of grains with a screen size between 15/16 and up to 2% are allowed to present defaults
- Blue Mountain Peaberry: 96% of grains must be peaberries -or caracoli- and up to 2% are allowed to present defaults
- Blue Mountain Triage: includes all the above mentioned sizes of beans and up to 4% are allowed to present defaults
How to prepare Blue Mountain Coffee?
Some may argue on which one is the best way to taste this coffee and to prepare it. Ideally, you should use a drip pot, a French Press or a Percolator.
Use 2 tablespoon of ground coffee (～15 grams) for about 230 millilitres of water, then you can add more or less coffee depending on your individual tastes (remember, this is in no way THE guide on how to make coffee, everyone has different tastes)
Make sure that you don’t allow the coffee to boil and consume it within an hour from preparation. With milk, black, with or without sugar…again that’s completely up to you, so just relax and enjoy this amazing brew!