Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
It’s that exciting time of year when we bring in our one and only delivery from this historic origin.
Each year we find ourselves on tenterhooks as we await confirmation that the coffee has reached Jersey. Of course this year was no different. Just as the coffee was about to leave Southampton a storm blew up and the boat was cancelled. Nothing particularly unusual there you might think, but you’d be wrong.
It just so happened that a boat had been taken off the UK-Jersey route the previous week and as a result chaos reigned as once again the Jersey – UK link was stretched to breaking point!
So what of this year’s crop? There’s always something magical about breaking into a wooden barrel to get at the coffee. Nowadays the coffee is stored in a barrier bag inside of the barrel which I think takes some of the magic away but is in fact good news for the coffee as it retains its moisture.
We roast 15kg at a time in our perforated drum roaster. I like this form of air-roasting as it delivers a very consistent and even roast. Despite this I approach this coffee with trepidation as the value of the coffee being roasted is nearer to gold than our usual coffee selection.
We start with a warm drum and watch the temperature drop away as the green coffee soaks up the heat and turns to a darker more intense green before moving to a light straw colour. I like the tempo of the roast as the temperature climbs and the beans develop a crinkled look before smoothing out as we move towards first crack. Now it’s time to be brave and keep our senses on full alert. The roasting process is a couple of minutes away from completion and every second counts.
At around 190 degrees centigrade the first cracks can be heard. By 195 degrees the popping sound intensifies and I start up the cooling tray in anticipation of dropping the coffee within the next minute. At 199 degrees I kill the flame and fan within the roaster and for about 30 seconds just let the coffee “stew” in its own heat. I’m a great believer in this phase as it just seems to relax the coffee and brings out some of its sweetness.
The drum holds it temperature and can sometimes marginally increase by a degree. Next I drop the coffee. The intense cracking has all but stopped and the developed and delightfully smooth finished beans churn on the cooling tray. So what of the taste?
As is our way we made the first brew in an Aeropress. We ground the coffee down for espresso and used 30g to make 60ml of liquid. The water is no hotter than 90 degrees when it hits the coffee. We give it a stir and allow it to infuse for about a minute. Next we press the water through the coffee, and voila! the first cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is ready. Super intense and full of flavour.
In this overly fresh state the citrus notes can feel a bit intense but it’s a super clean coffee and once the palate has got used to the intensity of flavours it really does result in a spectacular coffee. The smoothness and sweetness quietly take hold and its reputation as one of the great coffees of the world remain undiminished.
Please click here to purchase a bag of this very special coffee.