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Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee isn’t cheap; if you’ve arrived on this page, I think you already know that. You’ve spent a small fortune on a bag of beans, and you want to make sure that you choose the best brewing method to give the coffee the respect it deserves.
Get it wrong, and you could just as well be drinking a few scoops of pre-ground Folgers.
I hear you!
You don’t want to be throwing your Jamaican coffee into any old coffee maker, and you definitely don’t want to waste any coffee trying to dial in your espresso machine.
This coffee is renowned not only for its high price but for its complex rich flavors and mild acidity, but you won’t get to enjoy any of those if you brew it incorrectly.
Don’t let your first experience brewing Jamaican Blue mountain at home be a disappointment.
In this guide, I’ll quickly cover the best brewing methods for this elusive coffee bean and whether you should add milk or drink it black.
Start With A Solid Foundation: The Beans
If you haven’t already, you need to get your hands on some of the best Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans. This may sound simple, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Many brands sell Blue Mountain, which is really a blend of other coffee and contains very few Blue Mountain beans, if any at all. Frankly, blends can have less than 10% of true Blue Mountain coffee beans, so you could be drinking anything and you’d be better off buying a single origin Sumatra Mandheling or Nicaraguan Coffee which costs far less.
I’m not saying all coffee blends are bad, and if you want to save a few dollars, you can pick up good blends that include a range of premium coffees sourced from various estates in Jamaica, like the Volcanica Jamaica Blue Mountain Blend; which great tasting coffee by the way.
But for the best experience and if your budget allows, look for 100% Blue Mountain coffee beans with a certification stamp from the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica. This stuff is the real deal!
When it comes to the roast level, there isn’t one that is favored over the other. However, if you’re unsure, a medium roast is probably a good place to start.
I would personally stay clear from dark roasts because a lot of the subtle, delicate flavors will be masked by brunt bitterness. But if dark roasts are your thing, don’t let me stop you.
Finally, I would suggest buying Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in small batches rather than splurging out on a large amount.
Remember, you only have a limited window when the coffee is at its best, and that’s within only a few weeks from the date they’ve been roasted.
As each week passes, your coffee beans will lose more and more of their freshness. It would be a shame to shell out all that money only to let the coffee beans go stale.
If you want to prolong the life of your coffee, try to buy green coffee beans. They haven’t been roasted and have a longer shelf life; only when they are roasted will they begin to break down and lose their freshness.
Best Way To Brew Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Good quality coffee beans – check!
Next is choosing the best brewing method for those prized beans.
Nothing is set in stone, and you can brew Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee any way you want, but to get the most out of your beans, only a handful of coffee brewing methods will do the coffee justice.
Pour-over brewing such as the Chemex, Hario V60, or even the Kalita Wave works exceptionally well to bring out the flavor.
This brewing style is perfect for bringing out the subtle flavor compounds locked inside the coffee, making it the perfect choice for premium specialty beans such as JBM.
Full immersion brewing techniques can also be used like the French Press, which tends to give a denser mouthfeel and a slightly muddier cup. You can expect more intense flavors and full-bodied coffee.
If you prefer a slightly cleaner cup of coffee with less grit, I recommend trying the AeroPress or even the Clever Dripper, both of which brew coffee using the full immersion method but with the aid of paper filters.
And finally, if you own a good quality home espresso machine, a portafilter loaded with finely ground Blue Mountain coffee can yield great results.
However, I would use some old cheaper coffee beans to dial in your machine before going through a pound of JBM to perfect a flawless shot.
Also, if you choose the espresso machine route, a darker roast might be a good roast level rather than a light to medium roast.
If you’re unsure, just brew the JBM coffee beans using the method and process that you’re already confident in. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, especially when you’re spending a small fortune on premium coffee.
General Coffee Brewing Tips
Regardless of which coffee brewing method you ultimately decide to use, there are a few fundamentals that you should keep in mind.
The Coffee Grind
Nailing the perfect grind is essential to getting the most out of the beans.
If you’re serious about brewing great-tasting coffee, you must invest in a good quality burr grinder to guarantee an even and consistent grind. Here are my recommendations.
Remember to always grind your whole beans immediately before brewing. As soon as your Jamaica blue mountain coffee is ground, oxygenation starts, and all of the flavors that were once locked inside the whole bean will begin to deteriorate.
Each coffee maker will call for varying grind sizes, so double-check your recipe for your particular brewer. For example, a Chemex typically needs a medium grind, whereas a French press requires a very coarse grind.
Don’t Overlook The Water
Coffee is 98% water, and the temperature and quality of the water place a significant role in how your coffee tastes.
Invest in a coffee brewing thermometer and aim for a temperature between 195 and 205 ℉.
And ideally, only use filtered or bottled drinking water when brewing any type of coffee. If you want to use tap water, invest a little cash and buy a Britta Filter, it will make a huge difference to the quality of your water.
Is Jamaica Blue Mountain Good With Milk?
If you would normally add milk or creamer to your coffee, I encourage you to try to drink Jamaica Blue Mountain black, at least at first.
In fact, many people say they can enjoy this premium coffee black who would otherwise only drink their coffee with milk.
Drinking it black will allow you to enjoy the coffee in its natural state without any other flavors masking the crisp, clean, bright floral nuttiness this coffee is known for.
Hopefully, you now have a clear idea of how to brew Blue Mountain coffee. Sure this premium Jamaican bean requires slightly more attention than just dumping some store-bought pre-ground coffee into your automatic drip coffee maker and calling it a day.
But the extra time and the attention to detail will reward you with a great-tasting cup of coffee packed with rich flavor. As with anything in the world of coffee, have fun experimenting. Nothing is set in stone.