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Thread: Coffee Warning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Coffee Warning

    While at CSS in December I fell in love with the Blue Mountain coffee, as I am sure many do. Before we left, I purchased 5 Lbs of "Farmer's Pride Blue Mountain Coffee" in burlap bags, mix of whole bean and ground. Well, I got home and made some and it is TERRIBLE. Tried cleaning my coffee maker, even broke out the french press. I tried grinding the whole bean and the already ground, it all tastes like roasted corn and dirt.

    Just wanted to give a fair warning to others, stay away from the "Farmer's Pride" coffee!!!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    I would love to know what coffee you can purchase that tastes the most like what you get at the resorts. Does anyone know what the resorts serve? Whatever we bought the last time tasted great in the French press, but I can't remember the name. I do know that true Blue Mountain coffee has to have some seal of approval or something. Does anyone have more specifics? I love coffee.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Thanks for the warning. For those who want to know the best, we have been to Jamaica many times and bring back lots of coffee. We only buy "Jablum" Blue Mountain Coffee (vacuum sealed and in burlap bags). If you try another brand - watch for the 100% blue mountain coffee seal. If you buy several bags - don't forget to barter at you store of choice.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
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    We found that there are several brands of coffee that pass themselves off as genuine Blue Mountain Coffee but they really aren't. We did some research online after noting the different brands that were available. It was very enlightening and we chose a brand that was not disappointing when we got home.

  5. #5
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    Buyer beware...

    The last time I checked certification for "100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee" (admittedly a long time ago), there were four estates that were qualified by the governing authorities to use that trade description. Jablum, Mavis Banks and Wallenford's were three of them. While some estates still are maintained (including the three aforementioned), many small coffee farms now submit their beans to the main estates for processing. These farms must lie within a well defined area of the Blue Mountains, and within specific elevation limits. The processors are responsible for sorting the beans according to their density and size for use as acceptible product.

    I can say that Farmer's Pride is a brand I've NEVER heard of. Now there are some good independent roasters on the island that claim to use Blue Mountain Beans, and I'm not going to judge any of them, simply because I've not tried their product, although one of them is (was) rumored to supply coffee consumed at SweptAway and Couples Negril (uncomfirmed!!).

    My suggestion is always to buy at the gift shop on your resort, or at one of the duty free shops (including at the airport), or even at the local grocer, and to purchase either Wallenford Estate, Jablum or Mavis Bank (no endorsement intended). Also, be sure that the bag is labeled as "100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee". The latter is the only guarantee that the product is the real deal. I also check for the freshest (most recent) packaging date, because I generally buy 10# or more when we go to the island.

    I hope that helps... kind of long, I know, but I hate to see folks get burned on their beans....
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    If purchasing coffee in Jamaica, to get true Blue Mountain Coffee you need to look for the government seal showing that it is true Blue Mountain Coffee. The others are impostors.

    JaBlum, Wallenford, Coffee Roasters are all true Blue Mountain Coffee. There is one more that I can not remember the name at this time.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    OK... I don't know which of these missives will appear first... I sent this as a second "chapter" of advice, this time on how to prepare your Blue Mountain coffee. I've put a lot of time, effort, and even money into duplicating as close as possible that island coffee flavor.

    First, when you get your coffee home, you need to store it. Coffee begins to deteriorate as soon as its removed from the roaster, so the sooner you store it, the better. The packaging does a great job of protecting the product. The brands I buy are sealed (with a valve) in mylar packaging, which, in turn, is sewed into burlap bags. I purchase bean, vs ground coffee. These packages should be stored in your freezer. I store them in a large tin can to eliminate any possible "taking on" of other food odors or flavors. A large Christmas popcorn tin or cherry tin works great.

    Only grind as much product as you will use in a few days. Grind per your coffeemaker instructions (perc, drip, press, espresso, etc.). Store the rest of your pound of beans in the freezer or in your refrigerator, in a sealed container. I recently purchased a burr grinder, which I find does a good job of grinding only what you need.

    Now, most importantly, you need to use filtered water. This was my biggest coffee making investment. We installed a reverse osmosis unit several years ago, not just for making coffee, but because we have very hard water, in an area known and reported by our local utility to have reportable levels of arsenic. But I do like to say that we bought it for the coffee... and the crystal clear ice cubes. If you haven't got the $800-$1500 for an RO unit, you can go with other in-fridge or under-counter purifying units, or you can buy bottled water. But trust me... if you can't seem to replicate that resort coffee flavor, try using filtered water. You'll be surprised at the difference!

    Finally, don't be afraid to use product. If it tastes weak, it probably is. I find that a heaping teaspoon of grounds per brewed cup of coffee does the trick.

    Enjoy!
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  8. #8
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    Jun 2009
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    jablum is the good stuff

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Now, most importantly, you need to use filtered water.
    Quoted for emphasis. Tap water, at least in my area, destroys the flavor.

  10. #10

    Default Wallenford Fans

    We happen to be big fans of Wallenford (spelling?). I buy the DARK roast...which to us tastes the closest to what you get at Couples. It's very pricy...we usually buy it in town...or if we forget (or have more room) buy some at the airport. The key is to keep the oxygen out...so ziplock it once you open. It will get stale, otherwise. I've heard that keeping it away from light helps too, though don't know how valid that is.

  11. #11

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    We bought Jablum also, and were not at all disappointed.

  12. #12

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    Chris, you are spot on mentioning the water used to brew with. i too tried and tried to make a decent cup here and after i switched to bottled water and added a scoop more than i would for a normal drip coffee i got close to comparable good blue mountain cup.

    your thoughts on preserving the product and only grinding what you need at the time of consumption works very well for me as well.

    Randy

  13. #13

    Default

    We always get Jablum and have never had a problem with it. You can order it online on Amazon, but you do pay a lot for shipping. However, it makes me smile to see a Jamaican post mark on a package when it's freezing in Philadelphia!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Jablum!!!!

  15. #15

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    Wallenford!!!!

  16. #16
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    Aug 2009
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    We going to CSS in 2 weeks and am wondering where the best deals on either brand of the quality coffee's are at. Is it better to wait for duty free or are there better deals at the gift shop or at the shopping venues? I guess the same question goes for liquor (rum) and cuban cigars.

  17. #17
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    Jun 2009
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    MnD -

    Your best pricing (and availability) will normally be at the airport duty-free shops. A word of caution, however...

    Depending on your departure day, the check-in process can be quite an ordeal, with not a lot of time to spare. This happened to us last year (end of May), just after the unfortunate incident at the MoBay airport. We BARELY had enough time to make our coffee and booze buys!

    I would suggest buying coffee at a local duty-free at OR or at the resort gift shop... you'll likely pay a bit of a premium, but it might be more convenient for you.

    Perhaps a recent returnee can give us some insight as to the level of chaos on Saturday or Sunday getaways?
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  18. #18
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    Jun 2009
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    I should really correct my last post somewhat.

    While I've never personally investigated, I've been told that the BEST price for Blue Mountain coffee (yes, the good stuff) is to be had at the local groceries, such as the Hi-Lo near the roundabout in Negril.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


  19. #19

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    Ok, this might be considered heresy, but can you get decaf Blue Mountain coffee?

  20. #20
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    Nov 2009
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    Yes you can buy blue mountain coffee that is not that wonderful coffee you experience at the finer Couples restaurants. And yes it is blue mountain coffee and the burlap bags state 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. They can state that because the coffee is grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. However, like previously stated, there are only 4 coffee makers in Jamaica that make the CERTIFIED Blue mountain coffee. The coffee has to be grown above a certain elevation in the Blue Mountains to be certified. This coffee is the wonderful coffee. Certified Blue mountain Coffee has a little round label on the packaging, less then 1 inch in size, it has a orange circle around the outside and has a blue, green and orange inside the circle. It states around the circle- " Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee- The Coffee Industry Board of Directors" in the middle it then states " Certified 100% " The label is very small and many good imitators will cut off this stampl and glue it to the labels. This certification is stamped on the label and must be there for it to be the real stuff. So no the sellers are not lying to you about it being Blue Mountain coffee, it is just not the certified stuff. ( we learned this after making the mistake on our first trip to Jamaica and purchasing the non certified stuff )And yes, Wallenford Blue and Jablum are 2 of the 4 plantations ( we knew all 4 at one time, but forgot ). Also, we make our coffee without distilled water and it tastes as good as the stuff in Jamaica. Also, the big restaurants at Couples do not serve Blue Mountain Coffee ( at least not at CSA).

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    153

    Default Decaffeinated Blue Mountain Coffee?

    Blue Mountain coffee is naturally low in caffeine. It is 1/3 of the caffeine of regular coffee (one reason why we like it so much) with all the great taste.
    I have never seen it completely Decaffeinated.

  22. #22
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    Jun 2009
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    52

    Default The coffee at Couples Resorts

    For ALL you coffee folks. The coffee that Couples uses is "The Coffee Mill of Jamaica" coffee. It is ground and is sold in one pound bags. It is NOT expensive. We have been going to Tower Island, Ocho Rios, for twenty years and buy it in downtown Ocho Rios at the grocery store next to the straw market. They also have whole beans and other brands. The one pound bags are gold in color.

    Good luck,
    Ed & Lynn

  23. #23
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    Nov 2009
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    At CSA Feathers and Lemon Grass serve certified Blue Mountain coffee. The other restaurants like stated serve Coffee Mill Jamaica coffee.

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