Trying out Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

During the stop at Falmouth, Jamaica on our cruise last month, I picked up a couple pounds of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. It has a reputation for being one of the best coffees in the world, and also pretty pricey. At $88.10/kg ($40/lb), it’s probably the most expensive coffee I’ve purchased so far. Not sure how much it would be purchased in the US though. Next time I’m out wandering around, I’ll have to look for some.

A bag of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans
A bag of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans

Inside the burlap bag, the coffee beans were encased in a sealed gold foil pouch. The beans themselves don’t look too unusual, and have a nice roasted coffee aroma to them.

Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans

Put a few scoops into my grinder (a Hario hand grinder) set to a medium-ish grind.

Ground Jamaica Blue Mountain beans
Ground Jamaica Blue Mountain beans

First thing I noticed was that these beans had quite a bit less chaff than other beans I’ve ground. Nice aroma of freshly ground beans. Into the Aeropress they went.

Ready to brew in the Aeropress
Ready to brew in the Aeropress

My regular Aeropress method is inverted, add water (just off the boil) to the top, stir, 60-90s brew time, press.

Brewed coffee
Brewed coffee

Normally I press into a mug that has a bit of chocolate milk in it (heated up in the microwave first). For this first brew, I went straight up black, so I just topped off the mug with hot water.

Brewed coffee ready for drinking
Brewed coffee ready for drinking

I’m far from a coffee snob and my coffee palate isn’t very refined so I can’t offer any tasting notes or anything like that. I can say that I ended up with a very nice, mild and tasty mug of coffee without much of the bitterness or strange after taste I get with some other coffees.

Maybe later I’ll try some taste testing to compare with some other coffees that I usually drink.

Happy New Year from Mah animals!

Happy New Year from Nala, Mischief, and Simba (and Gollum)!

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

They hope your 2017 is filled with treats, toys, and soft places to sleep! (except Gollum…he just wants the Ring back)

Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center

The Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center is my new favourite place to go now.

The last time we were at KSC (back in 2012), the exhibit building was still under construction. Didn’t get to make it back for the exhibit opening, so we made sure to include it as part of the itinerary for our cruise last week.

The exhibit building is easy to find. Just look for the great big orange fuel tank of the shuttle booster rocket (it’s a full sized replica).

Space shuttle booster rocket
Replica of the space shuttle booster

The exhibit starts with a short film about the history of the space shuttle program, after which the big door opens and you see the Shuttle Atlantis in all its glory.

The Shuttle exhibit is pretty well done with lots of interactive displays, simulators and a “Meet a specialist” program where you can talk with people who worked on the shuttles.

Having grown up during the space shuttle era, I never imagined that I’d actually get to see it up close. There are a few places where you can reach out and almost touch the shuttle. You can even read the numbers on the heat shield tiles and see the texture of the heat shield blankets. So awesome.

Also part of the exhibit is a tribute for the crew of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles. A very moving display with personal items that belonged to each crew member. Also part of the display is a body panel from Challenger and the cockpit windows from Columbia.

You can’t help but spend a few quiet moments here.