Had to start with Jamaican Blue Mountain. JBM coffee has to be one of the first affordable luxuries for me to mention. The first time I drank it was on vacation in Jamaica in the early 1980s, and when I got back home I wanted that taste of the tropical paradise to remind me of the great time. To my dismay, it costs $40 – $50 per pound, and it was sometimes hard to find, as over 80% of it is exported to Japan. I decided it was worth it for one of the best coffees in the world. Now, of course, it is always available online.
The little-known secret to making good coffee is to brew it fresh with beans that are high quality and taste good to you. The JBM beans make a smooth cup of coffee with no trace of bitterness; it may seem deceptively mild for coffee achievers used to espresso, French roast or any of the bold coffees they think they are supposed to like. It’s all about the beans, not whether the coffee comes from Starbucks or even a good local roaster. With some JBM beans and a grinder, you can make better coffee that you can get in any coffee shop, hotel or restaurant. Try it; if you don’t like it there are plenty of fine imported coffees for anyone’s taste.
Luxury: 8 Affordability: 4
Want more luxury? Try Kopi Luwak, the famous “cat poop” coffee from Sumatra that passes through the digestive tract of the civet, a relative steal at only $349.99 a pound. You can get small 200 gram bags to try here.
Luxury: 9 Affordability: 2