Just Coffee Reviews

The Coffee Judges review coffees that they can easily get their hands on and can make without too much hassle at work in a cafetiere. No poncy coffee machines, five grand Gaggia's or foaming milk. Read the reviews, have a taste of them yourselves and rate them out of ten. If you're feeling verbal, leave a comment.

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Vascobelo Le Comte Coffee Beans

Vascobelo Le Comte Coffee BeansThis is our third and final coffee from the Vascobelo stable - and for some reason this one is named after a French cheese. Not a good start. Now, it's clear what this Vascobelo crowd are up to - they've basically got one coffee which they stick in three different bags and give each a slightly different name. Let's face it, the bags look identical. So are we just being duped here?  Who cares, we say, when your one coffee is as good as this. Every time we grind it, people are salivating and every time we brew it, they're queuing up to get their faces in it. Not one single bad cup came out of this bag - even Sam Allardyce couldn't balls this one up. Its full of flavour and can be really cranked up to maximum strength without any nasty after taste. Dear reader - don't think we're just blowing smoke up the their arses here because they gave it to us for nothing to review - we pride ourselves in bringing down multinationals, But in this case, it's a good'un. It's a 9/10.  (one point off for the identikit packaging).

295 votes
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Vascobelo Le Roi Coffee Beans

Vascobelo Le Roi Coffee BeansThis is our second pack from the crowd at www.morethanjustcoffee.com and at first glance you don't even know you're on to a new pack. It looks exactly the same, save the words "Le Roi" have been cut and paste over the name of whatever the last one was. Despite the Stepford Wive's packaging, this is another great coffee which, again, we simply could not balls up. Not that we try to make a hash of it for fun - but it's been busy around here and sometimes you just have to chuck the coffee at the machine from the other side of the room and hope for the best. We didn't get any of the pallets of fruit they claim are in this one - take it from us, this stuff is just coffee - but it still got everyone fired up around here. We loved it - it was definitely a smooth quoff - the only slight flaw we could find is if we really cranked it up to make a super strong one it started getting a slight metallic taste. Not overbearingly so like some are when you turn them up to 11, but it does tail off a bit. Anyway - mine's getting cold so I better get back to it.  8/10

540 votes
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Vascobelo L'Empereur Coffee Beans

We had never even heard of Vascobelo coffee - until the guys at morethanjustcoffee.com got in touch with us and asked us if we would like to review a few packs. Errrrr.. YES we said - send it over NOW and stop wasting our time with pointless questions. And they did - shed loads of it - bags, pods and even a machine. These guys really know how to treat an impartial coffee reviewer. As they handed the stuff over we did tell them - if it's crap, we'll say so. So here's the first one - and it's a lush 1kg bag. Bags this big always give us a warm fuzzy feeling and kind of always lead to good reviews. Not because we're easily bought - but because when you use the same coffee over and over again for a few weeks, you get to know exactly how to make it. This stuff was a universal crowd pleaser in our office - never have so many people suddenly become coffee drinkers - they've been glugging it down like it's the last beans on earth and the beans themselves were a lovely, uniform look that almost looked like sweets. We never had a bad cup from this bag - when we made it strong it was good, and when we made a weaker one (God forbid) it was still top class. There's no weird and fancy flavours in here - no lemons, nuts or chocolate - it's just proper coffee. I don't know how you get this stuff as a consumer, but we would advise you try. I'm struggling for a reason to not give this one a 10 out of 10.  So it's a 10 out of 10.

213 votes
Your rating: None

Lavazza Intenso Coffee

Lavazza Intenso CoffeeThis is our second sampling from the new Lavazza range - and it's the top strength number fiver. As with all Lavazzas, it's based on Robusta beans which makes which in this case are darkly roasted - so this one was never going to be for the feint hearted. They suggest nuts and chocolate on the packet - but let's face it, there's none of that here. This is just a good old fashioned hard hitting coffee for those who like a pick me up so strong it would even get Pete Doherty out of bed before 9am. Strong though it may be - it's not harsh and there's no metallic after taste which is so often the case with the dark, Robusta roasts. We like it, so it's 8/10

30 votes
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Lavazza Vivace Coffee

Lavazza Vivace Coffee

It’s been a long while since there’s been a different Lavazza on the shelf – they’ve always stuck with their classic branding over the years which, let’s face it, has always been pretty damn cool. There must have been a shake up over at Lavazza HQ  - a new director trying to make his mark – because on our local Sainsbury’s shelf there’s three new retro styled packets of the stuff. Even their marketing geeks have got in on the action – claiming ‘notes of dried fruits’ – a phrase which the Mr Cool Lavazza himself would probably have choked on. Anyway, here’s our first one - it’s the mid strength one of the three and, as to be expected, there’s no bloody fruit in there. Instead of which there’s a packet of small Italian fists waiting to jump out and punch you in the throat. Which, for sure, they do. This stuff kicks arse like a good Italian should, except when their at home being good to their mummies that is. It’s a super fine espresso grind through – we had to decant slowly from our caffetiere to avoid getting a mouthful of 2-stroke Lambretta tail pipe dust. Strong and grainy like a John Holmes classic - it’s 8/10 from us. 

22 votes
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Taylors Esperanza Coffee

Taylors Esperanza CoffeeThis is a big one for us as Judge Towers - it's our 200th coffee review, and if there's one thing we've learnt over the years of coffee supping, it's that the more you have, the harder it gets to distinguish between them. There aren't 200 different coffees out there really - despite what the packets may tell you. So we do feel for these marketing people (slightly) who have to think of new metaphors and waffle to try and make their brew stand out. Berries, nuts, notes, caramel et al - they're tried every trick in the book. But Taylors have come up with a new angle - it's not about the coffee, but who grows it, which in this case, is the laydeeez. Peruvian ladeeez in-fact. Which the cynic in me might think ah well, whatever. But on reading the blurb on Taylor's own website it's hard not to feel slightly touched by the whole thing and to want to go and give the folks at Taylors a pat on the back. The coffee itself, thankfully, is a great brew. Everyone who walked past when the packet was open could smell it, and wanted one - it's that aromatic. And yes - it does taste chocolaty as their blurb suggests and we would also add the word velvety. It's also an easy one to make right every time - basically you can't really go wrong with this one. So we suggest you go and get some. 9/10

12 votes
Your rating: None

Rombouts Italian Style Espresso Dark Roast Coffee


This is everything you expect from an Italian espresso - dark, strong and a punch to the throat. To start with, this is a super fine grind, which means we're not just drinking infused coffee, but actual coffee grinds that have slipped through our caffetiere net. While this makes it strong, it does give it that slightly dry and grainy taste. The flavour though is pure Italian - like drinking a cup of charcoal from a forest fire at Lake Garda. However, if this is putting you off, don't let it. This stuff tastes fabulous. Strong and dusty it might be, but it slides down like oil on velvet. We should really try it in a machine rather than a plunger. But we cant - because we've already had the bleedin' lot. Don't know what it costs as Rombouts sent it to us a a little pressie - but it must be the cheaper end, as it's an industrial looking tin. 8/10

11 votes
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Rombouts Cristal d’Arôme Coffee

Rombouts Cristal d’Arôme CoffeeThe first few cups we had out of this tin didn't really go down too well. It just felt very harsh and over roasted - and more like a cheap Robusta type coffee. But then we realised our mistake - in our slapdash behaviour of getting the thing made, we weren't really brewing it up for long enough. When we finally had time to leave one soaking for a full three minutes the difference was notable - the tough-on-the-throat ashtray taste was replaces by a mellow - but still thumpingly strong - brew that looked great in the cup too. We really gulped it down and wanted another, it was that smooth to the taste. And with no tacky aftertaste on the finish this one is a real winner. 8/10

8 votes
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Rombouts Cachet d'Or Coffee

Rombouts Cachet d'Or CoffeeAfter the sophistication of our last Rombouts taster, this one felt cheap because the tin was more agricultural and it only had a cheapo plastic lid. However we should not have been so quick to judge - this is a balls-out face smasher of a coffee. It's a dark roast and it's a super fine grind, the combination of which means we get something that could raise the dead. But don't let that frighten you - this is a very drinkable cup that despite its fine grind is easy to brew and delivered every time down to the bottom of the tin. We like it a lot. 9/10

13 votes
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