Aldi Specially Selected Colombian Coffee

Aldi Specially Selected Colombian CoffeeAnother cheap but good-un from Aldi. Its coarsely ground so you can’t really balls it up in your caffetiere – though of course this does mean that we couldn’t spoon it up too high – this one hasd a ceiling that we couldn't really get over. Not that it needs it – it's strong enough more or less however you make it. And it looks really inviting – a lovely pale brown crema on the surface that holds down the side of the cup to the bottom. Another perfectly respectable all day drinker from Aldi that you could serve at your dinbner party without being found out. We're only taking a point off for it not having any quirky flavours. 7/10

48 votes
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Aldi Specially Selected Ethiopian Ground Coffee

Aldi Specially Selected Ethiopian Ground CoffeeBuying anything from one of the discount supermarkets like Aldi always seems like a gamble - even though they seem to consistently come out top in blind taste tests. They had quite a shelf of coffee in Aldi, so we went for them. At £1.99 a pack you can't expect to be blown away - this is ridiculously cheap stuff. But it does the job pretty well - its got that slightly citrus taste that you would expect from anything from the East African highlands and every time we made it in the caffetiere it looked like velvet - with a creamy head that lingered down the cup as we drunk it. In fact, we could drink this stuff all day. Our only gripe is that it's a fairly course grind which meant we could never get it to really deliver on strength, no matter how many spoons went in the pot. Not a hangover cure then, more of a sunny afternoon, refreshing all day glugger. 7/10

45 votes
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Coffee Direct Golden Crema

Coffee Direct Golden CremaThe packaging from coffee direct really is run  of the mill - everything they sell must just come in the same thing, and someone ticks the box on the side to say what it is. This I suppose should keep the packaging costs down and divert all funds into the coffee. But hang on a minute - this standard sized bag costs EIGHT QUID!!  That puts this up with the most expensive coffees we have ever tasted. To be fair, maybe these guys are catering supplies only because if you buy a bulk bag the cost comes down to a more reasonable £3.50 a pop. The beans look the part here - lush, leathery and oily. The coffee itself tastes fine - a deep flavour that will get you juices flowing . There's nothing out of the ordinary here - so I can see why the big catering bag would be useful if you could just serve this stuff up around the office all day long, everyone would be happy. It came out good when brewed weak or strong - so it should be a crowd pleaser. We were just left wanting for a little twist of some kind. Would have scored an 8, but a point off for the cloud-cuckoo-land pricing gives it a 7/10

14 votes
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Make Decent Coffee Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Make Decent Coffee Kilimanjaro TanzaniaWe've always had great experiences with anything with either of the words Tanzania or Kilmanjaro on it - they're always fruity and refreshing and eminently gluggable. But this one also claims to give you a creamy mouth feel and not having had the benefit of a public school education we're not sure that's something we want to be party to. Still - nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we dive in anyway. As a Tanzania coffee this one is slightly disappointing - it hasn't quite got the zesty tang we were hoping for, but then it never claimed to have that in the blurb on the packet. We certainly got no blueberry nor apple - and probably would never want to either. It's nice enough and would recommend it on taste alone - but there's a slight fly in the ointment. This stuff is bloody expensive - it's currently £6.50 a bag! Sorry guys - we can't justify that. It would have been an 8, but it's down a point to 7/10 for the sheer cost.

9 votes
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Make Decent Coffee Guatemala Antigua

Make Decent Coffee Guatemala Antigua The beans of this coffee are huge and so pale and dusty they look like they've been sitting around since the war. So for the first cup we ramped it straight up to five spoons as it just looked like it needed it, but it still ended up just too weak. So for the second round we spooned up to six spoons - and that's a lot of coffee for just two cups. At that level it delivered - but that's the limit. It was just starting to have the metallic taste you get when you try and push a coffee too far. They do go on about a lemon acidity - but we didn't really get that - its a much more standard coffee flavour than the blurb on the packet suggests. Still - it's a good-un and we wolfed it down in a couple of days. the same problem exists though as for other coffees from these guys: cost. This stuff is currently £5.49 a bag - which is just way too expensive and takes its down a point from a solid 8 to a 7/10.

2 votes
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Make Decent Coffee Ethiopia Sidamo

Make Decent Coffee Ethiopia SidamoWe love a "lemony" coffee here in the Judge's Kitchen - so were excited to try this Ethiopian Sidamo coffee that we knew would probably deliver. JE-SUUUS this thing is packed to the gunnels with lemons - you just won't believe it until you try it yourself. As soon as the water hits the grounds you'd be forgiven for thinking you were brewing up a flask of Lemsip. It foams nicely in the caffetiere and the head lasts right down through the cup too. It just look... lush.  If you can get hold of some of this stuff and feed it to your non-coffee loving friends it might just turn them - as it proves that all coffees are really not the same. Some are totally unique - like this one. If anything its just a bit TOO unique - so we're giving it 9/10 - just a point off for having one too many lemons.

4 votes
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Three Corner Coffee Roasters Kampuchea Double Roast

Three Corner Coffee Roasters Kampuchea Double RoastThis coffee has attracted more attention than any other. When we opened this one the comments ranged from "what the f*ck is burning" to "wow - smell that". The beans are lush and leathery and perfect but, hell, are they roasted or what??! This stuff has has been roasted so dark it could have gone to hell and back. Now, this is starting to sound bad isn't it. But - it's not. You just need balls of steel to drink it - and you certainly don't want to over do it or you'll quite simply have no face left. To me though, it tastes instantly of Asia - and reminds me of those coffees served in a glass with all the grounds still in there, with a dash of condensed milk, served in the stinking heat on a veranda in Java or somewhere. So, back in the UK cold and damp, some of the allure is lost for sure. But for those evocative memories I can give it a 6/10. For the connoisseur only.

4 votes
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Hype Espresso No 9 Coffee

Hype Espresso No 9 CoffeeThe beans from this one look stunning - a uniform, glistening dark brown. It just makes you wish coffee beans were immediately edible as these look like little nuggets of chocolate. Once we'd ground these down though - these wolves in sheep's clothing showed their true colours: a real bunch of hard cases. The first cup we made with our usual five spoons was ball-crushingly strong and made our eyeballs stand out on stalks for a while. That's a feeling we don't mind normally - but there was a slight ashy undercurrent with this one. So we toned it down just a little bit for the second cup - and to be honest it didn't make any difference. Hype claim this coffee is not as strong as their No. 17 Espresso. Je-SUS. This is a strong, no holds barred after dinner coffee. We enjoyed it, but a couple of points off for what we think is a slight over-roasting. (7/10)

9 votes
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Hype House Blend Coffee

Hype House Blend CoffeeYou would expect the words "House Blend" to mean "All the stuff left in the bottom of the bag after we made everything else". Looking at the beans give's the same impression too - pale, dry and dusty. But hang on a minute - this one exceeds it's "house blend" labeling - this coffee has a real twang to it - and not only that, it's easy to make. We spooned it up big time for the second cup and it still was as mellow as hell. The only thing we did notice was a slightly metallic bite to it when we made the much stronger cup - so lets just say this one has a ceiling that you don't want to go over - but it's a pretty high ceiling. We could happily glug this stuff all day long without any complaint. An easy 8/10.

30 votes
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Hype Pure Mexican Coffee

Hype Pure Mexican CoffeeMexico is not a big name in coffee for your average coffee drinker in the UK - but we've tried a few here at Judge Towers and their coffees are always firmly at one end of the scale: the top. That's not to say there's anything really noteworthy about this coffee though - it's not full of fluffy flavours and hints of elderberry. Hype reckon that this coffee is a cut above your average Mexican - so maybe we've been spoilt by only ever having good 'uns. We didn't get the fruity notes they claim - but maybe it's just too subtle for our agricultural tastes. But it suited us fine anyway - strong and dark and a doddle to make. We only got a two cups each out of our tester bag, but they were both identical. A solid 8/10.

15 votes
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