Café Santo Domingo

Café Santo DomingoWe got sent these beans randomly by the company that have just recently taken them over as the sole distributor. Lord alone knows where you would be able top pick this up in the UK - but anyway, we've got it and so we're going to review it. First things first - the bag is huge. It's clearly influenced by the Yanks - they don't mess around with any of this 227g European nonsense. They just ram a bag full of the stuff. The next thing is the bean size - again - massive. If you were in Italy you'd be making a poncy tiny espresso from just half a dozen of these bad boys. Taste wise though, this stuff is non-American, thank God. It's full of flavour and very forgiving - you can spoon up the strength as high as you like and you won't do yourself any damage. Every cup came out consistently - and we're rating it at an 8/10 - only really knocking a couple of points off as there's no real quirky-ness of taste.

7.02941
34 votes
Your rating: None

DE Master Blenders Maison du Café Coffee

DE Master Blenders Maison du Café Coffee

This is a French coffee and it came in a dinky little half size packet – why don’t more coffees come in these little sizes? The whole world should start getting used to small packets. The whole pack is gone in a day and every day you could be on to a fresh one. Except in the case of this coffee – you wouldn’t. As it’s bloody ‘orrible. Ok maybe that’s an overstatement – it is drinkable – but compared to the lovely York’s coffee we just had, its way down the scale. Like any French coffee with the word Mason in the title – we didn't really expect much from it – in fact we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that it even was drinkable. But that’s not saying much. So it’s OK for a one off on your next camping trip to France, but you’d be better off spending and extra Euro and getting something nice. 5/10.

4.25
4 votes
Your rating: None

York Coffee Emporium Malawi Pamwamba AA

York Coffee Emporium Malawi Pamwamba AAOf our batch of York coffees this has been the best so far. Even in our caffetiere it comes out with a nice looking head on it. It really wants to make you dive straight in and make the kind of slurping noises you were always told were rude when you were a child. They claim on the packet that it tastes of wine and plums – well that’s a new one on us. Us Judges are not normally partial to putting any quantity of plums in our mouth – but in this case we’ll make an exception. Rather than plummy we’d describe this one as a bit tangy and lively. 8/10

4.57143
7 votes
Your rating: None

Monoprix Café Moulu Pur Arabica Intense

http://www.coffeejudge.co.uk/monoprix-cafe

French coffees normally taste like ground cardboard or just kick you straight in the face. But this one's a bit different. Read the Judges full verdict here...

 

 

The French don't go in for the country of origin on their coffees. You never see words like "Kenya" or "Ethiopia" on their packets - they just don't care. All you'll see is words like "coffee" or, if they are being slightly more descriptive, "family". And it's not surprising - bearing in mind the average French meal takes 23 hours 45 minutes, by the time they get to the coffee course the next starter and wine is only minutes away. They just don't go in for all this artisan coffee guff. So we have gotten used to French coffees all just being much of  a much ness. This one though does break the mould just a little - it's punchy without punching your face in. We spooned it up quite heavily and it kept a nice raunchy coffee taste without going into a leaden after taste. We even made it for a few of the pre-raphaelite women around here - and they loved it too. The long and short of it - c'est tres bon. Give it to your family, they'll thank you for it. Its an 8/10

5.85714
7 votes
Your rating: None

York Coffee Emporium Ebor Blend

York Coffee Emporium Ebor Blend

This coffee from the York Coffee Emporium claims to be a strength 4 - but when we brewed it up it didn't really hit us that hard. Read our review here.

This is a mild tasting coffee – slightly flowery even. We're not sure where their whiff of tangerines came as mentioned on the packet - or what an earth a moccha hit is meant to be. We didn't get either of these. Our only real gripe with it is that we couldn’t really crank it up to the ball-crushing strength that we were after – no matter how many spoons we ladled into it, it remained as mellow as hell. This shouldn’t put you off though – if you’re a normal coffee drinker then you’ll surely love this stuff. A wholesome 7/10 from us.

5
8 votes
Your rating: None

York Coffee Emporium Sumatran Gegarang Coffee

York Coffee Emporium Sumatran Gegarang CoffeeA light and dusty coffee where the beans are tough as old boots. Nearly smashed our grinder to bits. Read our review here...

The first thing we noticed with this one is the beans are big, dusty and hard as nails. A bit like the mother in law. Arf. By which we mean even though we ground these things to hell and back, there were still chunks floating around in our grinder. Still, we persevered and ground them to dust in the end. This coffee is a nice and light tasting one – it looks  light in the cup too. We did have a tendency to overdo it though just to try and wring a bit more taste out of it. But it didn’t really work – it hits a peak and then it tends to just overload on a metallic aftertaste. Even so, it’s still tasty and does have a bit of a twang – slightly citrus but not overkill.  It’s quirky enough to give to anyone and should raise a smile at your dinner party. 8/10

6.22222
9 votes
Your rating: None

York Coffee Emporium Nicaragua Finca El Bosque

York Coffee Emporium Nicaragua Finca El Bosque

Our 150th coffee review and it comes from Nicaragua - which came to us directly from a roaster in York. The beans were still warm when we got them. Here's our review...

There’s not much in there – it’s a light weight pack and we only got 8 cups from it. Mainly because this feels like a very lightly roasted coffee – when we mixed this up with four spoons, the flavour was buried beneath the taste of water. So we had to crank it right up to five heaped spoons – which is the level this one needs. At that point though it suffers a little from a metallic after taste. The flavour’s generally  good though – quite caramel like and not over powering -  So, overall it’s nice enough but a bit of a fiddle to make it right – and you won’t get many attempts with such a small dosage in the pack. I've not had a dose this small since that night with Little Jimmy Cranky. (7/10)

8.6
20 votes
Your rating: None

Eduscho Espresso Classico Coffee

Eduscho Espresso Classico CoffeeWe picked this one up on a recent ski trip to Austria. Like all the coffees out there - there's not much to choose between them.

They'll all dark as hell - having had the nuts roasted off them in some kind of industrial furnace. Which means when you make it you have to have a steady hand. One extra grain could mean the difference between life and death. The only phrase to note on the side of the packet is "savory" - a word I'd more normally associate with a packet or Twiglets. Rest assured - there is no hint of savory in this. It's just your standard hard roasted Austrian. Dark and liable to punch you in the face. make it right and you'll love it - over do it and you'll choke. It's that simple. 7/10

4
2 votes
Your rating: None

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Chirinos Coffee

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Chirinos CoffeeSainsbury have gone for broke with a range of Taste The Difference coffees served in Illy-style tins. Not quite as sophisticated as the Illy tins, but better than a placcy bag.

The excitement was palpable when we pulled the ring pull on the top - expecting the Illy style rush of nitrogen and coffee mix exploding out of the tin. What a disappointment - even a half dead Nat after a night on the curry could displace more wind than came out of this tin. But it's a tasty little number this one - it frothed up nicely in our caffetiere and looked just plain appetising. They claim complex flavours - but we couldn't get them. But it is a nice tasting coffee - slightly more citrus than bitter and one that anyone could make, drink and love. Every cup we made came out the same - it's just impossible to cock this one up. There's two more coffees in this range - and to be honest we couldn't tell the difference between any of them. So buy 'em all - they're all cheap anyway!  8/10

5.90909
11 votes
Your rating: None

San Marco Italiano Coffee

San Marco Italiano CoffeeFirst coffee of the year - and it's a French import bought from a flit to Gay Paris.

It's the usual Euro-Brick packaging - but for once someone has managed to design a packet that you can actually open with your bare hands and that doesn't immediately dump half its contents straight down the front of your shirt.  To be honest, the French are the last people I'd expect to have cracked that problem, what with their usual nonplussed attitude to health and safety, but on reading their website we discover the packaging was designed by Michael Angelo no less which really shows our ignorance as us Judges weren't aware that he was a) still alive or b) working in the food and beverage packaging sector. So that's 5 points in the bag already for these guys for that coup. On to the coffee - this one is so finely ground its tricky to even get it onto the spoon without it all blowing away. The effect of which is to deliver a ball-crushing strength of coffee. Just too much. The key to this one is to do your weights and measures carefully. Where we'd normally use five spoons for two cups, this one had to be pegged back to just 3.5 spoons - and at that level it have us what we wanted. A classic Italian super strong coffee. No novelty flavours or aftertastes - just pure, dark coffee. So one point off for the fiddley-ness in brewing, gives it a 7/10.

5.25
4 votes
Your rating: None

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