August 2011

Percol Black and Beyond Coffee Beans

The Percol marketing people really know how to hit the right spot. As a Coffee Judge, readingPercol Black and Beyond Coffee Beans the side of this packet is bound to get you in a fevered state of excitement - they have just described us perfectly. So the expectation from this is high - are we going to get a Lava Java Buster? Well - not quite. The usual issue with beans - another variable in the make up - means the brew we get is under powered. Hank went lightly on this one, obviously wanting to save his "grinding hand" for other activities later this evening. Despite this, for the first time, some of the blurb on the packet is actually true for the first time in this Judge's life. There IS no bitter aftertaste and it really does reach the depths of flavour! It's a cracking coffee in my opinion and restored my faith in the Percol brand which was starting to wane after the first two duffers. 8/10 for now, for sure a 9 when we get the strength right - maybe even a 10!

8.23704
135 votes
Your rating: None

Waitrose Java Coffee

Waitrose Java CoffeeThis one turned up from our rookie Judge "cougheee" with the bold claim of the next Lava Java. It was just the two of us and he made his first pot following the strict Judge's rules - 5 spoons. Holy shit - this thing was so strong he may as well have picked up a piece of lead piping instead and smashed me about the face with it. Surely there must have been a mistake in the making?  Tablespoons instead of dessert spoons maybe? So today Judge Hank is back, swaggering about, with the intention of putting things right. What gets delivered is thick, heavy and oily. Just by looking you know that this is going to hurt. And it does. So far under normal Judge rules this is the strongest thing ever tasted. The underlying taste is pleasant enough, but it's just hard to pick it out when your mouth is pouring with blood. Again I can't finish the cup - which must score it badly - but I know deep down there's a good coffee here, you just need to treat it like it's radioactive: handle carefully and brew in a lead lined caffetiere. I can only give it 6/10 for now - but I'm sure this will jump up when we get the strength right.  And this is a STRENGTH 4 for God's sake... I thought Waitrose was the store for lily-livered Guardian Readers!

8.40323
62 votes
Your rating: None

Taylors Espresso Coffee Beans

Taylors Expresso Coffee BeansCoarsely ground this came out fighting from its corner. A real heavyweight - and you'd expect it to be, being called an "espresso". Of course we had a whole mug of the stuff, not four drips in the bottom of a poncy "cup" that would look more at home on a doll's house table. It is bitter - might be more to do with our grinding technique again as the mug was full of powder - this wasn't a liquid - more of a semi-solid. Still, we like that on a Friday afternoon. Whether it will help with my current headache is open to question. This one is said to be made of four different beans - is that by design or from sweeping the roasting house floor? Who knows - it's a high scorer whatever. I'd have given it a 9/10, but I have to peg it down 1 for the ball-ache of having to grind the bugger ourselves. Taylors: that's YOUR job.

6.95238
21 votes
Your rating: None

Carte Noire Coffee

Carte Noire CoffeeThis has caused us a real problem - with just one glug you know it's quality and the initial thought is its another 10/10 to rival the Taylor's Hot Lava Java. I'm swilling it round now trying to pick holes in it... and I can't. It's strong, it lingers in your mouth and there's no hint of fruit, nuts, lemon or any other kind of novelty coffee adjective. I just can't bring myself to give it a ten just yet - it can't be as good as the HLG can it? This was not our coffee - we blagged it off someone else. We need to blag it again though as this review needs more evidence! 9/10

7.55051
198 votes
Your rating: None

Percol Colombia Arabica Coffee

Percol Colombia Arabica CoffeeAfter yesterday's Percol Debacle with a strength 4 that was so weak, sickly and milky that I may as well have just have put my mouth directly on the cow's udder, we decided to really spoon this one up as even Percol grade it a strength 3 - which as we all know is the weakest coffee strength known to man. So at 7 spoons the initial waft wasn't bad - I could smell coffee over the cow shed - and it looked fine too. It looked professional. But professional coffees are never really that good are they? I mean, they start well, but after a few glugs you're used to it and wishing you'd just stayed at home and made one yourself. They claim "a hint of nuts" - which is the usual bollocks - unless it refers to the bloke who does their packaging which this time looks like a packet of salt and vinegar. So - ideal for those after-dinner-party moments where you don't want to disgrace yourself, but don't want them hanging around too long discussing it. Drink and go. 5/10

5.09091
22 votes
Your rating: None

Grand Mere Familial Coffee

Grand Mere Familial CoffeeWhat are we doing starting the week with another one of these French Cheapies? Because we live on the edge, that's why. We wern't expecting much from this one but we did notice how finely ground it is, so we took the initiative to make it a bit weaker. And it worked! By which I mean it didn't taste of an old pub ashtray, which is what we've come to expect of these French bargain coffees. It did smell of ashtrays though - so if you hold your nose and glug it down I think you can give it a 4/10!

8.24444
45 votes
Your rating: None

Percol Nicaragua Arabica Coffee

Percol Nicaragua Arabica CoffeeThis is the first Percol for us, a new brand, and we're excited. But chocolate?  Orange Marmalade??!!  What are these people talking about? Have they any idea what coffee is or do they think they're making breakfast? How long before they are quoting Bacon Overtones with a smooth Egg finish? As if that flowery bullshit introduction wasn't enough to make you feel this is all style over content, wait until you open the packet.. it's full of TWIGS I kid you not. OK I may be exaggerating a little bit, but the coffee really is full of dried husks.. this can't be good. Percol Coffee TwigsSo Judge Hank makes this one, and swears by it. Six spoons for a strength 4 should be good. Hmmm.... no. It's weedy. It's not bad - but it's not good. There's nothing really to say about it - it's just adequate catering coffee. The only good thing to say is that the twigs didn't actually ruin it, as this is one coffee that I really was expecting to be "woody"! The only hope is to really spoon it up next time, to see if there's any hidden depths. Mind you it's the first coffee reviewed to warrent a second picture. Disappointedly a 5/10

8.33333
9 votes
Your rating: None

Grumpy Mule Organic Colombia Cafe Equidad Coffee

Grumpy Mule Organic Colombia Cafe Equidad CoffeeFirst tasting for over a week - and onto a new brand. It didn't look appealing - an oily looking surface and very little foam. The initial smell was of cigar ash - which knocked me back a bit to say the least. Even the first taste had more of the taste when you pick up the wrong beer can at a party and its the one people have been using to put their butts in. Not sounding good so far?  Well.. you can warm to it a bit, but it's a bit harsh for my liking. Agricultural. 5/10

7.63636
33 votes
Your rating: None

Rombouts Cafe Italiano Coffee

Rombouts Cafe Italiano CoffeeThis looks much more sophisticated than its humble origins (Sainsburys). The packet oozes continental style - you can smell the oil from the 2-stroke Vespa and the hand crafted Italian leather shoes just on the packet. It must be quite finely ground as we had quite a few floaters on the top - but they couldn't take away from the rich classy taste. Not a coffee for wimps or the Latte Brigade. A great mid-afternoon 8/10

8.8125
16 votes
Your rating: None

Cafe Direct Machu Picchu Peru Coffee

Cafe Direct Machu Picchu Peru CoffeeWe've already reviewed this exact same coffee, but as Beans, not ground. So that's one variable taken out of the equation. We made a 6 spooner and it looked like used sump oil going into the cup - you really can notice the oily looking surface. The first mouthful felt like a punch in the throat from Mike Tyson; the second felt like him ripping your ear off - this is definitely not one for sissies. A whole mug of this bad boy is just too much - we must have over-egged it. I can't go higher than 5/10 just yet. Try again with a weaker mix.

7.5
46 votes
Your rating: None

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