October 2011

Percol Honduras La Tigre Rainforest Coffee

Percol Honduras La Tigre Rainforest Coffee

This is another good Percol, despite yet another cold "garden seed" packet design. It tastes consistently good all the way down the cup too - there's no build up of bitterness. But then again this lack of any kind of aftertaste makes it taste a little shallow tasting. When it's gone, it's gone. A respectable 7/10

19 votes
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Lavazza Espresso Coffee

Lavazza Espresso CoffeeLavazza have done the business with this one. It's strong but mellow and that espresso taste lingers in your mouth in a nice way. Not only that, it's easy to make - every cup came out well, no matter how shaky the hand measuring out the spoons. Even the packet exudes quality and continental sophistication. The only downside is minor - the stupid vacuum pack is almost impossible to open without tools, and once it is open, you can't re seal it and you will end up with coffee all over the shop. But hey, I'm not going to knock a point off for that. That's part of its charm. This has to be scored top marks - but is it as good as the Hot Lava Lava?  We'd have to do a side by side taste-off I think. (10/10)

589 votes
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Percol Rainforest Organic Colombia Arabica Coffee

Percol Rainforest Organic Colombia Arabica CoffeeThis is the best Percol we've had so far. There's nothing really to make it stand out and talk about - no aromas or notes as they claim on the packet. But it just delivers on smooth, full flavour with a pleasant  lingering coffee after taste. Every cup we made was consistantly good - you just can't cock this one up. It's just a shame it's yet another "grass seed" piece of packaging from Percol - stick this in a glossy packet and suddenly you have a luxury, quality coffee here. Petty to mark it down one for that but, hey ho - it's a 9 down to an 8/10.

16 votes
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Percol Fairtrade Italiano Arabica Coffee

Percol Fairtrade Italiano Arabica CoffeeThis is a Percol Big Boy. It's a strength 5 so we're fumbling with the packet in excitement. In the end it's come out good, but my God it was a lot of work to get there. By which, I mean the first three cups all failed for one reason or another - too weak, too strong, too much powder in the cup... We were at the point of giving up until Hank took a deep breath, donned his white lab coat, and made it under full laboratory conditions. Despite plunging it so slowly that the plunger's progress was slower than a snail going down an up escalator, it's still full of powder in the cup. So we ended up with a slightly metallic taste which, over a whole mug, is a bit much. So for all that faffing, only 7/10

18 votes
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Taylors Take It Easy Coffee

Taylors Take It Easy CoffeeWe can't knock this one just for being half strength can we? It does clearly say it's half caffeine on the side of the packet. For a coffee that's been through an industrial process, it's still got a lot of flavour and you wouldn't really know it had been mucked around with. It starts fine enough too - but as you get further down the cup, the lack of punch starts to grate. Eventually it becomes a bit sickly with the taste of the milk over powering the content. But that's because we like our coffee strong - so this coffee is actually delivering what it says it would. For most people it's probably a 7 or 8 score, but for this judge only a 6/10.

13 votes
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Percol Fairtrade and Organic Latin America Arabica Coffee

Percol Latin America Arabica CoffeeThe folks at Percol came up trumps and delivered the Judges a box of freebies - one of every single Percol. (Thanks Niomi!) This is the first then of a Percol Marathon we're going to have to do over the next few weeks. First things first - when you see all of them together you really can't tell the difference - the packaging all looks like a scene from Predator. All jungle-y and, let's face it, a bit tacky. No continental style and sophistication in sight. This one looked great on arrival, a nice froth on the top. But there's a weird taste to this one - and a very long lasting after tase. It's just a little bit too "sharp" - if there is such a thing. Mind you, having read the side of the packet they are claiming "grapefruit" - which is sharp as hell. Why the hell would you want a f*cking grapefruit in your cup? That's a trait they need to engineer out of this one, not boast about. It's still OK though, just above the average at 6/10

9 votes
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Morrisons Fairtrade Italian Blend Coffee

Morrisons Fairtrade Italian Blend CoffeeLet's get to the point. It's awful. Which is a shame as the packaging looks good - just the way we like it. But the smell is of ashtrays and the taste is like eating an egg box that's been used as an ashtray. There's no depth of flavour at all either - you really need to spoon it up to even get to the heady heights of an ashtray. Best avoided really - it scores badly - though not as badly as some other ash-tray classics - as at least I could finish the cup. This must be some cheap Robusta beans in here - no mention of Arabica on the packet. Boo. (4/10)

6 votes
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illy Espresso Dark Coffee

Illy Espresso Dark CoffeeAfter our last illy scoring a 9/10, this one was stacked up to be even better. I mean, it's a dark roast this time, which must equate to a strength 5 on the usual coffee strength scale. It's been a problem though, as usual with espresso super-fine grinds. If you do it as you'd normally do it, it will blow the top of your head off in a caffeine and powder OD catastrophe. So much so on the first cup I wasn't all that partial. So over the next few cups we toned it down a bit, coming down to 5 spoons (from 6) for the 3 cups. By the end it's pretty good - but still not quite what I was hoping for. It's chocolatey, dark, and not a whiff of a logan berry. I suppose it's more economical in that you need less coffee than the medium roast (for the same piss taking price!). Great though it may be, it scores down again one point for expense, and another for the fact we just couldn't get it right. (8/10)

83 votes
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Sainsbury's So Organic Peru Coffee

Sainsbury's So Organic Peru CoffeeWe've had this one a while and put off the making of it. Why? The packaging. My God it's dull. We want our coffees to draw us in with silvers and golds and feel all continental-like, but this one looks like a packet of grass seed. When we finally do crack it open, it does what it says on the tin. Smooth and mellow is right enough - there's a really punchy flavour without being too overpowering, and every time we've  made one it's come out trumps. I don't think you can get this one wrong - it would easily round off your cafetiere cock-ups and still deliver. Not quite strong enough for me - but then it's not meant to be. But one definitely to dish up at home after your dinner party with confidence that they'll all like it, and it will turn out ok. (8/10)

20 votes
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Marks and Spencer Espresso Coffee

This is a real bad boy. It's ground super espresso fine, which means it's very hard to get your weights and measures right. So much so, the first two of these we had were as fierce as a Tiger with it's manhood in a vice. Don't go near it. But despite the skull cracking power, the underlying taste still came through. We knew that deep down this was a good 'un. But it took three failed cups to get the dosage right before we finally got the taste of the real deal. And let me tell you, it's a trooper. One of those coffees that can take any amount of milk without becoming too sickly. It would probably make a good Latte, if you're that way inclined. Once again though with the M&S'er, the difficulty in getting it right is the only thing to detract from a top score from this Judge...9/10

85 votes
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