January 2012

House of Coffees Confessions Daily Obsession Coffee

House of Coffees Confessions Daily Obsession CoffeeThis came from someone's hols to South Africa and first thing - it looks a bit cheap and nasty. Like one of those own brands from a a French Hypermarket. It looks inviting in the cup, and the smell is definitely enticing. Even the first gulp gives you a warm, comforting feeling. It tastes cosy. But as you work your way down you discover some kind of weird bitter chocolatey taste that builds and builds with every sip. Between sips, the bitterness lingers on the back of your tongue in a not altogether pleasant way. We've had three cups of this before we could finally make up our minds: it's not great, but as a one off, it's passable. 6/10

7 votes
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Whittard Pico Duarte Coffee

Whittard Pico DuarteThis was the first one I'd made in a while and je-sus this came out blacker than the Black Hole Of Calcutta. So what's with the delicate looking butterflies on the front of this I wonder? Now, I'm sure I didn't cock-up the brewing process, and this is officially rated a strength 3, so how it ended up a throat puncher I'll never know. But I think I have to face facts: that I over did it and that the strength here, while welcome, is slightly false and it's a really bitter cup that needs an extra tweak of sugar to get it down. I've enjoyed it though - a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. An easy 7/10 for this one. Shame we can only have one cup from the tiny packet.

22 votes
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Whittard Colombian Coffee

Whittard Colombian CoffeeThe notion of this one is a cheeky little monkey messing around with a magic tea pot hanging about on a branch. Despite all that nonsense, this is a nice little brew. It's a strength 3 but has a really good and powerful taste. It's just lacking some depth - it's shallower than Jodie Marsh on Mastermind. As soon as you've swallowed - it's gone. Yes, that's another reference to Jodie Marsh. It's a great afternoon coffee - or one to keep dosing up on all day long. You'll never feel like you've had too many, but you'll enjoy each one. I may even buy a bigger pack....  8/10

6 votes
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Sea Island Maui Island Estate Coffee Beans

Sea Island Maui Island Estate Coffee BeansAnother Sea Island "cheapy" at the equivalent of 14 quid a pack. The first thing on show here is the beans are the tiniest things you've ever seen - they are miniscule. So small you might be forgiven for thinking this one is pre-ground. But no - grind it you must. The finished cup doesn't look anything out of the ordinary - plain as hell. But the taste - whooa - it's good. The lemon and citrus twang cuts right across your tongue like an amuse-bouche and as you sink the last drops all you want to do is have another one. It's moorish as hell. Which is a shame because it's my last ever cup - at 14 quid a go it's just too rich for this Judge. So a 9/10 docked 2 points for cost. 7/10.

6 votes
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Whittard Monsoon Malabar Coffee

Whittard Monsoon Malabar CoffeeWe've had a Monsoon Malabar before from Waitrose, and we didn't like it, so we're not expecting much here. The package seems to suggest that a toffish bird can take it, where as a chavvy parrot will be left reeling from this bad boy.  The initial smell off of the cup is what we expected - filthy, dirty and harsh. So you kind of hold your nose before diving in - but initial gulps would have you believe that this one 'aint bad! Strong - yes - but not quite such a filth-monger as the name would suggest. As you go down the cup though, the after taste on the tongue builds up and the grinds from the bottom well up and start to choke you. It's just about OK, but only for serious coffee fans. The average parrot best stick to his millet. 6/10

23 votes
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Whittard Santos and Java Coffee

Whittard Santos and Java CoffeeThis is a real punchy little Whittard. It's a strength 5, and it tastes it - don't give this one to your mum thinking you can dumb it down and it'll all be ok, because it won't. The smell off the freshly brewed cup is powerful and enticing - there's no way you can forget this one and leave it to go cold by mistake. In fact, I never even put the cup down. 8/10

14 votes
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Kirkland French Roast Sumatra Coffee Beans

Kirkland French Roast Sumatra Coffee BeansThis is a real cheapy - it comes from Costco and is a massive 1.3kg bag - and that's the smallest one they do. We had already made up our minds that this one was going to be slightly rough - it's a cheap catering coffee. The beans looked weird, and smelt weird. When it's brewed, the initial smell is of a cheap, dirty coffee. But then up close, the smell is pungent and earthy - it smells like the piss soaked ground by the mens urinal at Glastonbury on day three. If you hold your nose and just swallow, it's actually drinkable (the coffee - not the Glasto piss) - definately the best ever "cheap" coffee we've had. I even finished the whole cup. But  it's not something you'd rush to repeat - and that leaves you with 1.299 kg still to get rid of. I'd serve it in a restaurant - but it's no good for home use. 5/10

9 votes
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Paddy and Scott's Great With Friends Coffee

Paddy and Scott's Great With Friends CoffeeWe have to admire these two guys - they're doing the kind of job the Judges want to be doing. But rather than just sit around moaning that so-and-so coffee is a duffer, they've got up off their arses and gone and made their own - so good luck to them! Now, let's hope they know what they're doing. The packaging on this this is not great - two blokes having a love-in over a small cup, with way too much text - loses it one point from this Judge. So much so, we can't even be bothered to read it. It's actually hard to tell what you're going to be getting - it's just called "Great With Friends" - no clue as to strength without getting your reading glasses out. It's a damn fine brew though. We've had three now, and they've all been consistently good. Powerful flavours, no aftertaste. Just a nice lingering coffee coating in your mouth to remind you of what you've just enjoyed. You don't see this coffee around much - but if you do, you can't go wrong. (8/10)

19 votes
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Whittard Christmas Coffee

Whittard Christmas CoffeeThe word "Christmas" on a coffee - or indeed anything - should always make you nervous and this is proof of that. As soon as you open the packet you just want to gag - it's sickly sweet and generally repulsive. Just the waft from the packet is making me sneeze. The brewed cup is even worse - it's only drinkable for a few sips - and even then only because you feel you have to, out of disbelief that anything could be this bad. It's full of cooking chocolate, milk powder, ground nuts or wet cardboard or something equally as nauseating. Imagine if you aged some Baileys in a cardboard barrel for 10 years, and then heated it up. It deserves a 1/10 - but I'm giving it a 2/10. Why? Because they intended it to be this way and I admire their balls.

11 votes
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Whittard Guatemalan Elephant Coffee

Whittard Guatemalan Elephant Coffee

The first thing you notice with this one is the aroma - it's leaping out of the cup to put it's hands around your throat. In the cup it looks velvety and chocolatey - there's no way you can leave this one to get cold. This is a strength 4 buts it's packing a mellow strength 5 - you know it's doing you the right kind of damage but you're blissfully unaware of it as it just slips down. The only minor grumble is the super-fine grind resulting in a final mouthful of mud at the bottom of the cup which leaves you with a slightly tainted parting memory of this one. 8/10

53 votes
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