February 2012

Morrisons The Best Fairtrade Guatemalan Ground Coffee

Morrisons The Best Fairtrade Guatemalan Ground CoffeeThese Morrison Coffees are always hard core killers, and this is no exception. We made this as normal and it was just way over the top. A bitter, filthy dirty brew. This could only be at home on a building site being drunk by hardened, crack-showing navvies who would probably even dunk a biscuit in it. The only way we could take it was to water it down a spoonful - but even then the first taste sends you reeling and staggering backwards. However - if you keep the faith, this one does improve as you go down the cup. I don't know how this works - maybe because your taste buds a being systematically stripped off and by the end, you just don't care. Who knows - but my head now feels a bit fuzzy and I'll rate it above the 5/10 "never buying it a again" watershed. Its a 6/10.

8 votes
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Marks and Spencer Colombian Coffee Beans

Marks and Spencer Colombian Coffee Beans

We picked up two M&S'ers at the same time and the other one - the Luxury Italian - was bleedin' awful. Because this one looks so similar, in our heads, this one was  going to be shonky as well. But hang on!! We were wrong!! This one has a real citrus twist to it  - even the ground beans smelt a bit like a lemon farm. Tasting it too, the first thing you get is the slightly citrus taste more usual with those high altitude east African coffees - we've not had this taste in a South American one before. The follow through gulps are smooth and sweet - and the end effect is you just want more. The only criticism this judge could possibly make was maybe it's not quite strong enough. If this was a strength 5 it would be a 10/10, but as it stands, it's a 9/10.

79 votes
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Marks and Spencer Luxury Italian Coffee

Marks and Spencer Luxury Italian CoffeeThis is not just Luxury Italian Coffee. It's fucking awful Luxury Italian Coffee. This one claims all sorts on the packet - but forgets to mention lack of flavour and all round general weedy-ness. This is only marginally better than instant - if someone offered it to you at their house you would be grateful that it least is was real coffee, but it wouldn't be worth the effort of making it yourself, you may as well spoon up a Nescafe and save yourself the bother - and disappointment. The final inch in the cup really sealed it - a bitter nasty mess. This Judge's summing up: starts disappointing, ends badly. Gets a 4/5.

37 votes
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Grumpy Mule Rwanda Musasa Coffee

Grumpy Mule Rwanda Musasa CoffeeWe've been going through a renaissance with the Grumpy Mules, which was mainly brought on by price - they were all so sodding expensive. Turns out though, it's just our local Deli that's ripping us off - there is no £8 packet of Mule out there in the real world - it's just a special price for us Mugs who he saw coming through his enormous Mug spotting windows. So, now were over that, we can just start enjoying it. This one is a case in point - it's fruity and punching above it's strength 3 rating. Every cup has come out good - it's a great beginners coffee - you just can't fuck this one up, even if you cant count up to the required 6 spoons you'll still be ok and your friends will love you. Slurp it down... and give us more Mules! Scores an 8/10 - only lost it bit from this Judge for the lack of ball crushing strength.

16 votes
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Grumpy Mule Tanzania Footprint Peaberry Coffee

Grumpy Mule Tanzania Footprint CoffeeThis advertises two words we like to see: Peaberry and Tanzania. So we're getting quite excited by this one. As you bring this brewed cup up to your face you do get the slightly citrus waft, and on the first sip - you get it too. But from then on in this coffee is just too mild for me. It's lacking any real depth of taste - it's way too subtle. After the gulp, there's no powerful rasp down the back of your tongue - when it's gone, it's gone, and that's it. This is rated at strength 4 - so I did try and spoon it up a notch to try and ring a bit more out of it: don't try it. If you make this one too strong then it's going to ruin all of the subtleties and you make as well be drinking a cheapo Lavazza. This is a strength 3 and has been over-rated, that's all. For my taste then, just a 6/10.

17 votes
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Whittard Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Whittard Ethiopian Yirgacheffe CoffeeThe first sip of this bodes well - it's tangy and citrus like, as we top Judges have come to expect for anything from a high altitude in that part of the world. But as you continue to sip, you really want this taste to build and build - but it doesn't. It just stays at the same level and as you get more used to it, you notice it even less, to the point where you feel like you're drinking hot water. I can only put this down to the strength 3 rating - this was never going to floor me like a couple of pool balls in a pair of tights. So, OK if you like week coffee. Otherwise, be a man and go out and get yourself something stronger - some Tanzanian Peaberry maybe. 6/10

9 votes
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Dallmayr Prodomo Coffee

Dallmayr Prodomo CoffeeThis one's from Austria. We've had a few from there and, as cheapies, they've generally been better than French ones. This is a case in point - it IS drinkable - but there's just something slightly weird about it. It's very susceptible to getting the measures wrong - too much and it's liquid aluminum, too little and it's shallow and breathless. Just one glug of this and you know you are drinking "own brand", European coffee. For that shared chalet ski trip I think I'd buy this - it's passable - particularly because of the house-brick style doublele dose package - it's massive. But not for myself, no way. On the cusp then, 5/5.

36 votes
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Grumpy Mule Panama Esmeralda Coffee Beans

Grumpy Mule Panama Esmeralda Coffee BeansThe beans for this Mule are big and light - and smell divine. We almost ate them straight off the spoon. Now The folks at Grumpy Mule clearly state this is an all day, strength 3 coffee, which doesn't normally sit well with the Judges' sensibilities. But we're going to give it a go anyway. Brewing this up, the first thing apparant is the overwhelming smell of lemons. This isn't hint of citrus, this is a bleedin' fruit bowl. We don't mind a bit of high altitude lemon flavour here at Judge Towers, but this one is so lemon-like I'm not sure whether your average coffee drinking oik will drink it or do the washing up with it. We like it though - the only gripe being it's a bit too weak - even after spooning it up a notch. If you like a mellower coffee with a slightly odd taste, this is pretty good. Definitely one to serve your guests  - so they can all learn that "citrus notes" isn't complete coffee-bollocks-talk after all. 8/10

12 votes
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Cafe Serrano Coffee

Cafe Serrano CoffeeImported from a recent Cuban jaunt by Judge Nooge himself, this is a real big boy. A massive half kilo bag and it's a pretty luxurious package too. It's finely ground which makes for a very heady mix. There's no mincing around with "citrus" or "chocolatey" with this one. It's just good, old fashioned, strong coffee - so much so that we had to back off half a spoon, otherwise we were in danger of another Cuban Missile Crisis. Seems like Castro had the right idea - get you coffee, cigars and rum sorted and everything else will follow. 8/10

43 votes
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