March 2014

Hype Espresso No 9 Coffee

Hype Espresso No 9 CoffeeThe beans from this one look stunning - a uniform, glistening dark brown. It just makes you wish coffee beans were immediately edible as these look like little nuggets of chocolate. Once we'd ground these down though - these wolves in sheep's clothing showed their true colours: a real bunch of hard cases. The first cup we made with our usual five spoons was ball-crushingly strong and made our eyeballs stand out on stalks for a while. That's a feeling we don't mind normally - but there was a slight ashy undercurrent with this one. So we toned it down just a little bit for the second cup - and to be honest it didn't make any difference. Hype claim this coffee is not as strong as their No. 17 Espresso. Je-SUS. This is a strong, no holds barred after dinner coffee. We enjoyed it, but a couple of points off for what we think is a slight over-roasting. (7/10)

9 votes
Your rating: None

Hype House Blend Coffee

Hype House Blend CoffeeYou would expect the words "House Blend" to mean "All the stuff left in the bottom of the bag after we made everything else". Looking at the beans give's the same impression too - pale, dry and dusty. But hang on a minute - this one exceeds it's "house blend" labeling - this coffee has a real twang to it - and not only that, it's easy to make. We spooned it up big time for the second cup and it still was as mellow as hell. The only thing we did notice was a slightly metallic bite to it when we made the much stronger cup - so lets just say this one has a ceiling that you don't want to go over - but it's a pretty high ceiling. We could happily glug this stuff all day long without any complaint. An easy 8/10.

30 votes
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Hype Pure Mexican Coffee

Hype Pure Mexican CoffeeMexico is not a big name in coffee for your average coffee drinker in the UK - but we've tried a few here at Judge Towers and their coffees are always firmly at one end of the scale: the top. That's not to say there's anything really noteworthy about this coffee though - it's not full of fluffy flavours and hints of elderberry. Hype reckon that this coffee is a cut above your average Mexican - so maybe we've been spoilt by only ever having good 'uns. We didn't get the fruity notes they claim - but maybe it's just too subtle for our agricultural tastes. But it suited us fine anyway - strong and dark and a doddle to make. We only got a two cups each out of our tester bag, but they were both identical. A solid 8/10.

15 votes
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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.

34 votes
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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 votes
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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

7 votes
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Monoprix Café Moulu Pur Arabica Intense

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

7 votes
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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.

8 votes
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