Marks and Spencer Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Marks and Spencer Ethiopian Yirgacheffe CoffeeThe first Marks and Spencer coffee we've had in a while - they've changed all their packaging now so its all less glitzy and more down to earth - brown bags are the fashion these days. This has all sorts of bold claims on the packet - floral, apricot, Jasmine... it would be easier to list what isn't in there. Still - poncy descriptive aside - this is a great, quirky coffee. Firstly it looks so inviting - it's one of those that as you stir it up in your pot it forms a lovely creamy head which looks so appetising. And it lasts even as you pour it into the cup - it almost delivers a cappuccino from a caffetiere. Taste-wise, well, it really is fruity - normal for an east African coffee it's got that zesty citrus taste that cuts through that sleepy Monday morning and gets you where you want to be. It seems to be lightly roasted - the colour in the cup would encourage anyone to drink it - unlike some, that although taste good, do look as unappetising as a vat of old sump oil. The only downside is you can't really knock this one up too strong - if you over do it the zesty lemons turn to lead balloons and it's like sucking on a handful of pocket change. Overall, a great and one to serve to the uninitiated who will be impressed that you know what your doing with your plunger. 9/10

35 votes
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Morrisons Signature Ethiopian Coffee

Morrisons Signature Ethiopian CoffeeThis stuff looks simply amazing. We're only using a simple French press to make it yet it comes out, every time, with a thick creamy head as though it had been run through a five grand Gaggia in a carbon-neutral hipster coffee bar in Shoreditch. We've not had that much head since the Judges took a weeks sabbatical to the Reeperbahn. It's so easy to make this one - it comes out the same every time. It's got a slightly fruity twist to it which, when you have the first one, is a real pleasant surprise. But after a few cups this does end up tasting a little bit metallic. Maybe we just over spooned this one - it would probably benefit for being made just a little weaker. But we didn't do that. Its an 8/10

13 votes
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Carrefour Ethiopia Coffee

Carrefour Ethiopia CoffeeUnusually for the Frenchies this has got a country of origin stamped on it. It came from good old Carrefour so its easy to come by. We expected a lemon twang from this - that's what you normally get from these East African coffees. Not the case here though - if any word could be used to describe this it's chocolate. Not the slightest hint of a lemon in this. We made it in our usual caffetiere and it foamed up beautifully - it looked more like a pint of real ale than a coffee - it just looked great. Every cup came out perfectly - it was just plain impossible to cock this one up. All in all - a good one. Neuf Points.

35 votes
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Cafe Liegeois Subtil Coffee

Cafe Liegeois Subtil CoffeeThis one was picked up on a recent visit to the far flung corner of Belgium to visit the Miss's family. This one actually had the name of the area on it (Liege) so it was a no brainer to scoop up.. along with several crates of bowl-bashing beer from the oh-so puritanical monks out there who seem to be unable to brew anything weaker than a can of Special Brew. There's no such thing as a "Belgian Roast" for coffee, so this is kind of just the Belgian take on fancy flavoured coffee that we are kind of used to seeing all over the shelves here in the UK. It doesn't say much on the packet - other than mention the word Ethiopia. Its fruity this one - and by that we don't mean the usual lemon twang - this one is more like a mild blast of oranges. Bizarre, yes. And it makes a real nice change from the very similar tasting stuff we've had of recent weeks (all scoring 8/10 mind you). I could pick this one out again from a cast of thousands at a blind tasting - it's that distinctive. We'd highly recommend it - but to get some your going to have to join the next Panzer division on it's way to the Ardenne, as it looks like it doesn't exist anywhere else. 8/10

2 votes
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Aldi Specially Selected Ethiopian Ground Coffee

Aldi Specially Selected Ethiopian Ground CoffeeBuying anything from one of the discount supermarkets like Aldi always seems like a gamble - even though they seem to consistently come out top in blind taste tests. They had quite a shelf of coffee in Aldi, so we went for them. At £1.99 a pack you can't expect to be blown away - this is ridiculously cheap stuff. But it does the job pretty well - its got that slightly citrus taste that you would expect from anything from the East African highlands and every time we made it in the caffetiere it looked like velvet - with a creamy head that lingered down the cup as we drunk it. In fact, we could drink this stuff all day. Our only gripe is that it's a fairly course grind which meant we could never get it to really deliver on strength, no matter how many spoons went in the pot. Not a hangover cure then, more of a sunny afternoon, refreshing all day glugger. 7/10

46 votes
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Make Decent Coffee Ethiopia Sidamo

Make Decent Coffee Ethiopia SidamoWe love a "lemony" coffee here in the Judge's Kitchen - so were excited to try this Ethiopian Sidamo coffee that we knew would probably deliver. JE-SUUUS this thing is packed to the gunnels with lemons - you just won't believe it until you try it yourself. As soon as the water hits the grounds you'd be forgiven for thinking you were brewing up a flask of Lemsip. It foams nicely in the caffetiere and the head lasts right down through the cup too. It just look... lush.  If you can get hold of some of this stuff and feed it to your non-coffee loving friends it might just turn them - as it proves that all coffees are really not the same. Some are totally unique - like this one. If anything its just a bit TOO unique - so we're giving it 9/10 - just a point off for having one too many lemons.

4 votes
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Suma Ethiopia Harar Coffee

Suma Ethiopia Harar CoffeeEthiopian coffee is always good - but never quite as good as Kenya or Tanzania. It's always just that bit more run-of-the-mill. The most common one we've had is from Yirgacheffe - but this one's a new one. Never heard of Harar. It's pre-ground from Suma, and has a great smell when you burst that packet. This one is super-fragrant, it's flowery, it's citrussy, it's all those poncy things. We loved it. Anyone would like this one too - you can't overdose on it - it comes out the same every single time, with a good head even from our aging plunger. The only bad thing about it was how fast the packet went down 'cos we loved it so much. It's a lush and it's a 10/10

15 votes
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Rombouts Ethiopian Moka Sidamo Coffee

Rombouts Ethiopian Moka Sidamo CoffeeRombouts have really raised their game lately. From just have one pack on the shelves they've gone all Illy-cool and started producing these tins which started out at a fiver a pop (f*ck OFF!) but you can now pick them up at 2 for a fiver, which is a bargain - being that they are 250g extra large size too. Shame you don't get the Illy woosh when you open the tin - but it's still classy none the less. More importantly though, the taste - and what a cracker this is. It's got the East African zesty twang that we love so much and it still packs a punch on strength. Not in a face-smashing way - but still good enough for us hard-as-nails Judges. You can't over cook it either - it's super-forgiving. You could just shake some by eye out of the tin into your machine with one hand whilst knocking one out with the other hand and you'd end up with something to be proud of (in the Coffee hand as least). Well done Rombouts - we'll be knocking out more of this. (9/10)

19 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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Ethiopian Coffee Company Sidamo Coffee

Ethiopian Coffee Company Sidamo CoffeeThe Judges attended the Tea and Coffee festival - which was a bit of a let down to be honest. A dozen stalls - half of which selling cakes. There was some coffee to be had though - and this was one of them. The most ridiculously expensive coffee we have ever bought - £13 a pack. This has got to blow us away. Did it hell. Firstly, it's super-weedy, so you have to really load up your machine to get even a mild kick. Secondly, the "hint of mild Jasmine" is so f*cking overpowering I really did question whether the cup had been washed properly - or was I drinking pure Fairy Liquid? What a disappointment. If this had cost what it's worth (£3) I'd have given it maybe a 7 for the unusual taste. But rules are rules - and anything you would never buy again must score under 5. That makes it a 4/10 and a total rip off.

8 votes
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