Taylors Esperanza Coffee

Taylors Esperanza CoffeeThis is a big one for us as Judge Towers - it's our 200th coffee review, and if there's one thing we've learnt over the years of coffee supping, it's that the more you have, the harder it gets to distinguish between them. There aren't 200 different coffees out there really - despite what the packets may tell you. So we do feel for these marketing people (slightly) who have to think of new metaphors and waffle to try and make their brew stand out. Berries, nuts, notes, caramel et al - they're tried every trick in the book. But Taylors have come up with a new angle - it's not about the coffee, but who grows it, which in this case, is the laydeeez. Peruvian ladeeez in-fact. Which the cynic in me might think ah well, whatever. But on reading the blurb on Taylor's own website it's hard not to feel slightly touched by the whole thing and to want to go and give the folks at Taylors a pat on the back. The coffee itself, thankfully, is a great brew. Everyone who walked past when the packet was open could smell it, and wanted one - it's that aromatic. And yes - it does taste chocolaty as their blurb suggests and we would also add the word velvety. It's also an easy one to make right every time - basically you can't really go wrong with this one. So we suggest you go and get some. 9/10

12 votes
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Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Chirinos Coffee

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Chirinos CoffeeSainsbury have gone for broke with a range of Taste The Difference coffees served in Illy-style tins. Not quite as sophisticated as the Illy tins, but better than a placcy bag.

The excitement was palpable when we pulled the ring pull on the top - expecting the Illy style rush of nitrogen and coffee mix exploding out of the tin. What a disappointment - even a half dead Nat after a night on the curry could displace more wind than came out of this tin. But it's a tasty little number this one - it frothed up nicely in our caffetiere and looked just plain appetising. They claim complex flavours - but we couldn't get them. But it is a nice tasting coffee - slightly more citrus than bitter and one that anyone could make, drink and love. Every cup we made came out the same - it's just impossible to cock this one up. There's two more coffees in this range - and to be honest we couldn't tell the difference between any of them. So buy 'em all - they're all cheap anyway!  8/10

13 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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Cafe Direct Machu Picchu Peru Coffee

Cafe Direct Machu Picchu Peru CoffeeWe've already reviewed this exact same coffee, but as Beans, not ground. So that's one variable taken out of the equation. We made a 6 spooner and it looked like used sump oil going into the cup - you really can notice the oily looking surface. The first mouthful felt like a punch in the throat from Mike Tyson; the second felt like him ripping your ear off - this is definitely not one for sissies. A whole mug of this bad boy is just too much - we must have over-egged it. I can't go higher than 5/10 just yet. Try again with a weaker mix.

49 votes
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Cafe Direct Machu Picchu Peru Coffee Beans

Cafe Direct Machu Picchu Peru Coffee

So we have to grind the beans for this one. I'm never sure if it makes any difference - that fresh ground is better that already ground. It's easier to OD though - you know that 5 spoons of this would be too harsh. The smell from the cup is not massive - it could be anything - but that's always the way with freshly ground. This is an expensive brew - 4 quid a packet - and for that I expect a lot. At 4 spoons I just don't think it does the trick - the lingering heavy coffee aftertaste is just not there. It's nice for sure... but needs a re-test on 5 spoons. Rated 6/10 on this first taste.

19 votes
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