Strength 3 Coffee

The Judge's reviews of Strength 3 coffees. Read our reviews here then leave your own comments and rate them out of 10.

Aldi Specially Selected Colombian Coffee

Aldi Specially Selected Colombian CoffeeAnother cheap but good-un from Aldi. Its coarsely ground so you can’t really balls it up in your caffetiere – though of course this does mean that we couldn’t spoon it up too high – this one hasd a ceiling that we couldn't really get over. Not that it needs it – it's strong enough more or less however you make it. And it looks really inviting – a lovely pale brown crema on the surface that holds down the side of the cup to the bottom. Another perfectly respectable all day drinker from Aldi that you could serve at your dinbner party without being found out. We're only taking a point off for it not having any quirky flavours. 7/10

48 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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Brown Bear Cub Espresso Coffee Beans

Brown Bear Cub Espresso Coffee BeansWe would always imagine an espresso blend to be strength 5 - yet this Brown Bear coffee is only a strength 3 - and it shows. Making it in the plunger resulted in no creamy head, that's for sure. Every cup came out the same - it's impossible to over do it. For us judges though it was lacking any novelty twists to the flavour - it's just plain straight coffee. In fact - it's pretty difficult to review - it's hard to think of a metaphor. You need something to hang your criticism or praise on - and this one just hasn't got any hooks. But it tastes fine enough and maybe deserves to be run through a high pressure Gaggia to get the most out of it. In the mean time its a 7/10

39 votes
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Sainsburys Sumatra Mandheling Coffee

Sainsburys Sumatra Mandheling CoffeeThis had all the right blurb on the packet - tangerines and zesty for God's sake?! But us experienced judges know that there is no high altitude lime tasting coffee hailing from Sumatra. The first attempt was bitter and gritty - with no hints of the limes. It was also not even that strong which gave it a nasty aftertaste - which was even a bit too sickly creamy tasting initially. On the second attempt we spooned it up and made a strong 'un. The result was more drinkable - but had the horrible metallic aftertaste that you really don't want in your Taste The Difference. Unless the Difference they are talking about is the taste of dirty old copper pipe rescued from your old radiators hanging about behind the shed since you had your heating installed. Whatever - this stuff sucks and needs to be left on the shelf. Though I will finish the cup of it for politeness, I'll never be stupid enough to have it again. (4/10)

26 votes
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Marks and Spencer Kenyan Coffee

Marks and Spencer Kenyan CoffeeDespite all the bold claims on the back of the packet that this is "Bursting with delicious citrus notes" it's not quite true. OK it does have a lemony twang to it - but somehow it just tastes a bit cheap - like stirring a spoon of Lift into an averagely drinkable coffee. It's still nice enough, and the coffee taste hangs around in your mouth after you've glugged it. But in the end, the citrus twist just isn't enough to elevate this thing. Maybe it's because it's a strength 3 which us judges cannot cope with. If this had a bit more grunt, it'd be there. So, if you want a kiddie-level introduction to Kenyan Coffee, this one will probably do you well - it's rated a 12A, or a (6/10)

57 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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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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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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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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