Just Coffee Reviews

The Coffee Judges review coffees that they can easily get their hands on and can make without too much hassle at work in a cafetiere. No poncy coffee machines, five grand Gaggia's or foaming milk. Read the reviews, have a taste of them yourselves and rate them out of ten. If you're feeling verbal, leave a comment.

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Bourbon Macinato Coffee

Bourbon Macinato CoffeeWe picked this one up on a cheeky trip down to Puglia over Brexit Friday – with the misguided idea that we would get stuck down there in the sun and not have to hear any more of the tedious witterings of Mark Francois (it turns out there IS someone worse than Farage). However, it turned out that Brexit would be the continuing balls up it was always going to be – which luckily meant we could get back to Blighty to escape the unseasonable bollocking cold and pissing down rain. Now, when shopping in an Italian supermarket it’s a bit of a shock to see one whole aisle devoted to pasta, and another to coffee. So which one to go for was a bit of a lucky dip – avoiding all the big names we can get here at home, we ended up with this - just becuase it was a cheapy (about 2 euros). It’s the usual Euro brick that explodes when you jab in the knife – but to hell with it – we’re used to it. Italian coffee normally hits the spot for us just because there’s no mucking about – just make and glug. They don’t even bother with any marketing superlatives on the side of the packets – all their marketing people presumably spend their lives just hanging around on street corners astride vintage Vespas sporting enormous sunglasses. What more is there to say about this, after all, other than just “coffee”?  The trick with an Italian though is not to over do it. You get a lot of punch from a little coffee – and this one is no exception. Go easy with the spoon and you’ll get a strong as hell punch in the throat. Over do it and you’ll be coughing up al dente fettucine. Even at a weaker than normal dose we could still get a taste of charcoal. But we don’t want to put you off – it’s perfectly gluggable – just not for the feint hearted. Even if you don’t like it, you can instead shove the block as far up Francois’s arse as possible, forcing him to carry a small piece of Europe around with him, wherever he goes. That's worth 2 euros of anyone's money. (7/10)

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7
Average: 7 (1 vote)

Lidl French Blend Coffee

https://www.coffeejudge.co.uk/sites/default/files/field/image/lidl%20French%20Blend%20Coffee.png#overlay-context=lidl-french-blend-coffee

Whenever we read the word "blend" on the side of a packet, we instinctively think "beans swept up off the floor". But who cares, as we are firm believers in the 3 minute rule for things that have been on the floor - you could eat your dinner off our floor. Providing you don't mind it coated in dog hairs that is. But back to the coffee... well, it wont win any awards for style or subtlety. It's so heavily roasted it could well have been to hell and back. But still, don't let that put you off. This stuff is perfectly drinkable, but you just have to go easy when spooning it in. If you over do it you'll feel like you are drinking the stubbed out Gauloises from Serge Gainsbourg's ashtray after a big night. But get it right and its a perfectly good "European" style coffee, and the pack will last for ages.  Easily a 7/10.

4
Average: 4 (2 votes)
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Lidl Guatemalan Deluxe Coffee

Lidl Guatemalan Deluxe CoffeeThe Judges are back! After a two and a half year enforced break we're here again - and what better way to start than with the whole Lidl offering - of which this is the first. What have we been doing for so long you may wonder? Well, a few technical issues meant the website was well and truly f*cked. We were so wired on caffeine that we got behind with our site maintenance and got hacked - resulting in us being filled up with Viagra adverts. Of course it took us a few years to check each and every advert, call them up and test the wares. So let's just say we were "otherwise occupied" for a few years. But there's only so much hedonism us Judges can take and in a moment of guilt we decided to clean our act up, clean up the website and get back to coffee. But back to the coffee - we've become Lidl converts these days as they're cheap as chips but actually do the business.  The packaging defies their cheap and humble origins - Lidl have done a good job of disguising where this stuff comes from - it looks kind of premium. Now, we don't get much Guatemalan coffee - so didn't really know what to expect - but there's nothing out of the ordinary here. There's no fancy "notes" in here and certainly no bleedin' fruit, as they claim on the packet - but this stuff just hits the spot, is easy to make and gluggable as hell. Maybe we should have resurrected our tasting careers with something a little more distinct?  But who cares - when you just want a good and strong real coffee, this delivers in spades. it's an 8/10.

8
Average: 8 (4 votes)
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Vascobelo Le Comte Coffee Beans

Vascobelo Le Comte Coffee BeansThis is our third and final coffee from the Vascobelo stable - and for some reason this one is named after a French cheese. Not a good start. Now, it's clear what this Vascobelo crowd are up to - they've basically got one coffee which they stick in three different bags and give each a slightly different name. Let's face it, the bags look identical. So are we just being duped here?  Who cares, we say, when your one coffee is as good as this. Every time we grind it, people are salivating and every time we brew it, they're queuing up to get their faces in it. Not one single bad cup came out of this bag - even Sam Allardyce couldn't balls this one up. Its full of flavour and can be really cranked up to maximum strength without any nasty after taste. Dear reader - don't think we're just blowing smoke up the their arses here because they gave it to us for nothing to review - we pride ourselves in bringing down multinationals, But in this case, it's a good'un. It's a 9/10.  (one point off for the identikit packaging). XDMN

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Average: 9 (11 votes)
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Vascobelo Le Roi Coffee Beans

Vascobelo Le Roi Coffee BeansThis is our second pack from the crowd at www.morethanjustcoffee.com and at first glance you don't even know you're on to a new pack. It looks exactly the same, save the words "Le Roi" have been cut and paste over the name of whatever the last one was. Despite the Stepford Wive's packaging, this is another great coffee which, again, we simply could not balls up. Not that we try to make a hash of it for fun - but it's been busy around here and sometimes you just have to chuck the coffee at the machine from the other side of the room and hope for the best. We didn't get any of the pallets of fruit they claim are in this one - take it from us, this stuff is just coffee - but it still got everyone fired up around here. We loved it - it was definitely a smooth quoff - the only slight flaw we could find is if we really cranked it up to make a super strong one it started getting a slight metallic taste. Not overbearingly so like some are when you turn them up to 11, but it does tail off a bit. Anyway - mine's getting cold so I better get back to it.  8/10

8.61538
Average: 8.6 (13 votes)
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Vascobelo L'Empereur Coffee Beans

https://www.coffeejudge.co.uk/sites/default/files/field/image/vascobelo-l%27empereur.png#overlay-context=vascobelo-lempereur-coffee-beansWe had never even heard of Vascobelo coffee - until the guys at morethanjustcoffee.com got in touch with us and asked us if we would like to review a few packs. Errrrr.. YES we said - send it over NOW and stop wasting our time with pointless questions. And they did - shed loads of it - bags, pods and even a machine. These guys really know how to treat an impartial coffee reviewer. As they handed the stuff over we did tell them - if it's crap, we'll say so. So here's the first one - and it's a lush 1kg bag. Bags this big always give us a warm fuzzy feeling and kind of always lead to good reviews. Not because we're easily bought - but because when you use the same coffee over and over again for a few weeks, you get to know exactly how to make it. This stuff was a universal crowd pleaser in our office - never have so many people suddenly become coffee drinkers - they've been glugging it down like it's the last beans on earth and the beans themselves were a lovely, uniform look that almost looked like sweets. We never had a bad cup from this bag - when we made it strong it was good, and when we made a weaker one (God forbid) it was still top class. There's no weird and fancy flavours in here - no lemons, nuts or chocolate - it's just proper coffee. I don't know how you get this stuff as a consumer, but we would advise you try. I'm struggling for a reason to not give this one a 10 out of 10.  So it's a 10 out of 10.

8.92308
Average: 8.9 (13 votes)
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Lavazza Intenso Coffee

Lavazza Intenso CoffeeThis is our second sampling from the new Lavazza range - and it's the top strength number fiver. As with all Lavazzas, it's based on Robusta beans which makes which in this case are darkly roasted - so this one was never going to be for the feint hearted. They suggest nuts and chocolate on the packet - but let's face it, there's none of that here. This is just a good old fashioned hard hitting coffee for those who like a pick me up so strong it would even get Pete Doherty out of bed before 9am. Strong though it may be - it's not harsh and there's no metallic after taste which is so often the case with the dark, Robusta roasts. We like it, so it's 8/10

9.28571
Average: 9.3 (7 votes)
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Lavazza Vivace Coffee

Lavazza Vivace Coffee

It’s been a long while since there’s been a different Lavazza on the shelf – they’ve always stuck with their classic branding over the years which, let’s face it, has always been pretty damn cool. There must have been a shake up over at Lavazza HQ  - a new director trying to make his mark – because on our local Sainsbury’s shelf there’s three new retro styled packets of the stuff. Even their marketing geeks have got in on the action – claiming ‘notes of dried fruits’ – a phrase which the Mr Cool Lavazza himself would probably have choked on. Anyway, here’s our first one - it’s the mid strength one of the three and, as to be expected, there’s no bloody fruit in there. Instead of which there’s a packet of small Italian fists waiting to jump out and punch you in the throat. Which, for sure, they do. This stuff kicks arse like a good Italian should, except when their at home being good to their mummies that is. It’s a super fine espresso grind through – we had to decant slowly from our caffetiere to avoid getting a mouthful of 2-stroke Lambretta tail pipe dust. Strong and grainy like a John Holmes classic - it’s 8/10 from us. 

8.33333
Average: 8.3 (3 votes)
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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

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8.33333
Average: 8.3 (3 votes)
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