March 2012

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 apparent 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

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Average: 8.5 (2 votes)

Climpson and Sons Climpson Estate Kenya-Led Blend Coffee Beans

Climpson and Sons Climpson Estate Kenya-Led Blend Coffee BeansIt's 10 past nine and there's still nothing on the table... "I'm going to brew up" I say.. "NO - i'll do it" shouts Hank, grabs the Climpson's bag and off he trots. He's got an obsession with these little brown paper bags, of which we've got four. In his head he's already loving it - this just goes to show how important the packaging can be to a coffee drinker. He makes it strong and finely ground - yet the result is not heavy. It's a mild, sweet brew - almost needing no sugar or milk. Is this a feature of these Climpson coffees? This one feels just tasty, without that feeling that it's doing damage to you, from which you'll never recover. It's too mild for me - maybe I need to try this in the new Gaggia machine gracing the kitchen at home. Until then, 7/10.

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Average: 8 (2 votes)

Climpson and Sons The Baron Espresso Blend Coffee Beans

Climpson and Sons The Baron Espresso Blend Coffee BeansThe Baron is a real mash up - 4 different types of coffee blended together. Is that for flavour or just a way of using up all the leftovers in the bottom of the bag? Hank had the first couple of goes at this one and it lived up to its name: Baron as fuck. Very weedy with no real punch. So we sent him back to the kitchen for the next one - and it came out the same. Maybe Hank has been spending too long nursing frappacinos down at the BHS cafe - 'cos it seems like he's losing his touch. Judge Nooge had to take over production and really kick some arse with the grinder. Get it ground finer, spoon it up and steep it longer. After that little regime the Baron started firing on all cylinders and shooting down the frappacino lightweights - WOOF WOOF!. There's no complex flavours in this one - it just does the business, when made right. It can go as strong as you like too, there's was no hint of overdone about this one. 8/10 - loses one for the tweaking needed. Not for amateurs.

Average: 8.3 (3 votes)
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Taylors Zambia Terranova Coffee

A limited edition Taylors - one of our favourite coffee makers. This is a good one - easy to get right, and fully of zesty flavour whether you make it strong or weak. The first one we had was weakish, but the tangy-ness really shone through, so we spooned it up and then up again until we had a right face smasher. Even at that strength the quirkiness was still evident, nibbling away at your tongue. Maybe it lost a little finesse at higher dosages - it did start to give the slightly metallic taste on the back of the tongue, so I don't think it wants to go any stronger. It's an 8/10.

Average: 8.2 (5 votes)
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