Starbucks Medium House Blend Coffee

Starbucks Medium House Blend CoffeeThe first thing to note about this one is the large grains - you can't stack up a big spoon of this stuff - it just slides straight off. It's almost as if after grinding it they washed it, which can't be good. It smells slightly ashey too. But on making this at our usual strength it comes out pretty good. OK it's not super-sophisticated - but it does the job and it pleasantly drinkable. There are plenty of other coffees out there though which are better than this one, and don't cost as much (this is a 4 quidder). So I would buy it again - but i'd be looking for anything else in preference! (6/10)

5.9
Average: 5.9 (10 votes)
0
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Julius Meinl Jubilaum Mahlkaffee Coffee

Julius Meinl Jubilaum Mahlkaffee CoffeeLike all Austrian coffees, it comes in a block like a house brick and has been roasted long enough to have gone to hell and back. Dark, deep and meaningful, we love it. But you'll need balls the size of watermelons to take this one one. 7/10

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7
Average: 7 (1 vote)

Climpson and Sons Guatemala Blend Coffee Beans

Climpson and Sons Guatemala Blend Coffee BeansThis says "Light Espresso" on the packet - and they mean it. It also says it's fruity in flavour - but this judge didn't get any of it. Not fresh fruit served in the Guatemala rain forest anyway - maybe a waft of tinned fruit cocktail served in a Little Chef. It's all just a bit too weedy for my liking - though it does have flavour and I can appreciate there's quality here - just not enough of it. Maybe if we spoon it up, big time, it'll get the church bells ringing, but at the standard dosage this is one for your mum. And I mean your mum, not mine, who is as hard as nails. (6/10)

6.33333
Average: 6.3 (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.

8.2
Average: 8.2 (5 votes)
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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.

8.33333
Average: 8.3 (3 votes)
0
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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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8
Average: 8 (2 votes)

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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8.5
Average: 8.5 (2 votes)

Climpson and Sons Brasil Daterra Estate Coffee Beans

Climpson and Sons Brasil Daterra Estate Coffee BeansWe love the packaging on these Climpson coffees - they look like they've been bagged out there on the farm. Nothing fancy - just a brown paper bag and label with some better than usual blurb - plus the date is was actually roasted - the 6th Jan in this case. "Plunger lovers in mind" eh? Let's get plunging! Well, it does taste different - somehow it just tastes fresh. Is that because it actually is, or because we read the date on it and it just makes us feel that we're getting something hot from the oven? The taste is super-fragrant - and quite mild. Even after cranking this up an extra spoon, it still didn't get any stronger - it's one to be enjoyed with less milk and less sugar than you might normally have. One to savor rather than kick you up the arse first thing in the morning. 8/10 - only marked down for it's mildness. 

5.5
Average: 5.5 (6 votes)
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Morrisons The Best Fairtrade Guatemalan Ground Coffee

Morrisons The Best Fairtrade Guatemalan Ground CoffeeThese Morrison Coffees are always hard core killers, and this is no exception. We made this as normal and it was just way over the top. A bitter, filthy dirty brew. This could only be at home on a building site being drunk by hardened, crack-showing navvies who would probably even dunk a biscuit in it. The only way we could take it was to water it down a spoonful - but even then the first taste sends you reeling and staggering backwards. However - if you keep the faith, this one does improve as you go down the cup. I don't know how this works - maybe because your taste buds a being systematically stripped off and by the end, you just don't care. Who knows - but my head now feels a bit fuzzy and I'll rate it above the 5/10 "never buying it a again" watershed. Its a 6/10.

8.28571
Average: 8.3 (14 votes)
0
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Marks and Spencer Colombian Coffee Beans

Marks and Spencer Colombian Coffee Beans

We picked up two M&S'ers at the same time and the other one - the Luxury Italian - was bleedin' awful. Because this one looks so similar, in our heads, this one was  going to be shonky as well. But hang on!! We were wrong!! This one has a real citrus twist to it  - even the ground beans smelt a bit like a lemon farm. Tasting it too, the first thing you get is the slightly citrus taste more usual with those high altitude east African coffees - we've not had this taste in a South American one before. The follow through gulps are smooth and sweet - and the end effect is you just want more. The only criticism this judge could possibly make was maybe it's not quite strong enough. If this was a strength 5 it would be a 10/10, but as it stands, it's a 9/10.

8.2
Average: 8.2 (15 votes)
0
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