Adams and Russell Tanzania Kilimanjaro Coffee

Adams and Russell Tanzania Kilimanjaro Coffee

Here at Judge Central we do like a nice Tanzanian and the higher it's grown, the better. And you don’t get much higher than Kilimanjaro. This batch must have had Chris Moyle’s large frame stomping all over them as the beans are small. They’re also pale and dusty, but after a good grinding the smell kicks out and you’ll be getting a citrus waft so familiar for coffees from this region. In our French press this really foamed up and kept its head even through pouring. It just looks very damn appetising. Plus it has the taste we wanted: citrus, lemon, flowery… whatever you want to call it. It’s different, quirky and good. The light roast also means you can’t cock it up. Your hands could be shaking more violently then the day after a week’s bender with Oliver Reed and you’ll still get a great cup. The only downside for us was as we like our coffee strong, we had to use a shovel when loading the grinder, which meant this packet didn’t go very far. 6 cups I ask you! So it’s an 8/10

6.66667
Average: 6.7 (3 votes)
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Deathwish Coffee

Deathwish CoffeeAs gimmicks go, this is the pinnacle. A coffee with beans twice as strong as any other. The world's strongest coffee. This is the kind of challenge that gets the Judge's gavels quivering. Having read the article in The Metro, people were asking us if we'd tried it. We hadn't, so got some sent over faster than Pete Doherty on his way to the all night garage to pick up a packet of Kingsize. It arrived in a Jiffy Bag and started to emit its potent hard core coffee smell all over the house. Now, bearing in mind this is whole bean coffee, that's potent, and the Judge is starting to think that we're going to need a Geiger counter and some lead mugs. Despite the slightly cheesy skull motif, the packaging of the coffee is actually uber luxury. A big, heavy bag with a nice little metal reseal clip that will do for a nipple clamp after you've finished your Shades of Grey. When you get a look at the beans you are going to be struck by how massive they are - they're f*cking enourmous and highly polished - just look at them!. Akin to the gonads you're going to need if you want to take this bad boy on. Rather than pussy-out, we made it up at our usual testing strength - six spoons for three cups. At this point, the smell took a turn for the worse - sinking into cigar filled ash tray territory. But hang on - keep the faith. Some coffees that smell like that, taste like that. But the Deathwish Coffee held its own and taste wise was actually pretty damn mellow. It certainly didn't punch us in the face or throat.The super shiney Deathwish Coffee beans It just went down, quicker than Monica Lewinsky the day after Lent. That's not saying we didn't realise that this thing is strong - strong enough to take on Geoff Capes before he took to budgerigar fancying - but it hides it well. It's right up there with the Hot Lava Java and Lavazza Espresso. It's easy to make too - we've done a few and varied it a bit, and they're still making us smile. So if you like your strong coffee, you've got to do it and be the talk of your office with its crazy packaging and outrageously strong smell. It's fun. It's nice. Only one point off the hallowed ten - and only because ordering my coffee from the USA just 'aint convenient. It's a 9/10.

9.2
Average: 9.2 (5 votes)
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Suma Colombia Organic Coffee

Suma Colombia Organic CoffeeThis is a very dark roasted coffee. It looked so dark that we actually held a spoonful back on the make up. Mistake. You need the full quota to get the required strength out of this one. We could tell by the colour of it – it was just too weedy. One more spoonful brought it up to par – that was five spoons for two cups. Which kind of says this is not a very strong coffee – or it’s too coarsely ground. Swirling round in the cup with milk you get that uneven look as though you’ve just swirled in some condensed milk and are waiting for it to dissolve. It tastes ok though – but it’s more bitter than even than me - and I've just been cheated on. There’s just nothing special about this – it’s a cup of coffee, no more. They claim is tastes of not just hazelnuts - but toasted hazelnuts. Who the hell has ever toasted a hazelnut to know what one tastes like? Utter bollocks. Probably not to most peoples taste due to the harsh roasting. Us hardened Judges can cope with that, so I gave it a respectable 7/10.  

4.5
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
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Ginerva Miscela Selezionata Coffee Beans

Ginerva Miscela Selezionata Coffee Beans

This came delivered from the lovely people at Ginerva, direct from Sicily, freshly roasted. It’s a massive 1kg bag – the size of which we’ve only come across in horrible catering coffees.  Couple that fear with the knowledge that Ginerva’s coffees are based on Robusta coffee beans. Now, for the uninitiated, coffee is of two general types of bean. Arabica = Good or Robusta = Bad. The Robusta stuff is generally just cheap and naff – although Robusta beans are stronger in caffeine. But Ginerva have assured me that theirs are different – that they have tamed the Robusta and have made a gourmet coffee out of it. Opening this packet of whole beans the smell of freshly roasted coffee is intoxicating. Even Justin Beiber loving tea drinkers around me can’t help but comment on how good it smells. And that’s before I’ve even ground the buggers. The beans are just dark and lovely looking. Straight in with a standard six spoon mix for our three cups – slightly nervous that I should be cutting it down a little – scared of that cheap Robusta punch in the throat. But no – this stuff redeems itself on the first swig. It’s a strong coffee for sure – as you would expect from an Italian style roast – but not so strong that your mother would be scared of it. It just tastes how you expect a good coffee to taste – it’s pure coffee with no hint of chocolate, lemon or any other fruit for that matter. In fact, none of those other fancy twangs you read about on the side of all those other poncy coffee packets,  written by marketeers to draw you in. There is some blurb on the side of this packet – but it’s in Italian – how cool is that! This stuff is very forgiving in the making too – I’ve varied the dose up and down a bit and ground it finer or coarser – and every time it’s come up trumps. An idiot could do it. So get a big bag delivered when you next need to stock up and bow down to the working class Robusta bean come good. It’s a 9/10 from this Judge – I’ve only docked it a point as, even in a kilo bag, it’s not the cheapest coffee out there. 

7.81818
Average: 7.8 (11 votes)
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IKEA Kaffee Hela Bönor Mörkrost Coffee Beans

IKEA Kaffee Hela Bönor Mörkrost Coffee BeansIt's very easy when reviewing anything IKEA to harp on about flat packs and chipboard, and to be honest I was expecting the contents of this packet to be the crumbled up chipboard corners of all those returned PAX wardrobes with damaged doors. Especially as this coffee is cheap. I mean sub £2 a pack. So this is going to be as depressing as a wet thursday night trawling round 10 hectares of warehouse only to buy a set of tea lights. But hang on just a tiny moment! When you open this one up you can tell immediately it's not going to be that bad. In fact, it's not bad at all.... it's bloody great! We've had far worse coffee from so-called professional roasters. Maybe this pack was just super-fresh which gave it an unfair advantage. Who knows. It's dark and strong, the beans are not over roasted and burnt like some dark roasts, and it's a doddle to make. 4 spoons, 5 spoons, 6 spoons... they've all come out pretty consistently. So if you're a coffee novice, and a bit of a cheapskate, get down there and pick yourself up a few for the cupboard. And, get this, you don't even need to go in the shop! They sell them out by the fast food counter so you can nip in for the kill and be out in seconds without having to lower yourself to fight you way past a line of punters buying ten thousand component kitchen parts. Result!  It's a whopping 8/10 from Judge Nooge.

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8.16667
Average: 8.2 (24 votes)
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Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast Coffee Beans

Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast Coffee BeansOk so us Judges have had a bit of a long break and this is the first one in a while - but we're back! This is a whole beaner - and as soon as you open the pack the first thing to strike you is how black it is. It's black as hell, and when you grind it, it shatters rather than grinds. These beans have been taken to within an inch of their life in the Starbucks roaster. A normal strength plunge also gave us a very black brew, like a runny molasses. It comes out with a very flat surface - there's no foaming or finesse to this - it doesn't look great in the cup. But it does taste pretty fine - for a super roasted, dark, strong coffee - this does the job well. Some of these darker coffees we've had are very easy to over-egg and turn into a cup of ground up BBQ charcoal, but not this one. This will just knock your lily-livered socks off, throw them out the window and run over them with a dirty great truck. It's good - but it has to lose a couple of points for the over roasting. (8/10)

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7.22222
Average: 7.2 (9 votes)
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Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend Coffee

Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend CoffeeI don't like to admit it, but Starbucks have done it again with this one. It's only a strength 3, but don't be fooled by that - it's well under rated. Unless we just instinctively spoon up these weaker brews without even being aware we are doing it? This coffee is superb - there's no other word for it. Full of flavour and not bitter. It would satisfy anyone - from the hardened Judge down to the weakest child - there's something for everyone in this one. It can only lose 1 point for not totally blowing my head - but that's my own perversion. To the average man, this is a 10/10, but for this judge it's a 9/10.

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7
Average: 7 (20 votes)
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Segafredo Arôme and Sensation Coffee

Segafredo Arome and Sensation CoffeeAnother Frenchy from the top end of the scale in the Supermarche. Segafredo is a big brand that you see all over Europe - and we've had one of them before and it was kind of OK - because it was a cheapy. So I splashed out on this one - it was nearer 4 Euros a pack, so it had better be good. And Thank God - it is. Its a straight forward, down the middle good old brew. There's no lemon, no fruit, no chocolate - there's f*ck all except coffee in this one - and do you know what? - sometimes you don't want all that fancy pants poncy-ness. You just don't want to talk about "notes" and "aroma" - you just want to glug it down and get on with your life. Well, this is that coffee - despite its claims of "aroma" and "sensation". Just buy it - it's Euro Cool. (9/10)

7.1
Average: 7.1 (10 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)

6
Average: 6 (4 votes)
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Jacques Vabre Terroir De Kitale Kenya Coffee

Jacques Vabre Terroir De Kitale Kenya CoffeeOne of the Judges picked this up on a recent trip to Le Mans from the Arnage Supermarche. We've learnt our lesson on buying French coffees - they have hundreds to choose from , but always choose from the right hand side of the display - i.e. the more expensive, because they have more than their fair share of cheapies which are frankly un drinkable. We had no idea what this one was, but saw the word Kenya on it and snapped it up. And it's a good 'un - you can make it as strong or as weak as you like and yet the lemony Kenyan twang pokes through at you. So forget those Cafe Maison trad French coffees and go for this one  - you won't regret it. A whopping 9/10

9
Average: 9 (3 votes)
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