San Marco Italiano Coffee
It's the usual Euro-Brick packaging - but for once someone has managed to design a packet that you can actually open with your bare hands and that doesn't immediately dump half its contents straight down the front of your shirt. To be honest, the French are the last people I'd expect to have cracked that problem, what with their usual nonplussed attitude to health and safety, but on reading their website we discover the packaging was designed by Michael Angelo no less which really shows our ignorance as us Judges weren't aware that he was a) still alive or b) working in the food and beverage packaging sector. So that's 5 points in the bag already for these guys for that coup. On to the coffee - this one is so finely ground its tricky to even get it onto the spoon without it all blowing away. The effect of which is to deliver a ball-crushing strength of coffee. Just too much. The key to this one is to do your weights and measures carefully. Where we'd normally use five spoons for two cups, this one had to be pegged back to just 3.5 spoons - and at that level it have us what we wanted. A classic Italian super strong coffee. No novelty flavours or aftertastes - just pure, dark coffee. So one point off for the fiddley-ness in brewing, gives it a 7/10.