Hello folks, I hope you’re all having a lovely week so far! Now, there’s been a little gap since the last review, it’s been just over a month, though this is not the only coffee I’ve had in this time. There have been three others, but honestly I wasn’t particularly happy with any of them. One was downright nasty while the other two were just…forgettable. There was nothing bad about them as such, they just really weren’t all that interesting so rather than post a series of reviews where I just go “Yeah, they’re alright” I decided to skip them until one I genuinely enjoyed came along. That said, I will list them here in order of my preference for them just so you know who they are.
80 Stone Coffee Roasters – Heavy bag seasonal espresso
200 Degrees Coffee – Brazilian Love Affair
360 Degrees Coffee – Italian Espresso – This one was just unpleasantly dark and oily, with a harsh overtone that wouldn’t go away no matter what I used to brew it. I get that it’s meant to be a strong roast but I just couldn’t find a way to make it palatable for me. I really need to steer well clear of darker roasts from now on.
Moving on from these, let’s talk about the latest one that I’ve enjoyed! It’s time to take a look at Ancoats Coffee.
This is a roaster based in Manchester, I couldn’t find any specifics about how long they’ve been in business on their site, though. The FAQs talk about their coffees and their subscription services rather than providing any business specific information I could find.
They do have a blog, but updates to it appear to be somewhat on the intermittent side, I have to say.
Moving on, we have a modest five different kinds of coffee on offer, which I actually prefer. When I see a roaster with thirty different coffees it actually puts me off a bit. I’d prefer people focus on just getting a handful of excellent coffees rather than offering a huge selection of just okay ones. Again, just my preference!
At the moment Ancoats offer the following –
- El Fenix
- Graphene Espresso
- Kana Natural (decaf)
- Kayon Mountain
- Warehouse City
Prices range from £9.00 to £13.50 for a 350g bag. That’s right, you get 350 with Ancoats instead of the usual 225/250 from other roasters! So with postage costing an extra £2.80 with Royal Mail on top of that, it is one of the more expensive roasters I’ve covered so far in terms of how much you pay for a single order. The flipside of that is that you get more coffee! This was enough to fill the hopper on my Barista Express and still have about another 100g left over to top it up.
Ordering was nice and straightforward, no issues encountered with picking what I wanted and paying for it. I went for the Graphene Espresso in the end, bringing my total order to £14.80. So how was it? Well, I’m very pleased to say that it was lovely!
But first, let’s take a look at the packaging for the coffee before we get into the end product.
I do like these bespoke boxes, exactly the right size for the coffee within, so no wasted space or wasted packaging and it fits through a letterbox! Roasting date is printed right there on the box so I knew this was roasted the same day I ordered it and it was with me the day after which makes me very happy. Delays with my caffeine addiction make this snob a sad, sad panda.
One thing to note here is the actual bag for the coffee beans. The box and the card within, being card/paper are recyclable but here Ancoats have upped their game compared to a lot of other roasters! The bag is made of low-density polyethylene. Oooo. Sciency. What that means is it’s recyclable! You can stick it into the same recycling bins as you use for your plastic bags from the supermarket. Big thumbs up for this from me. That’s two in a row now that don’t need to just go in the bin and it’s lovely to see.
So what about the actual coffee itself?
The tasting notes on the card state that we should find notes of “Yuzu and mango, kaffir lime, hints of red berry and cacao bean”. Now that’s quite a mix! I went into this with high hopes and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.
This is one that I would describe as “boozy”, in that the taste reminds me of the way red wine smells. Rich and potent without being floral. Something almost cloying, but not unpleasantly so. Now Ancoats site does mention a “special red cherry preparation” so I don’t know if this has anything to do with the overall flavour, but at least for me it was definitely the red berry end of things that came through LOUD and clear, each mouthful ending with just a hint of sharpness that really wasn’t unpleasant at all.
This one is another I would strongly recommend you use mostly with hot water as in a milk based drink like a latte I found that boozy taste was smothered byu the creaminess of the milk and the acidic notes heightened so it was a far less pleasant drink.
Overall this one gets a big thumbs up from me. Straightforward ordering, nice packaging, bigger bag, lovely coffee. All damn good.