This is the first of three reviews from my latest foray into the wilds of TK Maxx (That’s TJ Maxx for you non-UK folks. I have no idea why the name is different here. Maybe they thought we were all dumb and might confuse it with TJ Hooker or something). If people like these reviews, I might make this a regular thing. There’s like 6 different TK Maxx shops within a 15 mile radius of home so it could be good fun to go rummaging and see what I can find.
Let’s kick things off with a look at Bristol-based True Start Coffee.
True Start have been around since 2015 and they are VERY enthusiastic about what they do. From modest beginnings you can now find their coffee all over the place, being sold by Amazon, Ocado, Shell garages and more.
At the moment they have a pretty wide variety of coffee-related things for sale, including Nitro Coffee, coffee pods, Cold Brew coffee (including chilli chocolate coffee? Interesting!), and actual coffee beans as well. It’s this last one we’ll take a look at today.
YES to biodegradable bags! I think this is only the third roaster I’ve purchased from that does a biodegradable bag. When you go through as much coffee as I do, you start to become very aware of just how much plastic you’re forced to throw away. Please, roasters, switch to biodegradable bags!
Before we go on, I have to admit something. I somehow managed to not take a single picture of any of my brews. You’ll just have to take my word for it that I tried this in the three I promised in an earlier review. My Barista Express, Bodum french press/cafetiere and my Hario Syphon.
So, on opening the first thing that was noticeable were the beans. They’re quite oily which is interesting, a lot of the coffees I buy are very dry. These still aren’t the oiliest I’ve ever bought, that dubious accolade goes to Starbucks who have beans SO OILY they stuck to the inside of the bag, clung to the insides of my grinder’s hopper and left an oily smear all over everything like you’d been rubbing your fingers in cooking oil. It really wasn’t entirely pleasant. These, however, were nowhere near as bad.
First off was the Sage/Breville Barista Express and my customary Americano and….eww. I’m sorry guys, but eww was my first reaction. This one tasted really strongly of licorice, at least that’s how it seemed to me, and that’s not a flavour I particularly like. This flavour persisted all the way through the cafetiere and the syphon.
Now as to the rest, there was nothing bad about this coffee. It made a nice clean cup, it was certainly drinkable in everything I tried it in, but this was just not one for me, not at all. As this seems to be the only whole bean coffee that True Start offers, I likely won’t be picking this one up again but you might find this coffee more to your liking. It’s certainly a memorable one even if, for me personally, it’s for the wrong reasons!