The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 13

~Opens Advent Calendar. Looks at Day 13~

Finca Filadelfia.  Bugger.

So yes, this is another one that I’m familar with from my previous subscription with Pact and honestly? I didn’t like it then, I don’t like it now.  I did make it up and try it as it had been a while and my tastes in coffee have changed over the years but this is still another that goes straight into the “Dislike” column.  It’s harsh and tastes like it’s been overroasted, so acidic that it’s sour and just generally a coffee that I really don’t get on with.

Huh, maybe I really don’t like Guatemalan coffee after all. We’ll add that to the list with Colombian (though this calendar is definitely showing some exceptions to this rule, some lovely Colombian coffees so far).

Yeah. Moving very swiftly on from this one. Not a fan, not a fan at all. As I recall even having it with hot milk wasn’t enough to mask the sour notes. Ah well.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is an improvement!



The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 12

Ladies and gents, boys and girls, it’s finally happened. Day 12.  We have our first one that goes straight into the “Dislike” column.  Because dang.  Yeah, didn’t get on with this one at all.  If that’s all you want to know, then I’ve saved you reading the whole review!  You’re welcome for the time back, try not to use it all on the same website (unless you’re spending it reading more of my reviews, in which case fill your boots).

If you’re still here, let’s go into some more detail about why I didn’t get on with day 12’s offering.

Man, the smell of this one jumps out the bag the moment you open it, that was my first indication that I perhaps wasn’t going to entirely get on with this one. When I was younger, during my University days, I used to live on stuff like the infamous “Hot Lava Java” that Taylors makes. I was less concerned about  the taste than I was about how strong it was and how much caffeine it seemed to contain.

These days I favour a much milder roast so with this one I had reservations from the get go. As you can see above, a dark shot with quite a dark crema compared to the others. The smell of the shot was even more overpowering than the grounds, strong and a little harsh, the raisin tasting notes overwhelming almost everything else.

And yet, when I took a sip, it was surprisingly far less harsh than I was expecting it to be, at least at first. The raisin flavour was definitely front and center, but the aftertaste was, at least for me, kind of unpleasant. It was, weirdly, a kind of sweet and sour coffee.  Sweet at the beginning, but then harsh and rough and the combination of flavours just wasn’t doing it for me.  Didn’t like it at all, didn’t finish the cup.

Still, the “Likes” still far outweigh all the others and we’ll put this one behind us and move right on to Day 13.  Roll on tomorrow.



The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 11

I’m late, I know!  In my defense I had to go out for Chinese food and be sociable last night.  And it was really good fun, but by the time I got back I was more interested in going to bed than writing a coffee review.

Also, the udon noodles with mixed meat at Rainbow in Hatfield? Best Chinese meal EVER.  But this isn’t a chinese food blog!  It’s a coffee blog (Wait, I could have been ordering out for chinese every night and claiming it was for research? Dammit! Oh well, too late now).

Day 11.

Well dunk me in coffee and call me a jammie dodger.  It’s another Colombian coffee and it’s another one in the “Like column”!  We started off well with the name.  As a huge Doctor Who fan, all I could hear in my head when I saw this one was “SILENCIO MUST FALL!”.  I’ll pause for the rueful shaking of heads and eyerolling.  All done?  Good.

This one was genuinely really nice. It was another that was almost floral in flavour, really light and quite unique. I’m not sure if it’s something I’d want to have everyday, but it was something quite different and something I think I’d get in occasionally when I wanted something out of the ordinary.  Not sure if it would work in a syphon, I suspect the floral notes would become unpleasantly strong but for an espresso based drink it was really pleasant. I’d probably steer clear of using it for hot milk based drinks as this is another where I suspect the light flavour would be overwhelmed by the milk.

Right, moving swiftly on to Day 12!


The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 10

So here we are at day ten and I’m still mostly managing to keep to schedule. It’s such a hardship, a new coffee every day. I dunno how I’ll survive the next two weeks (plus one day) but someone has to do it and I’ll be damned if it’s someone else!

Because it’s my calendar, dammit, and I ain’t sharing. Get your own.  Let’s look at what day 10 had for us.

This one was quite a contrast to yesterday. While the Planalto is rich and chocolatey, this is far more floral. A very strong scent of, again, something akin to dried apricots on opening the bag, so I went in expecting something bright and potentially acidic.  Turns out I needn’t have worried as it was far more well rounded than that, the floral taste not too sharp or overwhelming.

All in all a very lovely coffee, though again I’ll be curious to see what my friend makes of it as she’s not to big on the more floral flavours.


The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 9

Hah! Bet you thought I’d forg….oh. Wow. When did it become 1am?  Damn. Guess I am actually late as technically it’s now day 10.  Oh well, I’m posting it anyway before I go to bed.

Hello Planalto my old friend.

This was one of my semi-regular orders when I was a Pact subscriber because it’s rather a nice coffee whether you make it with hot water or hot milk.  It’s smooth, chocolatey and all in all just really nice to drink.  If you like your coffee more on the chocolate/malty side rather than fruity, you can’t go wrong with this one and I think Pact pretty much always have it in stock!

Not much more to say, a really lovely coffee this one, nice to have it again!

The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 8

Send help.

I genuinely might need an intervention at this point to stop listening to the Moana soundtrack.  Oh god, why did nobody tell me this thing was like crack for your ears? Seriously, best Disney soundtrack in years.

Ahem. Right. Coffee!  Let’s see what Day 8 has for us.  Again, I forgot to take a picture of the shot this time round. I’m sorry, but it was 10am when I did this one and I just really wanted my first coffee of the day!

So after yesterday’s disappointment, we’re right back on track. Seriously, Pact, I’m loving this calendar so far. This one was nice, slightly fruity, apricot notes came through VERY strongly when you have a sniff of the grounds, though somewhat more muted when made into a drink it was still really lovely from first sip to last and one I’d happily buy again.

Also the shot had what has to be the crema-iest crema I think I’ve seen in a while, it was seriously like silk.  Lovely stuff all round, a big thumbs up from me and another tick in the Like column (Also, I love the name. Not a thing I’d change with this one).

Current stats!

  • Like – 6
  • Meh – 2
  • Dislike – 0


The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 7

Ever see that movie Memento?  How about Paycheck (that one’s actually kinda fun) or, really, any movie about someone with amnesia?  Oooo, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there’s a great game to play in the dark with the lights off and your headphones on.

Anyway, we’re here to talk about coffee. Specifically Day 7 of the Pact Advent Calendar! So let’s go.

Man, this one is going to be a short review. See my previous comments?  That’s kinda how I feel about this one.  It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t particularly malty or acidic, had no massively standout flavours it was just….it was a cup of coffee. A really forgettable cup of coffee. So forgettable that I forgot I drank it and forgot to do the review yesterday.

~Shifty look~

That’s totally my excuse and I’m sticking to it and you can’t say otherwise!

Fire Station Coffee – An Update

So as readers of the blog may remember, I had a lovely Ethiopian coffee from this particular roaster but was unhappy about the customer service, specifically about the lack of feedback I got from them when I had questions about my order. I’d chalked it up as, sadly, just one of those things and moved on.

So you can imagine my surprise when, just over a week or so ago, I got a very nice message on Facebook from Jacqui at Fire Station Coffee, apologising for the breakdown in communications and saying that they’d sent me a bag of their new season Colombian beans as an apology!

Unlike the last bag, which was three weeks past roasting when it got to me, this one was a mere three days old.  Yay!

I asked Jacqui about the roasting schedule, whether they had a specific day they roasted on, and so on, and this is the response I got –

We do not currently have a strict roasting schedule – being such a small operation at current, it can fluctuate depending on the time of year and demand. But our roaster does generally roast on a Monday and Tuesday, and will collate her orders together as our Roasters batch size is 7kg. If our demand increases Amelia may roast again later in the week.

Which is fair enough! So it’s possible that with the lot I got, there just hadn’t been a great demand for it. So that’s fine, it still tasted delicious.

Sadly (Sorry Jacqui!) I can’t say the same for the Colombian coffee. I couldn’t even tell you what it is, there’s some undercurrent, some flavour note in a lot of Colombian coffees that I just don’t like.  I’ve tried this as a flat white, where it’s perfectly decent, but nothing to write home about, but as an americano it’s very strong and just…man, it makes me want to screw my face up thinking about it.  Not a fan, really not a fan.

But I still appreciate the gesture a whole lot.  They didn’t need to do that, and it was lovely of them to make the effort to make good with a first time customer.  Top marks, Jacqui and Fire Station coffee.

Also, psst, if you look at their website (which I’ve linked above), they’re doing a 20% off all their coffee in the run up to Christmas! Give’em a looksee! They’re not doing the lovely Ethiopian coffee anymore but you can choose between Rwanda, Brazil and Colombia instead.

Also, for a second, I totally thought that “Santa’s Grotto” was the name for a Christmassy blend of coffee. I was slightly disappointed. 🙂


The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 6

Day 6!  And it’s another Colombian coffee!  Have I mentioned I don’t get on with a lot of Colombian coffees? Oh, I have?  Several times?  Well, I’m gonna keep mentioning it!



I went in to today with not the highest of hopes, honestly. My track record with the aforementioned Colombian coffees hasn’t really been good, that said the previous one in this calendar was nice, so maybe…?

Yep! I’m pleased to be able to report that this one adds another tally to the ‘Like’ column (which for those keeping score is currently 5 Likes to 1 Meh). It’s a slightly sharper, more acidic coffee, but not unpleasantly so. I’ve had some that have been so sharp it’s made me screw my face up with the last few gulps, this is not one of those.

For me the predominant tasting note was raisin, you can really smell it the moment you open the bag, and it made a perfectly lovely cup but, as I said, definitely a smidge more on the acidic side! I don’t think I’d buy this one again myself, but it was a nice way to start the day.  I’ll be curious to see what my friend makes of it.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back tomorrow with day seven.


The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 5

~Insert random song lyrics here~

Listening to White Zombie at the moment. They’re a great band, but not particularly…Christmassy.  So let’s forego the preamble and get stuck into day five!

I liked this one! Definitely quite milky and chocolatey notes there, reminded me of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk with one important distinction – I actually enjoyed it. I’m more of a Galaxy chocolate kinda guy, but this was a really pleasant coffee. We can chalk another one into the “Like” column.

I might have to try hunting some of this up again so I can try it with hot milk rather than water. I think it might make a delicious little drink like a cortado or something.  I think you’d need to go easy with the milk to avoid drowning it out as it’s quite a subtle flavour.

Right, that’s it for day five! So far this advent calendar is turning out to be a great purchase.