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!


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 – Days 2 & 3

Right!  More days, more coffees, mo’money, mo’…wait. No. Sorry. Off on a tangent there. Let’s crack on with days 2 and 3 so that I can start the week all caught up and on the right days.

Day 2

Day two brings us a type of coffee that, as I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have a good track record with.  I just dunno what it is, but a lot of Colombian varietals I find have a funny aftertaste that I just don’t get on with at all.  These days I tend to give them a very wide berth.

That said?  This one wasn’t half bad at all. I’m pleased to be able to say that the ‘Villa Rubiela’ coffee was surprisingly pleasant!  It had a lovely sweet aftertaste that lingers nicely in the mouth. I might have actually found a Colombian coffee I’d buy again. Gonna be sure to make a note of this one.

Day 3

Day three and this time we’re scooting off to Guatemala for the ‘Villaure’ coffee. One thing I immediately noticed with this one compared to the previous two was the aroma on opening the bag. I dunno if it’s just my imagination, but this one smelled much more potent than the other two.  The card says “plum tart” notes and I’d have to agree. It’s got a really rich, plummy scent when you open it up, it’s really lovely.

And again, seriously, there’s just something about the smell of fresh coffee. Tickles the pleasure center of your brain, at least it does for me!  I’m sure my long-suffering wife would inform me that “it smells like coffee” but I’ll kep trying! One day I’ll find one where she can tell the difference.

Anyway, this one I made with milk with the previous two were made with water. Just because I fancied a change, although that might not have been the best idea.  In milk this coffee was….okay.  It was nothing special, nothing particularly memorable, just smooth, pleasant and a bit forgettable. I might have done it an injustice by using it as the basis for a milk based drink, I think from now on I’ll stick with making each with water.

That’s it for days two and three, thanks very much for taking the time to read my thoughts.  We’ll be back tomorrow with day four.