The Pact Advent Calendar – Day 20

Today’s review is brought to you by the soundtrack to “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” which is a legitimately great album which deserved a far better received movie than it got.  And now, because I can, here’s a nod to one of my all time favourite TV shows.

and-now-for-something-completely-different

Coffee!

I know, I know, I forgot to take a photo of the shot again.  In my defence, it was 7am and I really, really needed some coffee.  It’s a shame that this one turned out to be…not great.  The tasting notes listed on the back are “raspberry and pineapple” and it also states that this coffee has been voted the best in Africa but yeah, it really didn’t do it for me at all.

It’s a car crash of strong, conflicting flavours, veering towards the sharper, more acidic end of the scale as you might expect with those sort of tasting notes.  The last mouthful was enough to make me screw my face up.  I’m not a fan of pineapple at the best of times (unless rolled in brown sugar, cinnamon and then grilled.  Bloody lovely) so I suspect I was never going to have a good time with this particular offering.

I’m thinking this is past “Meh” and into “Dislike”, honestly.  Ah well, they can’t all be winners as the saying goes!  I’ll be back tomorrow with, believe it or not, day 21.

TTFN.

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

TTFN.

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.

TTFN.

Review #6 – Eden Ethiopian Coffee

Hello folks, I’m back again with another review for you and this one is something a bit special. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in.

Today we’re going to be looking at Eden Ethiopian Coffee who were a lovely little find on my last visit to Camden Market in London.  They have a stall there selling both drinks and bags of coffee and they lure in business by roasting beans right there on the stall in a little pan.  You can smell them long before you see them and like a moth to a lightbulb I made a beeline for them the moment I caught a whiff of the beans.

And wow, I am so glad I did.

I’m fairly familiar with Ethiopian types of coffee, I regularly buy Yirgacheffe and occasionally Sidamo as well, but this time I spotted a bean that I wasn’t familiar with – Djimmah.  That’s what we’re going to be looking at today.

As with the Union coffee review, I can’t exactly talk about the online purchasing experience as I picked my beans up from the stall.  The folks working the stall were very knowledgable and friendly and I’d happily go back to purchase from them again.  They’ve recently relocated their stall in the Market and you can see further details about this on their twitter account here – Eden Ethiopian Coffee Twitter

eden coffee

The website takes a moment or two to load, but is very easy to navigate. Prices for their coffees range from £8-£8.50 for a 250g bag.  Currently they offer the following –

  • Djimmah
  • Eden House Blend
  • Sidamo
  • Yirgacheffe

You can get free shipping, or there is a flat rate of £5.40 if you need your coffee hit in a hurry.  They don’t specify the specific details of each shipping option, but I would imagine the free shipping will be by UK 2nd class post, so it’ll take a few days to get to you.

It’s also worth noting that the coffee is cheaper if you buy it in person at the stall. I paid £6 for my bag of Djimmah which is a very reasonable price indeed.

It’s a very simple bag, not air tight, so best to decant these into another container as soon as you can to keep them fresh.  I couldn’t get a very good shot of the beans in part due to the bag being very tall, so there was a lack of light, but also the light in my kitchen wasn’t very good on this particular day.

The first thing you’ll notice about this coffee is the smell. There’s a distinct spicy overtone.  Now the blurb on the back of the bag says that the coffee is more natural and “having a hint of a spicy flavour”.

I first tried this as a milk based drink and all I can see is that for me it was less “mild” spicy notes and more “A bellowing Randy Savage bursting into the room as he exhorts you to snap into a processed meat snack”, or “Kool-Aid man crashing through a wall and offering what appear to be glasses of his own blood”. Mild was not the word I would have used to descrbe it.

The spicy notes are immediately in attendance from the second you open the bag, to the moment you pull the shot to the first sip and yet to say that my brow was furrowed in confusion on the first mouthful wouldn’t be far from the truth. It really wasn’t what I expected it all.  I actually had to ask my wife to try it as well because at first I didn’t believe what I was tasting.  It’s so rich as to be almost chocolatey, with the spicy notes rolling over the tongue as you swallow and lingering very pleasantly afterward.  She had a taste and agreed it was almost like drinking chocolate rather than coffee!

I then tried it in my syphon filter, where it’s a very different affair entirely.  Below you can see a little gallery of the syphon process for those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular piece of coffee-making kit. You heat the water in the bulb at the bottom so that it rises up through the cloth filter and into your grounds.  Once that’s done you turn your heatsource down so that the liquid is just simmering for about a minute or so, then remove the heat and the coffee filters back into the bulb, leaving your grounds behind.

The syphon, I find, tends to bring out the brighter notes in coffee. In this instance that meant it amplified the spicy flavours to the point that they were almost overpowering on the first sip!  It’s a much stronger drink in the syphon, the coffee and spice notes drowning out any hint of the chocolate. It almost reminded me of wine, actually, that sort of quite potent flavour.  It’s not a bad drink by any stretch, but it is very, very different.  I’ve likely drunk as much of this in my syphon as I have with the Barista!

In summary, this is a really lovely, unique coffee with massively different characteristics depending on how you make it. I would NOT recommend you use it for espresso unless you’re going to put it in milk, I found it very bland when used to make an americano.  Filter or milk-based espresso drink is definitely the best way to enjoy it in my opinion.

Up next, the Brothers blend from Ozone Coffee.  That should be out in the next week or so.  Thanks for taking the time to read my latest review.