Review #9a – Poco Espresso

Hello again folks.

So we’re back to revisit the fine folks of Poco Espresso today.  Along with the Sumatran coffee I got from them they also sent me along a bag of Kenyan Peaberry and (slight spoilers here) I like it waaaaaay more than the Sumatran!

I’m not going to go into the purchasing process or anything like that again (If you want to know more, hit up my original review HERE), though I will post some additional information that I received after my first review.

I mentioned in my initial blog that I wasn’t sure how long they’d actually been roasting coffee.  I now know they’ve only been roasting for 6 months or so, which really isn’t a great deal of time at all and bodes VERY well for their future if they’re already producing coffee of this quality in my humble opinion!

Regarding the somewhat sparse blog posts on their site, they are aware that they need to be a bit more active on that front and they hope to get more folks visiting and interacting with them as time passes.  Does take time to build an audience after all!

They also advise that the coffees they have on offer will be changing frequently as they’ve been buying in small batches and roasting a wide selection to see which are popular before they settle on a selection of staples to offer all the time.  I for one hope that the peaberry at least makes guest appearances from time to time because (further spoilers) it’s bloody good.

So! Let’s move on to talking about the coffee itself, that’s what we’re all here for, right? I mean if you’re here for reviews about cars or fashion I’d strongly suggest you’re in the wrong place though I am happy to talk about motorbikes till your ears fall off.

Man. I did it again.  No picture of the shot.  I have no idea if people think this really adds anything to the review, but I think it’s a handy way of showing the differences in colour when it comes to the various beans and roasts as well as the size and texture of the crema.  So hang on, one second and I’ll go make myself a coffee!

Still here?  Good.  I return with pictures.  Picture.  A picture.  And a new cup of coffee.  I swear this blogging thing is such a hardship.  Take picture of coffee, drink coffee.  HARDSHIP, I TELL YA.

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As with the Sumatran coffee of before, this is another quite dark roast, darker than I usually buy, but UNLIKE the Sumatran, this is one I can happily have as a double shot because while it is strong, it’s also sweeter than the Sumatran coffee.

In a milk based drink it’s gloriously silky, the strength of it hitting you from the first sip, but it never grows too much, too strong, instead tailing off into this lovely creaminess that lingers in the mouth with a rich, nutty aftertaste.  This one is just…GOOD.  There’s nothing bad I can say about it at all.  It looks great, it smells great, it tastes great.  I’ve had it as the basis for both hot milk and water based drinks and it’s great in either of them (I’m enjoying a latte as we speak.  Type.  You get the idea).  I’ve not tried it in the syphon as yet, I suspect it might be a bit strong for it and I find the syphon can be very pernickety about some coffees, but I’ll try that at some point down the line and update this review with my findings.

So what do I think of Poco Espresso and the coffees they have on offer?

I think that for a relatively young roastery, this is a damn good start.  I had no issues with the purchasing process, they were really approachable on Twitter, the coffees they have on offer are really lovely though I would like to see some different roast levels on offer for those like me who aren’t a fan of really dark roasts (Though I do see they have a medium roast Sidamo on there at the moment, I might need to give that a shot).

I think they hold their own very well against more established roasters and I would definitely recommend you give them a try for yourself! Big thumbs up, guys.  Thanks for giving me the chance to try your coffee and write about you, I’m looking forward to seeing where you go in the future.

TTFN, folks, and have a great New Year!  I’ll be back in 2018 with a review of an offering from Dear Green Coffee.

Review #9 – Poco Espresso

Okay, taking a moment to step away from the Pact Advent Calendar, let’s talk about another roaster that I recently got some coffee from.  Now in the interests of full disclosure, I’ll state right from the getgo that this coffee was provided free by the fine folks at Poco Espresso.  I said I’d give an honest opinion about the coffee, and about my purchasing experience with them, so let’s get right into it.

Poco Espresso are based in Preston and their site states that they are a “young” roastery, though I can’t see any specific dates on the site to indicate how long they’ve been in business.  There’s a single blog post (which is actually very handy for those who are unclear on different coffee grinds) from November this year and the Twitter account dates back to 2014 but that doesn’t necessarily mean they started roasting then, it could have been before or after.

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Site design is simple, easy to navigate and I encountered no issues at all in placing an order. I like that their next roasting date is prominently displayed right on the front page so you can tailor when you place your order to make sure you get the freshest coffee, or make sure there’s no too big a wait for it to arrive.

Clicking into each coffee gives you a quick overview of the variety, processing, cupping notes and other useful information.  I also like that you get to see a picture of the green beans, not just the roasted end product.

There is a very simple selection of three coffees on the site.  Two for espresso, one for filter. At the time of writing the following were on offer, all in 205g bags –

  • Sumatra Mandheling G1 Rainforest Alliance – £5.50
  • Ethiopia Natural Sidamo G1 – £6.50

  • Colombia Excelso EP Fairtrade – £5.50

Shipping is £2.00, sent First Class Royal Mail. For my initial order, as you may all recall, I’m not a massive fan of Colombian coffee, and I wanted something for my Barista Express, so that made my choice fairly straightforward.  Sumatra Mandheling it is.

With…mixed results.  But we’ll get to that, let’s cover the packaging next.

Joy of joys, a flat-packed, re-sealable bag!  Ten out of ten, all the thumbs up and a very happy me.  Fits nicely through the letterbox, can be re-sealed to keep your coffee fresh.  Top marks.  Love the information on the back too, everything you need to know there.  Unfortunately this is where I realised that I had made a booboo. Clever me in my “Oh, well I’m not going to order Colombian coffee so that’s an easy choice” hadn’t noticed one important piece of information.  A single line.

Roast Level – City+ – And I’m sorry, but I have to do it.  It’s Indiana Jones reference time.

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Well…damn.  I’d managed to order a coffee that’s waaaaay stronger than I normally buy.  The moment I opened the bag I realised my mistake. It’s got a heck of a potent smell, but I went ahead and I tried it all the same and I made my usual double shot of espresso.

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Now THAT is a dark coffee. Almost looks like a mini pint of Guiness, don’t you think?  The scent was enough to have my nose hairs standing on tiptoes.  If hair had toes.  Stop looking at me like that.  The important thing here was one sniff was enough to have me wide awake and after I’d added hot water, one sip was enough to let me know that I couldn’t drink it two shots at a time. It was astoundingly rich and strong, enough to make me wince, but at the same time it’s not overroasted, it’s not harsh or burnt, it’s perfectly well done and you can detect those spicy tasting notes sneaking through near the end.

After trying it with hot water, I tried it with hot milk and hoooooooo boy I swear it was even stronger in milk!  I ended up that I can only drink it as a single shot and you know what?  It’s strong, but it’s nice. I even had a couple of friends over to get their opinions and they both gave this one a big thumbs up.

Is it something I’d buy again? No, but that’s because I prefer a lighter roast than this.  But if you want a good, strong, rich coffee?  This one is well worth your time.

My next review will be another one from Poco Espresso, a Peaberry.  Yum, looking forward to that. I’ve had a lot of lovely Peaberry coffees over the years.

TTFN.