Coffee: An Introduction

Coffee Review

Despite appearances, I don’t live a life as fuelled by beer and whisky as this blog suggests. Sadly, the day job requires that I remain reasonably sober and awake, and my soft drink of choice has always been coffee.

If I’m honest, I have historically tended to drink whatever coffee came out of the vending machine but when I ended up in a contract working with some old friends, I quickly joined their coffee club. We had a large cafetiere and worked our way through every coffee we could get our hands on, and even kept score.

Latte Nose

This is where things got interesting. We all had different tastes (a certain gentleman even polluted his coffee with sugar) and yet our eventual rankings were broadly in line with each other. We ended up with top marked coffees which we all agreed were great.

Sadly, all we recorded was a score out of ten, so although I can tell you that, for example, Taylors ranked as one of our favourite brands (with four of their coffees in our top ten), I don’t have any tasting notes to share with you.

Happily, this means I’ll have to taste them all again, record some proper thoughts and post some reviews of them all here. Rather than trying to find a sufficiently small cafetiere, I’ve invested in an Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker, which seems to be something that every ‘proper’ coffee person I speak to swears by.

For the record, I’ve found the instructions for the Aeropress produce a very nice cup of coffee, but lacks the aroma you get from a cafetiere brew. I’ve taken to letting the coffee soak for 30 seconds before plunging, which seems to bring out the aroma without bringing too much bitterness across. Aside from that, I follow the instructions as normal, add hot water and a dash of milk to make a nice mug of fresh coffee.

So far, my exposure to coffee has mostly been driven by what my local supermarket has to offer – if anyone has any recommendations of coffees to try, please comment here and I will add them to my to-drink list!

Photo courtesy of that Matt Gibson fellow again. It’s his own fault for taking such nice pictures.



Golly, everyone’s ga-ga for the AeroPress. I sense a new toy in my future. #wishlisted But will it be as cool as the aerobie frisbee??


If you thought homebrewing was geeky you haven’t seen anything yet…

I generally stick with pourover although for the coffee I have at the moment my Aeropress makes a more presentable cup.

Pop into Notes in Covent Garden or on St Martin’s Lane and have a chat with the folks at the brew bar – they’re always happy to geek out about coffee. The Coffeesmiths Collective also have a slightly obsessive nature to filter coffee and do tutorials on brewing if you ask nicely.

If you want to experiment with new coffee on a regular basis then the folks at Square Mile do a rather good subscription which gets you a new bag every month – I’d still be a subscriber if I still drank quite as much coffee as I used to.


Thanks for the recommendations – I might have to seriously look at that subscription once I’ve drunk my way though the first couple of dozen coffees on my list 🙂


Any time you set up a taste test panel, you be sure to let the founding member of the office coffee club know 🙂

About time you got around to this, despite our in office lethargy around putting proper tasting notes down over and above ‘tastes like strong coffee’


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