Union Hand-Roasted are probably one of the best known London roasters. Their coffee, roasted daily in small batches, is now widely available in supermarkets as well as being available online.
One slight niggle is that their own website doesn’t seem to match up too well to what’s on the shelves – today’s coffee, for example, is listed on their website as “light roasted, medium body with notes of apricot and peach” and yet the packet rates it a strong coffee “with notes of floral jasmine”.
It’s possible that they’re two different coffees (although it seems to have the same name, and there’s no other matches I can find) but it just leaves me feeling a little confused.
Still, this Union Hand-Roasted Guatemala, Liberacion coffee is straight from Waitrose, rather than Union’s own website (in case they are two different coffees!)
The grounds have a rich, orange fruit aroma that carries both a brown sugar sweetness and a gentle acidity.
Brewed, the sweetness is reduced and the fruit acidity more pronounced – becoming more peach than orange. In the background is a suggestion of well toasted bread.
In the mouth, it’s medium bodied with a gentle soft fruitiness and a short lived, mildly acidic finish – tasty enough, but no way the “strength 5” promised on the packet, and certainly with no suggestions of “jasmine”.
It’s a decent enough coffee, but the packet is so off base I’m starting to wonder if there’s been a labelling error somewhere – it is, in fact, far closer to the website description. It loses half a star for that, earning 2.5 stars.