The old saying about not judging books by their cover is nonsense. I've always judged books by their cover - when you're staring at a book shelf, be it in the local library, the local bookshop, or the virtual shelves of Amazon the only real option (other than standing there and reading the book) is to judge the books by the cover.
The same applies to other things, too. Kavey selects wines based purely on how pretty the label is, and it's as successful as any other method in producing wines I like (on a side note, this may say more about my low wine-drinking standards than any great wine-selecting skills...) - and I've talked before about how packaging can be off-putting.
On this occasion, it's not so much about the packaging - which is Pact's traditional brown-paper-bag approach of which I wholeheartedly approve - but the product itself.
The grounds are very much on the light side - a muscovado sugar kind of brown, which immediately makes me assume that these beans have been fairly gently roasted which, in turn, leads me to all sorts of assumptions about a weaker taste, a lighter body, and the kind of coffee that is often Not For Me.
The aroma, however, is entirely contrary to this expectation. There's a really rich roasted character, like you've just walked into your local coffee roaster. It's full of sweet chocolate cherry cake and spun sugar, and smells like it should be at least 4 shades darker.
Brewed, the cherries and chocolate remain, and the sugar is replaced with a darker, hot wood aroma.
In the mouth, it's full bodied with bitter dark chocolate and just a hint of sweet black cherries. The finish is nicely tannic, but remaining decently rich. Overall it's a damn tasty coffee - 4.5 stars.
I have to confess that when I first opened this packet, I was prepared to be disappointed by a lacklustre coffee but this has turned out to be one of my favourites from Pact for some time. Indeed, I was sufficiently surprised by how wrong my initial visual impression was that I have decided to start including the unbrewed grounds in my pictures.
Sometimes it's worth pursuing a book even if the cover fails to excite!
This review was originally published 17th August, 2015. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.