I was a little surprised to discover that Whittard even did coffee when they recently asked me if I'd like to sample some of their offerings.
In my mind, they've always been a tea shop, albeit with the occasional (and, if I'm honest, not particularly exciting) strange flavoured coffee. But no, they have a healthy range of more conventional coffee available too.
This is their Guatemalan Elephant coffee. I was both relieved and a little disappointed to discover that it's called Elephant coffee because the beans are unusually large, rather than for the sort of reason that gives civet coffee it's name.
The grounds are dark, and the aroma rich without being burnt. There's little sweetness, but there is a hint of spice – cardamom perhaps – that develops as it airs. Brewed, it remains rich but lacking in sweetness, and the spice is replaced by a dried wood aroma.
In the mouth, it has a decent body, a reasonable coffee flavour with just a touch of fruitiness and a well balanced bitter undercurrent. I don't detect any of the honey notes that the tasting guide mentions, nor do I see where the Great Taste Awards are coming from when they talk about chocolate, but it's a very drinkable 'session' coffee.
On the medium side of the described "medium-strong roast", this is a pretty decent coffee. Nicely balanced and well rounded, if you prefer your coffee on the medium side this might suit you. It earns a respectable 3 stars.
Many thanks to Whittard for supplying this coffee to sample.
This review was originally published 17th December, 2012. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.