Wondered what the judges really thought of our Award Winners this year? well we've got their full reviews here for everyone to see. It's always nice when someone else blows your trumpet, right?
"A well balanced and full flavoured cup with some complexity and a smooth character.
Great crema on a moderately light body. The aroma is inviting, creamy, nutty, sweet, rich. The acidity is bright on the palate, the bitterness a little surprising; together they create an angularity that almost masks any fruitiness and sweetness, though an almost perfumed note prevails. The addition of milk creates a coherence that is particularly pleasing - now the chocolatey richness resides alongside a creamy mouthfeel with sweetness and balancing acidity, and the bitterness is nicely tamed - the finish is soft and creamy still, lifted by gentle acidity. A great blend for a Flat White, we felt; we'd contemplate a star for the black espresso, but feel that with milk it easily earns two.
Dark viscous liquid with minimal crema and similarly dark aromas of roasting shops and chocolate boxes. It is a heady mix. On the palate there is both body and balance, and the highs and lows of marvellous complex flavours that deliver a great cup of coffee, with a rich and comforting finish..."
"There are some floral notes with a hint of citrus. It has a good flavour profile and delivers an enjoyable cup of coffee.
A lively crema atop a very dark coffee. There are lots of berries and nuts in the bouquet and then in the mouth too, with a lovely mild acidity after and good depth alongside lingering silken flavours.
The aroma is invitingly complex, with gentle nuttiness and hints of blackcurrant - fruit and leaf. The palate we found a tad aggressive with citrus or slightly underripe currant fruit impact; we are not convinced that 'short and black' is the best expression of this coffee. What you term 'delicacy' we would call 'elusive, fleeting' in the presence of rather marked bitterness at this kind of extraction. Citrus acidity seems par for the course, even if elevated in context. A little sugar brings out floral elements, perhaps geranium leaf. The finish is long and pleasing, though we still feel this is a coffee whose delicate nuances would fare better in filter format."
"There are some citrus and mild chocolate notes which give the coffee complexity and a good flavour.
Terrific allrounder. A gently nutty aroma gives little clue to the lively red berry and citrus acidity that arrives immediately on the palate. The relatively light body sits in perfect balance. Chocolatey notes are barely perceptible when drunk black, but the coffee takes milk remarkably well to produce a gently creamy, now truly chocolatey mouthfeel and flavour.
The fruity acidity persists alongside nicely reined in bitterness giving the overall impression of the best kind of fruity chocolate bar - we're thinking Madagascan, though clearly Colombia has great cacao too. Remarkable levels of flavour for a single origin, and the finish is long and beautifully balanced..."
"The aroma here proved instantly enticing, with sweet, creamy, lightly roasted nuttiness and hints of caramel wafting through the thick crema. On the palate, a playful complexity was immediately evident, with bright but not insistent acidity balancing perceptible berried fruitiness, with the deeper chocolate-caramel-nut notes marking their presence.
Whilst arguably lacking a little body sipped black, foamed milk created the necessary creaminess and roundness, and elevated the caramel to a notable presence.
The lively acidity persists, and bitterness is very restrained. The finish is long, clean, and pleasing, with fruity tones. Great quality from a single origin and excellent delivery from a pod..."
"A smooth blend with some acidity and length of flavour and well rounded.
Great crema, and a gently enticing biscuity, nutty aroma. We found the palate rather more insistently acidic and bitter than sweetly fruity - surprising perhaps in a part-decaf. The addition of milk, while fine, did little to alter the balance or to open up sweet fruitiness. The finish we found somewhat metallic. The aroma was enticing, the palate experience rather less rounded and balanced.
Earthy and sweet on the nose, rich and almost creamy. Nicely sharp on the palate, with fruitier top notes and good depth and tone considering the reduction of caffeine, then a long and enjoyable tasty finish..."
Quite a read, right?! So now we've just really got one question - what's stopping you from trying these out for yourself?