And so, coffee has been my drug of choice since January. I don’t smoke, I drink alcohol minimally, my prime-vices are cheese and coffee.

Dipping my toe into the shallow end of the coffee pool, in January I started using a DeLonghi Icona ECO310 Espresso Machine. The once (occasionally twice) daily hit seemed to work well in conjunction with my other daily imbibes.
Last month I started using a Krups Twin Blade Coffee Mill to mill roasted coffee beans rather than pre-ground.

A few weeks ago I thought  I’d try a selection of beans and see what all the fuss was about.
As I say, I’m new to this coffee malarkey and come from NO position of expertise, talent or experience.  I discover what I like and what I don’t like.  Yes, there are many variables that might alter a cup of coffee’s taste etc like heat and pressure of water, grind of beans, amount of milk, type of milk, what you’ve eaten before the drink… etc but hey I’m no scientist.
So this is just a man on the web’s humble opinion.

The lovely people at Tank Coffee were my first stop – a friend had told me about them.

I tried six of their offerings, making my coffee using the machines above, with just a dash of milk:

We found this of medium strength, smooth, mild and sweet. We found the grind gave off an almondy sniff. A single large cup gave me a medium afterglow and found it very drinkable.
Tank say: This sweet and chocolatey coffee comes from the hills of Musema in south west Burundi. It has a delightfully well-rounded body with hints of cocoa and caramel. As it cools, you get a few hints of blackberry too.

We found this of medium strength, but we found it a bit bitter and with a strong black tea flavour. It was harsh and smokey. A single large cup gave me a strong afterglow.
Tank say: Mild in body, Hosnia Special has subtle and rather sweet notes of chocolate. You may well detect some lemon and black tea flavours. And if you’re tastebuds are finely-tuned, delightful herbal flavours will be dancing around there too.

We found this very drinkable! It was smooth mild and sweet.
Tank say: “You’ll love this Ethiopian beauty. Nicely rounded, moderate acidity with a decent body. You’ll discover some gorgeous floral tones in this amazing coffee and many people say, it’s the perfect start to the day.”

Again we found this very drinkable! It was smooth mild and sweet and yes I have to say a choc resonance.
Tank say: “Mmmm…beya. A coffee with an excellent body. Oh yes, this is a soft, sweet and mild coffee with wine and chocolate notes and a berry finish. It’s from the villages around Mbeya in southern Tanzania.”

My notes say medium in strength and taste, but with warm smooth cuddly afterglow.
Tank say: Fruity. That’s the word we’re using to describe this light and refreshing morning coffee grown in the red volcanic soils by the Thangaini co-operative. Delicate lemon tea aromas coupled with a smooth, silky body and subtle blackcurrant notes offer a refreshing and a rather genteel start to the day.

The last on the list and the last coffee we tried: was “a good cup of coffee”. We found it was just right, not too strong and not too smooth, we could not pin a specifc character to it. Just good.
Tank say: The tankcoffee espresso blend boasts deep chocolate and berry flavours, with some light floral notes, so it’s perfect for a smooth latte, a full-bodied cappuccino or of course, an espresso that promises a polite kick with every sip. What’s in the blend?  Our Kickstart Espresso is the perfect blend of Kenyan Thangaini, Burundi Musema, Ethiopian Sidamo and Cameroon Hosnia to get you moving in the morning!

We will be ordering our favourite in due-course – thanks Tank Coffee.

By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…