The Fine Coffee Club were rather pleased with my previous review of their Nespresso-compatible espresso pods – you may recall I was particularly taken with their single-origin espresso pods. Consequently, I convulsed with unrestrained jollity when I learned I had talked them into sending me their other two single-origin coffees. My blindingly obvious freeloading stratagem was to claim I wanted to give a complete picture of their product-range. And they bought it! So here we go with a caffeine-fuelled burn through the Fine Coffee Club’s range of single origin espressos… Ho ho ho!
The Fine Coffee Club have sent me their Colombian and Kenyan AA espresso pods and I am yet to try either of them. So this afternoon’s espresso bender will show whether they can match the brilliance of the Guatemalan and Rwandan coffees I loved so much and told you about in my last review.
I’ll give a quick sketch of the two single-origins I’ve tried before so this review covers all four of them from The Fine Coffee Club. I’m kicking off with my single-remaining pod of Rwandan espresso. This vexes me as I usually drink double-espressos. Never mind – onward to espresso!
The Fine Coffee Club’s Rwandan espresso has a fabulously rich and heady aroma as my machine sputters the wonderful fluid into my welcoming vessel. There are nuts, roasted grains, a hint of toffee, all very scrummy. I love the dense, powerful crema which is both charged with intense life and subtle complexity. It tastes good, too, a subtle, intricate coffee for contemplation, rather than one to make your head pound. I still feel quite adequately perked up after my single shot, though. No wonder I was impressed, this is good! Very good indeed!
I shall move straight onto the strength 6 Fine Coffee Club Kenyan AA espresso. This smells more of earth with less of a roasted character than the Rwandan. It is restrained and does not mind being restrained in the slightest, it is perfectly at ease with being that way inclined. The crema has a lightly-toasted grain character with some earthy hints. It is obviously a less powerful coffee than the Rwandan and, even though I am one who likes them strong, this is still pleasing thanks to its precise and focused flavour profile.
The palate of the Kenyan AA espresso is also focused and pin-point in it’s caffeine delivery; you feel awakened, but not too much. My personal taste would be for a stronger coffee with more of a buzz to it, but you do not have to be a panty-waster to enjoy this – it is a fine, fine drop. Sometimes we all need a coffee but do not want to twitch and jerk too much afterward, and for that purpose this is ideal.
If I may warm to my topic I will have a double Guatemalan Fine Coffee Club Espresso, please. I know people say they like their coffee as they prefer their lovers, but surely this focussed and penetrating entity is a bit *ahem* close to the bone. The delivery of these concentrated and powerful flavours makes you think something is being shoved up a nasal orifice so directly are they rammed into your yielding cavity. Let me be abundantly clear, this smells like it is going to deliver an awful lot of caffeine and and awful lot of flavour right down your tubes and into your stomach with no messing around.
I am surprised, it is direct and powerful but there is a delicacy to the flavour delivery. It grabs, then caresses your palate. The flavours slowly expand across your buccal cavity until they completely fill it leaving a sense of power and fragrance. It has good length to the palate, those earthy, toasty flavours continue for a long time and the final impression it leaves you with is one of harmony. The Fine Coffee Club Guatemalan espresso pod may device you about its penetrative power, but ultimately it is a really balanced and enjoyable drink. Excellent! I always knew I liked that one!
Our final stop on this tour of the Fine Coffee Club’s single origin espressos is the Colombian espresso. This is designated strength 8 and there was a time I would have thrown such a thing in the bin only to be followed by a lump of spittal. But I have developed since then – I am a richer, rounder type of fellow. I do not always demand the strongest Cheddar, the ripest Tunworth; nor do I insist upon the strongest espresso. Sure, I want them charged with character, but they do not have to denature every protein in my body with their stunning bitterness. I like character, class, complexity and a bit of charm does not go amiss.
This Colombian espresso is certainly not short on complexity. The density and diversity of aromas rising from my cup are mind-expandingly good. It certainly smells strong, but it has been roasted with a sensitivity for that quality of the beans – certainly not over-roasted a la Française. Just from sniffing this I can tell it is quality kit and I am going to chortle with mirth when I come to drink this.
But first there is the pleasure of: the eating of the crema. Perhaps I am twisted and weird, but when I see an espresso with a crema that looks as dense and unctuous as this one appears I like to eat it with a little spoon. I really love doing it and it is a reason you I do not like over-roast coffees as they tend to have little in the way of a crema. This Fine Coffee Club Colombian espresso has a really first rate crema – powerfully characterful but with a rich depth of intricate flavours. It has a very satisfying texture too. Scrum-tastic!
The espresso itself is as good as you can reasonably hope for from an espresso. It is strong enough, but with subtle, alluring flavours of total enchantment. It fills your palate, enlivening your senses with its array of scrumptuous characters that make me want to go and have another double right now! Yes, it is really good, I think I have a new favourite espresso pod and it is rather nice to know it is quite a lot cheaper than my previous favourite, Nespresso’s Dharkan. Price does not matter, though, what we care about is quality – this is a fine, fine espresso. That it is a bargain is merely an added bonus. If you want to score some really fine espresso action, get to the Fine Coffee Club‘s website and order this now. You will not be disappointed.
The thing about coffee is that it is grown in places you do not want to visit. Far more pleasurable to take a world tour courtesy of the Fine Coffee Club’s single origin range. The are all top grade drinks and the Colombian, perhaps the least savoury place to visit, is truly great. If you have a Nespresso machine and you want to try the best of the world’s coffees the Fine Coffee Club‘s website should be your next stop on the internet.