Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Coffee Club: Foundry Coffee Roasters

Coffee is pretty big news right now.  It seems, increasingly, like one can't turn a corner without running into some new coffee bar.  These joints are a very far cry from the Starbucks and Costa of old.  More often than not they're hipster run and hipster patronised, with flowing beards, turned up jeans, ironic tattoos and horn-rimmed spectacles at every turn.  Inside, you're treated to a coffee that is, like as not, short (worryingly so, sometimes), complex and frequently sharp and fruity.  You'll also invariably be surrounded by bare brick walls, often punctuated by shelves of coffee accessories you never knew you needed and never could afford.  This is the new trend, and it is as alien to the American-style coffee bars we've become accustomed to as Tommi's burger joint is to MacDonalds.  This, I am certain, is a good thing.

With all this in mind, a few folks at my workplace have resolved to stop drinking the rubbish that comes out of the free coffee machine in the kitchen and replace it with proper, cafetiere-brewed coffee.  We have bandied together to form a coffee club (I wanted it to be a collective but was resolutely voted down) and are now rattling through various different brews in search of the perfect cup.  Each person takes it turn to buy a bag whenever we the previous bag is finished, the brief for purchasing being only to get enough for everyone to enjoy for a few days and to make sure it's not the same as something we have already had – otherwise, it's totally open ended to what the purchaser would like.

Here, at last, is our first review.

Origin: Foundry Coffee Roasters, Sheffield
Coffee: Single origin - Santa Maria de Lourdes, Nicaragua
Price (per 250g): £7.14 (incl. postage)

It's a delivery coffee.  Delivery anything is usually a faff, as you have to be in to receive it.  Not so for Foundry, who earn top marks for devising a nifty system of packaging letter-box appropriate bags of coffee.  Surprisingly, they fold up nicely to go in the fridge as well.


I particularly liked that they had hand-labelled the coffee so you knew when it was roasted (by the way, this post is a little out of date - it was, in fact, roasted two days before it arrived).


Thoughts: We liked this.  Robust, slight chocolatey notes. Quite sharp at the beginning - a fair amount of acidity without becoming one of those fruity coffees that we're less keen on.  Nice smoothness, a fairly long aftertaste, but perhaps could do with a touch more complexity.  One member of the panel (@jonnyolly, a Northerner who became most animated at the thought of a Sheffield-based coffee outfit) said: "There are no long-bearded, Vaseline-tweaked moustached, exposed-bricked, upcycled old furniture modern coffee shop vibes coming from it, but a strong and classic coffee. Very much a Sheffield coffee – honest and true."

Score: 7/10 - This is score number one, this is the benchmark, everything else will be placed around this – so it may be that 7 ends up being the highest, or the lowest score.

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