A wee while back I was asked to review the latest addition to Urban Coffee Company‘s offering – Urban Coffee Connoisseurs – a monthly coffee tasting club. I couldn’t resist as I do love my coffee and can’t function in the morning till I’ve had my first cuppa and also Urban Coffee Company is my favourite place to grab a hot beverage whenever I’m in Birmingham.
Urban Coffee Company is a locally based company with an ethos to admire – improve the quality of high street coffee available outside of London and offer an alternative to the uniquitous Starbucks and Costa. As an independent coffee place it aims to offer a unique experience for it’s customers and from my handful of visits at both of it’s current stores it certainly does. It offers not only great coffee but a community meeting place for all sorts, including knitters and bookreaders.
For those of us not able to pop into store on the way to and from work or for a Saturday afternoon shopping trip pit stop, there is now the Urban Coffee Connoisseurs. Each month members receive 2 different bags of 125g of freshly ground coffee or beans if you prefer to grind your own, tasting notes, instructions on how best to prepare your coffee and access to the online Connoisseur Academy.
The two coffees I received were Laurocaf Reserva Terruno Nayarita from Mexico and SHG – La Luz from Nicaragua. The notes included detailed descriptions of the origin of these coffees – did you know coffee is one of Mexico’s most lucrative exports with over a half a million small farmers relying on the crop for their survival? You also get Rich’s (the head barista’s) tasting notes to assist you in developing your connoisseurship!
The Mexican coffee was the first one I tried and as Rich helped to point out, it did have vanilla tones, though my palate struggled to identify the “sweet with sour Apple acidity”. My favourite was the Nicaraguan coffee with it’s chocolate and cinnamon spice flavours.
I prepared them in my coffee machine but would definitely recommend using a cafetiere to get the best out of the coffee.
I think a subscription to the Urban Coffee Connoisseurs is a great gift for coffee loving friends or to enable you to develop your and you can choose a sign up period from 3 months to 1 year. The cost works out to around £4.25 to £5.00 a bag, which is slightly expensive, but with the added delight of waiting for your package to turn up each month and the chance to try lots of different styles of coffee and knowing exactly where they come from, I think it is a great idea. Sadly not one my budget will stretch to at the moment, but I live in hope I might manage to join at some point.
I think the ability to interact with other members would be a great addition and bring the tasting club idea to life.
I received the coffee free from Urban Coffee Company. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.