France

Maison du Cafe Ma Tradition Coffee

Maison du Cafe Ma Tradition Coffee

There is  no “strength rating” on this, a French coffee. Only the English it seems are obsessed with such vulgarities. The French just buy the coffee. Anyway – it’s quite brutish. Very dry and metallic, with a bit of an after burn. Not ideal – in fact the aftertaste builds for the next half an hour until you feel like your tongue has been replaced with an aluminum ingot.– needs downgrading from 5 spoons. Judged at a miserly 3/10

6.8
Average: 6.8 (5 votes)
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Malongo L'Express Coffee

Malongo L'Express CoffeeThis is a weird looking one that comes from France. It has a bit of English on the side that says "Creamy Coffee Personified" which is quite literarily wrong, as creamy coffee it may be, it still is just a tin of coffee and not a person. Which is what I was lead to believe personified means. Once you get past the grammatical errors and into the tin, the first thing you'll notice is how finely ground this is - it's got the consistency of flour. Which means when you spoon it out it's very easy to overdo it - it will pile up on the spoon in a giant pyramid that is quite literally the Great Pyramid of Cheops personified. So you do need to keep tapping the spoon to bring it down to a more normal measure. The resulting brew is worth the fiddling though - it's a frothy, heavy number that is super chocolaty and satisfying. Like a Milo laced with amphetamines. Unusually for the French it comes in a handy tin rather than a nightmarish vacuumed packed brick which makes it very user friendly. We loved it. 9/10

7
Average: 7 (6 votes)
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Carrefour Ethiopia Coffee

Carrefour Ethiopia CoffeeUnusually for the Frenchies this has got a country of origin stamped on it. It came from good old Carrefour so its easy to come by. We expected a lemon twang from this - that's what you normally get from these East African coffees. Not the case here though - if any word could be used to describe this it's chocolate. Not the slightest hint of a lemon in this. We made it in our usual caffetiere and it foamed up beautifully - it looked more like a pint of real ale than a coffee - it just looked great. Every cup came out perfectly - it was just plain impossible to cock this one up. All in all - a good one. Neuf Points.

9.27273
Average: 9.3 (11 votes)
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DE Master Blenders Maison du Café Coffee

DE Master Blenders Maison du Café Coffee

This is a French coffee and it came in a dinky little half size packet – why don’t more coffees come in these little sizes? The whole world should start getting used to small packets. The whole pack is gone in a day and every day you could be on to a fresh one. Except in the case of this coffee – you wouldn’t. As it’s bloody ‘orrible. Ok maybe that’s an overstatement – it is drinkable – but compared to the lovely York’s coffee we just had, its way down the scale. Like any French coffee with the word Mason in the title – we didn't really expect much from it – in fact we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that it even was drinkable. But that’s not saying much. So it’s OK for a one off on your next camping trip to France, but you’d be better off spending and extra Euro and getting something nice. 5/10.

7.5
Average: 7.5 (2 votes)
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Monoprix Café Moulu Pur Arabica Intense

http://www.coffeejudge.co.uk/monoprix-cafe

The French don't go in for the country of origin on their coffees. You never see words like "Kenya" or "Ethiopia" on their packets - they just don't care. All you'll see is words like "coffee" or, if they are being slightly more descriptive, "family". And it's not surprising - bearing in mind the average French meal takes 23 hours 45 minutes, by the time they get to the coffee course the next starter and wine is only minutes away. They just don't go in for all this artisan coffee guff. So we have gotten used to French coffees all just being much of  a much ness. This one though does break the mould just a little - it's punchy without punching your face in. We spooned it up quite heavily and it kept a nice raunchy coffee taste without going into a leaden after taste. We even made it for a few of the pre-raphaelite women around here - and they loved it too. The long and short of it - c'est tres bon. Give it to your family, they'll thank you for it. Its an 8/10

6.33333
Average: 6.3 (3 votes)
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San Marco Italiano Coffee

San Marco Italiano CoffeeFirst coffee of the year - and it's a French import bought from a flit to Gay Paris.

It's the usual Euro-Brick packaging - but for once someone has managed to design a packet that you can actually open with your bare hands and that doesn't immediately dump half its contents straight down the front of your shirt.  To be honest, the French are the last people I'd expect to have cracked that problem, what with their usual nonplussed attitude to health and safety, but on reading their website we discover the packaging was designed by Michael Angelo no less which really shows our ignorance as us Judges weren't aware that he was a) still alive or b) working in the food and beverage packaging sector. So that's 5 points in the bag already for these guys for that coup. On to the coffee - this one is so finely ground its tricky to even get it onto the spoon without it all blowing away. The effect of which is to deliver a ball-crushing strength of coffee. Just too much. The key to this one is to do your weights and measures carefully. Where we'd normally use five spoons for two cups, this one had to be pegged back to just 3.5 spoons - and at that level it have us what we wanted. A classic Italian super strong coffee. No novelty flavours or aftertastes - just pure, dark coffee. So one point off for the fiddley-ness in brewing, gives it a 7/10.

6.66667
Average: 6.7 (3 votes)
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Café du Ch'ti

Café du Ch'ti coffeeThis coffee came from a Calais supermarket, and with a name like this it just stood out from the crowd. It's rare to find a French coffee in a poncy paper bag like this rather than in the standard glossy euro-brick. The beans are a very light brown and very dry looking. So dry in fact it looks as though they may have been languishing on the shelf for the last five years. But this is an ok cup of coffee - not as flouncy as the packaging might suggest - but definitely not of the hard core burnt ashtray taste we've come to know and love from the Frenchies. It's a doddle to knock up - under or overdose - it all comes out the same. Again - unusual for a French one where normally one extra grain makes a life or death difference. Its an average nice one at 7/10

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8
Average: 8 (2 votes)
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Segafredo Arôme and Sensation Coffee

Segafredo Arome and Sensation CoffeeAnother Frenchy from the top end of the scale in the Supermarche. Segafredo is a big brand that you see all over Europe - and we've had one of them before and it was kind of OK - because it was a cheapy. So I splashed out on this one - it was nearer 4 Euros a pack, so it had better be good. And Thank God - it is. Its a straight forward, down the middle good old brew. There's no lemon, no fruit, no chocolate - there's f*ck all except coffee in this one - and do you know what? - sometimes you don't want all that fancy pants poncy-ness. You just don't want to talk about "notes" and "aroma" - you just want to glug it down and get on with your life. Well, this is that coffee - despite its claims of "aroma" and "sensation". Just buy it - it's Euro Cool. (9/10)

7.1
Average: 7.1 (10 votes)
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Jacques Vabre Terroir De Kitale Kenya Coffee

Jacques Vabre Terroir De Kitale Kenya CoffeeOne of the Judges picked this up on a recent trip to Le Mans from the Arnage Supermarche. We've learnt our lesson on buying French coffees - they have hundreds to choose from , but always choose from the right hand side of the display - i.e. the more expensive, because they have more than their fair share of cheapies which are frankly un drinkable. We had no idea what this one was, but saw the word Kenya on it and snapped it up. And it's a good 'un - you can make it as strong or as weak as you like and yet the lemony Kenyan twang pokes through at you. So forget those Cafe Maison trad French coffees and go for this one  - you won't regret it. A whopping 9/10

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8.5
Average: 8.5 (2 votes)

Grand Mere Familial Coffee

Grand Mere Familial CoffeeWhat are we doing starting the week with another one of these French Cheapies? Because we live on the edge, that's why. We wern't expecting much from this one but we did notice how finely ground it is, so we took the initiative to make it a bit weaker. And it worked! By which I mean it didn't taste of an old pub ashtray, which is what we've come to expect of these French bargain coffees. It did smell of ashtrays though - so if you hold your nose and glug it down I think you can give it a 4/10!

9.25
Average: 9.3 (20 votes)
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