Coffee Mini-Series: Grumpy Mule Coffee
This is the second in my three-part coffee mini series.
I love a good coffee. There’s nothing better than pressing pause, to recline in a chair sat outside a coffee roasters and watch the world whizz passed with the sun warming the side of your face. The smell that wafts from the door each time someone new ventures in is reminiscent of the cocoa plantation in a far off world. A coffee for me is more than just a drink, it’s an excuse to stop time and just relax.
Hot beverages was a category that I used to buy so I have a real passion for it and I find it fascinating the shift and improvement that the category has undergone. Britain is a nation of tea drinkers. Correction: Britain was a nation of tea drinkers. The hot beverages has seen a significant change with the rise of the coffee shop culture which has led to coffee overtaking tea in terms of value and frequency. Black tea has seen a dramatic decline and you can now pick up great quality black tea for about a penny a cup. Tea companies have had to react and focus on fruit teas, teas with inherent health benefits and teas with more focus on origin and provenance. Great! This is what we deserve! A hot beverage adventure!
Coffee, however, has stolen a march and is leading the way in the popularity of hot beverages. Like a lot of categories provenance and origins seems to be the dominant appeal for drinkers and people now know the difference between a good Arabica and a robusta. Now this opinion may not be universally agreed with but, for me, the surge in popularity for coffee can be attributable to Starbucks (and to a lesser degree Costa). Starbucks have found a way to charge £3 for a 15p product by creating a coffee occasion and giving a home to that excuse to stop time and relax. In turn, this has led to artisan coffee roasters emerging on high streets, in refurbished military trucks and even a reclaimed phone box (yes, it’s true http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-33755170).
So now hipsters, yummy mummies, 20 somethings, 30 somethings, 40 somethings and 50 somethings have somewhere to meet through the day rather than a Wetherspoons or waiting for a more credible pub to open!
Right, enough of that! On with my review…
Product Review: Sumatra Ground Mighty
Appeals to: this is a coffee lovers drink! It’s rich, strong and will certainly bounce you out of bed in the morning!
I think the branding is fantastic. It’s quirky, it’s tongue-in-cheek and it’s very Yorkshire and I know I’m biased but I love that! The branding is very personal and the messages that come through reinforce the coffee occasion which is great. However, if I’m honest I think they could make more of their packaging to bring the personality of the brand to life. There isn’t anything wrong with what they’ve done, in fact it’s right on theme for the coffee shelf, but I think it’s a little safe. The branding is great so I’d want to see more of it on-shelf. It is great to see a Great Taste Award and I think the prevalence and importance of these awards gets greater year-on-year and it’s something worth shouting about.
£4.49– spot on, no issue with the pricing on this at all. It’s appropriate for its audience and its market.
I think I’ve found a new favourite coffee, I love it! The tasting notes promised cocoa and dark chocolate which I could taste, if I screwed my face up and tried really hard, but it didn’t quite capture everything that was going on. The dark chocolate definitely came through on the smell test, it was exactly what I got, but the first taste that hit me with a coffee crack was a tingling aniseed that warmed my lips. This was swept away and replaced by a hazelnutty glow that developed on the front of the tongue that was lapped at by an undercurrent of earthy tones from the deep coffee and cocoa notes. This is a fantastic brew!
Verdict – in a word, amazing! I love the branding and I am in love with the taste. It’s Fairtrade too which, for a commoditised product, is very important. I can certainly imagine sitting down with this cup and a bar of intense dark chocolate to forget 30mins of an afternoon; but for now I’m going to add Grumpy Mule Coffee to my list of great thing to come out of Yorkshire!