Reviewed by Laura Bown
I’m not a huge coffee drinker. Mainly, I think, because I prefer a good coffee and all too often the instants and at home versions you can get don’t live up to the challenge. I like a professional barista served coffee, as I had trained as a barista years ago, a skill which I very rarely use these days! So I was really excited when I was offered the chance to review the Coffee Newbie Gift Set from Pact Coffee.
Pact Coffee offer coffee plans, gifts, brewing equipment and even advent calendars. They are a company that is passionate about coffee and the people who grow it. On their website it explains – “Pact Coffee was created to change people’s minds about coffee. We think about it like wine, not flour – it’s a cupboard staple, but one that’s infinitely better if it’s been lovingly grown and expertly processed. We want the UK to realise that. Because everyone deserves a truly quality cup of coffee.” They pay the growers an average 55% higher than Fairtrade rates, by cutting out the middlemen, this is a brilliant way of doing it because everyone benefits.
The coffee newbie set comprises of a V60 Brew Kit (V60 Dripper, forty filters and measuring scoop), and two 250g bags of Pact Christmas Blend. The delivery (Royal Mail 1st Class) was very swift, the label on the coffee tells me it was packed on Friday 8th, I received it on Monday 11th! The label on the coffee also tells me who grew the coffee (Nazareth Dias Pereira/ Murue), roast profile (Medium-Dark), Roasted on (7th Nov) and who packed it and when (8th Nov, thankyou Stephen!) Inside the box was a handy card about the Christmas blend, with tasting notes.
I quickly started to boil the kettle after the delivery, but then realised I did not have any instructions on how to use the dripper. A quick Google took me to the Pact site where there is a very handy video. To use the V60 is actually quite easy. First you boil your kettle, then leave it for a minute. Put the V60 over a mug, and pop a filter in. Rinse the paper with a little boiling water. Then add a scoop of coffee. Pour boiling water over the coffee, just enough to cover it and make it ‘bloom’ then, when that has soaked through, gradually add enough water to fill your cup. When finished you can just throw the filter and the grounds in the bin.
I was really surprised at how easy it was to do and with the end result. It was a good cup of coffee. It wasn’t bitter, but full of taste. I’m not sure that I could taste the ‘hints of Christmas pudding’ as mentioned on the information card, but it is definitely a nice coffee.
I took the coffee and dripper to work to try it out with a few other coffee drinkers, I was interested to see if the dripper could make multiple cups. I work in a fast paced environment, where we grab a drink as and when we can, which meant that the first time I started to use it I was called away, so it sat for a little too long. Round two and I did manage to make 3 cups, I used two good sized scoops of coffee, but it did take about 5 minutes in total, which I don’t always have available. The two other testers were really impressed and both stated that it tasted excellent.
I also tried the coffee in my cafetière, even though the blends I received are not specifically ground for this purpose. It worked really well, and I enjoyed more good coffee. However, I remembered why I rarely use my cafetière, I never like cleaning them! I soon switched back to the V60 Dripper.
I’ve actually got into a little routine of using the V60 every morning, whilst getting the kids breakfast ready, and have found myself wanting another cup a couple of hours later.
I would really recommend the Coffee Newbie Gift Set, it has re-awakened my love of coffee. It would be a great gift for a foodie, or someone who loves or needs caffeine! I would love to try some of the other Christmas gifts from the pact website, the Advent Calendar in particular is a brilliant idea, to try lots of different blends of coffee. If you were looking for a gift that kept giving Pact also do coffee plans where they deliver different coffees on a regular basis.
For more information or to buy visit www.pactcoffee.com.