So you have the espresso machine, portable hand pump, stovetop brewer, demitasse cups, thermometer, all forms of sweetener, and a refrigerator full of milk. But something still appears to be missing: a worthy bean for all those new toys and accessories. (By the way, check out the Related Links at the bottom of this post for links to Gadgeteer reviews of some of these aforementioned coffee makers.)
Aromo Coffee is based in the United Kingdom with a mission to bring fresh, great tasting espresso to your doorstep without any gimmicks – well, except for maybe that dancing monkey.
For readers outside the UK, I have to mention up front that Aromo only ships their coffee within the United Kingdom. Maybe that will change in the future (hope so!), but in the meantime, for those of us on the opposite side of the pond and elsewhere, we are out of luck.
What I like about Aromo is that they have you covered regardless of your preferred espresso system or coffeemaker. They offer their own coffee as whole beans, ground coffee, ESE pods, and Senseo-compatible pods. Once you find a blend you like, you’re set! They’re a small team who have tirelessly taste-tested their product to ensure consistency from pod to bean.
There are four coffee blends on offer, differing on strength, taste, and beans used. I was sent the “Bounce” blend to review, which is one of the stronger blends and composed of 100% Arabica beans. Their Arabica is a mix of Brazilian Daterra Bourbon and Sumatran Mahandeling.
The coffee bags arrived with a nice tight vacuum seal. Once opened, the smell of fresh coffee beans was strong. I grabbed a small handful of beans for the above shot. They’re a lovely dark brown from the espresso roast with just a bit of coffee oils still coating them.
The first thing I wanted to try out was a plain shot of espresso.
I don’t usually drink my espresso straight, but for an accurate taste test, I prepared for the shock of bitter, overly strong coffee. I mean, how good could a coffee be that has a creepy cymbal monkey on the packaging?
Answer: very good. That bitter taste never came. Instead, it was a surprisingly mild, smooth sip. I’m going to bust out my wine snob vocabulary for just a bit, but truly, this coffee is tasty! The taste is a mixture of black walnut, smoke (not peaty like a scotch, more like wood smoke or scorched earth), and a touch of super dark chocolate. Seriously good stuff in a cup.
I made a few cappuccinos with the Bounce blend, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Bounce made for a more mild cappuccino, not bad mind you, just not my personal preference. It received rave reviews from my fellow tasters, but for me personally, I like a really strong coffee that can hold up to all of that steamed milk.
This week, I’ve been trying the espresso beans in a different preparation, as straight coffee brewed with a Chemex. Holy cow, does this coffee rock! It retains the full flavor profile, and makes for a darn good morning wake up.
It’s a bittersweet time in my household as I realized this morning that once I’m finished with the bag I probably won’t be seeing Aromo coffee again – unless I make fast friends with the UK reader base (hint hint).
Aromo offers their bagged coffee in 250g (8.8 ounces) pouches starting at £4.00 (about $6), but their overall business model seems more geared towards the pods which run £16-23 (about $24-35) per 100 pack, depending on pod type and blend . Whichever format you choose to receive your coffee in, you’re guaranteed the same freshness and taste.
Definitely check out Aromo if you live in the area; you’re literally guaranteed to love your morning cuppa.