I believe in the mantra that if you’re going to have bad coffee, you might as well have no coffee.

When you’re going to do coffee, I mean proper coffee, you have to do it right. Instant can fill the need wherever possible but there’s nothing quite like grinding your own beans and brewing your own ‘cup of Jo’.

The guys from Strangers Coffee approached me about trying out a couple of their coffee beans I couldn’t say no!

There’s real quality from the guys who set up Strangers on the east coast in 2009. C0-founder, Alex, has been placed in the top 15 baristas twice, which is no mean feat.

I’m loving the branding on these packages, the consistency of styling with differing colours helps differentiate nicely between the beans along with the in-depth information (tasting notes, altitude, region, process and varietal) all featured on the front.

Not only is the branding on point but the resealable feature is subtle and nicely hidden away.

The two coffees they sent over were the Fazenda Santa Barbara from Brazil and the Santa Lucia from Guatemala.

Thankfully, my nephew is a fully trained barista and he’s given me some insider knowledge to get the most from your beans:

  1. Make sure you’ve dosed enough coffee (think of it like medicine)
  2. The grind needs to be perfect to get the best out of your coffee (you may need to experiment on this)
  3. A two-shot should weigh around 14g (7g per shot)
  4. Extraction should be around 20 seconds
  5. You should get 60ml of coffee dispensed

So now with that expert know-how, let’s look at the coffees in a bit more detail, with a taste test!

Fazenda Santa Barbara (Brazil)

This balanced tasting coffee has subtle chocolatey and praline undertones – perfect for those of you who love a nutty taste.

The crema and aroma on this coffee are milder – less bitter and sweeter.

Santa Lucia (Guatemala)

The Santa Lucia is a full-bodied rich coffee with sweet and (again) nutty hints, coupled with a mild acidity.

You’re faced with a strong golden crema with these beans – better for those who like the sharper more tangy flavour.

Favourite?

Of the two types of beans, I’ve really fallen for the Santa Lucia from Guatemala – there’s a real depth of the flavour which is what I would define as a ‘strong’ coffee.

I’d be happy to drink this all day long with varying levels of milk – it really is that good!

If you prefer something a little milder with sweeter undertones then I’d definitely recommend the Fazenda Santa Barbara.