On Sunday I had the pleasure of driving two and a half hours to get to a town I’ve never heard of before in temperatures reaching thirty degrees.
The town in question, which had a name straight out of a Tolkien novel, was called Arundel. Arundel is home to some beautiful scenery including a castle built in 1068 which overlooks the town, many nature walks including Lake Swanbourne, and pubs which overlook the river Arun.
But, most important of all, it had coffee. Much needed coffee after that car journey, I can tell you.
Edgcumbes, established in 1981, is a secluded little cafe and roastery. The cafe area itself is tiny, with only three or four seats inside and a handful outside but if you did want to drink on the premises there is a rare opportunity to see the roasting process in action. The cafe may be tiny, but on one wall is a window which looks directly on to the Geison 15kg roaster. I know of only one or two cafes where the space is used in this way so although I didn’t get to see it in action it was still special.
The rest of the space is taken up by rows and rows of bags of different roasted coffees and blends of teas, all individually labelled with information and descriptions.
I would have liked to of tried a filter coffee but, as it was nearing 4PM, I couldn’t as the barista hadn’t made any up that close to closing. I honestly don’t know what that means. I figured the coffee would be individually brewed. If it is, maybe he just didn’t want to grind some up for me especially? Regardless, I had a flat white.
They’re running their signature blend on the espresso machine. You can tell they’re proud of this coffee, and so they should be, it won the Great Taste Award 2016 for ‘outstanding taste and quality’. I won’t lie to you, though. I wasn’t overly impressed with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice cup of coffee. But that was it, it was just a nice cup of coffee. Nothing really stood out which is surprising from something which has won an award for being outstanding. At this point when we were in the car driving back, my girlfriend was shouting “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?!”
Maybe she’s right.
I did, however, buy some coffee to take home with me. This is the first time I’ve done this since it became readily available from my work so take from that what you will.
I decided to go with the Ethiopia and the Colombia as they both had some really lovely sounding tasting notes.
Region – Yirgacheffe
Process – Washed
Varietal – Bourbon
Q grade – 90.04
Tasting notes – Red berries, cherry, vanilla
Region – Antioquia (Sabanitas Estate micro lot)
Process – Washed
Varietal – Caturra and Castillo
Q grade – 88
Tasting notes – Red fruit, blueberry, caramel
From the Ethiopia, I definitely got vanilla as an aroma straight away. The red berries were there and the cherry came through much more as it cooled.
From the Colombia, I didn’t so much get the blueberry, however, again, the red fruits were present and it did have a nice caramel finish which became much sweeter as it cooled. You’ll also be pleased to know that this coffee comes from a gentleman named Jesus.
Coffees at Edgcumbes start at £5.50 for 250g which isn’t unreasonable for specialty and I’ll certainly be drinking them throughout the next week or two.
If you’re deciding out of the two which one to try, I definitely preferred the Ethiopian but it wasn’t grown by Jesus.