Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Two 'good' coffees

In the coming time we will discuss all major brands of espresso available. In a country that lives in the misconception that Nescafé has anything to do with coffee, and where people will tell you that Costa or Second Cup offer good quality, we see it as our duty to inform you about what good brands are available and where you can buy them.

In this first edition, two coffees that are a little better than others, only because they are either fairtrade or organic. We compared Marks & Spencer Fairtrade Espresso (obviously available at M&S for 2.200 OMR / 250gr.) to the Organic Espresso of Organic House (in Al Masa Mall, 2.790 OMR / 250gr.). We bought both as ground coffee, but you can also buy your coffee in Organic House as whole beans. If you ask, they'll freshly grind it for you.

Industries like coffee, chocolate and tobacco are notorious for exploitation of farmers. That's why we feel it is always better to buy fairtrade, so at least you know the farmers received an honest price for their product. But still, if it's a bad product, there's no sense in buying. Luckily the Marks & Spencer coffee is very nice. It gives a pleasant, slow drip in our espresso machine, which results in a full, but smooth tasting cup of coffee. It could perhaps do with a bit more punch, but that's splitting hairs.

We don't know if Organic House's coffee is fairtrade as well, but at least it's organic, which the M&S is not. The drip here is also good, but unfortunately the taste is not. It is extremely bitter, on the border of undrinkable. Ouch.

The verdict is clear. We will be buying more Marks & Spencer, and leave Organic House to others with a preference for bitter. Next, we'll review a coffee that's both organic and fairtrade. The question is: will it be any good? Stay tuned.

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