How can you tell if your gourmet coffee is good, bad or ugly?

How can you tell if your gourmet coffee is good, bad or ugly?

We’re big coffee lovers here at Chateau Rouge, as well as liking a good cup of tea! London just celebrated its Coffee Festival and in honour of this week’s #UKCoffeeWeek, running until 16 th April, where UK coffee businesses raise funds and awareness for the communities of coffee growers, we thought we’d take a closer look at coffee – what makes it good, bad, indifferent, or just plain ugly?!

Chateau Rouge was created after our founder was inspired by experiences on his travels around the world: the sights, smells, tastes, and above all, the people. Every product has been sourced and created following international gastronomic inspiration.

Good or bad?

When deciding whether you think a product is any good or not, you need to turn to your senses to guide you.


To decide if the product is ugly, it’s not the looks that you need to focus on – it’s the people. You also need to factor in the provenance of your product – where and how was it made? By whom? Is it sustainable? Are the growers and makers of the product happy and fulfilled?

So many questions…

Touch – how should good coffee feel?

We think good coffee should be smooth and silky – the beans and the coffee texture when it has been ground should reflect this.


When your coffee has been made and poured – is it the right temperature? It shouldn’t be too hot or too cool, just right (as Goldilocks advises!) Good coffee should be the right temperature to be able to take a sip straightway.

Smell – what aroma should good coffee have?

We think you should be able to smell that smooth, silky coffee aroma straightaway. Does it waft from the cup or mug as soon as your hot coffee is poured? Does the smell make you feel happy, warm comforted? If so, it’s a winner! The smell of good coffee is hard to beat…

Taste – how should the best coffee taste?

Coffee shouldn’t be bitter, no matter how strong. The taste should be smooth and sultry, still giving you that caffeine-fuelled kick and depth of flavour. It should never be watery or taste bland. Depending on your preference, can you taste a toasty, roasted finish, or do you prefer a sweeter, smoother sensation? Taste the acidity and the crispness and how it balances with the sweetness of the coffee. If it’s too acidic and you don’t get other flavours and undertones from your coffee, that’s not a good sign.

There shouldn’t be an unpleasant aftertaste – if you get that “back of the throat” feeling for a while after drinking your coffee, it’s just not a good coffee roast.

Colour – what colour should your coffee be? Dark, light, somewhere in between?

Coffee beans and roasts come in many different colours and shades of brown. Italian, Spanish and French roasts all tend to be a darker brown, as they are longer, richer roasts. Generally speaking, the darker the colour, the more roasted the coffee. Coffee roasts should never be black, however – this means they are burned and can’t be used to brew coffee.

What about the people who make it?

The Chateau Rouge Italian Barista blend coffee is made by an Italian family who have been blending coffee for five generations – people who are truly passionate about the quality of their coffee. We believe this rubs off on the coffee and is why (in our humble opinion!) it tastes so good!

Supporting the environment and giving back

We’re also passionate about giving something back to our growing communities. That’s why we support with every purchase of Chateau Rouge products, providing vital support and amenities for the lives of growers and their families.

Proceeds from every Chateau Rouge product go towards planting trees in Zambia with and 1% for the Planet. Supporting the planting of one tree over a five-year period costs £0.40 to £0.70 a tree. By supporting these projects, which are designed to not only plant trees but help communities out of poverty and support them for the long-term; to not just to do our part to combat climate change, but to genuinely help the communities that give us so much - now and for generations to come!

Speciality Coffee Association of America Flavour Wheel:

SCAA_Speciality Coffee Association of America_Gourmet Coffee Tasting_Flavour_Wheel

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Every Purchase Makes a Difference - Packaging Guide
Every 2 products sold = 1 Tree planted (costing £0.40 - 0.70 per tree over a 5 year period). Proceeds from the sale of each product directly help improve the environment and combat climate change by planting trees in Zambia with WeForest and 1% for the Planet. These are sustainable long term projects that not only focus on planting trees but on supporting the communities affected to help alleviate poverty.
Weights and volumes of  loose leaf tea tins may vary slightly per product. We pack all our tea tins full and weights are dependent on the type of tea and tea leaf size.
Tea bags tin sizes: 17 tea bags tin, 60 tea bags tin or 50 tea bags refill pouches. We pack our tea bags with larger quantities of loose leaf tea. This ensures a full flavour cup and is possible to use 2x per tea bag - for a large mug or small teapot.  View actual tin and pouches sizes here
Our tea tins (2 sizes) come in our new  Chateau Rouge cartons. Where applicable our jams, honey and preserves are packed in similar boxes of two jars. These have also been designed for gift packaging. All our packaging is made from FSC recycled or recyclable card and we only print using 100% environmentally inks.