Coffee Reviews

About Our Ratings

Our ratings are not intended to cause offense, but instead hope to promote quality and good practice in the coffee industry, directing business owners to the areas that need improvement, providing a better experience for all.

As such, the breakdown of our reviews, based on the sampling of a small cappuccino, is as follows:

Taste - Pretty self explanatry, how the coffee tastes. Marked out of 10, most fresh generic coffee's will receive a 7 or 8, outstandingly fresh and exciting coffees will be higher, with stale coffee (usually caused by filling the doser with ground coffee and leaving to sit, or not cleaning group heads between shots) will be lower.

Texture - The texture of the milk, also marked out of 10. Consistently smooth milk with little or no bubbles, known as microfoam, is the goal here. Frothing milk until it is bubbly and dry tends tomake it sour and points will be lower accordingly.

Temperature - Leading on from milk frothing, the coffee temperature, again out of 10 with 10 being the perfect drinking temperature, not too hot not too cold. Extreme heat (hotter than your hand can touch, around 140F) not only makes the milk sour, buttwill get you lower points; no one wants their mouth burnt!

Technical Ability - Marked out of 10, this is a look at the skill and training of the barista preparing the drink. Are they following industry best practices, or ritualistically sticking to bad/incorrect training. Also taken into account are the proportions of the drink, ie the ration of espresso to milk.

Appearance - Marked out of 5, this is not how the staff look, contrary to popular belief (you know who you are!) but is how the coffee is presented, if it is finished with any latte art, if there have been spills etc.

Atmosphere - The atmosphere marks relate to the cafe environment itself; is the establishment billed as a "coffee shop" but the main priority is food and a high turn over of customers. As it is not a major issue it is also marked out of 5.

The final score is calculated by adding these values together and doubling to give a mark out of 100

Exclusions - We have decided to exclude certain coffee chains from our reviews due to bad ratings across their stores. Currently O'Briens, The Streat, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero and Starbucks are excluded. Although, as I alluded to in an earlier post, Starbucks Coffee, prepared primarily by fully automatic machines, is at least consistent.

Andrew Gribben @grib