These are the current freshly roasted coffees on offer from pact – at the time of writing.
Please note, if you’ve come here from a Google search looking for the £1 offer, it’s expired I’m afraid, but I’ve spoken to Pact and they’ve offered a new code especially for coffeeblog readers!
Previously Pact had an introductory offer which gave new customers their first bag for £1, including delivery. This offer is no longer valid, but Pact have now given me a code specially for you, which gives you a free V60 brewing kit worth £11! Just click here for the offer.
This isn’t one of those offers by the way where you’re fooled into being committed to a monthly purchase – you can log in to your account at any time you wish, slow it right down (i.e. one bag every 28 days), or pause all orders (it will not re-start until you log back in and request it), or cancel it all together.
When I first started using pact, I tried this extensively to make sure it wasn’t some kind of clever ploy to suck people into being tied in, and to my delight I found that customers have absolute control over their orders, which isn’t what you might expect with a subscription service.
You’re not under any obligation to keep on with the service for any particular length of time, they rely on the quality of their coffee and their service to keep you hooked rather than trying to hold you to anything, which is one of the things I really like about pact, I don’t at all feel “committed”, and I know it’s really easy to pause or cancel my subscription at a whim. Also, I have rarely dealt with a company that are as on the ball as pact, and that offer such a high level of customer service and user experience, all the way through from using their website to delivery, it’s a refreshing delight!
So what is pact coffee?
Pact is a uk coffee subscription service, they roast specialty coffee beans in small batches here in the UK (They’re based in Bermondsey London), and send the freshly roasted speciality coffee beans to their customers based on a subscription rather than a one of purchase.
You can tell them how often you want coffee sending to you (from one bag every 3 days to one bag every 28 days), and before they send you your next coffee, they’ll email you first to remind you. So you can go in and see which coffee they’re going to send you, look at their other coffees at the time and see if there’s a different one you fancy more, and push the delivery into the future if you don’t need any coffee yet, or if it’s the wrong side of pay day. If you’re running low on coffee and your next delivery date is too far in the future, you can just change the date to tomorrow or whatever the case may be.
This flexibility is one of the things that really impresses me about pact coffee, there’s no pressure on you to place the next order if you’re skint or if you have a cupboard full of coffee, and it’s all done online in your account so you don’t need to be embarrassed about it, you don’t need to speak to anyone. A couple of times now I’ve had to log in and point the date of my next order a few days a head after pay day (I would never be changing the date due to not needing coffee, I always need coffee..), and it’s no problem to do.
This isn’t just any coffee, by the way – they work hard to source the very best specialty coffee from farmers who’re focusing on quality, not quantity. This isn’t coffee as a commodity, this is specialty coffee which is an entirely different ball game, and the farmers pact work with are usually achieving very high scores in gradings, making them some of the best coffee farmers in the world. So pact isn’t just about convenience, receiving coffee through your letterbox instead of going out and buying it from the shop, it’s for people who enjoy really, really good coffee!
They will either send you whole beans, or they’ll grind them for you specifically for whatever brewing method you set up in your preferences, and this is really easy to change too. While I didn’t have a grinder, I opted to get pact to grind for me, and sometime’s I’d select them to grind for Aeropress, sometimes for drip filter. I have a grinder now so I have it set up for whole beans now; I’d recommend that you grind your own, but if you don’t – having the roaster grind for you just before they send, is the best option.
While there are of course other UK coffee subscription services, when looking around one of the things that I’ve noticed is that some don’t roast their own coffee, and I’d prefer my subscription to be directly with the roaster as it is with pact. Some don’t appear to have the same level of flexibility when it comes to pausing and changing order dates, which is important to me. This, and the fact that pact keep providing me with such a brilliant service, would make it difficult for another subscription service to tempt me away. Although to be fair, I wouldn’t mind several different coffee subscriptions if money wasn’t an issue, especially given that my kids drinking coffee too.
Below is the list of current coffees (updated 18/05/16) from pact.
(Please ignore the fact that these images state first bag for £1, that offer has now expired, the first bag is now reduced to £3.95 from £6.95).
BELLA CARMONA – Guatemala
A coffee from the volcanic Antigua region of Guatemala, from coffee plants grown in volcano enriched nutrient rich soil.
This is a washed process bean, and is a blend of Caturra, Typica, Boubon and Catuai varietals.
Will the pact coffee expert describes strong citrus flavours in particular orange, combined with a syrupy mouth feel and refined sugar sweetness, and he refers to candied orange or orange flavoured fruit pastels, yum! I’m not a fan of oranges really, don’t like the texture, but I do love the taste, so I’ll be giving this one a try (it’s set up as the next one in my account).
SERTÃO NATURAL ESPRESSO – Brazil
This coffee comes from a family run farm called Fazenda Sertão, in a mountainous municipality called Carmo de Minas, in Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil. This is an area known for growing great coffee, due to the weather conditions of the region usually being perfect for coffee growing.
This is a natural processed bean, and the varietal is yellow Bourbon.
Will the pact coffee expert refers to the taste as having a distinctive dark chocolate flavour with a jammy sweetness, also a cherry taste & an almond aftertaste, and having a very mild ripe apple acidity.
KAMEGELI NYARUSIZA – Rwanda
This is a coffee from the Kamegeli region, in the Southern Province of Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. It’s grown by a cooperative consisting of several small farms in the region.
Kamegeli Nyarusiza is a washed processed bean, and the varietal is red Bourbon.
Coffee expert will describes the taste as being akin to an intense blackcurrant compote, with very rich and sweet cane sugar sweetness which push the bright citrus acidity of the coffee into the background, and a stem ginger aftertaste.
PLANALTO – Brazil
Planalto coffee is grown at an altitude of 1200 metres, at the 900 hectare Planalto estate, surrounded by natural forest, in the highlands of the Nova Rezende, in the south of Mina Gerais, Brazil.
The process used for this coffee is pulped natural, and the varietal is yellow Catuai.
Will the pact coffee expert describes this as a super creamy coffee which floods the mouth with rich chocolate and malt flavours, and having a light milky acidity with milk chocolate sweetness.
I really like this coffee, and have devoured several bags of it!!
DECAFFEINATED PLANALTO – Brazil
This is the same as above, but decaf. Having gone through a couple of bags of this dacaf I have to say I agree with pact coffee expert will when he says not much gives away the difference between the two versions, I can’t tell the difference personally.
I drink decaf now whenever I fancy a coffee later in the day, and I give decaf coffee to my teenage kids especially later on in the day, and I really do rate this as a decaf which you would be incredibly hard pressed to identify as decaf in a blind taste challenge.
It’s basically the same as the Planalto above, but with 99.9% less caffeine!
FRUIT AND NUT ESPRESSO – Brazil/Colombia
This is an espresso blend, made up of coffee from Planalto Estate in Brazil, and Small producers of Huila, Colombia.
Planalto is grown in the highlands of the Nova Rezende, Mina Gerais, Brazil, a large estate surrounded by forest, while Small producers of Huila is a coffee sourced from the Huila region in Colombia, which is grown in small lots.
The processes used for these beans are pulped and washed natural, and the varietals are Columbia, yellow Catuai and Castillo.
Will the pact coffee expert describes this espresso blend as giving a creamly milk chocolate flavour complemented by almond and juicy raisin flavours with a creamy mouth feel and very light citrusy lemon acidity.
EL CEDRILLO – Colombia
El Cedrillo is a limited edition microlot coffee from pact, grown at an altitude of 1600 metres, by the El Cedrillo coffee farm, run by Alicia Yonda Velasco.
The process used for this coffee is fully washed, and the varietal is Castillo.
Pact coffee expert will describes the taste of this coffee as being similar to a very ripe orange, with a very balanced taste, syrupy mouth feel and a flavour of lemon that mingle perfectly with the orange flavour, followed by a lingering dark chocolate aftertaste.
Sounds good to me, going to have to order a bag of this!
My own reviews of some of the pact coffees:
This new coffee from pact comes from Minas Gerais, Brazil. It’s grown on a small coffee farm by ex professional footballer Marcus Carvalho (he used to play for top Rio de Janeiro football team Vasco da Gama), at an altitude of 1,000 metres.
This is what Will, their coffee expert says about the coffee (on their coffee facts card that they always send in the pack):
“This coffee starts with the elegance of milk chocolate melting slowly in your mouth, revealing a lingering, creamy, toffee sweetness and flavour – just like a chocolate toffee.”
What I think: My coffee pallet of course isn’t on a Parr with that of coffee expert will, but I can definitely detect hints of chocolate and toffee, and this is a very, very enjoyable cup of coffee! In fact, as you can see in the image, I usually use a travel mug, so it’s a big cup (I’m a drummer by the way hence the fact I have a Zildjian cymbals travel mug), and I finished it within a couple of minutes! I think this is probably my favourite coffee from pact so far! Given that coffee makes you immortal, I’m going to go make another one in a minute, and I think I’d better go change my next bag to be dispatched on Mon, as this isn’t going to last long.
Review of La Florida Espresso
This new one from pact is grown by Rufino Dominguez Lopez (cool name!) in La Pez, Honduras, at an altitude of 1150 metres.
What coffee expert will says about it: “This coffee really reminds me of dried fruits, such as dates and figs. It also has the sticky and sweet mouthfeel I would associate with a date on top of those delicious flavours. There’s a mild acidity, which gives it great balance as an espresso. When you add milk the intense flavours really come through.”
My thoughts: I usually drink coffee black when I’m making it myself, except for my morning flat white. When I first tried this black, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have the other coffees from pact. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t find the taste all that interesting. What was interesting though was I then tried it with milk, and it was more enjoyable, it seemed to have more flavour, which I thought was strange as usually I think that adding milk dulls the taste down – so I drank the rest of the pack with milk rather than black. This just goes to show that all coffee is different, some works better with milk, some black.
I didn’t have my espresso machine at the time by the way so I didn’t try this espresso.
Review of Manila San Ignacio from Pact Coffee
As usual, I got an email from them at the weekend informing me that my latest coffee was going to be dispatched on Monday for delivery on Tuesday. I never have to wonder whether I’ll get it as promised by the way, as it has come on time every single time so far, and today was no exception. The coffee that was selected for me this time was Manila San Ignacio, I haven’t had this one before, so I didn’t change the selection.
As I always do, I took out the information card first, but this time I didn’t read the description of the taste from coffee expert Will, until I’d tasted it. I opened the pouch and inhaled the aroma as I always do, ahhhhh, it still gives me a buzz whenever I smell recently roasted coffee as I mentioned in this post.
Whenever I make coffee in the Aeropress, I always have a quick taste when it’s super concentrated / espresso, before I add more water, and as soon as I tasted Manila San Ignacio this way earlier this afternoon, I noted how fruity it tasted even at that strength. I then added more water, and took it to my desk to savour.
Again when I began drinking it at a standard Americano strength, I was hit with how fruity it is, it’s the most fruity tasting coffee I can recall ever tasting actually, and I really like it! I read Coffee expert wills description as I was drinking it, and I could actually detect the notes he refers to, the gentle acidity of red apples, and the flavours of blackcurrant, peach and melon. I found it quite a complex, lingering fruity taste, which I enjoyed a lot! It even inspired me to go & get an apple!
I can see from the info card that it is grown by a cooperative of farmers in San Marcos, Guatemala, at an altitude of 1500m – that’s high!
I don’t think this pouch is going to last long, and I would definitely buy this coffee again! (it didn’t last long, a couple of days!).
I drank it black by the way, which is how I now always drink Aeropress, V60 and cafetiere coffee unless I taste a coffee and think it might taste better with milk as was the case with La Florida. I usually have a flat white in the morning at home, and if I’m lucky enough to be at a great indie coffee shop, but other than this I usually drink V60 or Aeropress coffee, and usually black.
Finca La Joyeria
So once again the coffee came in their envelope with a message telling me that it’s a better smelling package than boring old bills, I like that ;-), and I was eager to get it opened. I made the coffee, drank it (black, I don’t want to spoil it with milk), and wow – as I said with the last coffee I received from Pact “That’s bloody good coffee!!” But, it’s completely different to the last one! The taste of this coffee is unlike any coffee I’ve ever tasted, it does actually taste of poached pears and have a finish of bitter-sweet dark chocolate as Will the Pact Coffee expert describes.
Usually when connoisseurs with amazingly developed pallets describe the taste of something like wine for example, and a mere mortal like me tastes it, it just doesn’t taste the way the expert describes. I’ve tasted red wine in the past that has supposed to have “notes of dark chocolate”, only to protest something along the lines of “Bollox, it just tastes like red wine…”, but this coffee does actually have a fruity sweetness that reminds me of poached pears, and it does give an after taste of bittersweet dark chocolate, which I find very, very enjoyable. I like pears, we have a couple of pear trees; I like dark chocolate, I’ve never tried them together though, but I will do now as I know from this coffee that they taste great together!
Well this is what they Will, their coffee expert, says about the coffee – on the fact card:
“Rich Chocolate and malt flavours instantly flood your mouth on the first sip of thick, super creamy coffee. It has very light milky acidity, which is dominated by milk chocolate sweetness and flavour.”
And this is what I say about it:
“What he said!” ???? Literally, I couldn’t have said it better myself. No really, I couldn’t because I’m not an expert and I wouldn’t have a clue about how to describe how a coffee tastes…
Joking apart though, what I would say about this first coffee I’ve just had today from pact, is: “Bloody hell, that’s a nice coffee!!”
The above review was written several months ago when I first tried planalto, and you can read the original review here, I’ve since had quite a few bags of it, and this is one of my favourite coffees from pact, I really enjoy the taste, with all brew methods.
Life is like a box of chocolates, so follow me on twitter, and that’s all I have to say about that.