Just rejoined the club. No. Not the Sports Club!

My first renewal for 2012 is the Robert Roberts Connoisseur Club. Cost has gone up a bit to €59.00 but it is still very competitive. I’ve seen another one being pushed on the net for close to double the price.

Delighted with the way Robert Roberts, a long established Irish company, ran the club last year and delighted with the selection of excellent coffees. Master Blender Gareth Scully took us on a world trip: from Brazil to Malawi to India to Columbia.

Not a bad choice among the 12. The really strong ones wouldn’t have been among the favourites but they weren’t too many. Indeed, one of the strongest ones I came across was outside the club: a summer sample from Roberts called New York Roast #6.

This was strong, like a yellow cab engine powering away from the kerb. Come tumbling down in the morning, mumbling and grumbling and this one would growl back at you: get up, get out and get on with it, wimp!

My favourites? Well, the current one, a Honduran Pacamara from the family owned Finca Santa Maria, is going down very well indeed. I also liked the co-op coffee called Malawi Mzuzu AAA, the organic Ethiopian Yiracheffe was another favourite, as was the Organic Peruvian Cecovesa (another co-op, Fair-trade, organic and Rainforest approved!),

The Bastilla Farm in Nicaragua has been certified by the Rainforest Alliance and supplied the August offering, the well liked Finca la Bastilla. Guatemala’s Los Volcanes was a bit stronger but excellent and I also liked the full bodied Kenyan AA Mwiega Estate offering.

All in all, it was a very good performance by the Coffee Club and I’m sure Gareth and company will be doing the same for us in 2012. Looking forward to it already.