Barbells & Beans was next on the agenda to undergo the taste test here at MSG. Roasted in Newcastle, Barbells & Beans mission is to introduce the world of high quality, speciality coffee to all sectors of the population including sports men and women. The fact that all of the MSG team fall into both of the above categories and work within a business where sports teams are our target customers means we can strongly identify with this brand’s values.
The name of the coffee brand itself proves its passion for sport, combining the long metal bar used for weightlifting with the crucial starting ingredient of coffee- the beans. Considering that all 4 members of the MSG Tours team have played or still play rugby and Dan Frazier, the owner of Barbell & Beans is himself an ex-rugby player, it seems as if this is the perfect coffee brand for us.
Barbells & Beans keep things simple and make just one blend of coffee- ‘Power Blend’ which retails at £7 for a 250g bag. We bought whole beans and used our own grinder to make the fine granules required for the French press which gave off a delicious chocolatey aroma on grinding. With Tom away on holiday this week, “Power Blend” faced the tough critics Glenn, Katie and Mark.
Glenn thought that the power blend gave off a strong but lovely aroma. On drinking, he was pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the flavours concluding that it is good all day blend as the flavours weren’t too overpowering making it very drinkable whatever the time.
Katie, who prefers weaker coffees, had different opinions. Unlike Glenn the caffeine addict, Katie thought this blend was best in the style of a cappuccino (milky and frothy) as that brought out the chocolatey notes that, given her sweet tooth, she really enjoyed.
Mark, who takes his coffee black, believed his way was the best way to taste the fruity flavour of the beans especially the raisins. He used the espresso machine instead of the cafetiere to create an espresso. In this style he was, like Glenn, impressed by the light flavours and said it was refreshing to taste an espresso that provided flavours to be enjoyed, not just a strong kick of caffeine.
MSG Verdict: A great all-day blend. Refreshing flavours especially the unusual raisin notes that came through. For fullest flavour try this coffee black or as an espresso, it had a delightful aroma and made the office smell great whenever the coffee was brewing.