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Taste Testings: Consumer Product Reviews


Specialty coffee roster Reunion Island Coffee introduces a collection of coffees for the retail market. The new line includes seven Fair Trade Organic selections, such as Ethiopia Oromia, as well as Direct Trade coffees such as Colombia Las Hermosas. The latter variety is described as having a “sweet, delicate, floral-toned aroma with hints of lemon and a buttery chocolate.” Available in 12-oz packages of whole beans, the line also reflects Reunion Island’s commitment to offering customers exotic, sustainable choices at an aggressive price. In addition, the company supports the Rainforest Alliance.

Female, 30-something
Colombia Las Hermosas. “I liked this coffee. I liked it more without milk than with it. In fact, I would make it stronger next time to get a richer taste. The packaging was subtle, which would probably make me overlook this brand in the grocery store, but I am all for Free Trade coffee, especially a good-tasting Free Trade coffee.”

Male, 30-something
Ethiopia Oromia “For me, the test of a good coffee is how it tastes without milk. This stuff held up well. After trying it for a few days I think it compares ‘flavourably’ to my local favourites at Cafe Brasiliano and I Deal Coffee. I didn’t think much of the packaging. I guess it’s trying to compete with the look of supermarket brands, but I like the brown bag style. To me coffee feels more ‘authentic’ in that kind of packaging…As if it’s straight from the growers.”

Female, 40-something

Ethiopia Oromia “As soon as I opened the package I knew I was going to love it! The beans had a wonderful aroma. I’m not a big coffee drinker, so when I do have a cup I want it to be great, and this was. It’s very smooth, not overly bitter, delicious flavour. I like that the packaging is simple and plain, and that the coffee is Fair Trade certified, something I don’t mind paying extra for.”
Privateer Dark. “Although I liked the packaging and the fact that this coffee is fair trade and organic, it’s just too strong for me. I found I had to load it with extra sugar and cream. I’ll stick to the Ethiopia blend.”

Male, 47
Ethiopia Oromia. “This coffee smells delicious and is very flavourful. Very enjoyable. I wouldn’t buy it based on the fact it’s organic or Fair Trade certified, so the packaging and labelling doesn’t mean anything to me. Not sure I’d buy this at a store, since I don’t think of good coffee as coming from Ethiopia.”

Female 30-something

Colombia Las Hermosas. “I wasn’t crazy about the packaging – a bit too plain for me, and probably wouldn’t stand out on the shelf. I did like the story on the back of the package though, and the fact that it’s made in Canada. I found the coffee to have a smooth, full-bodied flavour, not too strong or too mild, with a great aroma. It made a very nice cup of coffee.”

Female, 30-something
Colombia Las Hermosas. “I’ve never liked coffee and I’m not a coffee drinker. I do, however, appreciate the scent and aroma of coffee beans and coffee being made, but I’m never tempted to drink it. This coffee smelled delicious. The scent was rich and homey. But it tastes like coffee. It’s not bitter or off tasting, but it’s not for me. I might buy it for my husband – who loved it – but I wouldn’t drink it myself.”

Male, 20-something

Ehtiopia Oromia. “I was all over this. I need something to get me going in the morning, so this was great. I wasn’t crazy about having to grind the beans, I’m usually in a rush. And I don’t often have coffee or breakfast at home. But I tried this on the weekend and it was great. Good flavour. It woke me up and gave me some energy.”


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