Cannonball time: It’s easy to write coffee’s-off as a gimmick when they focus on the “strongest ever” or “ultra-high caffeine” etc. I get it, I’ve tried a few, and it’s usually a bitter-tasting, darkly roasted cup of crap.
So when Cannonball Coffee started popping-up in my timelines (mostly Instagram), I kind of just shrugged it off. But it kept coming up. And some of their posts about coffee in general, and the clear passion that they have for their product, stood out in a big way.
Fine, then. I’m in.
These guys seem legitimately excited by their venture and their product, and I just had to know what it was like.
This one has taken a long time, and for good reason. Firstly it was a bloody big bag of beans, and I only drink coffee at home on a weekend, so it’s taken a while.
Secondly, about half-way through the bag, I actually bought myself a new grinder. A burr grinder no-less, and decided that I need to start again.
Now I’m getting consistent grinds, with better options depending on what I’m using to brew the coffee. Total game changer, and it’s completely skewed my reality when it comes to making a good cup of coffee.
I’d been doing it with a blade grinder, and doing it by eye, for years. I thought I had a good eye, and I suppose it was ok. But my coffee consumption days have changed immesurably.
So……I had excellent, consistent grinding facilities now. Meaning that it’s only fair that I start the process again and keep everything even.
The whole reviewing process see’s a minimum of five brews. Espresso machine, Aeropress, Moka Pot, Cafetiere and Hario V60.
In the case of the Cannonball coffee, I’ve brewed each method a minimum of two times. With the grind being adjusted accordingly, depending on the brew method.
Consistency is crucial here, and I owe it to the guys at Cannonball Coffee to make sure everything is a methodical as possible.
This is where Cannonball Coffee initially shocked me. My expectations weren’t too high, because the selling feature being high caffeine, I unfairly surmised that it maybe won’t taste or smell as good as other coffees.
Damn, was I wrong. As soon as I opened the bag, I was hit with this wonderful chocolatey, caramel fragrance.
Clearly, very recently roasted (3 days before I received the beans!), it may well have been the best bag of coffee I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling (that sounds really weird, but you know what I mean).
So, straight out of the bag, there’s this luxurious, dark, sweet fragrance. Absolutely lovely. Very clearly a proper medium-roast, not one of those over-roasted, shiny-bean bags. Properly roasted coffee.
How does that translate to the cup after being brewed, though?
Well, it’s certainly not quite so dramatic, but let me tell you, this is some good smelling coffee. Not so pronounced our potent, but a little sharp and a touch of dark chocolate.
I always feel weird trying to talk about the body of a coffee, but it’s a valid part of the process, and I’d be doing cannonball a disservice if I didn’t get into it here.
The mouthfeel of each cup was consistent across the board. Silky and medium in viscosity.
It wasn’t ever too watery or thin, nor did any cups feel too thick or too much for a drink. Sure, a lot of this comes down to brewing methods, but without the quality of the coffee, the brew doesn’t mean bugger all.
Smooth, silky and well-rounded in the mouth. Great work here.
The acidity of the Cannonball Coffee was something that took me by surprise. This is a much sharper cup than I’m used to. A little on the bitter-side, but in a good way, like dark chocolate.
Based on the initial fragrance, I’d expected a bit more sweetness. That never really seemed to come, but the under-lying chocolatey tartness persisted.
I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favourite cup to start. But after refining the brews, I found myself really enjoying it. I have a personal preference for a sharper, more bitter coffee, and whilst it’s not so bitter as a dark-roast (see things like Starbucks espresso), it tows a line that shows a quality bean and excellent roast.
Where we’ve had a sharpness, and I’ve talked about those dark undertones. I never really found a sweetness to brighten the cup.
This is no bad thing, to be clear.
What Cannonball Coffee have done, is find a naturally high-caffeine bean and roasted it to perfection. I’d suggest that in the wrong hands, this coffee could have been a disaster, but it isn’t.
A sharp, slightly bitter, but well-fragranced cup mean that you get a genuinely nice tasting and properly balanced coffee. I do wonder if some of the sharpness comes from the high-caffeine content of the bean? It’s likely a natural taste that’s been properly handled by Cannonball.
Let’s not forget that the fragrance is a massive contributor to the overall taste, and it really shines here.
I’d suggest that this coffee maybe isn’t for everyone looking for a richer, more luxurious cup. But it beats-out a lot of your off-the shelf supermarket blends, and at the same time gives you that extra kick that really does hit you in the face initially.
Talking of the extra caffeine….. The selling point of the coffee is the naturally high, caffeine content. Damn, they weren’t kidding.
The boost I was initially getting from the Cannonball Coffee was unreal. I have a pretty high tolerance after years of energy drinks (in the past) and massive quantities of coffee. Yet it still hit me like a truck.
Better still, I ground some up and put it in the coffee machine at work (with their consent!) and I watched people suddenly start to babble when talking, and some people become hyper-focused for a while.
This ain’t no bullshit! Drink and enjoy, but if you’re sensitive to caffeine, be careful. Cannonball Coffee is the real deal.
Delicious, but just not quite so luxurious as you’d maybe want on a sunday morning. I’d highly recommend this coffee to anyone thinking about trying it, or anyone that needs that extra kick in the face of a morning.
A fantastic daily-driver that you’d want in your cup on the drive to work, or post-workout after your shower.
What a treat it’s been to spend time with these beans!
Great work Cannonball Coffee.
Note: Cannonball Coffee kindly sent me a discount code to buy the coffee at a lower price than usual. I did still pay for it, and have remained impartial, regardless of the kindness that they showed me.
Reviewing coffee is totally subjective, and personal preference is always going to sway a review. I try my hardest to be objective with all of my coffee reviews, and I’m hoping that as time goes by this becomes evident.