Cycling and coffee go tgether like Australian lager and naff advertising, but Chapeau's Finest House Blend coffee doesn't make the case for throwing another shrimp on the barbie.
Things could have turned out so differently. Imagine if cycling and tequila were inextricably linked together, instead of coffee. Each new posh clothing startup would have to send someone over to Mexico to find a boutique producer using only the finest, er, whatever tequila is made of [blue agave - Alcoholic Ed], stick it in a fancy bottle and sell it for about twice the going rate.
Setting such notions aside for the moment, we have here the Chapeau "finest house blend", available as ground coffee ready to pep you up for your rides. Chapeau remind us, rather cutely, that it's "the original energy drink", although the calorific value of coffee being what it is, you might need to pair it with a nice big piece of cake if you're riding far.
The first brew I made was with a french press (or cafetière), and was smooth but pretty weak, leaving me wondering if I'd put too much water in. A resolute espresso-drinker, I have little time for weaker coffee, and the "light/medium" roast used here made it a bit of a challenge to brew a cup strong enough for my tastes.
Successive brews saw me piling ever more coffee in to get the flavour out, and before I knew it, the bag was over. It's rather a small bag, actually - only 125g (the usual size being nearly double that), making the price seem on the high side. So I never got a chance to enlist the help of someone with a proper coffee machine. On the plus side, the softer flavours mean that it never dries your mouth out before the ride, but personally I'd rather a much stronger coffee and a good swig of water.
If you like a smooth, expensive and not particularly strong coffee, there's a good chance you might like this. If you prefer your coffee small, strong and dark, then you'd best look elsewhere - I'd suggest checking out your local roasters.
Smooth and not particularly strong coffee. Pleasant enough, but serious coffee-heads will want something with more flavour and a sensible price tag.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Finest House Blend coffee
Size tested: 125g
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Everyone knows that most cyclists love coffee. It gives you that much needed energy boost and helps to warm you up on those cold morning rides. This is why Chapeau! has sourced our own finest house blend of coffee. This is a product that we have thoroughly tested. We love it and we think that you will too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The pouch contains 125 grams of 100% Arabica coffee with a light/medium roast ground ready for you to put in your cafetiere or filter and enjoy.
Not a bad flavour, but rather on the mild side for my liking.
The bag was over before I'd even warmed up.
Significantly lighter than most bags of coffee available in the shops.
£40/kg is frankly silly money for coffee, nice bag or not.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very smooth flavour and absence of bitter aftertaste.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Simply not strong enough for my tastes.
Did you enjoy using the product? Meh.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not at that price, not.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 6 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.