It’s a black magic blend that cast a spell over judges at the Great Taste Awards.
Marsden-based Dark Woods Coffee wowed the judges to win a clutch of two-star and three-star awards at the 2017 competition, which celebrates the very best in food and drink.
Its three-star awards include one for a beverage developed with Huddersfield’s internationally-renowned Magic Rock Brewery – a “barrel aged” coffee cured in Bourbon whiskey casks for a few weeks prior to roasting. The beverage was described by the judges as: “Funky, sweet, rich, and smooth. Delicious.”
Out of more than 12,300 products to be judged, Dark Woods Coffee was awarded 10 Great Taste Awards, including a trio of two-star awards which means judges dubbed it “outstanding” and a trio of three-star awards, which means the product was described as “exquisite” and “wow!”
Dark Woods Coffee and Magic Rock Brewery previously collaborated on a triple coffee porter produced and sold by Magic Rock, which has proved a hit with bars, retailers and beer drinkers.
Last year, Dark Woods received the Golden Fork for the North of England in the Great Taste Awards for its three-star gold award winning Under Milk Wood espresso blend “which melts to smooth caramel in milk.”
The firm’s other three-star products in 2017 are two unique coffees from a very small producer group in Panama called “La Huella” – with the judges enjoying the “complexity of aromatics and fruit flavours” within the coffees.
Dark Woods, run by Damian Blackburn, Paul Meikle-Janney and Ian Agnew, supplies customers including farm shops, caterers, restaurants, cafes and cake shops.
Damian, roaster and coffee buyer at Dark Woods, said: “We never expected to achieve this level of success in Great Taste, but to feel that real teamwork has been involved this year makes it even more satisfying.
“Our awards in 2016 undoubtedly helped to raise our profile and boost sales, so there’s a tangible impact.
“And these awards are perfectly timed as we’ll be serving coffees all weekend (Aug 5 and 6) at Magic Rock’s annual summer Food & Drink Festival.” The festival takes place at Magic Rock’s Willow Lane premises.
Judged by more than 500 food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. The 2017 contest reaches its finale on Monday, September 4, at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London, when the regional Golden Fork winners and Great Taste Supreme Champion will be revealed.