Posts Tagged With: Coffee

Three levels of torment in one cup

Sometimes we are inspired to try new things, sometimes we ignore that little voice in the back of your mind telling you to stop. Last Night I ignored this voice.

I have some awesome memories from camping as a child. As a cub-scout, with mum and her rather large troupe of girl guides… with the family on the many road trips around the south island to meet distant kissing cousins. Often rained out there was always one saving grace to warm your bones.

This bad boy was there to warm you up, give you that shot of coffee with a good hit of sugar, and get you motivated to lift all of your gear off the ground and take the sleeping bags into the nearest Laundromat. Nowadays the toothpaste tube of coffee has been replaced by the single serve, just add hot water sachet.

All this semester I have seen these little sticks of doom. First in the O’week goodie bags, then outside the psychology office in a massive box labelled ‘free to a good home’, in the Waikato students’ union reception. These little monstrosities have been unavoidable. Today, I was given another handful by the WSU president in the Level 0 basement. I caved.

Nescafe 3 in 1 appears innocent enough… It is marketed as the penultimate coffee of those with very little time, or very little packing space, the coffee for the travelling salesman. The coffee for the camping man. As it is by far the cheapest (being freely available on campus) and by and large the most accessible hot beverage on campus, I gave the stuff a run.

The Stuff looked sick when made up. No really, a greeny brown colour… smelled kinda earthy too. I added a bit of cold water to make it drinkable and gave it a sip. Sugary would be my first call. Much Like other instant coffee it left my teeth squeaky. I was expecting this, but I was not expecting my teeth to start itching too (WHAT IS IN THIS STUFF?!). Checking the little bag it came in I could see no ingredient list. The Nescafe website lists “Soluble coffee with whitener and sugar”. Yet the image of the bag has what looks like a far larger list of things. However, after a bit more digging…

Sugar (52%), Whitener (38%), (Glucose Syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Skimmed Milk Powder, Acidity Regulators (E340ii, E451i, E452i, E331iii), Milk Proteins, Vegetable Fat, Emulsifiers (E471, E472e), Flavourings, Anti-Caking Agent (E551), Stabiliser (E339), Salt), Instant Coffee (10%).

…What is all this stuff?!

I took another sip habitually while writing the above list out. This stuff was tolerable hot, but the good ol’ swig of the now warm toxic sludge… It reminded me of one of those little Asian power drinks with a ginseng root floating in it, but with a milky white scum layer. Sugary mud comes to mind. I tipped the rest in the sink and sought redemption.

Now I know that some of you out there are not big on the teas but I have become tolerant of your bean grinding ways, let it be said: no man, woman, or child should have to suffer the pain of drinking this 3 in 1 nasty beverage, save those whom have earned a place within the inner circles of Dante’s Inferno.

Sadly, I could not find it in the tube, but they do make it by the can!

This stuff is simple. Three ingredients on the list all up, Condensed milk, Instant Coffee, and Salt. Compared to the above its simplicity is profound, and the taste… amazing, Better than many coffees I’ve received from cafes. You can eat it straight out of the tin; it tastes like coffee hard boiled candy (the good Asian kind).

My recommendation, not that it needs to be said: stick to the simple, tried and true. Avoid the nasty 3 in 1 under all circumstances (Now to go eat the rest of the can with a spoon).

Categories: Coffee, Instant tastings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hazelnut latte

A major shift in the hot beverage preparation sector has occurred in the past few years towards quick convenient single serve sachets. It is as though the major brands have finally found a way to compete with the tea bag… to add value to this a variety of ‘luxury’ single serve coffees have hit the market, having now suffered through some good, and others woefully bad, I decided to include coffees onto the blog. Now I admit, I personally know little more than the average coffee sinner, and I doubt I will be unable to advance any farther than instant brands until the bean juice drinkers here in the flat get a machine installed, but i can at best attempted to steer you clear of the worst of the bunch. This one is the first to avoid.

Over the many years of study at Waikato University I came to appreciate a god cup of coffee. The available tea was in general overpriced and badly made, so I branched into the coffee scene. Not being particularly fond of the coffee flavour I chose to have a Hazelnut shot in mine and that became my beverage of choice for the longest of times. It therefore comes at no small surprise I decided to try Nescafe’s Hazelnut latte (the box is extra shiny).

I looked really good in the cup, lots of fine velvet looking froth and dissolved fairly well when mixed with hot water, smelt like a coffee should too but no hint of the hazelnut flavour. The taste was much the same to my disappointment, no hazelnut flavour at all, but it did taste kinda soapy, which a good friend and guinea pig kindly informed me is normal for instants (Added soap to help dissolve the coffee properly (this also explains the soap suds foam on top, and the squeaky clean sound my teeth now make).

The coffee was not that strong either… but at least it didn’t taste burned. In future I’d rather buy a bottle of hazelnut syrup and add to taste than deal with the little packets of doom dust.

Categories: Coffee, Instant tastings | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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