Two instant coffees from Nescafé

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Let me get this straight: I’m not a huge fan of the concept of instant coffee.

Sometimes, though, instant coffee can come in handy. For example, on business trips abroad, when I don’t have access to a proper coffee maker (OK, you got me there: I should bring my AeroPress!), I’ve found instant coffee to be a good option. Even at home, on those early mornings when you don’t want to wake up everyone else by grinding your beans, instant coffee can get you going without noise.

I’ll admit it: Some instant coffees are actually pretty good. I’ve especially liked many Japanese ones, such as those by UCC and AGF Blendy. Whenever I take the trip to the beautiful country of the Far East, I make it a point to buy a couple of jars of their instant coffees.

But the instant coffee that ”everyone” knows is made by Nescafé. Obviously, I’ve got to know some of their products, too. This time, I wanted to get two of their basic blends and see how they compare. So here we go!

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Nescafé Original

The bag aroma was interesting, to say the least. The first thing I could think of was smoked meat, or beef jerky, perhaps. Add to that some charred wood, and you get the picture.

When I poured hot water on it, however, the aroma changed. In the cup, the meaty smell was completely absent. It just smelled a little smoky, and kind of dry, if that makes sense.

Flavorwise, too, Original was pretty dry and slightly smoky. It had this bitter taste of dark roasted coffee. That would make sense, since on the scale of 1 to 5, the ”darkness” is said to be 4/5. Overall, Original wasn’t too nuanced. Even after consuming most of the bag, I really couldn’t tell if there were other aspects to the flavor profile.

Nescafé Brasero

The Brasero bag aroma was a lot sweeter than in Original. It reminded me of bread and salted licorice. Sounds funny, perhaps, but it was quite pleasant, actually.

Brasero seemed to try to be a replacement for a regular ”dark roasted” coffee. And yes, it is said to be 3,5/5 on the darkness scale. Flavorwise, it had this toasted and slightly bitter vibe to it. The body was not quite as full as in the Original. That’s all I could say about it, really.

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My final verdict? Oh well, I’m not sure these two offerings from Nescafé convinced me to start having more instant coffee. I really didn’t care for Brasero. At all. And while Original was not particularly delicious, either, I found it to be acceptable as my first cup in the morning.

If I had to live on instant coffee, I would stay away from these, and get some UCC instead.

Coffee in a teabag—Estonian military style!

I recently received a package from one of my friends, who is an active reserve officer in the Finnish Defence Forces. He had taken part in an exercise as a training opponent for the Estonian colleagues. He had also brought home some of the coffee they had served there.

Instant coffee from the Estonian Defence League? Coffee in a teabag?

Wow. That’s a first.

The Best Coffee ”teabags” were packaged individually in compact pouches. The kit also included some sugar and cream powder. According to the instructions on the pouch, the big coffee bag was supposed to be used like any teabag. You know, put the bag in the cup, add boiling water, move the bag a little, and voilà!

I have to say I was a bit hesitant at first. What could this taste like?

It was good! It looked like coffee. It smelled like coffee. It even tasted exactly like coffee. It was even better than some regular instant coffees. The flavor was pretty mild, but surprisingly solid at the same time. I didn’t try the sugar, but the cream powder worked really well. I found myself thinking that in camp conditions, I’d be happy to have this after a good Finnish military meal.

This was a fun experiment. Thank you so much!

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