Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Coffee taste test

It's a super busy time of year for me. So while I've been drinking coffee by the gallon, I haven't had much time for blogging. I managed to do the taste test last Saturday but no photos- what a bloser.
Up for the test was my usual , a premium instant I guess you'd call it, Carte Noir. I generally think this is one of the better instants so I was interested in how it stood up to the others. There's been a fair bit of interest in Nescafe instant espresso so I had some of that, a cafetiere of Douwe Egberts Italian blend and of course the Via. I made all the coffees up according to their instructions, stuck a label on the bottom of the cup and got my mother in law to mix them up for me so I didn't know which was which. Then I tasted them all a few times, cleansing my mouth with water in between. Not the most scientific test ever but it gave me the results I needed.
What was interesting was how well the instants did compared to the ground. None of them was horrific when compared to the cafetiere cup. The significant difference was in the amount of flavour and aroma. Whether this would have become more obvious with the addition of milk I don't know. I didn't do it so I'll never know.
I did pair together the Via and the ground coffee. The two traditional instants had similar characteristics. The worst was the instant espresso. A nasty bitter aftertaste was the main problem. When you add the water, it fizzes slightly to create a crema-I don't know what they've added to make that happen but I don't trust it! The Carte Noir was suprisingly good. A definite coffee flavour but very little aroma. In my notes, I wrote 'a very light flavour when compared to the others'. Perfectly drinkable though. Next in the order was the Via. It had a taste which bore the greatest similarity to the ground. Again, however, it had a nasty aftertaste. In the end, I preferred the Carte Noir, despite the fact that it had less of a punch. Good news for my wallet! The ground coffee was identifiable and best, but not by as great a margin as I thought it would be. Don't take my word for it though, i'm not a massive coffee buff! In future, I'll continue to take the Carte Noir.

6 comments:

The Weekend Dude said...

Thanks for the post, reckon you've saved a lot of people a task there. And the expense of buying 4 different coffees during the course of their next weekly big shop.

traversejapan said...

Thanks for the trail coffee review, great idea.

I do like the Via, but I just can't justify the cost. A dollar a cup! The cuben of instant coffee?

I've also tried some instant cappacinos by Nestle that has foaming milk like the crema you described, it is a bit creapy.

I just go bottom of the barrel with trail coffee, it's become a habit and crappy coffee makes me feel like I'm really outdoors.

minimalgear said...

cheers. don't forget that i'm not a coffee puritan though, i regularly drink the crappy stuff just for the jolt...

Mac E said...

I've tried a few instants including the Tesco Cappucinos and Mocha as well as the Lyons coffee bags but to be honest I normally drink Tesco instant at home so while it might not taste like proper coffee it's what I think coffee tastes like if you get my drift.

Kind of related but I find most hot drinks, soup included taste vile from a titanium mug. Strange but there you go.

minimalgear said...

I don't have the problem with titanium, but I've heard of other people who have. I do find it tastes different, but then, I do like Coke from a can because of the slightly metally taste. Does titanium affect food as well?

John Davis said...

Hi. Following on from the last two comments, my first cuppa from a Vargo titanium kettle was vile. I felt the titanium had catalysed reactions which instantly stewed the tea. As the cup became stained from tea brewing, the problem went away, but vigorous cleaning can bring it back.

I needed a bigger pot for protecting my Bush Cooker so bought an 1100 ml Tibetan pot. To my surprise, it did not stew the tea much at all on first use. My latest titanium purchase, a 900 ml Evernew pan with lid that doubles as a frying pan doesn't stew tea at all. It has a higher polish than the other pans and that may be something to do with the lack of catalysis.

Perhaps a chemist will add a comment stating just how wrong I've got this.