Value for Money: Instant coffee

Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 06:00

Nespresso €4.50 for 10 pods
Okay so, there are elephants in the room. This is, comparatively, a wildly expensive instant and you need to buy yourself a special machine. Depending on where you buy, a single pod can cost between 35 and 45 cent and for a decent mug you’ll need two, which takes the cost of a coffee to 90 cent. And you need to add at least €100 to this to cover the cost of the machine. The company also limits the sale of the pods to a handful of retailers. It is, however, the best and most hassle-free coffee on the market and once you buy into it, it will change the way you consume coffee forever.
Verdict: Affected, dear but great
Star rating: *****

Kenco Millicano €5.89
This is the oldest of the newest types of instant coffee on the market and is made with “a unique blend of instant coffee and finely milled coffee beans”. It also comes in a fancy looking metal tin and has a suitably high price.

All this build up only serves to make the actual coffee doubly disappointing. We kept going back to it to see if we could discern any tangible difference between it and a regular instant and we couldn’t, which made us feel like a mug for spending so much on something so ordinary.

Verdict: Ah here
Star rating: *

Nescafé Azera instant coffee €4.19
What is Nescafé at? This is “Barista style” in much the same way that Crystal Swing (remember them) are the Beatles. This tastes nothing like the coffee we have tried in coffee shops – even bad coffee shops – but is very similar to the Nescafé coffee that normal lives in glass jars and sells for half the price of this. It is by no means the worst coffee we have ever had but it is too expensive (even if it is cheaper than its Kenco rival) and in no way worth the money.
Verdict: Why?
Star rating: **

Tesco Every Day Coffee Granules €1.15
After buying all the high-end options we ran out of cash so went to the other end of the spectrum. To paraphrase the late Douglas Adams, this is a hot brown liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee. There is caffeine here, certainly, and it will keep you awake if you find yourself working as a drone in sector 7G (to confuse our pop references entirely), but it has a sharpness that it is hard to warm to. It is cheap though, and if you find yourself strapped for cash and in need of a pick-me-up, you could do worse. Not much worse, mind you.

Verdict: Coffee-like but unlikable
Star rating: **