#oneaday Day 974: The Caffeine Review

I review games and mobile apps every day. So really, how difficult can it possibly be to review something that isn’t a game or a mobile app?

I thought I’d try today with coffee. I am going to work my way through all the different types of coffee in the house today in an attempt to determine whether or not said different types of coffee do, in fact, taste any different or whether we’re just being taken for a ride.

Let’s begin! (Note: I drink my coffee with a splash of milk and no sugar. I know, I know, if I’m truly hardcore I should drink it black, but… no.)

Kenco Millicano

Kenco Millicano purports to be a “wholebean instant” coffee that, in theory, should taste a whole lot better than regular instants such as Nescafe et al. And indeed it does — there’s none of that “dirty water” taste (though granted, given the state of our kettle, it’s entirely possible that it is just dirty water when that taste comes up) and a pleasing aroma. It has a smooth flavour that is just the thing for a morning coffee — enough of a taste to wake you up a bit, but not so intense that you’re wincing at the bitterness.

Rocket Fuel

This coffee supposedly contains guarana, that mysterious ingredient that powered those weird Boost bars with crunchy green bits in them a while back. I remember a friend and I eating too many of those in one day once — some promotional ladies were handing them out in the student union — and literally being unable to stay still for afternoon classes. I’m not entirely sure if this coffee will have that effect as yet. Actually, I do feel slightly more alert after getting through that whole cup. Interesting. Caffeine normally doesn’t feel like it affects me that much, but I can certainly feel this one kicking in.

As for the coffee itself, it’s not especially great. It tastes like cheap instant (and isn’t that cheap) and has a weird aftertaste. Specifically, it has that distinct “dirty water” taste about it, though not to the same degree as cheap own-brand supermarket coffee. It’s certainly drinkable. We’ll see how I feel a bit later to determine whether the “kick” is worth the peculiar taste.

Nescafe Latte Macchiato

Rocket Fuel’s surprising intensity also came with a big caffeine crash a couple of hours later, so I decided to dial back the intensity somewhat. Nescafe’s Latte Macchiato sachets make a cup of weak, milky, bubbly coffee and are all too easy to make lumpy if you don’t stir them hard enough. They’re not particularly strong or “coffee-y”, but they’re nice and smooth if you’re just looking for a warm drink.

Real lattes take the piss out of them, though.

Starbucks VIA Italian Roast

This stuff makes a strong cup of coffee with a smoky flavour, and was just the thing to top up my flagging caffeine levels, as I’m not entirely convinced there’s any caffeine in those poncey bubbly Nescafe things. Starbucks coffee has a kick, though, and the Italian Roast blend is definitely on the “strong” side of the spectrum, both in flavour and in caffeine content. At least it felt like it was on the strong side, anyway. It’s good, but expensive. Now I feel a bit more awake.

Nescafe Azera

This is Nescafe’s equivalent of Starbucks’ pretentious VIA coffee. Like Starbucks’ pretentious VIA coffee, it’s a very finely-ground instant coffee that makes a convincing-looking cup that has the appearance of having come out of a machine, complete with crema on top. It’s about half the intensity of the Starbucks’ blend, however, meaning you need to use twice as much of it to get a satisfying cup of coffee. Fortunately, the little pots they sell it in are about twice as big as the pots of Starbucks’ pretentious VIA coffee for half the price, which is nice, and I like the way the little bubbles make the nice crema on top when the water goes in and I already said that and wheeeeee this is nice and I’ll never get to sleep tonight after all this.

Percol Decaf Colombian

BuzzbuzzbuzzbuzzI’mabeeI’mabeeI’mabee like the Black Eyed Peas wheeeeeeeee coffee coffee coffee too much coffee argh I can’t take any more coffee please make it stop I can’t sleep I want to sleep WANT TO SLEEP SO BAD but can’t too much coffee why am I still drinking this I don’t know it’s not as good as the Starbucks and Azera ones but its still quite nice and I’m just glad it doesn’t have any caffeine in it supposedly I hope so any more caffeine and my head will explode EXPLODE DO YOU HEAR ME ARGH NYARLATHOTEP that’s what I’ll do now I’ll watch Haiyore! Nyaruko-san until this buzzing sensation in my head wears off and I facvvvvvvvvvvbyhgbngybnm;lcv

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Pete Davison

Southampton-based music teacher, writer and enthusiast of Japanese popular culture.

3 thoughts on “#oneaday Day 974: The Caffeine Review”

  1. I laughed and laughed. How about a bit of ‘Dualling Coffees’? You realise that this blog of yours will trigger off a flurry of comments about coffee faves so be ready for the explosion to occur.
    My most fave of all is KONA coffee from Hawaii – but as I haven’t tasted it since 1992, my memory could always be tainted by time.
    Nescafe put out one called CAP COLOMBI which was smooth and gorgeous, but then they discontinued it – I think they didn’t promote it so people didn’t realise what it was.
    I now have found Moccona RICH another Colombian coffee.
    The trick with making any of these Instant coffees taste great, as a frothy milk coffee of course – black coffee is pointless, gross, and lacking in the degree of luxury that all coffee should provide – is to
    1. half fill clean mug/cup/bowl/bucket with your choice of milk – ALL types will froth this way so it’s up to you – if you like all milk then obviously fill to the top
    2. top up with cold water
    3. put said container into the microwave on High for ~ 1.30 to 2.10 mins depending on wattage of machine – you want the milk to heat to point of frothing but not boil
    4. NOW PUT COFFEE ON TOP and stir in – pulling milk up from below coffee will suck it down into the milk, prevent spillage of the precious libation, and will mix it in quickly and efficiently.
    you are then free to scoop off the froth and eat it or dive face first into the drink for moustache affect!
    This never fails. People look at me as if I’ve lost the plot when I do this – then they drink the coffee – then they ask “How did you do that again?” I used to heat the milk in a saucepan years ago till I got my first microwave. Then I thought there has to be a good way to get the same affect. And there was. Voila!
    Personally I like my cup to have the ‘Tide In’, right to the top. I am not keen on ‘Tide Out’ cups of any beverage – if I want less I’ll use a smaller size cup. When my hands shake so much I can’t hold it without spilling a ‘Tide In’ coffe, then I guess I’ll have to yield to ‘Tide Out’ – let’s hope that day is a looooooong way off.
    Enjoy – bugga my coffee went cold while I was typing this! Poodoo!

    1. Ooh. I like your frothy coffee technique. I used to do that sometimes as a treat, but haven’t done it for a while. Maybe I’ll try it with some/all of these later today now I’ve come down off the ceiling.

      1. lmfao – you make me laugh so much😀 Let me know how it goes. I suggest you pace yourself though, unless you can affix brackets randomly across your ceiling to hold onto as the caffeine dictates! It would make a good talking point, and might even start a trend amongst your friends. Sorry. It’s late. My sense of the ridiculous kicks in when my guard is down and/or I’m tired.😀

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