The Good: Easy to prepare
The Bad: Fairly expensive (especially in prepackaged tubes), Environmental impact of packaging, Exceptionally weak taste.
The Basics: Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee is an underwhelming taste experience not at all worth the buy.
It is a rare thing that I jump ahead in my cache to a new product I have had awaiting review. There are so many products I am backlogged on reviewing that when I leapfrog, it is usually for a damned good reason. In the case of Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee, my reason for reviewing it now is very simple. Last week, my wife and I ran out of coffee and before money came in to buy more, I had a hankering for some and the only think I had around were a bunch of sample pouches of Taster's Choice instant coffees. Figuring that anything is better than going without when it comes to morning coffee, I broke into the samples of Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee and decided to give it a try.
Now, I wish I had not. Before, these (approximately) 1 Tablespoon tubes of instant coffee were a mystery that piqued my interest. Now, having had one that was entirely underwhelming on the flavor front, I feel like the others might be similar disappointments and I am not eager to try them. I started with Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee because it had the most generic title and I figured this might be a decent baseline for the product line. If this is the baseline, one may only hope the rest of the line is truly extraordinary, though I have to doubt it from the outset.
Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee is part of Taster's Choice's new premium instant coffee line and one suspects that the company is trying to compete with the flavors from the International blends instant coffee line. This mix now comes in plastic containers easily found in the grocery store, though for my review, I was provided with premeasured samples which each create a 6 oz. cup of coffee.
Ease Of Preparation
Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee mix is exceptionally simple to make. The single serving is the packet and six oz. of water. There is no measuring of the product involved, though with the canisters one needs to measure out the Tablespoon of instant coffee. This is a very simple beverage to prepare.
The top of the single-serve packet has a perforated edge and one need simply tear open the top, which is quite easy, and pour the contents of the packet into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot water - near boiling, but not actually boiling as boiling water cooks the ingredients as opposed to simply dissolving them - over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of coffee granules visible in the water. The beverage will have a dark brown color to it and it will be fairly translucent.
The Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee smells like a strangely weak version of coffee. The aroma is not terribly robust. This is not an instant coffee that is going to get one out of bed by scent alone!
Unlike the smell, the taste is a little more coffee-like. This has an appropriately bitter flavor, but it lacks endurance. This tastes like coffee, but not nearly as rich as fresh-brewed coffee. Instead the Original Gourmet blend tastes like 3/4 strong standard coffee and the watered-down flavor lasts the whole cup, which was a real disappointment.
With sweeteners or cream added, the Original Gourmet blend gets entirely overrun by the flavor of creamers. I used the International Delight Chai Latte flavor creamer, which is an exceptionally weak flavor, and it completely dominated the flavor of the remainder of my cup of coffee. This is not an ideal coffee drink for those who like strong coffee flavor.
Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee is a coffee mix and therefore is entirely lacking in nutritional value. There are no calories or fat in this drink, though there is caffeine. How much is a bit of a mystery to me. This is not a beverage intended to be a health drink or one one might survive on.
So long as one gets Taster's Choice Original Gourmet instant coffee mix in the packet, it ought to stay usable. Visiting my local supermarket, most of the packages of this instant coffee had an expiration date over three years away. One assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The packets, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are terribly wasteful and expensive. The foil/plastic wrappers are not recyclable anywhere I've been.
Cleanup is very easy as well. If the product spills while dumping it into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into coffee, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics are likely to stain if this gets on them, in which case consult your fabric care guide to clean it up.
Taster's Choice has a complete dud on its hands for anyone who actually loves coffee. But the Original Gourmet Instant Coffee is easy to make and clean up, so one supposes there is some merit in that.
For other coffee and hot chocolate drinks, please visit my reviews of:
Kahlua Mocha Coffee
Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee
Land O'Lakes Chocolate Supreme
For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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