The Good: Easy to prepare, Good initial taste
The Bad: Very watery aftertaste, Fairly expensive (especially in prepackaged tubes), Environmental impact of packaging
The Basics: Taster's Choice French Roast instant coffee has a good initial flavor, but fades very fast to deliver an erratic taste experience.
My wife recently got me a whole bunch of Taster’s Choice instant coffees, so in addition to having a lot more to review, I am also feeling very wired and energized. I suppose that means that the Taster’s Choice instant coffees like their French Roast blend actually have sufficient caffeine to get one going in the morning. Given that I only had about three hours of unbroken sleep last night, I think the French Roast is the only thing that actually got me up and working today!
Taster's Choice French Roast 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. While this one might please regular coffee drinkers, flavored coffee consumers are likely to be a little disappointed by it. 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 French Roast 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.
Taster’s Choice French Roast Gourmet instant coffee has a very faint scent to it. The aroma that rises from the mug smells like a very average, mid-roast coffee. As one who prefers darker coffee, this left me feeling like I had very little to anticipate.
Fortunately, the smell is not as strong as the taste when it comes to this French Roast instant coffee. The French Roast coffee washes over the tongue with a strength uncharacteristic of an instant coffee. It is bitter and powerful for about three seconds. Then, a watery aftertaste takes over, even if you make this coffee strong. The aftertaste moistens the mouth, so one does not feel thirsty after drinking this coffee, but it leaves the consumer feeling like they have had a weaker cup of coffee than the initial flavor would connote.
The use of sugar or cream with the French Roast instant coffee overwhelms this coffee. The flavor becomes entirely sublimated to the creamer or sugar, so this is a good mid-roast instant coffee for those who like their coffee black.
Taster's Choice French Roast 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 a beverage one might survive on.
So long as one gets Taster's Choice French Roast 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 more mediocre coffee on its hands with the French Roast instant coffee blend. It is not bad, but the way the flavor fades fast is somewhat disappointing, making it a much weaker “recommend” than it otherwise could have been.
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© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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