Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Not Vanilla Enough Disappointment, Taster's Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee Underwhelms!

The Good: Easy to prepare, Decent initial taste
The Bad: Fairly expensive (especially in prepackaged tubes), Environmental impact of packaging
The Basics: Those used to regular brewed coffee might be initially surprised by the strength of Taster's Choice Vanilla instant coffee . . . until that taste fades.

My wife is much more into vanilla than I am. I find it ironic, therefore, that she is married to me, as I am seldom described as “vanilla,” at least as far as my personality is concerned. So, it was definitely her idea to pick up the Taster’s Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee. I had some hope for the product when I opened the package. In its dry form, this Vanilla Instant Coffee smelled gloriously like vanilla in a way that was actually inviting and wonderful.

But, like so many things vanilla, I was ultimately underwhelmed.


Taster's Choice Vanilla 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 Vanilla 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 translucent light brown color to it.


Just as it did in the package, Taster’s Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee smells richly like vanilla. There is a French Vanilla aroma that wafts right out of the mug and invites the consumer to enjoy a profoundly vanilla taste experience. But, while the vanilla scent is one of the strongest I have smelled since Swiss Miss’s Indulgent Collection French Vanilla cocoa (reviewed here!) initially, it quickly fades. The scent is rapidly overwhelmed by a burnt nut scent, so after about thirty seconds of vanilla aroma, the scent begins to actually smell more like roasting almonds.

That bitter, nutty taste is the dominant flavor of the Vanilla Instant Coffee. This tastes like a weak cup of coffee with a slightly sweet aftertaste that Taster’s Choice is trying to convince us is vanilla. While the beverage does not taste even remotely like vanilla, it is not at all inedible. This mostly tastes like a weak, dry cup of coffee.

The use of sugar or cream with the Vanilla instant coffee instantly overwhelms what flavor the coffee initially had, making it taste either like sugar or milk. This is a poor instant coffee to attempt to garnish.


Taster's Choice Vanilla 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 drink one might survive on.


So long as one gets Taster's Choice Vanilla 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 two 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 underwhelmed me in every way possible with their Vanilla Instant Coffee. It is not flavorful or particularly enjoyable, though it does not taste bad, which saves it from being utterly unredeemable.

For other Nescafe Instant Coffee drinks, please visit my reviews of:
Nescafe Peppermint Mocha Instant Coffee Drink
Taster’s Choice French Roast Instant Coffee
Taster's Choice 100% Colombian Gourmet Instant Coffee


For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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