“ Brand: Cafédirect. / Type: Filter Coffee „
Those who know me will know that I am a coffee drinker through and through - I have never managed to get into the whole tea drinking thing. Coffee does it for me, and several times a day too - I probably, well definitely, drink too much, but as I don't smoke and I rarely drink alcohol I feel that my coffee habit is justified.....!
Over the years, as my grocery budgets have been stretched and squeezed, I have had a number of weeks when I have had to decide between a jar of coffee and something for dinner, or another box of washing powder.....
During one such week, I found myself in the local co-op with a handful of loose change in my purse, needing to buy coffee and something for dinner. I was about to buy a smaller jar of my normal coffee - you know, travel size - when I saw this 100g jar of Fair Trade coffee that was at a bargain price.
Fantastic! I could buy both coffee and food, and also, because the coffee was fair trade, I could feel very self righteous in the process......not bad!!
So, I got home, got the kettle on and prepared for my much needed cup of coffee.......
Now, I love that moment when you open a new jar of coffee and stab the seal with the spoon. The combination of the "ripping" sound of the seal breaking open, together with the instant hit of the coffee smell at it's strongest.....one of life's little guilty pleasures!
Except, on stabbing the paper seal on this jar, there was no "hit" of coffee smell!
It looks like coffee, dark brown granules, but it really does lack the coffee like aroma. But I had nothing else, so into the mug it went.......
As soon as the hot water from the kettle went in, I got a very distinct smell - of cheap coffee. There was nothing rich or smooth about either the smell or the taste. It even looks cheap - a wishy washy colour, not the deep coffee colour I am used to, and was looking forward to!
But still I ploughed on.......and struggled to finish my mugful. It was so poor that I decided I would rather go without from then on - there was no way I was going to subject myself to that experience again.
I was gutted - a couple of hours previously I felt good that I had got more for my money AND had bought ethically, and there I was, ready to throw the rest of the jar away. I had actually wasted my money.......bah!
I didn't throw it away - even though it was crappy, it seemed such a waste, so I put it in the cupboard "strictly for emergencies"..........and there it stayed.....and there it remains.
So, if you ever come round to mine for coffee.........make sure I have a jar in, otherwise the "emergency supplies" might have to make an appearance! I have even had friends bring a jar with them, just in case.......the thought of the Fairtrade coffee is obviously just a step too far!
Following on from a recent find that Cafédirect's organic, fair-trade, decaffeinated (i.e. coffee-free coffee) was actually rather good I allowed myself to purchase a jar of their regular fair-trade instant, the classic blend.
I'll confess, there was a certain buzz as I put the product into my basket - a little feeling that, for once, I might be buying something both good and green. Unfortunately, that buzz didn't last long.
On opening the jar one senses that all is not well in this world of coffee. The aroma is surprisingly weak and there's an almost tea-like dustiness to the smell. The smell is distinctly understated with no particular bean coming to the fore despite this being an Arabica/Robusta blend which should smell reasonably rich. If I were blind smelling then I'm afraid that I'd probably plump for a stale tea rather than a coffee.
The flavour of the coffee matches the scent. Although smooth enough the flavour is thin and undeveloped no matter how much of the coffee you use to make your cup. I've tried the coffee black and white but neither way is acceptable.
The instant granules look no different to the bulk of instants, they're slightly darker than their decaff counterparts but lighter than a regular Nescafe offering. Like the decaff version they dissolve incredibly well and there are no grounds left to stir in. Again, there's a slight crema layer on first mixing but this fails to persist. Adding milk results in a "dirty dishwater" coffee which lacks in visual appeal what the scent and flavour lack. At least it's consistent.
The lack of depth of flavour means that one can play with this coffee to one's heart's content but unfortunately I've not yet come up with a combination that works. With or without milk, with or without sugar, you're still left with an insubstantial offering.
I've even tried using it to flavour a cake but really should have known better. The resultant flavour was lacking in depth and tasted like I'd left half the flavouring out!
Unfortunately, there really is no buzz about this coffee after the initial buzz of feeling that you're buying a product that's benefiting the coffee growers.
The coffee is widely available from most supermarkets and is priced in line with other premium coffees so it's slightly more expensive than your regular Nescafe but not out of line with the likes of Dowe Egberts, Nescafe premium blends or even some own-brand premium blends. Whatever the price I shan't be buying it again!
Brand: Cafédirect / Type: Coffee