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Douwe Egberts Café Switch

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6 Reviews

Brand: Douwe Egberts

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    6 Reviews
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      15.08.2008 15:09



      Am I the only person in the country who loves Cafe switch?! I am going to miss my treat of the day and have to return to instant coffee. I could take cafe switch any where any only need hot water and a mug to enjoy it. I'm counting down the last few pods that I have and mourn the day that they have gone.


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      22.03.2008 16:18
      Very helpful



      Its a matter of personal choice. I enjoy this drink but others do not.

      The housework is done, its raining and I can't go and do any gardening or take my two year old for a walk, so its review time.

      I love Camp Coffee and had ran out but whilst walking round my local Tesco I spotted the Douwe Egberts Cafe Switch and thought they look nice so i'd give them a try. Douwe Egberts, I would say are excellent coffee makers so I new they would be fairly decent.

      Douwe Egberts - The Company

      Egbert Douwes and his wife originally started up in Joure, Holland in 1753 by selling Tea, Coffee and Tobacco to local residents. Their son Douwe Egberts entered the company in 1780 and started supplying other shops around the country of Holland. His decendents went on to make the company the largest coffee company in Holland. Since 1978 they have been associated with the Sara Lee Company thus making them able to supply their products worldwide. They are now the 3rd largest supplier of coffee in the world.

      Douwe Egberts are famous for making ground coffee from a medium to a rich roast including decaffeinated suitable for cafetieres and filter machines, intstant freeze dried coffee including Decaffeinated and Cafe Switch.

      They buy their coffee beans from farms that they know and trust and are moving towards 100% sustainablity and are promoting social, economic and enviromental wellbeing by helping its farmers look after their workers, their families and the environment in which they live and work. The company is UTZ certified (a global non government organisation), and they insure that the workers and their families have access to healthcare, clean water and decent housing. Their children have access to schooling. Workers are fully trained and their labour rights are protected. Fertilisers and agrochemicals are used minimally and are controlled, the use of water and energy is minimised and environmental pollution is reduced. They do not dictate their prices so this enables the farmers to achieve a better price for the coffee and gain more competiveness within the market.

      The Product - Cafe Switch

      The 216ml box (13cm x 12cm x 6cm) contains 6 x 36ml cups of liquid coffee drink. It is available in four different flavours, True Kick, a bittersweet drink with a stronger taste of coffee, White Innocence a smooth coffee drink with a hint of vanilla and caramel, Creamy Pleasure, a rich coffee drink with a taste of cream and tiramisu and finally Creamy Pleasure less sweet taste.

      The pods are 12cm x 5cm x 2.5cm and are made of brown soft plastic and have a foil type material topping. You pump the two joined pods for about 15 seconds (I tend to pump for 30 seconds) until the pods go rather stiff. Pull the centre seal and squeeze the pods together into a cup/mug ensureing you get all the contents out including the vital froth. Pour on hot water and thats it. No need for milk or sugar.

      Taste Test

      Right my daughter is having her afternoon nap. Time to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. Lets go for a bit of Creamy Pleasure. It has about 6mm of froth on top of the drink. It has a slightly sweet but pleasing aroma. It tastes creamy and is sweet enough for me, although I only have one sugar in my coffee, if you have any more in your coffee you may wish to add a little sugar. It does not have a very strong coffee taste but it is pleasant. You can taste the tirasimu but I wouldn't be able to pin point that taste if it didn't know what the taste was. As you drink it the froth obviously does reduce but there is still some froth left at the end.

      Nutritional Information and Ingredients

      Per 36mm concentrate made up with 180ml water contains 75 calories, 2g protein, 11g Carbohydrate and 2.5g Fat. I just pour water in and don't bother measuring 180ml out

      Ingredients. 54% Whole Milk, 14% Sugar, 13% Coffee Extract, Skimmed Milk Powder, Refined Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glucose Syrup, Cream, Flavours, Acidity Regulator (E331 and E524), Stabilizers (E460, E466 and E407), Sweeteners (Cyclamic Acid and Saccharin). Quite a few E numbers then but a reasonable amount of calories.

      Price and Availability

      It costs £1.99 from Tesco and £1.98 from Asda. I can't find whether Sainsburys sell it as it is not showing on the mysupermarket website. This works out at around 33p for a cup of coffee.

      My Opinion

      The coffee is an ideal drink for relaxing and is reasonably priced at about 33p a cup. It has a pleasent taste and is enjoyable. Its a pity that nowhere on the box does it mention that the comapny are UTZ Certificated or that they are trying to help farmers and the environment. Maybe if this was mentioned it would be a good selling point bring them in contention with the Fairtrade product.

      I have read the other reviews on this product and they did not seem to like it, so it is a matter of personal taste.

      Some Useless Facts about Coffee

      Coffee is the worlds second most important export for devoloping countries after Crude oil.

      Coffee was originally used as a medicine around 900BC by an Arabian Doctor.

      Brazil is the largest producer of Coffee followed by Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia.

      More than 20 million people world wide work in the coffee industry or related industies.

      For further reading the website is www.douwe-egberts.co.uk.

      Many thanks for reading.

      This review may also be found on other review sites.


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      • More +
        16.03.2008 22:38
        Very helpful



        If you fancy a nice cup of coffee, Cafe Switch is not for you.

        I always thought that in order for a food product to successfully get onto the market, it would have to face a multitude of tests and tastings. Something clearly went wrong with Douwe Egberts' taste panel, because somehow Café Switch made it to the shelves.

        I got a free voucher for a box of Café Switch (which normally retails for around £2 per box of 6 pods). Douwe Egberts coffee is normally nice, so I thought I'd try it. It sounded like a nice product - frothy coffee without having to use a machine. This appealed because I like to have coffee before I go to work, but I don't have time to set up and clean the machine.

        The variety of Café Switch that I tried was Creamy Pleasure, which according to the pack was "smooth and frothy coffee". The coffee is a liquid that comes in what looks like two pods joined in the middle. You are supposed to pump each pod in turn for around 15 seconds to make the liquid frothy. You can't actually see through the plastic though so this is mostly guesswork. Apparently "the more you pump, the tastier the drink". I get the feeling I would need to pump for about 10 years to make this stuff tasty. Actually, the pumping is the best part of the whole Café Switch experience. It's kind of like playing with an executive stress toy. Although I should imagine if you pumped for too long the pod would burst, which wouldn't really help your stress levels.

        Once you have finished pumping, you simply pour the contents of the pod into a mug and add hot water. You don't need to add milk or sugar - apparently the mix contains everything already. You can also add ice cold water for another, if more horrible, variant of the drink.

        The first thing that hit me about Café Switch was the smell - it didn't even smell like coffee. It just smelled horribly synthetic. It also didn't look like coffee. It's consistency was more like gravy. And as for the frothy top? Well it didn't look anything like the one of the packet. There were just a few bubbles. My fears were confirmed when I tasted it - it didn't taste like coffee either. It tasted nasty and synthetic. I checked the packet to see what other flavour was supposed to be in it (as it certainly wasn't coffee), but it gave no indication. It tastes like a science project gone wrong. The ingredients list says it contains 54% whole milk, 14% sugar and 13% coffee extract. The other 19% seems to be made up of a variety of E numbers and sweetners, and other delightful things like hydrogenated coconut oil which one would of course expect to find in a cup of coffee.

        Café Switch comes in 4 flavours - Creamy Pleasure, Creamy Pleasure Less Sweet Taste, True Kick and White Innocence. According to the website (www.cafeswitch.com), Creamy Pleasure also contains "the taste of cream and tiramisu", which I guess explains the synthetic mess. I haven't tried any of the other 3 flavours because Douwe Egberts would need to pay me a lot of money to put myself through that experience.

        I have given Café Switch 1 star, purely because it is not possible to give zero, or preferably minus stars. You'd be better off with a jar of instant.


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        • More +
          01.02.2008 00:30
          Very helpful



          I'd rather drink my own urine than drink more of these

          I saw the advert for the Douwe Egberts Cafe Switch products and decided to give them a try. I decided that creamy pleasure sounded nicest as I prefer latte type coffee with loads of milk in it. I need to take my own coffee to work, but having no access to a fridge for milk I normally take the sachets of cappuccino and thought this product would make a nice change.

          At around £2 for six coffee pods, these are marketed as being a luxury product, so I was expecting something really good. I was about to be disapointed.

          I followed the instructions and pumped up the contents of the adjoining pods with my thumbs to aereate the product and create the froth. I then peeled the thin strip of foil from between the pods and squirted the dark brown liquid into my cup. I then added around 180ml of boiled water, stirred and sat down to enjoy my drink.

          I fought my way through the thick layer of froth to get to the liquid and took a drink. It was horrible. It tasted really artificial and overly sweet, with what I think was vanilla overtones. I also found it had a fairly high caffeine content and made me quite jittery.

          I'm far from being a coffee snob, I happily drink instant coffee all day long but will be giving these a miss in the future. I should point out that I normally have my coffee milky and without sugar. Maybe someone with a sweeter tooth would enjoy them more.

          Each cup of coffee made with these pods contains 75 calories, so three of these a day would soon add loads of extra calories.

          The ingredients listed are whole milk(54%), sugar(14%), coffee extract (13%), skimmed milk powder, refined hydrogenated coconut oil, glucose syrup, cream, flavours, acidity regulators (E331, E524), stabilisers(E466,E407), sweeteners(cyclamic acid, saccharin)

          Reading this list of ingredients, it's easy to see why they tasted more of chemicals than coffee.


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          • More +
            06.04.2007 17:05
            Very helpful



            Stick to proper coffee!

            Café Switch is the latest in a long line of attempts to bring instant coffee with a difference to the mass market. Like previous experiments in this area, I think it is doomed to failure and I’ll be surprised if it’s still on the shelves in six months time.

            The idea behind Café Switch is that it produces a frothy cup of coffee which is “indulgent and dreamy” and a “creamy pleasure”. That’s what it says on the packet, anyway. Frankly, the only pleasure you’re likely to get from this is when you tip it away and make yourself a proper cup of coffee.

            Actually, that’s not fair. There is a certain degree of fun to be had from this drink, and that comes in actually making it. The coffee itself comes in two small, plastic pods – a bit like the cartons of milk you get in motorway service stations but shallower and wider. You press the bottoms of these continuously with your thumbs, which agitates the contents and creates the froth. The instructions tell you to do this “until the squishing sound stops” or until it turns frothy inside – quite how you’re expected to see through brown plastic to check its consistency, I’m not sure! Anyway, in my case this probably took around 30 seconds or so of vigorous thumb exercise, so I’m assuming that’s about average.

            And that is the highlight of this coffee-drinking experience. After this, it’s all downhill!

            Next, you remove the central strip and pour it into your cup. The accompanying instructions show the liquid pouring neatly into your cup in a pleasing stream. The reality is the gloopy, viscous mess inside had to be coaxed out by squeezing the pods to force it as with a tube of toothpaste. Of course, the result of this is that you have little control over where the liquid is going, so, inevitably, some of it missed the cup and began congealing on the worktop.

            Finally, you pour in about 180ml of water (about the size of a standard mug) and then prepare to be amazed.

            First impressions
            First impressions are not great, it has to be said. The gloopy mixture mentioned above does not exactly look terribly drinkable. Then, when you throw the water in, the smell which assaults your nostrils is nothing like the coffee bean smell you might expect. In fact, it smells more like a mug of hot chocolate than a cup of coffee. The smell is overwhelmingly sweet, cloying and not particularly appealing.

            Again, at this stage, you notice a discrepancy between the picture on the packaging and what you see in front of you. The picture shows a delicious looking cup of milky coffee with a froth about 1-2cm thick on top of it. The reality in front of me was a cup of light brown liquid with a thin scum on top. I suppose makers Douwe Egberts may argue I didn’t do the “frothing” stage correctly, but I followed their instructions to the letter, and this is what I got.

            The Taste Test
            I have to say, having witnessed the gloop and the smell from the drink, I was not exactly brimming over with enthusiasm to taste it. But I had come this far, I wasn’t going to give in now. So, with some trepidation I put the cup to my lips and took a sip and… my worst fears were realised. It tastes nothing like coffee at all. That “hot chocolate” flavour, which came across when I poured the liquid out is still there. The whole mixture is just disgustingly sweet (if you take a look at the ingredients list and look at how many sweet ingredients there are, this is not surprising). It tastes like nothing more than a cup of weak hot chocolate into which has been added about four or five teaspoons of sugar.

            The texture too, reminded me of hot chocolate – it was thicker than you would expect a coffee to be and seemed to coat the throat as it went down. This wasn’t the worst part of the experience (that would be the smell and taste), but it’s not what I’m looking for in a cup of coffee.

            In the interests of research (honestly, the things I put myself through for my fellow dooyoo-ers!), I took another sip. Yep, it was still as disgusting as my taste buds had reported the first time. Clearly, things were not going to get any better. I took my carefully prepared cup of hot mud with light brown scum and six bags of sugar, poured it down the sink and made myself a proper cup of coffee. There is no way I could have drunk a whole mug full of the sweet, thick, cloying mess.

            By the way, according to the instructions, you make this using cold water instead of hot. Quite why you’d want to make it even more disgusting by doing this, I’m not sure.

            Mine was a free sample (thank goodness!), but you can buy these in the shops for about £2 for 6. Frankly, you’d be better off either going to a coffee shop and investing the money in a proper cup, or paying a tiny bit more and buying a jar of instant coffee, which will be infinitely nicer.

            Café Switch comes in three flavours: Bittersweet & Inviting, Indulgent and Creamy and Smooth and Subtle. I had a free sample of the Indulgent and Creamy which, if I’m honest, is probably the last one I would have chosen. However, the whole experience was so foul that I have no desire to try any of the others to see if they are better!

            Nutritional Information (36ml serving plus 180ml water)
            Energy 310kJ/75kcal
            Protein 2.0g
            Carbohydrate 11g
            Fat 2.5g

            Whole milk (54%)
            sugar (14%)
            coffee extract (13%)
            skimmed milk powder
            refined hydrogenated coconut oil
            glucose syrup, cream
            acidity regulators (E331, E524)
            stabilisers (E460, E466, E407)
            sweeteners (cyclamic acid, saccharin)

            © SWSt 2007


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            • More +
              08.12.2006 09:39
              Very helpful



              Don't bother with this new entrant to the market

              Have you ever seen an ad for a new product, thought “that looks interesting” and then tried the product only to be disappointed? Well, for me, that is how I found myself feeling after trying a free sample of the new Douwe Egberts Café Switch range.

              I am a bit of a coffee snob, and this is something that should perhaps be born in mind when reading, but I do rate Douwe Egberts as a coffee brand (even if it is owned by the horrendous Sara Lee!) and so I was more than a little surprised at the drink that greeted me.

              Café Switch is one of the ever-increasing new types of “make it yourself frothy coffee”. Coffee shop culture having well and truly gripped the UK, manufacturers are capitalising on our new-found love and are marketing products which, in theory, help you to produce café-style drinks at home without the need for complicated machines.

              The Café Switch product comes in pre-measured portion packs. Imagine, if you will, a long-life milk portion pack that you might get in a fast food restaurant or hotel bedroom. Now, imagine that tub paired with another and connected in the middle (rather like two adjoining yoghurts). That’s how Café Switch is packaged. The idea is that you hold the two halves of the pack between your thumb and index finger of each hand and “pump” the liquid that is contained in the pack from one half to the other through a couple of narrow “straws” (for want of a better description) thus frothing up the contents. After 30 seconds (or so) of pumping you simply open the pack and pour the contents into a mug or glass, top up with 180ml of hot or cold water (about a normal mug size) to get instantly frothy coffee.

              Instant froth you do get but that’s where the excitement ends.

              Café Switch comes in three flavours, White Innocence, Creamy Pleasure and True Kick. It was the White Innocence that greeted me. This is described on-pack as “smooth and subtle with the taste of vanilla and caramel”. Um, smooth, no. Subtle, no (unless you describe weak as subtle). The taste of vanilla and caramel: most definitely not.

              The smell that rose from the mug was distinctly lacking in that traditionally welcoming coffee essence. The drink smelled sweet and just ever so slightly chemical. The taste was not much better. The overwhelming taste sensation was chemical. There is nothing natural tasting about this product at all. I couldn’t detect a distinct coffee, vanilla or caramel flavour which really isn’t much good for a product that is meant to taste of all three. The flavour could at best be described as weak and lacking in depth. If you can imagine making up a value brand instant chocolate drink made up with twice as much water as required you might just be able to imagine the taste of this drink.

              I tend to equate “smooth” in a coffee with a rich velvety taste. This taste jarred though. It was almost as though the product should have been made with milk rather than water but a double check of the packet told me that this was not the case. In fact, the mix contained in the pods already contained milk… shame I couldn’t taste it. It was just so lacking in substance.

              If you like your coffee not to taste of coffee and your drinks to taste like a chemistry lab on a Friday afternoon then this might well be the drink for you. If you like your coffee to taste of coffee then steer well clear.

              Café Switch is now fairly widely available (spotted in Waitrose and Morrissons) in packs of 6 pods (packaging looks rather like an egg box!) priced at about £2. Personally I’d settle for one coffee in a café rather than 6 at home for that price!

              Not recommended.


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