I am a huge coffee drinker and have a couple of cups each day. Whilst I buy many assorted brands of coffee, I do favour those from the Kenco range which I find are of a really good quality and offer a delicious cup of coffee with each spoonful.
It was whilst I was shopping in a local branch of Tesco recently that my eye happened upon a bag of Kenco coffee situated among the jars and boxes on the supermarket shelves. The product stood out to me as it is quite unusual to see an instant coffee product packaged in this way and I decided to purchase the bag for myself.
The bag of Kenco coffee is actually called the "Eco Refill" and it is designed to be rather more environmentally friendly than purchasing a jar of coffee, mainly as the packaging consists of "97% less packaging weight" when compared to the jars from the brand. This seems like an excellent idea to me, particularly when you consider that glass is currently not recycled in many areas within the UK, one of which is my own. True, some consumers could perhaps take their glass to a recycling plant or depot of sorts, but this is not possible for myself unfortunately, as I have a disability and mobility problems.
Thus, the Eco Refill seems like a sort of compromise and I am pleased to see such a large brand as Kenco taking the decision to be environmentally aware.
There are several types of Kenco Eco Refill bag available, which range from a decaffeinated option to the 'Kenco Smooth' option that I purchased and am reviewing here. The Kenco Smooth option is availlable to buy in a choice of two sizes which are 150g and 275g. I paid £3 for the 150g of Kenco Smooth refill in Tesco, where this price was dropped from £4.39. I believe this offer will run until mid November 2012. (Info correct as @ October 2012).
The coffee can be decanted of course, and I chose to refill the existing jar of Kenco that I had in my home. The Eco bag is rather difficult to handle when pouring the coffee into a jar, but it becomes easier with a little practice. The Eco bag can then be closed over easily, thanks to the practical packaging and kept in the cupboard until your coffee jar is looking a little empty again.
The coffee itself is a lovely colour and it has a much more attractive appearance than many brands of instant coffee that I have been purchasing recently, mainly because it has a lighter, slightly more golden colour than some other brands that are a very dark brown. There is a gorgeous aroma present from the coffee which smells very rich.
Making the coffee is as easy with the coffee from the Eco refill bag than with any other brand, in my opinion. I simply need to place a spoonful of the coffee into a mug and pour over hot water from the kettle. Stirring the mixture for a moment afterwards allows any stray granules at the bottom of the mug to be completely dissolved. I can then add milk or sugar - or in my case, both - to the mug to taste.
I have found that this one single spoonful of coffee is absolutely ample for my own tastes, thanks to the rich flavour of the Kenco coffee. It is true to say that some supermarket-own branded coffees can feel slightly weak and I find myself adding another half spoonful to the mug to allow the coffee to reach a fuller flavour. This practice is not required with the Kenco Smooth coffee at all, and I find its flavour to be completely flavoursome and quite rich.
There is no unpleasant bitterness to be found in the Kenco's flavour, so the brand name of Kenco Smooth feels absolutely spot on, in my opinion. Some coffees can feel harsh on the palate or can feel quite bitter either in the after-taste or their flavour, but neither of these annoying traits is present with the Kenco Smooth coffee. Instead, the taste is entirely rich and quite full-bodied, without feeling overpowering or harsh. A perfect balance, in my opinion.
There is no annoying residue to be found in the sides of my mug, or floating around the bottom of my coffee, and there are no stray granules to be found at the bottom of my mug when I drain it. This would not be the end of the world, granted, but it is a rather annoying trait of some cheaper-branded coffees that I have purchased before.
The main selling point of this coffee for many consumers is no doubt the convenient packaging it is presented in, and I would consider repurchasing the Kenco Eco Refill again in the future, purely on the basis of this excellent packaging. I found it easy to use and convenient for many reasons, not least because I feel it is less harsh on the environment than buying glass jar after glass jar for my household's coffee requirements.
In addition, I found the Eco refill took up a lot less space in my kitchen cupboards than storing bulky, cumbersome jars and of course it was much lighter to transport home in my shopping bags too.
Overall, I highly recommend this product from the well known Kenco brand and I will be buying it again - full marks from me!
For the second time in a week I am drinking coffee! This time it is Kenco Smooth, a freeze-dried instant coffee from an 150g eco-refill pack. It's rather nice- and certainly lives up to its name of 'smooth'. I am getting a full-bodied coffee flavour, but no bitter or harsh aftertaste. The granules are similar in colour to Nescafe's Gold Blend being a mid-brown colour. They dissolve easily with no floaty bits. It sems nicer than the Alcafe, though that was just fine.
By buying the eco-refill I made a financial saving, and the packaging is keen to point out other benefits. The coffee comes in a resealable plastic pouch which is much more lightweight (97% less packaging weight) than a glass jar. It is very strong and unlikely to puncture during transit. Although the product can be dispensed into a jar, you don't have to because of the reseal feature, and I faced no difficulties in spooning the coffee granules from the pouch.
The lightness means a reduction in transport costs. Interestingly it tells you on the packet that the pouch has "less than half the packaging weight of a 200g jar lid". The claim is that even if you recycle your glass jar, this is the better product to buy environmentally. You can also recycle the packaging through Terracycle. You download a free postage label and send the pack off to Terracycle. This makes most sense if you are sending a few packs I guess, but is a big improvement on the Johnsons baby wipes offer, where you had to be a Terracycle member to participate and recycle the packs and they had limited membership.
I'm not a big coffee drinker, but when I do I either take time out and make a cafetiere (I know that is spelt wrong but can't figure out how to get the accent lol) of coffee from some ground beans. Or I go for good quality instant coffee. I have a couple of instant coffee brands that I like and this is most definitely one of them.
As it's instant coffee it's mega easy to do, just add boiled water (and milk if you like it white and maybe some sugar). It's excellent quality and I can honestly say I've never had a bad cup of coffee from it. It definitely wakes me up when I've had a bad nights sleep or pulled an all nighter studying!
The packaging is pretty simple, you can tell it's Kenco smooth from the colours and logo. It's easy to open, you just cut across the top with a pair of scissors and it's resealable which is fab, as this fills an entire coffee jar plus some. I had some left after filling the jar to the very brim. And as it is an eco-refill it's completely recyclable.
It tastes really nice, it has very smooth and silky texture. It's also rich, and smells nice too However I find I can't just have one cup of coffee at a time as it tastes so nice, so tend to drink it when I need a caffeine hit, usually pulling an all nighter or if I'm feeling particularly tired in a morning and I'll have it instead of my usual cuppa.
I buy this from Tesco and it costs £3.75 for 150g. It's pretty good value for me as it mostly gets used when my partner's mum or friends come over so lasts a while. I prefer this over brands such as nescafe, as aside from the company's ethics being much better, the coffee tastes better too so I would always recommend this, even above the other brand that I like.
** Also posted on ciao under the same name **
I love a good cup of coffee in the morning when I wake up. It is the first thing I drink in the morning and I usually have another one or two cups a day depending on what I am doing. In my first year of university I opted for cheap coffee and sacrificed the taste. Now that I am getting older (and the study nights longer) I much prefer to splash out a bit more cash for a nicer tasting caffeine fix!
I first heard about the Kenco Eco refill from seeing an advert on the TV. I thought it was a good idea to use less packaging and so I kept an eye out for it when I went shopping. I spotted it in Tesco one day on offer and thought I might as well try it out. It was on offer for ages after it was released but I can't remember exactly how much I paid at the time.
The packaging is quite attractive and is red and orange with a picture of a jar of coffee on the front. There is a large green banner across the top telling you that the pack is an eco refill. The actual bag is made from a type of plastic and is fully recyclable. There is a resealable strip at the top of the bag to keep your coffee fresh. This can be a bit of a hassle compared to a jar with a lid. At first it was a bit strange buying my coffee in a bag but I have a coffee jar in the house that I just decant the coffee granules into instead of having the bag next to the kettle.
The actual coffee is lovely. It takes the form of medium sized granules which look a lot lighter than other coffee brands I have used. I usually use about 1.5 spoons of coffee granules and they dissolve very easily in boiling water. The smell from the coffee is great and smells quite rich. I always add milk to my coffee and I find I'm adding less milk now because the taste is so smooth anyway.
Currently the eco refill pack will cost you between £3 and £3.50 for the 150g bag. The 200g jar usually costs around £5, which makes the eco refill pack cheaper.
So this is a great tasting coffee, at a good price and that cuts down on waste from packaging. Another advantage that Kenco has is that it is part of the Rainforest Alliance. This means that a lot is done to support the communities in which the coffee is produced. There is also a lot of work goes into helping to sustain the environment and the species of animals in the rainforest. I like to choose products that are certified with the Rainforest Alliance as I feel in some way I am helping, and every little helps!
Aways keen to try something new, I decided to buy this Kenco Smooth Eco Refill coffee pack when it was on special offer in Tesco's some weeks back for around the £1.50 mark. I have a lot of trouble finding a coffee I like the ones that I do like are normally on the expensive side like Carte Noire Coffee (which I have noticed is back on offer this week in Tesco's until 1.3.11 so must make a note of that!) and Douwe Egberts.
So seeing this on special I decided to try it, waiting until my last coffee granule had been used up out of my Douwe's jar. I snipped open the sachet of ground coffee to find that this one comes in a granule form rather than powder, which is what I prefer. It did seem strange having my coffee in a plastic bag, even if it was brightly coloured in it's green and orangey package. Although having a resealable zipper across the top I did tip the bag into my empty jar ( I always keep my Douwe jars as I use them to keep pasta, macaroni, ect .. for storage!) Don't get me wrong the resealable top did work, but to be honest I prefer to take a lid off and be done with rather than fiddling about trying to get the zipper thing to stay together!.
Now this coffee did smell lovely as I poured it into the jar, so eager to try I switch the kettle on, now I have a small white cup that I like to have my coffee in. Spooning one and a half teaspoons ( I do like it on the stronger side!) in, then a touch of milk. I can tell if I'm going to like this or not once I've started pouring in the hot water. Once it goes slightly frothy that is the right sign for me and the aroma is wonderful. This is really a lovely smooth rich coffee.
The reason for this coffee being in a plastic bag is that it is Eco Friendly and is trying to reduce the amount of packaging that we waste. Being part of the "Rainforest Alliance Certified Farms" means it also helps give the farmers in Columbia, Brazil, Peru... a decent wage, farming facilities ect... Also something I wasn't aware about is that the "Certified Farms" must also provide access to schools, access to clean drinking water, medical care and decent working hours. These coffee beans are all picked by hand, so these people do need to have all these facitilies to continue they great work by helping to produce such wonderful coffee.
Also a lot is done to help save the rainforests as well as the endangered species that live in it.
So next time you sit down for your cup of coffee, think of all the wonderful things that you are helping with in the enviroment ( Wow I've gone all cheesey!). So having been making coffee for 85 years ( Kenco not me!)
I would say that Kenco have got it spot on with this smooth version.
This bag of coffee (150g) will cost you £3.57 working out cheaper than if you bought it in a jar.
5 Dooyoo stars for a smooth tasty coffee!
Coffee is my favourite drink and although I still enjoy one cup of ground coffee a day after dinner, I have been drinking decaff for a few years. I sampled different coffees and settled on one brand until recently when I had a voucher for Kenco to use. I had seen the adverts on television for the Eco refill but was amazed to see that it was actually cheaper to buy the jar! To me that seemed really odd, most people prefer to count the pennies rather than thinking of landfill problems.
The last time I was in Tesco it was cheaper to buy the refills so it is worth looking out for offers, in fact when I checked "mysupermarket.co.uk" I discovered it was on sale at £2.50 in Asda compared with £4 at Tesco and Ocado. I actually bought 2 packets for £5 which was a good buy and the same as Asda.
My packet was the Decaff variety - green colour, but it is also available in Rich Roast the blue packet and Smooth which is the red packet. Across the top it says in large letters "ECO REFILL" and has a picture of the jar of coffee, the weight which is 150grams and a little sign saying 97% less packaging weight. The packet is self seal and also the top can be ripped open easily - no need for scissors. I didn't reseal my packet but emptied it into the jar I had in the cupboard.
I don't intend writing much about the coffee, as this is about the eco product, only to say Kenco has been around since 1923, the coffee is delicious and I do enjoy my decaffeinated coffee, it has good flavour and although more expensive than many brands is worth the extra.
Why buy the Eco refill and not the jar? It is lighter to carry home, takes up less room, better for the environment and Kenco say better value, which I have to argue with unless bought on offer.
I think it is easier to use a jar than the packet, so prefer to store it in a coffee canister or jar, and I can recycle glass if I take it to a collection point, but there is an interesting recycling idea from Kenco. I checked out the details on the packet and they have joined with TerraCycle to "upcycle" the refill packs and turn them into shopping bags, umbrellas and more! They even will give 2p per packet you return to a charity of your choice - I have chosen Macmillan Cancer Support, plus you can print off a Freepost label! A Win win situation. When I have returned 3 packets I could order a pencil case or 6 packets for a shopping bag, so helping the environment by using that rather than plastic carrier bags and saving the landfill by recycling. My packet is ready to post off to Terracycle - which incidentally does recycle other products and you can join with others to raise money for schools and groups.
My eco refill has a best before date of July 2012 so has a good shelf life. Providing it is cheaper than a jar I will be buying the Eco refill in future, but I will monitor the price in Tesco as it does say on the packet quote " Per gram of coffee each Eco Refill pack has 97% less packaging weight and a lower RRP** than our 200g or 100g jars" **Based on manufacturers RRP.
Hope the post office is ready for loads of coffee refill packets winging their way to terracycle.
Only giving 4 stars because the price doesn't reflect the information.
I don't get the point of this product, I buy Kenco coffee anyway and it comes in a recyclable glass jar so why bother putting it into ANOTHER recyclable pouch??? It's a bit stupid and seems like a way of Kenco getting even more money out of the people who buy their coffee.... and it's not even cheaper so that's a bit of a kick in the teeth! lol
I brought the blue rich one the other day and only got it because there wasn't any of the jars in the shop, it's a clever design and will stand upright plus you can reseal the pouch so you can keep your coffee in that if you don't want to put it into a jar or container.
The coffee is the same as out of the jar. I use 1 heaped teaspoon for each cup of coffee and what I LOVE about the blue Kenco coffee is that it's got such a strong and full taste that you can drink it any way. I have mine with or without milk and sugar and can honestly say I enjoy this coffee however it comes.
The coffee stirs good into the boiling water and you don't end up with dark blobs of coffee on top of your drink, if you try and make your coffee with water that isn't boiling then you will get a few blobs and that's the same if you add the milk too quick before you've stirred your coffee properly. I've never had a problem with this because I make my coffee up in the water first and add the milk and sugar (if using) afterwards.
The taste is delish, it's got a strong flavour but this coffee is mega easy to adjust to suit your taste. My dad isn't a mad coffee drinker so when I do him a cup I just use a level spoon of granules and that way he gets all the flavour of the coffee but it's not too strong for him.
Soooooo, the coffee is wicked. The packaging is stupid though, I'm all for saving the planet but more interested at the moment in saving money so unless they bring the price down big time I won't bother again.
I have mixed feeling on this product, when i done my weekley shop in asda they were doing an offer buy the large jar on coffee and get a refil bag free which i thought was excellent value as i do agree we need to help the planet.
But a few weeks later i went back and went to buy just the refil pouch and i couldnt beleive the price of it, surely if they are not making as much packaging and there not using glass then that should be reflected in the price, i think if they would lower the price then more ppl would want to do there bit for the enviroment its a shame that once again a company have jumped on the band wagon of being eco friendly and making alot of money from it when they could actually do the same product at a lower price and they would still make a good profit also the ppl that cant afford to spend nearly £4 on coffee would also be able to it,
I love the coffee itself and i wil continue to but it but im not sure if i will buy the refil packs unless they are on special offer
Kenco Eco Refill pack 150g
WHAT IS THIS PRODUCT
I usually buy Tesco Gold instant coffee which comes in a glass jar which of course I do pop into the recycle bin and as we use a jar a week this does seem rather a waste of packaging. However last week in Tesco I saw this new product from Kenco which were bags of 150g of coffee .The bag is a foil bag to keep the coffee inside fresh with a reseal-able zip lock top so you could even keep the coffee in this bag instead of putting it into a jar. I thought it was a great idea and as I do quite like Kenco coffee I thought I'd give it a try.
The Kenco Eco Refill is your normal Kenco coffee, but instead of coming in the jar, it comes in a foil re-sealable bag which is, according to the packet, 97% less packaging weight than the glass jars which means that it is lighter to transport meaning that less fuel is needed to transport the same amount of coffee weight to the consumer. It also means that it is lighter for the consumer taking it home to so once again less fuel is used.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THIS NEW PACK?
I just cut open the top of the bag and top up my old coffee jar. As my coffee jar is only 100g one this refill is more than will fit in the jar so I just zip lock the top and store the remainder until we have used a bit more. If you are someone who has a special jar that holds your coffee then this is even more useful as you just pop the contents into your storage jar.
RECYCLING THE PACKAGING
You can recycle the bag yourself but there are no instructions for doing that however Kenco will take back your used packets, (return address The Kenco Coffee Company, FREEPOST SWC 3320, GL50 3ZZ), and will recycle them for you. They will turn them into something like notebooks, bags and umbrellas Also for every pack you send to them they will donate 2p to your choice of charity! So you don't even have to worry about recycling the packets yourself. This apparently is the first teracycle recycling scheme of its kind in Britain.
You have to sign up for the Kenco Brigade and then once you have done that, you'll be able to send your used Kenco refill bags. You download a free Royal Mail shipping label from the website (http://www.terracycle.co.uk/brigades/1-The-Kenco-Eco-Refill-Brigade), You then tape the label onto the refill bag and put it into a post box. You can put a few Kenco refill bags in together, just pop them inside the Kenco refill pack you are putting the downloaded postage label on.
WHAT IS THE COFFEE LIKE?
The coffee is of course what you are buying and not the packaging, however wonderful that is. I do like Kenco coffee and particularly the Kenco Smooth as I am not keen on coffee that knocks your head off. I'm not an espresso coffee person but I like a mellow, smooth but rich flavour which is what I like in Kenco smooth.
I also like Kenco products because they get 75% of their coffee from Rain Forest Alliance certified farms. The workers get a fair wage and the Kenco are helping protect animals and vegetation within the rainforest too. I respect any company that is making moves in a positive way to help the environment and workers in these poorer countries. I am particularly happy to support these companies if they produce a good product too which is what I feel about Kenco coffee.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?
The eco refill cost me £3.58 ( the price is the same for both rich and smooth), in Tesco for the 150g bag. The 200g jar of the same blend is £4.88; the 100g jar is £2.65, so it is in between these two prices. I thought this price was reasonable and I felt I was being a bit of an Eco warrior too.
The Kenco Eco Refill is available from Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda for the same price when I checked on the internet.
I find this coffee tastes just as good as the same coffee in the jar and Kenco Smooth is a really tasty but mellow coffee, tasty but not bitter. My husband and I enjoy a couple of cups in the morning and this is just a perfect tasting, Rainforest Alliance coffee in a eco friendly pack. If you join the Kenco brigade and send your bags back to them then you may also be able to enjoy your bag recycled into a shopping bag or something else as well as having used it to bring your coffee home fresh.
Thank you for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
== Kenco Eco Refill ==
== Introduction ==
When I buy instant coffee, it comes out of the glass jar and straight into my coffee jar in the kitchen, the glass jar then goes directly into the recycle bin, to me this always seems like such a waste, and although it is always recycled, it seems silly to have to pay for the packaging of a glass jar and then for it to go straight into the rubbish. Of course, many people do keep their coffee in the jar it came in, but, these still end up in the rubbish or recycling when they buy another jar.
So when I saw this new product from Kenco, I thought it was a wonderful idea.
The Kenco Eco Refill is your normal Kenco coffee, but instead of coming in the jar, it comes in a foil re-sealable bag which is, according to the packet, 97% less packaging weight than the glass jars, also the bag is recyclable too.
The idea of the bag is that people can buy a jar of coffee, and then keep this jar, and top it up using the eco refill coffee bag, or for people like me who don't keep the jars, you can buy these to put directly into your coffee tub/jar.
Not only is it better for the environment, you also save a little money by buying this instead of the jars as you are no longer paying for the thick glass packaging of old!
== Packaging ==
The bags are in the size of 150g of coffee. As I have said, the bag is a foil bag to keep the coffee inside fresh, and is kind of like a thick crisp bag! The top is reseal-able so you can even keep the coffee in this bag instead of putting it into the jars.
The packaging, as I have said, is, according to the packaging and adverts, 97% less than the glass jars, meaning it takes less energy to make the packaging, as well as been much easier to get rid of and recycle.
Also, talking of recycling! Kenco will take back your used packets, (return address The Kenco Coffee Company, FREEPOST SWC 3320, GL50 3ZZ), and will recycle them for you, turning them into something else! So you don't even have to worry about recycling the packets yourself!
== The coffee itself ==
Well of course, it isn't all about the packaging with coffee but mainly the taste! There is no point in buying this coffee if it tastes disgusting, even if it is good for the environment!
But, that is not something you have to worry about with Kenco! The coffee is made by the very well known company, who most of us have heard of. I chose the Smooth Roast, as I am not a big fan of very strong coffee, and it is extremely delicious! I usually buy Asda own Gold blend coffee, but from now on, I will be much more tempted to use this product instead, with the added bonus of less packaging waste and doing that little something to help the environment , the coffee is also gorgeous and I think my favourite one I have tried!
Kenco Eco Refill also comes in two flavours, rich and smooth roast, but I dare say if it proves popular there will be more and more flavours!
== Price & Availability ==
When I got my Kenco Eco Refill it was on offer, I got one 200g jar of coffee and this 150g eco refill for just £5, but this offer is no longer on as it was quite a while back now.
The eco refill is now £3.58 (for both rich and smooth), in Asda for the 150g bag.
This is compared to a 200g jar of the same blend which is £4.88, the 100g jar is £2.65, so it is inbetween the two prices really. For me I think this is a good price, it is around the same as what I pay for the Asda Gold blend which I used to get.
The Kenco Eco Refill is available from:
Asda (at the above price)
Tesco (at the above price)
Sainsbury's (at the above price)
Waitrose (at the above price)
So as you can see, the product is the same price across the board of shops, so no matter where you go, you're getting a good deal on the coffee!!!
== In conclusion ==
I love my coffee, and have at least 3 cups a day usually, this coffee is yummy and is perfect for drinking all day long! This new Kenco eco refill is excellent in that you aren't wasting huge amounts of packaging (much of which will have just been thrown straight into a landfill by people who don't recycle).
It's a great price for the coffee, and is a really good idea! If only all the other companies followed suit!!!!
Brand: Kenco / Type: Coffee