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Edited to include more detailed tasting notes.
Kenco Sustainable Development is a freeze dried coffee made with 100% Rainforest Alliance certified beans. The Rainforest Alliance (according to the blurb on the jar) supports several collective of coffee farmers working to earn a decent living improve their quality of life and conserve the environment.
For some reason I have generally found ecological and Fairtrade coffees didn't taste as nice as normal brands and started think this was maybe because I like the taste of subjugation too much. However, Kenco Sustainable Development has a strong, full bodied, yet smooth taste which I think is comparable to ground coffee. On opening the jar you are greeted with a very subtle roast coffee smell, indicating that this is not a dark roast, there are hints of caramel in this aroma also. The caramel is also noticeable in the taste, which is similar to Nescafe Gold Blend although much, much smoother and cleaner. There is a sweetness and complexity to the flavour that indicates to me it is South American, although it it is not dark roasted it has a strong taste.
I came across it last year whilst on an economy drive as it was reduced to under two pounds for a 100g jar. The price has now risen to almost three pounds but as it is by far the finest instant coffee I've ever drank I'm happy to pay this.
Being a big coffee fan but a lazy person, I could no longer be bothered with the hassle of ground coffee either in a filter machine cafetiere or belgian press but really missed that distinctive taste. I think Kenco Sustainable Development tastes as good if not better than ground coffee made at home and almost as good as Starbucks filter coffee.
The particular Kenco instant coffee I am writing about is their 'Sustainable Development' variety.
I don't drink coffee much as I see it as a treat and I like my coffee strong enough for the spoon to stand up in, with (I use Elmlea light) cream. I also like it so hot it burns my lips, which is probably not too good for me, hence, the rare treat.
I first tried this brand and type out about 6 months ago and was attracted to the fact that it boasts a 'Rainforest alliance' certificate and aids local farmers earn a fair deal. In fact the coffee comes from a cooperative in El Salvador. You can check out more about the Rainforest Alliance at: www.ra.org This is in fact a very cool website and I may review this at a later date.
The smell and taste:
Open the jar and you are hit with a very rich and dark smell, that is unmistakenly coffee, but also has a distant smell of chocolate in my opinion. I also love the paper tops that coffe jars have and the smell that hits you when you pop them. The smell when you pour boiling water over the granules is divine, one spoon is adequate, I use two.
The taste is rich, I was surprised at how much like filter coffee it tastes as I am not a great fan of instant, it is smooth and strong and leaves an aftertaste that is pleasant and decadent.
The Jar it comes in is glass and is quite attractive with a bamboo coloured facia that has a picture of some coffee beans and someone who i presume is a local to where it is grown. There is 100gms of freeze dried instant coffee, nothing else.
Kenco is owned by Kraft Foods, which surprised me and whilst the jar directs you to go to the Kraft foods site, you can go directly to Kenco by using this link: http://www.kencocoffeecompany.co.uk/kencocoffeecompany/page?PagecRef=1
Thi s link allows you to look at the whole Kenco range and has a page devoted to the sustainable development range.
This is a very good instant coffee which is reasonably priced (£2.60 or thereabouts). It has changed my mind about the taste of 'instant' and it is doing a small bit to help in terms of the environment and local farmers. Though one has to ask the question how many air miles or sea miles were used to get the coffee to the UK and does the sustainability issue offset this?
Kenco Sustainable Development coffee is made with 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified arabica beans, consistently among the best quality we buy, giving a coffee with a rich full aroma and a smooth distinctive taste.