Product Type: Nestlé Coffee
Newest Review: ... very hot water as I used boiling water, but I later noted that the instructions say not to do this, but I personally couldn't taste any ... more
Not quite Starbucks but it'll do
Nescafe Cafe Menu Latte Macchiato
Member Name: redhead78
Nescafe Cafe Menu Latte Macchiato
Advantages: Quick and easy to make, creamy, strong without being bitter, nice frothy top
Disadvantages: They're not Starbucks!
Living in deepest, darkest Cumbria we are somewhat lacking in a lot of mainstream shops in close proximity to us. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, it's not as if we moved here for the shopping! But having a slight penchant for the odd Starbucks coffee and muffin I do miss these occasional treats as the nearest outlet to us is nearly an hours drive away. Whenever we venture anywhere that has a Starbucks I make a beeline there to get my fix but it does seem to be only a twice or thrice yearly treat. Enter the Nescafe Latte Macchiato sachets.
Normally I'm pretty straight laced when it comes to coffee. I like mine instant, averagely strong and with a dash of milk. I'm not one for all these fancy fresh coffees - except one particular Starbucks one - and so we usually just have various forms of instant coffee in our cupboard. When I saw these in Tesco I was ever so slightly tempted as I saw the magic 'macchiato' word on the front of the box (my absolute all time favourite Starbucks is caramel macchiato) but couldn't really bring myself to spend £2.99 on what is effectively 8 cups of coffee. Slightly hypocritical really when you take into account that I think nothing of spending more than that on just one cup of coffee in SB! A few weeks later, however I was browsing around Asda whilst waiting for my husband and saw that a box of these were just £1.50 in there. BARGAIN! Now, if I hadn't already seen the price of them in Tesco's then they probably wouldn't even have caught my eye, but as I knew they were half price, well obviously I just couldn't resist! Less than 20p per cup makes them slightly more appealing.
The sachets come in a surprisingly large box more or less identical to the one shown in the picture above except that the nutritional information seems to have changed slightly since that picture was added (they now contain only 96 calories per cup) and for some reason they've turned the teaspoon around so it's now coming in from the left of the box rather than the right! The packaging is quite attractive, I suppose, and is mainly dark blue in colour, which surprised me as I tend to associate brown packaging with coffee products. They've tried to "glam up" the coffee slightly by having a little anecdote on the back about how it's the perfect coffee to share with your friends whilst you're having a girly gossip but personally I don't see the point in all that kind of stuff...is anyone actually swayed into buying something because of things like that? Although, as I said, this is quite a large box so they could just have been trying to fill in space!
Other information included on the carton is the company details (Nestle), nutritional information and ingredients and how to make your coffee (simply tear open the sachet, tip it into a mug and add very hot but not boiling water to it). A sachet of this latte will set you back 96 calories and about 3.6g of fat which isn't so bad as an occasional treat. If, like me, you tend to have a few biscuits with your afternoon coffee however, this does make it that bit naughtier!
I tend to make my latte slightly differently to how it tells you on the packet. I empty the powder into a mug then add a very small splash of milk to it. I then stir really well until the powder is blended and then add half a teaspoon of brown sugar before adding my very hot water and stirring again. This is also how I make hot chocolate and have done for years as I find it gives you a really frothy top.
The smell of this latte once you've made it is just how you'd expect it to be. It doesn't really hit you in the face like you've just opened the front door at SB but it does give off a really enticing coffee aroma to get your juices flowing!
Now for the taste. Unfortunately it can't compare to my caramel macchiato (not least because I don't have any caramel syrup to pour on top of it!) in either taste or strength, but for an instant latte it is actually really rather tasty. The foamy frothy top is exactly that, and maintains it's structure long enough for you to drink your coffee through it rather than disappearing straight away to leave just a normal cup of coffee underneath. It's creamy without tasting milky and the strength of the coffee is just enough to make me need that half teaspoon of sugar to balance it out a bit but not too strong that I can't drink it. The first sip I usually find quite bitter, but after that when my palette has adjusted from it's regular instant coffee, I really enjoy these lattes.
Overall I have been quite impressed with these latte sachets, from not having had too high expectations when I first bought them and I've tucked them away at the back of the cupboard so the hubby can't find them and doesn't find out about my guilty little afternoon treat! Whilst they can't compare with freshly ground and roasted coffee from a proper coffee shop they do go some way to making up for the fact that I usually have to go months between proper caramel macchiatos. They're quick and easy to make, you don't need any of these fancy coffee machines you can get nowadays and they taste really good. Even now that I've tried and liked them I still probably wouldn't pay the full rrp for them but if I see them on offer again I will probably be tempted with a box or two!
Summary: A nice little afternoon treat that's tasty, creamy and not too heavy on the calories