Nescafe’s “Green Blend”

05 Feb

I regularly scream at the TV every time the Nescafe advert comes on anyway – the campaign about “capturing coffee at it’s brightest” offends the very core of my being, having seen the mouldy, rotten, stinking beans that make their way into instant coffee… However, recently it has got worse. Recently, Nescafe have launched their “Green Blend”
The health benefits of coffee – NESCAFE

My first reaction was of course What the….??? (less politely, obviously)
But you better believe it baby… Nescafe are in fact trying to sell you coffee that is 35% RAW, on health grounds.
This is utter rubbish.
1. It is a fair assessment that the process used to create instant/soluable coffee would remove any nutritional value anyway.
2. I am fairly certain it isn’t possible to make instant coffee with raw coffee beans:
 -> Green coffee beans are inert – the human body cannot digest them. It’s a little like eating raw corn, it just goes straight through you.
Instant coffee is made by grinding roasted coffee, making huge batches of filter coffee from it, the boiling and boiling the filtered coffee until only a dry residue is left, which is then put in to jars. This is the only way you can make coffee completely soluable -and also why instant coffee tastes nothing like the real thing. Some companies (and I don;t know about Nestle, so I can’t prove this) – actually have to recreate the smell and taste of real coffee by adding artificial flavourings back in to it afterwards, since the process of making it soluable removes so much of the flavour. This is perfectly legal, and they can still claim it’s ‘made using 100% arabica coffee beans.”… But anyway – roasting is vital to this process, because without roasting, the coffee cannot release any of its oils, flavours, acids or nutrients into the water when making the filter coffee. If you mix water with ground up green coffee beans, you just get water with green beans in it. Therefore, if Nescafe are actually adding 35% raw beans to their blend, it means they’d just end up with instant coffee with a third less flavour than normal. OR, they could be adding the green beans after they’ve made the roasted ones soluable – in which case when you make a cup of this stuff, you should end up with green grit in the bottom of your cup. I shall have to dare to buy some and test this theory.

3. The health claims are also a)entirely unnecessary, and b) entirely meaningless. More on this later on. Nescafe seem to have borrowed a cupper to test their latest product – which is akin to getting a professional sommelier to taste Lambrini. But point being, you can’t taste green coffee for the reasons given above, and you certainly can’t taste anti-oxidants….
Here are some reactions to Nescafe’s promotional video from other people which I rather liked:

 “I love the expert view at the bottom. A nutritionist?!? The word is dietitian.”

“To claim oneself to be a dietitian, is to say that you have a degree in dietetics and are a registered health care professional with all the responsibility that goes with it. – ANYONE can claim themselves to be a nutritionist or nutritional therapist – the terms are not protected – it’s a bit like claiming yourself to be a spirit medium.”

“It’d be interesting to know how they claim to add the green beens… You could always call them up and ask them to send you information in connection with your doctorate… see if the bumph they sent you held up to scrutiny. Doesn’t half indigestable coffee count as speciality?”

“The whole idea of adding anti-oxidants to food is erroneous. The body produces its own antioxidants and releases them as required at any one time. Eating more doesn’t mean they even go into the blood stream -they are much more likely to be excreted. Ina large scale trial of giving antioxidants to a group of people who were smokers was abandoned after 6 years as unethical because those in the group that got the antioxidants were 46% more likely to die of lung cancer than those who were given placebos! And yet we’re still getting adverts for foods with added antioxidants.Blah!”

Herein lies the rub.
Even if anti-oxidants are good for you – there are more anti-oxidants in roasted coffee than green coffee anyway. AND you can actually digest them!
Here’s the proof:
Coffee Science Information Centre’s study of antioxidant levels in coffee
It’s a long and pretty complex study, and backed up by a lot of different tests. However, this is the crucial bit:

“The roasting of coffee beans dramatically increases their total
antioxidant activity. A roasting time of 10 minutes (medium-dark roast)
was found to produce coffee with optimal oxygen scavenging and chain
breaking activities in vitro (6). A study of robusta and
arabica coffees from six different countries showed that robusta
samples contained significantly more reducing substances than arabica
samples and that protective activity measured ex vivo was
significantly greater in roasted samples than in green coffee (7).
Using the ABTS•+ method (the gold standard), it was confirmed that
light roast or medium roast coffee has a significantly higher
antioxidant activity in vitro than green coffee (8). This
difference was observed despite a 19% and 45% decrease in the
chlorogenic acid content of light and medium roast coffee respectively
implying that other compounds make significant contributions to the
total antioxidant activity of roasted coffee. Melanoidins are brown
polymers formed by the Maillard reaction during the roasting of coffee
beans and account for up to 25% of the dry matter. It has recently been
shown by the ABTS•+ method that coffee melanoidins have significant
antioxidant activity in vitro (9).”

So, where did Nescafe’s idea come from??? GREEN blend sounds eco-friendly. I bet they couldn’t market it as “Nescafe RAW blend”. It also sounds healthy. People think they need anti-oxidants. The most well-known source of anti-oxidants is green tea. Coffee, on the other hand, has always been accused of being unhealthy because of the caffeine content… so, why not make the coffee green too??
And, I suppose, what really swung it for Nestle was that green coffee is cheaper than roasted coffee, and this way, they can sell a new exciting blend for more money, when it may actually be a third cheaper to produce….

God I’m a cynic….


Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

47 responses to “Nescafe’s “Green Blend”

  1. Jen Long

    February 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Now Nestle are jumping on the “health” bandwagon. They made such a fuss about their fair trade Partner’s Blend but you can’t even buy it in the really huge Sainsbury’s which is local to me! Even though the whole aisle is heavily dominated by Nescafe products! It’s like McDonalds saying their food is perfectly fine in a balanced diet, or that Nutella advert where they say it’s good for slow-releasing energy! Whatever!

  2. john Coxon

    January 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Hi. Do Nescafe only do one of their brands fair trade as an alternative rather than a really ethical blanket policy. I used to drink thier instant stuff but now only drink Kenco that also comes in Eco bags as it seems bona fide fair trade. Tend not to expect huge global coprporates to be ethical and are soley share holder orientated.

  3. Green blen

    January 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    The author of the above critic needs to get his science right, and his sources. I am not here to
    Defend green blend but beleive me, the above is just nin sense and uterly unfounded. As i wrote a few lines ago, get your science right and don t criticise a process you don’t have a clue on.

    • drcoffee

      January 30, 2011 at 12:44 am

      OK, in what sense do I have “my science wrong”? Do you have any evidence for this? When you say it is unfounded, are you saying that both the research paper demonstrating the relative anti-oxidant levels in green and roasted coffees is wrong, despite being independently researched and peer reviewed, AND the medical tests into the (lack of) health benefits from increased anti-oxidant consumption are wrong? Where is your proof? What alternative review do you offer?
      I will believe anything that can be proved by rational debate; until then I will criticise as much media bullshit as I am privy to. And by the way, I am not a “he”.

      • Adam Clause

        February 10, 2011 at 1:20 am

        Yes I do I have my PHD in organic chemistry and will with a full 4 years of my college life studying solvents and extractions state you are completly wrong. Green coffee has lots of antioxidants that are oxadised and there free radical capturing ablilitys disabled if you even no how a antioxidant captures the lone electron giving a free radical its negative charge. Plus with the process they use to dry the coffee no nutrients are lost.

      • drcoffee

        February 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

        I suggest your present your findings to the people at then. If you actually read the piece, I did not say that green coffee does not contain anti-oxidants, just that roasted coffee contains more, and that the human body is more capable of digesting them than in green form. I am still extremely sceptical of any health benefits of anti-oxidant consumption anyway (I note you didn’t disagree with this bit!). There are very many ethical reasons why you should avoid Nestle anyway and since instant coffee is disgusting, you will never catch me drinking it, anti-oxidants or no anti-oxidants.

      • neptune's Aura Astrology

        July 14, 2017 at 3:28 am

        You did not use a proper scientific source if you had you would know the science, you are advertising isn’t peer reviewed real science journal source. Proper science journal sources of peer reviewed studies say exactly what he claims. Science is not debate, its repeatable experiments – doesn’t change outcomes because somebody has a good argument – saliva breaks down starch whether you are good or bad at debating and you or anybody else can repeat the experiment and get the same result.

      • Dr. Coffee

        July 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm

        “you did not use proper scientific source” – says “Neptune’s Aura Astrology”

  4. Whiskyman

    February 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    How can I put this delicately…

    Nescafe Green Blend is the most foul-tasting coffee-wannabe concoction I’ve encountered to date, so much so that I have spent the last three days eating flapjacks and coffee in desperate penance after my stomach threatened to turn itself inside out in protest. Have to say I agree that instant coffees are never “nice”, but at least Kenco’s tend to be drinkable (and stomp all over anything from Nescafe IMO). The “Green” thing might shift a few jars before anybody with a functioning palate will conclude, as I did, that there are precious few health benefits in consuming something that is virtually indistinguishable from bilge water.

    • drcoffee

      February 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Couldn’t agree more!! I have a friend who I have been trying to educate in coffee for the past four years, in vain. She STILL genuinely prefers the taste of instant coffee. Unfortunately there is no arguing with personal preference! There are only two instant coffees that I’ve forced her to try that she won’t drink at all, one being South African FRISCO (brown powder apparently with chicory in it) and the other being Ne$cafe Green blend. Consequently I believe there is still hope for her yet.

  5. Speller

    February 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

    @Adam Clause. A PHD student spelling “know” as “no” and not putting “an” before a vowel starting word, I don’t think so. English is my not my native language and I have no degrees. I believe the author more.

    • drcoffee

      February 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you. I didn’t dare criticise the appalling spelling and grammar for fear of starting another rant from him! If you are going to argue things like this, you HAVE to be able to argue clearly, and mistakes like that really do not help.

  6. Trev the Bev

    August 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Just had two mugs of the green filth – yes two. I could not believe they are selling it as coffee as it tastes more like torrified barley – back to Kenco blue for me.

    • drcoffee

      August 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      I was with you right up to the word “Kenco”… 😛

  7. Greg F

    December 24, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Drcoffee, I’m not sure why you are so vehemently “anti-green coffee”, but even the link you provided states that increasing levels of roasting _decreases_ the antioxidant profile:

    Colombian Arabica coffee beans were roasted to give light, medium, and dark samples. Their aqueous extracts were analyzed by gel filtration chromatography, UV-visible spectrophotometry, capillary electrophoresis, and the ABTS(*)(+) assay. A progressive decrease in antioxidant activity (associated mainly with chlorogenic acids in the green beans) with degree of roasting was observed with the simultaneous generation of high (HMM) and low molecular mass (LMM) compounds possessing antioxidant activity. Maximum antioxidant activity was observed for the medium-roasted coffee; the dark coffee had a lower antioxidant activity despite the increase in color. Analysis of the gel filtration chromatography fractions showed that the LMM fraction made a greater contribution to total antioxidant activity than the HMM components.

    Roasted coffee contains high levels of a “probable carcinogen” Acrylamide. I am in no way associated with Nescafe, but I believe the theory behind the emanating green coffee craze is the high concentrations of chlorogenic acid present. And, indeed, it aligns with scientific rationale that additional heating and processing results in a destruction of beneficial properties.

    • drcoffee

      January 21, 2012 at 1:13 am

      erm, the link shows the exact opposite?? more anti oxidents are present when it is roasted – and moreover, you can actually digest the stuff when it is roasted, and you can’t when its green.
      I don’t understand your point.

  8. Daviey

    January 17, 2012 at 12:11 am

    This stuff was on really cheap at my local Sainsbury’s, and being a very poor student, I thought “bargain” and bought two large jars. Now I wish I had just stuck to not drinking coffe at all. Ugh. Disgusting stuff, and I feel worse than I did before I started consuming its “high level of antioxidants”. It’s like boswelox in face cream – a made-up chemical with made-up benfits to make made -up people feel better about their made-up lives. Not that I think anti-oxidants aren’t real, you understand; Just that there is no point consuming extras.

    • drcoffee

      January 21, 2012 at 1:18 am

      ooo I am so sorry you had to taste it!! If it is that cheap, there is probably a reason, ie: no one else will buy it. The debate about anti-oxidants rages (see other comments) but you’re right, there is no real reason to consume more.

      • Daviey

        January 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

        sadly, being a student means i can very rarely afford real coffee, so i have to make do with instant. I truly wish i had stuck with the rubbish i used to drink, instead of trying to economise . and let’s face it, i was doing ok without the added antioxidants, so i can’t qork out why anyone would think i need more. stupid me and my stupid economical gullibility.

  9. lina

    June 21, 2012 at 7:28 am

    i came across Nescafe green blend while i was doing research for a project in my final year for food science and technology degree. We did this module called functional foods and we often did research and even had to carry out debates on food controversies. and yes coffee was one of them and there are two sides of the story. As our professor said “don’t believe in health claims just like that, there’s more to it”

  10. Novice

    July 22, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve been drinking the stuff you all have been insulting for more than a year. I like it! I’m only disappointed that it comes in those thick glass jars (probably costs more to make than the coffee itself considering the rotten moldy beans they use :)) And that MASSIVE cap! How many barrels of oil does than use to make?

    • drcoffee

      August 7, 2012 at 3:59 am

      i daren’t ask. Each to their own!!!
      The massive lids are actually very good if used as cookie cutters, by the way.
      This may be fanning the flames (!) but I tend to think that saying instant coffee is 100% arabica is like saying the glass jars are 100% sand. true, after unimaginable mutilation.

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    • drcoffee

      August 7, 2012 at 3:53 am

      glad to be of service!

  12. Arish

    August 27, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I am a first year undergraduate science student and I am about to start testing the difference between Nescafe Green Blend and Nescafe Gold in terms of total antioxidant capacity later this week. I stumbled upon this site while doing a bit of research into green coffee beans and antioxidant capacity to get an idea of what to expect and how to design my experiment. Anyway, while inspecting the label on the bottle of Green Blend I purchased I found that their claim concerning 70% greater bioavailability of antioxidants when compared to green tea was not directly linked to the addition of green beans to the blend. That link was left to consumer inference. This has lead me to believe that the “Green” in the name is simply to cash in on the current positive association with the word, and that perhaps all coffee polyphenols and malanoidins (not just those linked to green beans) are 70% more bioavailable than green tea antioxidants. Further supporting this supposition is that on the Nescafe gold label the exact same antioxidants were listed, 30mg/g less in the Australian product and only 10mg/g less in the UK product. However, another hypothesis could be that the reduced ability to digest green bean antioxidants could lead to increased vascular uptake in its active form, maximising benefits (if any, which we cannot say conclusively). This is just speculation based on my simple observations, and I guess I am going to find out for myself in the coming weeks which one has the greater antioxidant capacity.

    • drcoffee

      September 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Now that is interesting stuff!! Please please post your findings on here, I’m very keen to learn more about this. I am not disputing the anti-oxident content of coffee, I just doubt the body’s ability to process them in green form. And I am not actually convinced, from what I’ve read, that increasing your intake of antioxidents has any health benefits anyway… but this, like you say, is just my conjecture.

      • Arish

        September 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        I will post any conclusions that my group and I come to here, given the short time frame of experimentation the results wont be conclusive but will hopefully give a bit of an insight into whats really going on chemically. One of our hypotheses concerning the ‘under processed’ antioxidants from green beans relates to the temperatures commonly used to prepare coffee, this could convert the previously unusable antioxidants to usable and the usable ones could be rendered useless. Anyway, Uni is really busy at the moment and I have a lot more to share concerning this topic, I love coffee and another excuse to drink it would be great, so as soon as I have sufficient time I will love to share my speculations, hypotheses and results.

    • Abe

      September 5, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Please post your results. Plus, are you going to include anything on weight loss benefits? And are you going to compare to Green Tea?

      I’ve just looked on the jar of Nescafe Green Coffee I have and there’s nothing about 70% nor is it implied. Perhaps there different packaging for different countries. All it says is :

      1 cup a day (1.8g and
      200ml water) provides
      0.4g antioxidants (0.16g polyphenols) as part of a
      healthy balanced diet and

      This is on the 100gE jar.

      The ONLY thing I can find with this 70% claim (I too remember seeing it but was in Oz at the time) is that Nescafe (downunder) reported upon their launch of the new Green Coffee range that Green Coffee has 70% more antioxidant polyphenols than green tea.

      • Arish

        September 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        Hi Abe,
        Those label figures seem to be slightly different to the ones on the Australian bottles. Also, the claim of “DELIVERS 70% more antioxidants…” is plastered across the front of our bottle. Unfortunately, given time constraints in the lab we are only testing coffee, nor are we focusing on weight loss. But I do know that weight loss claims come from the ability of caffeine to stimulate your metabolism, increasing energy expenditure even during a resting state. Once I get some results I will post them here, and when I have enough time I will also discuss and share my knowledge and speculation.

  13. Abe

    September 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Hi Dr Coffee

    I love my coffee. Stronger the better and full rich earthy flavours of Java is the best imho. While I do agree with you for the most part I would like to write something positive about Nescafe Green Blend that has nothing to do with flavour or strength (anyone who wants to buy this for those two reasons – don’t!).

    I heard about the health benefits of green coffee and tried to purchase some on the internet. They do have more anti-oxidents than full roasted coffee beans and they do aid in weight loss. This much, I think, is true. To say that it can be made to taste as good as “real” coffee is WRONG!

    While searching for Green Coffee, as a health supplement, I couldn’t find ANYTHING for under a bloody fortune. Till I came across Nescafe Green blend. While I did find other pure green coffee makes the one thing all reviewers agreed upon was that it tasted awful. But hey, they weren’t drinking it for a taste of “sunkissed tropical island” flavour were they. Nescafe has made a good attempt at blending the beans to make it more palatable. Hit or miss? You decide. But I drink it ONLY for health benefits. I don’t have it as my daily coffee “indulgance”. I get that from the other coffee I drink through the day.

  14. assinah

    October 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    the taste is awful,i gave it to a colleague of mine, whom i know loves coffee like nothing on this earth,guess what!he gave it away.

  15. david

    November 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    the nescafe green blend tastes so bland, you can hardly describe it as coffee! after a few tastes of it, it became obvious that it contains even less nutrients and flavour than standard instant coffee. buy fresh coffee and grind it yourself. not only will it taste better, it will actually BE better for you! im quite certain of that

  16. ArrowRend

    December 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I’m drinking green tea (teabag) neat ( just water) at the moment until I found a jar of this Nescafe Green blend at work. Am i better off just drinking my lipton green tea? I suppose the nescafe stuff doesn’t have the cetchtins (or however you spell it) like the grean tea does?

    Help! 🙂

    • drcoffee

      January 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Drink whatever you prefer the taste of!

    • Abe

      January 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Why do you want to drink either? It’s it because they are healthy? Want to try them as part of a weight loss plan? Do you like the taste of one over the other?

      • poppaphil

        April 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        hi guys, interesting chit chat, but ,at 74 yrs, been there done that .eat less ,exercise more and drink your bourbon neat

  17. Joseph

    April 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Well Lets Start Normal Coffee any Instant Coffee I use 3 to 4 Spoons of sugar to to Kill the Bitter Taste ! Does not matter wether its instant or Perked !

    Nescafe green Blend Loverly and Mellow Not Bitter 1 may be even half a teaspoon sugar for me wow awesome taste ….

    Perked Coffee I get three Cups out of one cup by adding Hot water …..

    So if it has health benefits for me yes less sugar to start with and then any thing else is a Bonus !

    The fact that I can drink it with little or no sugar without milk … and its pleasant to drink and may have other benefits as well may be not proven does not detract it from me as a beverage !

    • bev schwedes

      July 3, 2013 at 1:32 am

      I wish Nestcafe would come on here and put the critics straight , you find them with everything ,just wanting to be heard. No benefit at all to anyone. Just try drinking green coffee yourself for a week and you be the judge

      • drcoffee

        July 3, 2013 at 9:18 am

        Erm, we did, that’s the problem.
        “…critics, you always get them, just trying to be heard…” maybe they should read the original post?

      • bev schwedes

        July 4, 2013 at 12:41 am

        I am diabetic and since drinking Nescafe green coffee I have had to reduce my insulin dose by 10 units . If that’s not a health benefit I don’t know what you would call IT

      • Abe

        July 4, 2013 at 2:35 am

        Green Coffee does have health benefits. It is a mistake to only comment about Green Coffee from a coffee lover’s point of view. i.e. taste only. That is why I have stuck my ground and have said if you want green coffee only for taste then it isn’t for you. But on the other hand if you have other reasons such as health then enjoy the benefits. The original poster of this topic was only concentrating on the taste. Don’t let this put you off.

      • drcoffee

        July 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        I don’t think it’s “a mistake to only comment …from a coffee lover’s point of view” – Nescafe Green Blend is designed and marketed as a DRINK for people to taste and enjoy. In this sense, it fails! But if you are convinced of the health benefits of raw coffee, I’m sure it’s now available in supplement or tablet form, which, more importantly perhaps, may be more digestible too. But I am not writing about supplements – I’m interested in coffee as a beverage and in the production of that beverage, and how it is marketed, albeit with some seemingly dodgy pseudoscience.

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  21. John Williams

    November 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Have been using Nescafe Gold, and just purchased Nescafe Gold Blend — too weak, and no flavor — really bad!. Nescafe has been ruining their beverages for many years, now — Completely ruined Carnation chocolate drink powder, arguably the best in the World, after they purchased that company — Completely ruined Ovaltine, and now completely ruining their Nestle Gold soluble coffee! Seems there marketing department has their head in the sand — as large corporations tend to do!! According to what I can find out, Gold is all Arabica, and the “blend” is a combination of Arabica and Robusta?? Difficult to find any information on this subject!! The regular Nescafe instant coffee here in Thailand is horrible!! No flavor, no taste ——— bought a bag of this stuff by mistake!!

  22. Nigel Kriel

    February 9, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Forgetting all the silly claims of healthy etc.

    I like the taste more than other instant coffee in Australia. Personal preference is suppose.

    Not a big fan of all the “burnt” tasting barista brewed coffees that have sprung up all over Australia where everyone is “good”. Definitely quantity has reduced general quality


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