Ok folks, for the sake of balance, I am trying Kenco Millicano coffee. I had already, erm, voiced my somewhat negative opinion of this stuff on Facebook, and they challenged me to actually try it. So in the interests of fairness and the fact that it was on offer in the supermarket, here goes.
The concept of Kenco Millicano is that it supposedly contains ground up, real coffee beans mixed in to the instant granules:
“‘Wholebean Instant coffee’; a clever combination of instant coffee and finely milled wholebeans. It’s the closest thing to ‘proper’ coffee in an instant. ”
As I’ve pointed out previously – most notably when Nescafe tried this with their raw coffee Green Blend – real coffee, whether roasted or green, is NOT naturally soluble. There is a reason why you have to filter it or use an espresso machine! So, if Kenco really have put real grounds into their instant coffee, I ought to get some sort of gritty residue at the bottom of my cup. Lovely, just what I look out for in a good coffee.
It smells awful. The problem with studying coffee and running a coffee shop, is that the more great coffee I get to try, the less I am able to tolerate crap. I did used to drink instant coffee – there you go, I admitted it. To me, Kenco Millicano smells like every other instant coffee – stale, almost like mildew, and at best, like coffee scented candles, that artificially sweet smell you get in interior design shops next to the bath bombs. Anyway, Millicano doesn’t actually smell that sweet, but it definitely does not smell like the real thing.
I hesitantly poured boiling water on to it. The smell gets worse, and then something very odd happens. Somehow, they’ve managed to generate artificial crema! I sincerely doubt that really is the coffee oils rising to the surface. Even if it really does have real coffee grounds in this mix, you don’t often get crema on the top of filter coffee anyway! More worryingly still, the crema was a deep, reddish brown, mahogany coloured. not the golden caramel colour it should be.
It tastes absolutely vile. Stale sawdust, mouldy, and bitter, with an acrid aftertaste like the taste of paracetamol when you don’t gulp the tablets with water. It is roughly akin to every other instant coffee I’ve tried recently – possibly worse than Nescafe Green Blend, better than the South African Frisco but not by much!!
I couldn’t get to the bottom of the cup drinking this black, so I’ve added sugar. At least the paracetamol aftertaste has gone.
Miranda has just smelled it and screwed her little face up!!!
Glop. Ok, over with. And yes, true to their word, there is some sort of unpalatable, grainy sludge at the bottom of my cup. This, I hope, is the real coffee grounds. I feel sorry for them, that truly was a fate worse than death for those beans.
Kenco – just… WHY? Why muck about with perfectly good coffee? Good coffee is worth waiting for, and making filter coffee is hardly much more hassle than boiling a kettle anyway, is it? NO NEED!!