Category Archives: Instant Coffee Review

Reviews of instant coffees

Moccona Douwe Egberts Instant Coffee Review

Douwe Egberts or Moccona might not be a household name to American consumers, but the brand is well known in select professional coffee circles and Europe as one of the leading coffee roasters. The Douwe Egberts brand originated from The Netherlands (aka Holland) in 1753 as a small store owned by Mr Egbert Douwes. If you are from Australia, Douwe Egberts is the parent company of the Moccona brand which it launched Down Under in the 60’s.

Douwe Egberts Pure Gold and Pure Indulgence ReviewMoccona aka Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee

When i owned and operated a cafe, we used Douwe Egberts beans and were highly commended by customers from Europe who complimented us on having one of the best espressos in town. Some of the winners of contests for the best coffee in Australian cafes also use Douwe Egberts exclusively so the pedigree of this brand is proven. However what really matters here is how their instant coffee tastes so let’s get on with our Douwe Egberts instant coffee review!

Douwe Egberts and Starbucks are as different as chalk and cheese. One is European, the other is American, but the differences don’t end there. While Starbucks tends to be acidic and bitter, Douwe Egberts instant coffee is very smooth with nary a hint of sourness or bitterness.

The Gold variety is a good option for those who have tasted the brand while in Europe or Australia and are accustomed to or prefer a mild, smooth coffee. If you prefer something more intense, you can try the Pure Indulgence variety which is a darker roast with stronger character and aroma. Personally, I find the Gold version too light and prefer the dark roast. But again I am someone who drinks coffee straight – black with no sugar, cream or milk so my preference is not necessarily the same as yours.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Douwe Egberts definitely makes a fine instant coffee in keeping with their long tradition in coffee roasting. It is very different from Starbucks and therefore a great choice if you are looking for an instant coffee but do not like the typical Starbucks coffee (I’m referring to having coffee black not a frappucino in which case this is review is irrelevant). Douwe Egberts Pure Gold instant coffee is smooth with little acidity and bitterness. If you prefer a more robust coffee body then go for their Pure Indulgence line.

Cost Per Cup

Douwe Egbert Pure Gold works out to about 13 cents per cup and Pure Indulgence costs a little more at 14.5 cents per serving.

This is one of the instant coffees I personally drink and it helps that it tastes good and costs 4 to 5 times less per cup than some of the competition.

You can also purchase Douwe Egberts Pure Gold instant coffee in a pack of 200 individually wrapped sticks which is great for travelling or office drawer. This option works out to just over 23 cents per serving. That’s 10 cents more per serving than buying it in a jar but still way cheaper than a Starbucks VIA!

Click here to go back to the instant coffee comparison table on the home page.

 

Starbucks Via Review

Starbucks Via Review Sample

Starbucks Via Ready Brew is Starbucks’ instant coffee product line. It is by far the most popular instant coffee product based on the number of reviews on Amazon.

The VIA range has four classic flavors, Colombia, French Roast, Italian Roast and Italian Decaf. There are also other more niche or seasonal flavors such as peppermint mocha and Christmas blend.

Let’s see if its popularity is justified!

My Starbucks Via Review

As you can see from the picture, I am reviewing the Colombia medium roast. Starbucks VIA is packaged exclusively in individual sachets unlike most of the other instant coffee brands on review which come in jars. Individually packed serving usually mean higher costs but the advantages are that the coffee remains sealed, preserving it’s freshness and is convenient for travel.

On the inside flap of the package is great sounding spiel from the chairman, president and CEO. “We believe you should never be without great coffee. For almost 20 years, we’ve tried to capture a perfect cup of Starbucks coffee in an instant and microground form, and I’m proud to say that we’ve finally found a away. When you taste Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, I’m confident you’ll agree. Enjoy.

 

Emptying the content of a sachet, reveals that this is a spray dried instant coffee. You can tell as spray drying produces a fine coffee powder while freeze drying results in larger coffee granules. As per instructions on the package, I measured exactly 180 ml or 6 oz of hot water. The aroma is faint but similar in character to what you would smell from a brewed coffee from a Starbucks cafe.

There is only a slight acidity so the coffee is quite flat. In terms of body I found it to be rather heavy. Certainly heavier than most of the Starbucks coffee of the day I have ordered. Of course this can be easily adjusted by adding  more water than the 6 oz (180 ml) stated on the package.

First let me state that I am personally not a big fan or customer of Starbucks. I like a strong dark roast and also enjoy milder coffee, but  I find Starbucks coffee too bitter. Their instant coffee likewise tastes very similar to regular Starbucks brew. It also leaves a bitter though not unpleasant aftertaste on the tongue.

One other point of note is that although it is low acidity in the mouth (in terms of sharpness), it seems to actually be quite acidic as I could feel it’s effects in my stomach a few minutes after drinking half a cup. So if you have gastro-intestinal sensitivity just be aware if you drink it black on an empty stomach.

Conclusion

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is similar in many ways to the brewed coffee sold in their cafes. So if you like the typical Starbucks, this would certainly be a VIAble option. It is not the cheapest instant coffee, but is still very popular, probably due to the brand name and the fact that many people are used to and like Starbucks coffee.

Recommendation

For Starbucks fans and those who have a preference for a coffee taste that leans towards bitter, the cost per pack/cup is 59.9 cents, which is what a single sachet costs, from Amazon.