Nescafé Clásico instant coffee reminds me of my Korean grandmother. Whenever I'd visit her in Seoul, coffee time meant a teaspoonful of Nescafé in one of the dainty tea cups from her vast collection, a saccharin tablet and some pumps of water from her water kettle/thermos. Having grown up in the States where no one drinks instant coffee or uses saccharin tablets, I thought my grandmother was doing some quaint Korean grandma thing.
I always had the coffee with her to be polite, but I liked it.
After my most recent trip to Seoul in November 2012, I decided instant coffee wasn't just for Korean grandmothers. Freeze-dried coffee has to be the most opposite thing to what's happening in New York in terms of anything you drink or eat. It's not locally-sourced, organic, artisanal or pickled.
The thing is, I like coffee, but I don't always feel like making it. Sometimes I want my coffee to be as fast as tea. Boil some water and it's done. Yes, I can be so lazy, I don't even want to get out a filter and pour the water over my coffee dripper that looks like this one. And I don't want to have to wash it and throw away the used filter either. That's lazy! Yeah, so instant coffee isn't my preferred form of coffee, but what I might have rather than no coffee at all.
When I got back from Seoul, I bought the Nescafé Clásico. It tasted just as I had expected it to, like an ok cup of coffee. But, I had to know if it was the best of the most readily accessible instant coffees. I did some googling and found some taste tests, forums and recommendations.
My husband and I did a taste test of three other instant coffees against Nescafé, which we already knew we liked.
Here's our assessment:
|Taster's Choice: Office (free)|
|Nescafé Clasico: Sort of espresso-y|
|Folger's: gas station|
|Cafe Bustelo: NYC deli (in a good way)|
Taster's Choice House Blend: Free coffee you get at your office
Café Bustelo Instant Espresso: Like New York City deli coffee (in a good way)
Folger's: Gas station, sour
Nescafé Clásico (I have no idea how Clásico is different from any other Nescafé instant coffee): espresso-like
So, that's our take. I might try Starbucks Via one day since I've read good things about that. (Edit: This review definitely makes me want to try it) But, otherwise I think I'll stick to Nescafé Clásico and think of my grandma each time I have a cup.