Coffee aficionado. Me ?

It is 3.01am on a fine early Saturday morning. The sky is in darkness; the weather is good, cool. I can hear in a distance, a plane flying overhead, it’s engines burring away, not too loud that it would wake people from their sleep.

We are still in the period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel abroad is / was completely restricted except for the well-connected. For many months, air travel was near zero. So, when I see an airliner or even hear one flying overhead, I tell myself that I will be able to go the U.S. soon. Nowadays, there are quite a few planes that fly overhead. If a plane is flying at a very high altitude around 35,000ft to 40,000ft; I know it will bypass our KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), which is 5 minutes away by flight.. If the plane is flying lower around 25,000ft or less and heading in the general direction of KLIA, then it will make a landing there. And the numbers landing at the airport has picked up quite a fair bit.

So, why am I up at this time when most people are in bed, fast asleep? No, it is not just to write this article. I am already looking into three or four articles ahead. I am even toying with the idea of publishing my work sketchpad of ideas and points that flow (Float? 🙂 ) in my brain. I don’t think I will publish the whole lot… maybe some from 2 or 3 of the essays that I have already published.

Classy packaging, design colours…the works

What I like to talk a little bit about is my recent / current coffee experience with Nescafe’s Nescafe Gold 3in1 Dark Latte (intensity 3 coffee beans?).

I love coffee. Absolutely love it. I have tasted the many coffees, from the home made ones to filtered coffee to drip coffee to the coffee pressed by machines on wheels to gourmet and signature coffees, including those on my many travels before. All except cat poop coffee (1). Just the thought…The way it is “developed” – I’ll continue to give it a miss.

I wrote a paper on coffee for my MBA and included a sachet filled with coffee beans to give a 3-D experience: Sight, Aroma and Feeling. Got a high-distinction for that paper.

I drink coffee almost 24 x 7. I probably have more coffee in my veins than blood. Emmm….nah! I am not addicted to coffee. I don’t have any cravings of sorts or withdrawal symptoms. It is just my favourite beverage. No hang ups. No side effects. I can drink strong coffee and go to sleep the next moment. Haha.

I “acquired” the art of drinking black coffee or plain coffee, or coffee without the clothes on (I was talking about sugar and creamer. What were you thinking?) or kopi kosong. And I like my coffee strong or “kaw” or “kaw kaw”. (2) It has been nine years and I am still with black coffee.

Coming back to Nescafe’s Nescafe Gold 3in1 Dark Latte (intensity 3 coffee beans). My wife, Jeannie; bought this packet of 12 sachets or sticks (massive 34gm sticks) a few days ago. The packaging looks very upmarket and classy. I was prepared for a treat of great tasting coffee.

Poured the whole sachet of contents into one of my favourite coffee mugs (this was my Starbucks mug which I bought at a Starbucks cafe in Los Angeles in 1998). Then poured hot water (not boiling hot water as I believe it burns and spoils the coffee).

This Starbucks mug came with heat protector handle, a coaster rubber mat attached to the base and the cover. As you can tell, it is pretty worn out but it has never failed me. Still one of my favs.

When I had the first sip of this coffee; it was horid, horid, horrible! It tasted like coffee from one of those Indian or “mamak” restaurants. Exactly like that. These restaurants use milk that gives the coffee a totally “off” taste. It is not that they are serving bad stuff. The milk they used is meant for the Indian tea that they serve. It gives the tea a sort of orangy / brown, muddy river colour and the tea is good and acceptable, even for a non-tea drinker like me. But that milk cannot be used in coffee. When I do drink coffee at one of these restaurants nowadays (before the many Covid-19 lockdowns), I take it black and strong; and their coffee prepared that way, is usually good.

Working on this article

So, what’s with this Nescafe coffee? It is the same coffee, taste wise; commonly served at those restaurants. I continued to drink this coffee, a few sachets over the next few days. I ended up going to the doctors, worried, as I had a pain in my chest and a bad case of gastritis. I did an ECG; and all other checks: results showed “normal”. The doctor diagnosed it as indigestion and prescribed some medicines for it.

When I got better from the indigestion, I tried the coffee again. My stomach started to churn not long after that. So, it was the coffee. No more Nescafe Gold 3in1 Dark Latte (intensity 3 coffee beans) for me.

The classy design and colours of the reverse side of the packaging. Full of information, clear enough to read.

I personally don’t think the coffee contents is doing justice to the design and packaging. A consumer in a rush, walks past the various brands of coffee in a supermarket, picks up the eye-catching Nescafe Gold 3in1 Dark Latte expecting to get regal top class coffee based on the attractiveness of the packaging and the premium price. I don’t think this coffee is going to sell well. It may become a “one-hit wonder”, where consumers may not re-purchase it after the first time. I think Nescafe Gold has to live up to what it originally created and what people have come to expect from it.

On the flip side, this coffee if targeted at those who have grown accustomed to coffee and milk from Indian restaurants; may be able to sell. Or, this is one coffee that has got a better of me.

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Let me know your experiences and what you think of this coffee or any coffee.

Coffee everywhere,,,, even on the screen 😉

NOTE:

  1. “Cat poop coffee” or Kopi Luwark: is coffee made from coffee cheries that have been eaten, digested, and defecated by the Asian palm civet, a small mammal that looks like a cross between a cat and a racoon. The beans are then cleaned and processed. In the west, Kopi Luwark is known as “cat poop coffee”.
  2. “Kaw” is understood to mean strong or thick when referring to beverages like coffee or tea locally in Malaysia. “Kaw kaw” means extra strong.

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