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It is a sad fact of life that I am self confessed caffeine junkie. I live on a combination of Pepsi and coffee, actually, make that I used to live of a combination of Pepsi and coffee because as a resolution, I am giving up caffeine or at least trying hard to.
Out went the Gold Blend, out went the Pepsi and in came smoothies, juices and Kenco Decaffeinated Coffee Granules.
As a student, I find drinking coffee an incredibly social activity and I would loathe stopping drinking coffee altogether, so, rather than doing that, I opted for switching to decaffeinated coffee. One of my main reasons for opting for Kenco above other brands is that it is served at my university, as I am quite a fussy person with a fussy palate, I decided this was a good enough reason to pick this brand. A further push, if I needed one, was that currently the 100g jar is on offer in Tesco, currently the offer is that Kenco is half price, retailing at £1.37 until 5th February. The usual price is £2.74.
Also, a resolution I made myself for the New Year was to be more environmentally aware and more aware of sustainability in the world, so in opting for Kenco on my Tesco.com I decided to read the blurb about this particular coffee and this came up on my screen:
'We believe in a growing better future for coffee. For a coffee made entirely from sustainable grown beans, try Kenco Sustainable Development coffee.
This prompted me again to purchase this coffee as I believed I would be buying in accordance with my new found awareness. I have not yet looked on the above website however, (oh dear, maybe not quite off to that good start I intended!).
A Little Speech About Kenco Coffee (Taken from the coffee jar) At Kenco, we have been making great tasting, high quality coffee for more than 80 years.
We've used that expertise to bring you Kenco Decaffeinated, a satisfying coffee that doesn't compromise on taste. Only quality beans go into Kenco Decaffeinated, including high quality Arabica beans, the same as you'll find in our Roast and Ground coffee. We carefully decaffeinate our beans using only natural resources and no artificial additives.
For more information call 0808 100 8787
And something I found interesting that I didn't know before now:
NATURAL SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS Like green tea, Kenco coffee is a natural source of antioxidants. To find out more visit www.krafthealthyliving.co.uk
So, I was quite surprised, this coffee seemed to fit in with all my new found ethos and I was beginning to warm immediately to the brand as a whole. I hoped I was not going to be disappointed.
Delving into my shopping, I was able to find the coffee jar quite easily; the jar is still made of glass and has a green lid top. Opening the jar is easy, the shaped lid gave me a good grip and I am sure that my Granddad would have been able to open this with ease, as he has problems with his grip. The Kenco logo is clearly embossed onto the lid, so, if perchance you have an identical jar and lid and you use them both at the same time, you know which one is for your coffee. Labelling is simple, green, red and a touch of gold. The Kenco logo is in white text and would be easily recognisable to most people.
So it was time to pop the kettle on and settle down for a cuppa. Beneath the lid, there is a foil which has to be broken. With normal caffeinated coffee, you normally get a big whiff of coffee, would it be the same with this coffee. As this is my first foray into decaff coffee, I had very little preconceptions. Upon piercing the film I was able to smell the coffee but admittedly, it wasn't quite as strong as a normal coffee jar.
Closely looking at the coffee grounds, I noticed they were slightly lighter than the jar of Kenco Really Rich we have in our cupboard. Now sure if this is due to the fact it is decaffeinated or whether this is more to do with the jar of Really Rich being a bit more roasted than the decaff. The granules were in an identical size and shape to the jar of Really Rich. So far so good and I was beginning to feel more at ease that I maybe wouldn't miss my caffeine hit so much.
I personally take my coffee as such- in a mug, with a heaped teaspoon of coffee and a small dash of milk. Individual preference may affect the actual taste someone else may get from this. So I made my coffee in the normal way and away I went... Pouring in the water, I did notice a light colour than I would normally expect, although this wasn't an issue I would let deter me from trying the coffee. My husband commented it didn't quite look as appealing as his coffee and I tended to agree with him on this front as he poured the water into his cup of Kenoc Really rich. My coffee bubbled more than his though, so I pretended I was in some posh coffee shop rather than in my slightly tired and bland kitchen!
After adding my milk, I would not have noticed much difference between my cup of decaff and my normal coffee; again, I found this reassuring as I was starting to feel psychosomatic withdrawal before I had given up my caffeine! I then started to drink my coffee......
Initially, I felt that my coffee had a slightly mellower taste, not unpleasant and no particular overriding taste within the first few gulps of coffee. Later on within my cuppa, I started to taste a bit more of a traditional coffee kick but it still continued to feel mellower than I was accustomed to but I felt this could be tackled with adding more granules to my cup on the next occasion. After finishing my coffee, there were no undissolved granules or residue left in my cup, which I have found in the past can affect the depth of taste within my coffee. I didn't notice any unpleasant aftertaste with this coffee. Overall on my first experience with this coffee, I felt like it was decent cuppa but I did feel I was missing something, whether it was the caffeine, whether it was psychological, I couldn't really say at this stage.
I decided that the best course of action would be to slightly increase the amount of granules in my coffee to get the desire taste, for my liking. I added a heaped teaspoon and a half to my cup, poured and off I went again.
On this occasion, my coffee had a darker depth of colour to it, still not quite to the degree of my other coffees but it was certainly getting there. Taste wise, I began to feel this was more the coffee experience I was looking for. I felt this time; the coffee taste was much more apparent and had more depth to it. Caffeinated coffee this isn't but I did feel that at this level, I was getting a decent cup of coffee and if I had been served coffee such as this I would have been very hard pushed to tell it was decaffeinated coffee, I would have been more likely to say this tasted of cheaper quality coffee rather that decaf. Again, I didn't get any bitter aftertaste nor any unpleasant graininess left over.
I have been going along with my 4 cups of decaf a day for the last 2 days and I have to admit I am beginning to get used to the taste and I am beginning to adjust the amount of coffee I am using again.
What I find lacking really in this coffee in the aroma, there is very little aroma in the granules or in the dissolved coffee, which I really miss from my normal coffee and I do find that smell really whets my thirsty for coffee, so I am slightly disappointed in this factor with the coffee.
However, I cannot fault the taste now I have found my taste preferences with this coffee. I still think it lacks something, but I remember it is decaf! I can feel my taste buds are changing and accepting this coffee more and more, on the plus side, I have had very little in the way of caffeine withdrawal symptoms!
Overall, I feel quite happy with this coffee, at least until the jar runs out. I am not sure if I will buy this again, I have had to up my 'dose' of coffee to compensate for taste, which may mean I will end up going through this jar quicker than I would if I was still drinking caffeinated coffee. However, Kenco Decaffeinated has shown me that really, there isn't too much difference to my palate in terms of taste and that really, I'm not missing out on too much. I would recommend this coffee to Ciao members as a good product, I feel you may be able to pay more and get a more authentic coffee flavour than this product but if you are looking for a jar, either to start yourself off on decaf or for maybe someone who pops round and drinks decaf, you could do worse than buy this.