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Piping hot espresso anytime, anywhere you like?
I've just come across Percol's great Rocket Fuel coffee in an ingenious self heating cup. Granted, a small cup, but with power like this, who needs more?
The coffee: Finest Italian espresso coffee mixed with 0.9% Guarana. This combination significantly increases the stimulating effect, as Guarana is more consistent in its energy supply to your body than caffeine alone. It also fuels you for a longer period of time, so avoiding the hit-and-slump regularly associated with just caffeine.
The cup: Easy peasy - turn upside down, press in the bottom and shake for 40 seconds. Turn right way up, peel off lid and drink - hot and strong.
The packaging: Fiery-looking black pot with ROCKETFUEL in yellow running up its length. A box next to it states HOT ENERGY - STRONG BLACK COFFEE - POWERED BY GUARANA. The shake-to-heat instructions are printed on the other side - usefully upside down, as that's how you will be holding it! There is also a diagram showing how the heating system works. A foil lid, covered by a snap-on plastic lid, shows the legend: "Hot Energy in 40 seconds. Self Heating. Click Base, Shake and Drink."
Nowhere on the pot does it say Percol which is surprising considering how popular their instant Rocket Fuel is, but it is produced by Malgara Food of Italy for Food Brands Group Ltd. 9/10 Calico House, Plantation Wharf, London SW11 3TN, the parent company and address for Percol.
The technology: When you click the base of the cup, a membrane inside breaks, allowing water in the base of the pot to mix with calcium chloride in the double wall of the cup. The chemical reaction causes heat, and shaking the cup ensures maximum temperature and even heating. Fear not, the delicious coffee is sealed in an aluminium cup at the top of the container and it is impossible for the chemicals to get into contact with it.
The cost: I buy mine in Tesco £1.19 a pot (£1.59 per 100ml).
Does it work?: Well, it did for me. The first time I opened it I was disappointed in the small amount of coffee, considering the size of the pot. It took me a moment to realise how much space is taken up with the heating technology. However, it says 75ml on the pot, and that's about an espresso cup size. And it is a new larger pot than previously advertised.
The taste: The caffeine/guarana hit is immediate - those of you who have tasted the instant powder Rocket Fuel in a jar will recognise the buzz. Therefore not recommended unless you are ready to rock, or need an early morning wake-up call. This is not coffee for the faint-hearted. I also noticed immediately some sweetness, and it does contain sugar - a bit of a minus if you prefer your coffee unsweetened. Maybe the addition of sugar helps the heating process. I've noticed that items containing sugar heat up faster in my microwave than those without.
The heat: Well, not exactly 'piping' hot - but not too hot to drink either. It is still a bonus to be able to have a hot drink even in the middle of nowhere. Or on a train with no buffet. Or stranded in the car (I keep a pot in the boot!). Or at your son's football match.
The website printed on the pot www.rocketfuel.uk.com adds further benefits of Guarana - but I have to say I have not validated all of these advantages: acts as an aphrodisiac helps with hangovers eases headaches and migraines assists dieting reduces cellulite although you can visit guarana.com for further information.
So, rather a high price to pay for a small coffee - but who is to say when you might not be grateful for that self-heating cup?
(+) Another variation of Nescafe's coffee pod, comes with milk capsules, quick and easy to prepare. (-) Coffee is okay but the milk is a matter of taste, fattening and quite expensive price for amount..