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Coffee Time

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Contrary to all the available evidence I do actually drink hot beverages too.  Mainly tea, but I will have a cup of coffee now and then.  Although we still had almost a full jar of Carte Noire instant in the cupboard at home, I saw in Lidl a jar of instant coffee and thought I may as well give it a whirl.  GranArom Highland Gold 100% Arabica.  £1.68 for 100g.

GranAroma and Amaretti

I’ve yet to figure out what they mean by gold coffee, because it seems the only difference is the colour of the granules and the price.  And why Highland?  There aren’t any coffee plantations north of Stirling, surely?  If so, the Scots are keeping that quiet.

The back of the label gives no clues either, it just says beans taken from the world famous plantations are blended and so on.  It doesn’t say which famous plantations.  I mean it could either be the ones on the banks of the Clyde at Lanark, or that well known plantation in Fife.

I can’t help but read the name of this coffee as Granarama, which is pretty much what Tower Nightclub was on a Friday night.

I took the lid off to partake of the aroma.  Although it’s not as good as opening a new pack of coffee grounds and getting a noseful of that, but some satisfaction can be gained from instant.  However, it isn’t in this case.  Seeing the look of disapproval clambering all over my face put my wife off having a smell too.  Hearing me utter “ugh, Christ!” convinced her that she didn’t want to drink it either.  I opened the Carte Noire just to check if my nose was working properly.  It was, the CN smells gorgeous.  Granarama just smells, well, it just smells burnt, with a definite undertone of a cigar tube.

But, soldiering on in the cause of informing the consumers, I boiled the kettle.  I then had an idea.  I would create two identical cups of coffee.  One Granarama, and one Carte Noire.  I got identical mugs, added a pre-measured amount of milk, same amount of coffee and sugar and filled the cups to the same level.

Comparing coffee

Pretty much identical in appearance

They are visually identical, but that idea of equality is deceiving.  I tried the Granarama one first, I didn’t want to be spoilt by the Carte Noire.  It wasn’t particularly pleasant.  It wasn’t unpleasant, but I found it tedious to drink.  It was the caffeine equivalent of watching a TV test card.  So much so, that I found myself idly playing noughts and crosses on a blackboard with a rag doll.

Now to make it more interesting, I had also picked up some amaretti biscuits to go with it, as seen in the top picture.  Amaretti biscuits by Ital d’Oro. (99p for 200g)  Ital d’Oro is pidgin Italian for Gold of Italy.  Being made for Lidl though makes it about as Italian as Oktoberfest.

You remember when you was inoculated against polio and was given a sugar cube with the vaccine in it?  Imagine that instead of polio vaccine, they used almond essence instead.  That’s what these amaretti biscuits were like.  Not even decent almond essence either, it tasted a bit synthetic.  They were mostly sugar and were cripplingly sweet.  I didn’t dare eat more than two in case my dentist came round and gave me a good hiding.

Oddly, the biscuits did make the coffee more palatable.  How does that work?  Maybe it brought out the bitterness which improved its chances in this test. It now tasted like the piss-poor coffee you get from piss-poor vending machines in piss-poor public facilities.  The sort of coffee that you wouldn’t want to pay more than 15p for.

Incidentally, the coffee jar informs me that I can get 58 cups out of that 100g jar.  I don’t think I’ll bother to be honest.  I think I’ll save it for visitors.  Visitors that aren’t family or friends, maybe the British Gas bloke who comes to service the boiler once a year.  And Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Invite them in, make them a coffee and then put some earplugs in whilst they do their spiel.  “That’s right, drink your coffee.  What was you saying about God?  Would you like a top up?  Have one of these biscuits.  Yeah, they are a bit aren’t they?”

As for the amaretti biscuits, I would only recommend you getting a packet if you live with someone who is prone to hypoglycaemia and needs a quick sugar boost.  Hang on, I can hear the gate.  My dentist is walking up the garden path, stall him, I’m off out the back door…

Taste (Coffee) – 3/10
Taste (Amaretti biscuits) – 2/10
Value for Money (coffee) – 3/10
Value of money (biscuits) – 3/10
Sweetness (biscuits) – 13/10

Total:  24/50


Written by just1bloke

21 October 2011 at 11:43 pm

Posted in Beverages, Biscuits

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