June 19, 2010

Japan's First Regular Soluble Coffee from Nestle/ネスレの日本初の「レギュラーソリュブルコーヒー」

Nestle launched initial sales of Japan's first regular soluble coffee in Japan, accepting orders for 2,000 sets from June 11 through 20. I was intrigued and decided to buy one.
ネスレは日本で日本初のレギュラーソリュブルコーヒーの先行販売を始めました。6月11日~20日まで2,000セットの注文を受け付けるというものです。私は興味をそそられ、1セット買うことにしました。

The set arrived today. It consists of:
One 70 g bottle of Nescafe Komibaisen Fukairi (Dark Roast),
One 70 g bottle of Nescafe Komibaisen Chuiri (Medium Roast), and
One original measuring spoon
2,000 yen (free shipping)

今日、届きました。次のものが入っています:
「ネスカフェ 香味焙煎 深煎り 70g」一瓶
「ネスカフェ 香味焙煎 中煎り 70g」一瓶
オリジナル計量スプーン
2,000円(送料無料)

According to Nestle's webpage, Nescafe Komibaisen is a product with a total new concept, manufactured with what they call "hiki mame zutsumi seiho" (ground beans-wrapping technique), whereby ground coffee beans are wrapped in freeze-dried coffee. 66% of those who participated in a blind test, who regularly drink regular coffee, said they preferred Komibaisen.
ネスレのウェブページによると、ネスカフェ香味焙煎はまったく新しい発想の製品で、「挽き豆包み製法」で製造されているそうです。挽いたコーヒー豆をフリーズドライコーヒーで包むというものです。ブラインドテストに参加した(普段、レギュラーコーヒーを飲んでいる)人のうち、66%の人が香味焙煎のほうがいいと答えたそうです。

I must say, however, that their new product fell short of my expectations. Not bad but not good either.
ただ、私の期待とはほど遠かったです。悪くはないですが、良くもないです。







7 comments:

Evi said...

Hey, I've been reading here for quite some time. Just wanted to say hi and ask if I understood you correctly. You didn't have soluble coffee in Japan before? This is hard to believe as there exist so many culinary gadgets in Japan! Coming from a land that really lives it's coffee-culture, a bit hard to believe. Yet I envy you for your tea-possibilities. :)

Hiroyuki said...

Evi: Instant coffee, also known as "soluble coffee" and "coffee powder", has been around for decades in Japan, but the coffee referred to here is "regular soluble coffee". As I mentioned in the post, it's ground coffee beans + freezed dried coffee.
I'm not a coffee geek, but I wouldn't mind paying extra for a really good cup of coffee. I feel as if I've been deceived by a world-renowned company!

Evi said...

Thanks for clearing that up! I didn't grasp the difference. Here we just got plain "instant coffee" but everyone seems to have those 1-cup-coffee-machines.

I understand your frustration. It just sounds like a marketing strategy without any real scientific foundation. I'm not a coffee geek either but I also like my coffee nice, "drinkable" and reasonably priced.

RoySkull001 said...

Hiroyuki-san,
I too have been following your writings for a little bit, and have taken advantage of many of the things you write about. Thank you for writing all of this!

On to the coffee: here in the US, Nestle instant coffees are a sort of niche market, for people who can't or won't have a coffee pot. It comes in some food service packages as an alternative, and a lot of the convenience stores used to use it where I grew up. That said, instant coffees aren't that popular where I live.

I understand your disappointment in that new product, but I hope you'll keep trying coffee at home!

Hiroyuki said...

RoySkull001: Thanks for your compliment. I visited your blogs and amused to see Pocari Sweat in one of them, and I'm glad to read a mention of mugicha in it. I like Pocari Sweat, but given a choice, I'd choose Aquarius, which is quite similar to Pocari but is slightly less sweet. And, I'm a great consumer of both green tea and mugicha!

Instant coffee is huge in Japan, and "Gold Blend" from Nestle is the brand I usually buy. I find other cheaper brands quite undrinkable.

As I mentioned somewhere on eGullet, my quest for really flavorful and aromatic coffee has brought me to Matsuya paper drip method:
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/48163-the-matsuya-paper-drip-method/
The problem with the method is that it takes a very long time (and concentration and patience!) to brew coffee.

RoySkull001 said...

Hiroyuki: My wife and I were able to go to an excellent Japanese grocer in Seattle, Washington where I found Aquarius and tried it. I agree with you that it's better than Pocari Sweat.

Hiroyuki said...

RoySkull001: It's cool that you can get Aquarius and Pocari Sweat where you live! These two products and DAKARA of Suntory together account for 90% of total production of "sports drinks" in Japan.