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.

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)

「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

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.

I must say, however, that their new product fell short of my expectations. Not bad but not good either.


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.

Ruminating Roy said...

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:
The problem with the method is that it takes a very long time (and concentration and patience!) to brew coffee.

Ruminating Roy 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.