I should start this review with a disclaimer: I do not drink instant coffee. I have never found one that was even close to drinkable. So why am I reviewing Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant?
Well, for one, I trust Douwe Egberts to make good coffee. I believe that they would not make an instant coffee if it did not meet their exacting standards, so I already expect more from this coffee. Secondly, Pure Gold Instant consistently gets good reviews online so I wanted to see for myself. Lastly, I would love to find a convenient way to enjoy good coffee without having access to ground coffee.
I certainly love the individual sticks in which the coffee is available. They alone are convenient, small enough to carry in my computer bag or purse and easy to open (even has an arrow pointing me in the direction and location to tear). Plus, the individual sticks help keep the contents fresh for much longer than regular ground coffee. I also like the coloring of the packaging; the gold does suggest this isn’t your grandmother’s instant.
Please allow me a short digression about the types of instant coffee. There are 3:
- Freeze-dried (Exactly what it sounds like)
- Agglomerated (Sprayed, dried, then partially hydrogenated to produce larger granules)
- Spray-dried (Sprayed, dried quickly to produce a fine coffee particle)
I poured the stick’s contents into a mug, then added almost boiling water. The coffee appeared as gold-colored chunky granules (agglomerated, as you may have guessed), which dissolved instantly in the hot water. Pure Gold is a medium coffee, and while I did find the flavor to be mild, it unfortunately was not as full-bodied as I would like. The aroma, though, was strong and robust with all the nuances of brewed Douwe Egberts coffee. Thirty seconds and you are ready to go, start to finish.
I tried it without any cream or sugar initially, then added my standard amount of cream and sugar. Just black, the brew had a strong flavor, with a slight bitterness, and a pleasant and real aroma. The finish was was clean too. Once I added the cream and sugar, though, I would not be able to tell the difference between brewed coffee and this instant.
In thinking about this review, I wondered why I would drink instant when I have wonderful ground coffees all around me. Immediately, I thought of several places where I would drink this instant: Traveling; hiking or camping; offices that use sub-standard coffee in the coffee maker and when visiting my mother-in-law, who does not own a coffee maker. (She is British, so only tea on the menu there.)
Is this instant as delicious as fresh-brewed coffee? No, of course not. Would I drink this coffee? Yes, I will! In fact, I am putting a few sticks in my purse right now, a couple in my computer bag and adding it to my list of items I to pack when I travel. I like the aroma, I love the convenience and, let’s face it, I like Douwe Egberts.