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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Kicking It Down A Notch: Instant Coffee

Miss Em, oops I mean Lucy Marmalade, decided she was spending too much money at Starbucks, plus she wanted to have a way to get coffee late at night when she was studying. We decided that making coffee in a dorm room would be too troublesome and messy. Instant--which I haven't imbibed in over 30 years--would seem to be the answer.

Oh, how I love the internet. No sooner did I type "BEST INSTANT COFFEE" than I had the answer: Nescafe Clasico. It is made for the Hispanic market. Post-Katrina, my locale became something of a Hispanic market, as people from Central America came for work. So we found it at Target and elsewhere.

And I am here to say: it is quite good! Now I've bought some for me and Mr. FS.

For Lucy, it saves time and money. For us, it saves time. Frugal all around.

Back in grad school, when I bought my first Melitta drip pot, my friends would have gaped in shock at the thought of instant coffee (or bottled salad dressing or bouillon cubes or frozen broccoli or....lots of other things). What a relief to lower my standards a bit.

Have you lowered your standards in any food area?

14 comments:

Duchesse said...

We were just talking about instant coffee- lots of my European friends use it unapologetically. But I find it lacking body, so am devoted to Melita- and like buying the free trade beans from the store where one son works, a way to support a small local business.

Where I go down a notch is skin care, using Dove and Neutrogena products, which work very well. Compared to some of our blog friends my choice is quite downscale.

Someone said...

Been using this particular Melitta cone for 12 years...and the previous one for years before that.

But, I have to say I was really impressed with the flavor of a Maxwell House instant that my mother first served about 5 years ago. Instant has definitely improved!

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I used to drink instant coffee at a job I had. The free coffee at work was terrible so I tried the instant. Not too bad.

天天影片 said...

好的部落格就要和好朋友分享--感謝分享........................................

Shelley said...

We downgraded to Nescafe from Kenco instant coffee. Not quite as nice, but still OK. I think it's largely about what you're used to. When in on the continent I can't handle the strong coffee so I switch to tea, which I don't really have a view about one way or t'other.

Funny about Money said...

Nescafe Clasico, eh? That's interesting. Often products marketed for ethnic demographics are better (or at least intriguingly different).

I used to have a Melitta (sp???) cone in the dorm. But hafta admit, it was messy. We all gave up and reverted to instant, or, if we were really picky, to hot tea instead.

But what about those new coffee makers that use a compressed wafer to concoct the brew? They make one serving at a time.

My concession? Lately I've been exploring packaged convenience foods that don't require me to cook much. At Costco: a potato galette that's really very delish--no weird ingredients, all real food. All you have to do is bake it in the oven. Also at the same emporium, I found some frozen tempura shrimp, all ready to go: these, too, you just heat in the oven. Not real tempura, but not at all bad, either. Trader Joe also has a number of edibles that are low in artificial ingredients and high in convenience. The ones that pretend to be Asian food are usually the best.

Chance said...

I became addicted to Nescafe when I was working in Africa, courtesy of the roving pack of ex-pat Europeans. Not bad at all, although since I am not living in a dorm room, I am all about high qual beans or even roast your own. The one thing that gives me pause is the chemicals they use to render it instant.

SLF said...

I too recently switched over to instant coffee. Well, not so much switched over since I only use it to supplement my once daily cup of real (and really good) coffee at the Pole Etudiant. I use Nescafe Selection, which, to my unrefined coffee tastes, is quite good and at 6 euros for 300g (about 150 cups) it sure is economical!

--Frugal Son

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--We still make our New Orleans chicory coffee. We use the instant in the evening, when we only want a single cup. As for skincare--from what I've read, the expensive stuff is not much different from the cheap in terms of efficacy or even ingredients. So the only thing that is downscale is the package. Coffee, by contrast, really is different!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Someone--I too have a huge collection--Melitta, Chemex, French Press, even a Louisiana French drip! Instant is temptingly mess-free.

@Cubilce--Try the Clasico! It is better than bad regular coffee.

@Shelley--I LOVE strong coffee--why the Hispanic blend works for me.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Funny--Those single cup machines are the antithesis of frugality--an expensive machine that requires particular pods. The pods are also expensive and when you run out, you have to go to the store. My mother has one.

Frugal Scholar said...

@SLF--ooohh. Bring us a box for our souvenir!

see you there! said...

Mellita for me too and I had a heck of a time replacing the 12 cup pot last time I broke it.

We also use a French press if we only want to make a cup or two.

I'm very picky about my coffee. I like tea too tho so if great coffee isn't on hand I can switch.

Darla

Frugal Scholar said...

2seeyou--I'm picky too. But sometimes pickiness is overridden by laziness. i guess I'm picky about my occasional cup of instant. I'm drinking one right now.