Monday, January 31, 2011

Product Reviews

Ok, here is my take on a couple of products on the shelves of your local supermarket.

First, these Taster's Choice Instant Coffee sticks - I am infatuated with these things. I was first introduced to this kind of instant coffee single packs when Starbucks developed them a couple of years ago as Via. For those of you who have never tried it, Via is not traditional instant coffee. Starbucks developed a process that somehow captures the full-flavor of a brewed cup of coffee in an instant coffee. Key Food was actually carrying Via for a while, and then one day tthey stopped. Then I saw Taster's Choice was offering this similar product, pictured on the right, and for a lot less money too.

Now, I love my coffee and am as much a coffee expert as anyone else. So, when I bought this Taster's Choice product, having had run-ins with this brand in the past I wasn't expecting to be very impressed. (Their regular ground coffee is pretty tasteless.) But a box of 20 of these packets, sticks, whatever you call them, goes for $3.99 at Key Food here in Forest Hills (the Amazon price in the link at right is for a pack of 8 boxes of 20 I think) which is a very good deal compared to the much more expensive Starbucks version. Anyway, I was amazed at how decent the coffee is. It's not terrific - but it can easily pass as diner coffee, which is just fine.

The best part of these single serve coffee packets, however, is how they do away with all the preparation, mess and cleanup associated with brewing coffee in a pot. I guess if you are making coffee for a bunch of people - large family, office co-workers, etc.. - this might not work for you. But if it's just one or two of you drinking the coffee, these single serve packets are great. I now use my Mr. Coffee just to heat the water each morning, then pour a packet of the Nescafe into a mug and then the hot water. Presto!  A perfect cup of coffee every time. And it saves me some $$$ too. Not bad.

One point - I have no idea if Taster's Choice uses the same method that Starbucks does for these single packs. Starbucks was using a proprietary method it invented to capture the flavor of brewed coffee in an instant coffee product. Taster's Choice might just be imitating the packaging and not that process. But, in any case, this coffee tastes good enough for me.

Ok, now let's switch gears to an entirely different product. I was recently told by my dentist that I have to floss more. :( It's a pain, but I have to do it. Then I saw this commercial for these DenTek Floss Picks. I bought them tonight at the Rite Aid and rushed home to give 'em a try. I figured anything would be easier than having to wrap that floss around my fingers and struggle with the floss every day.  

Boy, am I disappointed in this product! It was such a struggle to get these picks into my mouth and the floss on them kept getting stuck between my teeth. I don't know, either my teeth are unusually close together, or this is one of those products that will not be around for very long after other people try it and decide never to buy it again. After struggling with these things for several minutes, and breaking the floss on a few of them too, I finally gave up and just went back to the regular floss. I was done in like a minute, and you know what? Suddenly, it didn't seem like much of a pain after all.

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