Carte Noire's new Instant Cappuccino range has succeeded where many other instant substitutes for shop-bought quality coffees fail- their product actually bears a passing resemblance to the tall hot frothiness that it attempts to emulate.
Caffeinophiles were understandably excited about the launch of other gimmicky products that promised to match the luxury of a shop-bought cappuccino, but the excitement proved short-lived as squeezing alternately at a pair of plastic pods for 5 minutes before receiving a deeply underwhelming, resolutely unfrothy cuppa was obviously a disappointment.
The new Carte Noire Capuccino range, made from 100% arabica beans, is a huge step in the right direction for homebodies and office-bound coffee lovers alike.
You simply add packet A- your coffee shop style milky froth- to an empty mug, and stir in roughly 150ml of hot, but not quite boiling, water.
In a separate jug, mug, or whatever you've got handy, add 30ml of similarly hot water to sachet B- the intense expresso shot- and stir it up.
It's not quite 'just add water' but you're not far off. The process only takes a couple of minutes and it's actually enjoyable in itself, certainly the first time you do it. The froth mix spits and fizzes as you mix in the water; I'm not sure what the chemical reaction is but the popping candy effect was a bit of fun.
The expresso mix quickly fills the air with an authentic coffee shop smell, so you'll want to dive straight in to the balanced and layered finished article. The whole thing is a nice little pre-coffee experience.
Now all you've got to do is add the expresso mix to the frothy milk mix and you should end up with a big, rich mug of fairly delicious, decadent cappuccino that you'd be happy to pay for.
While it's not quite to the standard you might get in a real high quality, specialist coffee shop, it's certainly better than the watery dreck that you they pass off on you in Starbucks.