What's cooking this week: some instant coffee will no longer be classed as real coffee

Our food editor fills you in on the latest in the world of food and wine

12 November 2020 - 12:48
Just how much actual coffee is in your instant coffee? Look at the label on the bottle.
Just how much actual coffee is in your instant coffee? Look at the label on the bottle.
Image: 123RF/snezhana12

I have an admission to make: I can’t drink real coffee because it gives me a terrible dose of the jitters. That said, on the odd occasion, the pleasure and aroma of a fresh brew outweigh the consequences — so yes, I do dip into the granular stuff. 

So when I saw instant coffee was in the news, my interest was piqued. According to recent government draft regulations, due to come into effect next year, instant coffee that contains chicory will no longer be classed as real coffee, rather as a “coffee and chicory mixture”.

Yes, that's the same chicory we use in salads; when the plant’s roots are baked they can be ground into a coffee substitute.

The regulations state that the actual coffee content of such a mix must be at least 50%, but I’d recommend you check out the labels of any coffee and chicory blends that you buy.

Take note of the kJ values, which I found surprising in one popular brand, and for those watching their weight, look out for ingredients like dextrin, maltose and glucose syrup, which are essentially sugar/carbs.

Who said a cup of coffee was sommer a cup of coffee?   

Here’s what else has been cooking in the world of food, wine — and my kitchen — this week: