Last month, a revamped Nescafé Gold coffee was launched in South Africa.
One of the country's most popular instant coffee brands, it is now packaged with a new "brushed champagne gold lid and sleek shape", according to its producers.
More importantly: its recipe has been changed, and now includes Arabica beans that are ground ten times finer.
According to Nescafé, this crafting process allows for "the soul of the bean to be revealed for a finer and fuller taste".
Not everyone was feeling the bean's soul, and reactions on South African social media have been mixed:
Nescafe Gold Blend have changed their packaging, and along with it, their taste. Harrumph. I may have to switch instant coffees... (Yes, coffee snobs, I still rely on instant coffee to get me through the day...)— Cathryn Reece (@CathrynR) June 25, 2018
If you hate me; get me Nescafé Gold.— Lihle Mgobhozi (@Leesh_Lay) June 26, 2018
public service information: The new Nescafe Gold is actually cocaine level addictive ??— ? (@scatterbrrained) June 21, 2018
All participants tasted a clear difference between the two – but they were divided on what they tasted.
Half of the participants thought the old version was bitter, sharp, and some though it left behind a bad aftertaste. They said it tasted watered-down and bland.
Yet the old blend also had its supporters, who thought it was softer and smoother.
Some tasters claimed the new recipe was a shock to the system, bitter and sour. But there were more who claimed that the new recipe had a fuller body, was smoother and nicely robust.
There's no accounting for different coffee tastes, it seems.
Ravi Pillay, a Nestlé spokesperson, told Business Insider SA that the company is "carefully analysing feedback from some of loyal coffee consumers who are adapting to the new blend".
Nestlé recently invested R1.2 billion to expand its instant coffee manufacturing plant in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal. The company has also invested in chicory farming in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Eastern Cape.
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