Oct 22, 2013

Wholebean Instant. Ikea in the Workplace.

These are exciting times in the world of  instant coffee.  Perhaps it's a consequence of how coffee pods have filtered into supermarket and chain store shelves which in turn has seen many of us turn our back on the age old tradition of dumping tablespoons of brown granules into a random mug full of boiling water and hoping that whatever passes your lips will make you eyes open just a little wider.

Tea in pods and whole bean coffee dressed down in a jar of instant.  It's doing my head in!

Being time poor and a bit lazy, I've been clinging on to instant coffee despite the invasion of the pods.  I was rewarded for my loyalty with this relatively new addition to the supermarket shelves.  It's called Carte Noire and it (or perhaps the kudos should go to those clever people in sales and marketing)  identifies itself as wholebean instant.  

Price wise, it's meant to be around $10 for tin, which weighs 100g.  The standard jar of instant coffee contains the same amount of coffee by weight but look larger in comparison. 

When I opened my tin of Carte Noire, I was expecting to see something like the graphic on the front label - namely a few beans mixed in with the granules.  It wasn't to be.  The coffee looks exactly like International Roast but has the intoxicating smell of coffee beans.  I spooned my usual 2/3 of a tablespoon into my mug and topped it with cold milk before adding boiling water.  This was all to try and create a temperature of 'hot water, just off the boil' which is how this coffee is meant to be made up (it's not really brewing, is it?).

But, what does it taste like? Rather good, actually.  More like that drip coffee favoured by American diners than the shots of espresso that we consider the gold standard of coffee in Australia.  The coffee has a rich taste but isn't bitter.  I'm hoping that Moccona jump onto the bandwagon and release their own version of Wholebean Instant because I quite like the taste of their coffee.

That weekend trip to Ikea has reaped benefits for my working life. I decided that my desk needed a bit of minimalist Swedish design to help it get itself organised.  Forhoja ($19.95) is a set of boxes that fit together as a nest but unpack to provide quite a bit of storage space for desk top items.

Nothing like a calm and orderly 'after Ikea' shot, is there?  Those purple push pins were from typo, $2 for the box of 16.  I'm determined to bedazzle our notice boards with the very next roster I need to pin up.

I've made good on my commitment to bringing in lunch from home.  It's back to salad topped with cans of various things (tuna and corn at the  moment).  My old salad containers now have lids that are bent out of shape that don't close properly so they have been replaced with these Ljust jars ($7.99), another Ikea purchase.  I know that they're described as jars but when you take the lid off, they are just like bowls.  They're made of an acrylic and the lids are clear.  They also come in a version with a clear base.

More than 200 homes have been destroyed since last Thursday as scores of fires burned through thousands of hectares of bush, farms and rural communities outside Sydney New South Wales Australia

And that's all the frivolity for today's post.  Things are still pretty serious with the bush fires here.  I've just heard on the news that the threat of a mega fire is very real and also that two fires have been joined together in a controlled fashion.  It's heartbreaking hearing the stories of everyday people whose lives have been blighted by the fires - the loss of their homes, their memories and businesses.

There has been so much goodwill shown towards the fire fighters but I was disappointed to find out that some of the publicans serving free beer to the brave people fighting for the safety of others have been slapped with fines and warnings about the responsible service of alcohol.  Could there be a more appropriate time to shout someone a beer?


  1. I am with you re: the beer.
    The scary thing about the bushfires is that it is not even bushfire season.
    I consider this an urgent warning to act on climate change.
    I got some of the carte noir coffee...It's an afternoon slump fixer rather than a morning eye opener but it is quite nice.

  2. I'm with you on the beer too! Ridiculous.

    And congrats on the Ikea'ness of your desk. There really is nothing better than an orderly Ikea after shot.


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