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‘We compared original Costa and Starbucks to capsules and it was sensational’

One of the real perks of lockdown (where our wallets are concerned) has been our inability to splurge on a fancy high street coffee every three hours.

Whether it’s Costa, Starbucks, Caffè Nero or Pret, if you like caffeine you’ve spent a fortune on paper cup coffee.

But has there been a solution to this egregious spending habit under our noses all along?

Unbeknown to many, supermarkets like Asda actually stock ready made Costa and Starbucks instant coffee capsules.

At just a fraction of the price of the in store varieties, these capsules could be key to cutting down your daily spend.

Well they could.

Who would come out on top?

It’s no use just sticking the name of an established coffee shop on an instant coffee if it doesn’t actually taste anything like it.

In order to find out whether these instant coffee upstarts could compete with the chains, we compared the taste and value of Starbucks and Costa’s offerings.

This is what we found out.

Costa

Costa Regular latte – £2.40

'We compared original Costa and Starbucks to capsules and it was sensational'
The old familiar

The beautiful thing about a Costa latte is that it tastes the same every time.

The milk is always velvety and their signature coffee beans provide that perfect kick.

It’s also one of the more affordable of the high street coffee merchants and is very unpretentious (unlike Caffè Nero).

It’s a fantastic deal all around, but is £2.40 too much to pay for one drink?

Costa Instant Latte – £4.29 (8 pods)

'We compared original Costa and Starbucks to capsules and it was sensational'
A disappointing brew

If we were comparing purely on value, Costa Instant would win hands down.

You can get eight separate lattes for the same price as 1.85 actual Costa lattes from a shop – it is a great deal in anyone’s book.

But as I’m sure you’re aware, we need to take into account taste as well.

Sadly, the instant latte really wasn’t up to scratch.

It tasted nothing like Costa to start with and the milk powder just tasted a bit off, like it had been fermented or burned.

It might say Costa on the packet, but it’s like no Costa I’ve ever had.

Winner: Instore Costa

Starbucks

Starbucks regular caramel latte – £3.25

'We compared original Costa and Starbucks to capsules and it was sensational'
A guilty pleasure

I decided to mix things up at Starbucks by ordering a caramel infused latte.

These are as sweet as they are moreish and I downed it in about 4 minutes like a giggling loon.

On the whole, I’m not the biggest fan of Starbucks actual blend of coffee but the syrup did more than enough.

A real guilty pleasure which is reflected in its steep price.

Starbucks Instant Caramel Latte – £1.50 (5 sachets)

'We compared original Costa and Starbucks to capsules and it was sensational'
A fantastic coffee

Wow.

Let me say that again: Wow – I was not expecting this.

Unlike the Costa pods which were pumped through a machine, to prepare the Starbucks mixture, all I had to do was pour poling water over the sachet and stir.

I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but it tasted better than the real thing.

For something that patently isn’t milk, it tasted eerily like milk and the flavours of the caramel were second to none.

And the price of £1.50 for FIVE drinks will take some beating.

Winner: Starbucks Instant

Verdict

'We compared original Costa and Starbucks to capsules and it was sensational'
Instant Starbucks is the way for me

After a 1:1 draw in my experiment, I suppose it’s down to the consumer if they want to heed my advice.

People generally know what they want and who am I to tell them different.

But, let me just say this.

If you are planning on paying full price for a Starbucks when their instant stuff is better and cheaper, you’re a fool.

Have you tried Starbucks’s Instant Coffee? Let us know in the comments here.


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