There’s a 3-in-1 coffee out on the market in Thailand and the rest of Asia. It’s called Nescafe 3-in-1 Less Sweet and, as the name suggests is less sweet than Nescafe‘s regular 3-in-1 coffee.
If you’ve never heard of 3-in-1 coffee before, it comes in a long narrow packet and is a mixture of coffee, dried creamer and sugar. You pour this powdered mixture into a cup, add water and stir and, voila, coffee. (Well, honestly, I don’t think it really tastes like coffee, but it is useful if you run out of milk and really need a quick hit of caffeine).
Thailand (and the rest of Asia) has tons of different types of 3-in-1 coffee, because Asians seem to love it. You can buy 3-in-1 coffee in Asia at any supermarket. It comes in huge bags of 50 packs, smaller packs of 26 and small packs of 10. You can also buy individual packs at most 7-11s, and they’ll even have the hot water to make a cup right there. I usually buy the packs of 10, as I don’t drink it that much. But is it worth it?
Actually, price-wise, the new Nescafe Less Sweet 3-in-1 coffee is quite cheap. At around 38 baht ($1.20) for 10 cups, it works out at only 12 cents per cup – cheap. Plus, because you don’t have to add milk or sugar, there are no additional costs to making a cup of coffee except adding hot water.
As far as taste goes though, the new Nescafe Less Sweet 3-in-1 coffee doesn’t taste much different to me than the regular Nescafe 3-in-1 coffees. It’s still a bit strong and very, very sweet, so I’m not sure where the ‘less sweet’ element comes in?
For me to be able to drink the Less Sweet 3-in-1 coffee from Nescafe, I actually had to add some milk, a bit more instant coffee from my regular stash and more hot water. That watered down the sugar content enough that I could drink it, although I still wouldn’t say it tastes great.
The Nescafe 3-in-1 packets of Less Sweet coffee are useful though. You can take them to work for a quick pick-me-up or shove them in a picnic bag to use while you’re at the park (as long as you remember to take the hot water too!). Also, if you work night shift, one of these midway through your shift will definitely give you the needed boost of caffeine and sugar.
You can also mix a sachet of Nescafe 3-in-1 Less Sweet coffee with other stuff to make it more palatable. How about adding it to a half cup of hot water and a half cup of hot milk? The milk waters down the sweetness a bit and it actually does taste like a fairly decent latte.
You can also mix it together with hot water, add a large glass of ice, wait till it cools down a bit and add a squirt of whipped cream. With the ice watering the taste down, a sachet of Nescafe 3-in-1 Less Sweet coffee makes a nice iced coffee for a hot summer day.
All in all, I can’t say I’m a big fan of Nescafe 3-in-1 Less Sweet coffee. But, in a pinch, a packet of it will give you a caffeine and sugar hit, will save you some time if you’re in a rush, and is great to shove in a backpack if you’re going off traveling somewhere.
Just remember, if you want the taste of a true cup of coffee, give these a miss, and head for your local independent coffee shop instead.