With Bru Exotica, Hindustan Unilever Ltd enters the premium coffee segment in India. They have on offer a set of three international blends: Brazil, Colombia and Kilimanjaro, which are being marketed for their “rich flavour and lingering aroma for the discerning palette (sic) of coffee connoisseurs."

Photo Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The good stuff

The instant coffee drinker in India has more to choose from. The freeze-drying technology makes for impressive-looking granules that are more pleasing to the eye than the lowly powder variants. The click-lock jars the Exotica range comes in keeps the coffee fresh.

The not-so-good

If you’re a coffee connoisseur who’s accustomed to fresh-brewed coffee, a French press or an espresso maker, this instant range is no match. The flavours are flat and the coffee (especially the Colombian variety) has neither a “kick", nor staying power.

Coffee loses part of its flavour with every process, from roasting to grinding to brewing. The process of producing instant coffee granules involves another interim stage, so hence it can rarely match up to freshly brewed coffee.

Note: I used 2 tsp of coffee for a mug of hot water while the jar recommends one.

Talk plastic

The three varieties are differently priced. Bru Exotica Brazil, 180 (50g) and 360 (100g); Colombia, 300 (50g) and 590 (100g); Kilimanjaro, 275 (50g) and 540 (100g).

This is expensive, considering fresh-ground Brazilian and Colombian coffee in India would cost 1,500-2,000 per kg.

The reviewer, Keshav Dev, is the proprietor, Devan’s South Indian Coffee & Tea, New Delhi. Disclosure: Devan’s will be retailing fresh-ground Brazilian and Colombian coffee from next month.

As told to Anindita Ghose.