Product Review: Kenco Millicano & How to Taste Coffee

I was recently asked to the launch party for Kenco Milllicano, the first wholebean instant coffee.    Yes, that is wholebean instant coffee.   Instant real coffee.  No coffee paraphernalia needed, apart from a kettle, mug and teaspoon.

Now I like my coffee, really like my coffee.  In fact some people would say that I am downright grumpy until I get my coffee in the morning.     Personally I consider myself to be sweetness and light at all times, but I will concede that I possibly am sweeter and lighter after my morning pot of coffee.

In my opinion coffee should be strong, black and from either a cafetiere or espresso maker.   None of this drip pot nonsense (always tastes burnt to me) and certainly not instant.

Well after trying the Kenco Millicano I possibly am converted to one particular instant.   In fact I was pretty impressed, that I am happy to drink it as my mid morning coffee.

I still get a hint of instant coffee on the nose, but it is accompanied by a heady rich deep “proper” roasted coffee aroma, with a little chocolate.   The coffee is thick and looks and feels and tastes like cafetiere coffee.    Balanced, indulgent and rich.    Great both black and with milk.

Here are some notes from Kenco on how to taste coffee.

‘How to …’ Nose & Taste Coffee

Five simple steps to nosing & tasting coffee


The colour and appearance of coffee will indicate its strength and roast.
Take a spoonful of coffee and have a look to see if the coffee is light/ dark / bright/ muddy/ clear/ appetising/ oily etc?
Coffee should be clear and bright. Only with the addition of milk will its true colour be revealed.


Our sense of taste is directly influenced by our sense of smell, so when tasting coffee always smell it first!
Cup your hand around your mug of coffee and inhale deeply. This will wake up your nose so you can fully distinguish the different flavours in the coffee.
What aroma notes do you detect?


When tasting coffee, it is very important to slurp it!
Slurping helps you to spray the coffee across your palate.
Take a spoonful of coffee and slurp it as violently and noisily as possible. This enables the subtle flavours to reach all the tasting areas of your tongue so that all 9,000 taste buds come into play.


A characteristic of great coffee is body (weight).
Note the body as it rests between your tongue and roof of your mouth.
Is it thick thin, heavy or light? The darker the roast the thicker the body will be.
The sensation is similar to the experience you would have if you compared full fat milk to skimmed milk in the mouth.


Swallow the coffee and enjoy!

Kenco Millicano is available from most supermarkets with a RRP of £3.99 per 100g tin, and £2.99 for the 85g refill pack.

All Kenco coffee is Rain Forest Alliance certified.

Thanks to Kenco for asking me to the launch

Visit the Fuss Free Flavours Giveaways Page for a chance to win some amazing prizes!
About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance writer, who has been writing about achievable and affordable food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles and recipes to a number of online and print food magazines.

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  1. Thanks for this. I’ve tried the Starbucks instant “real coffee” as they sent me some in the mail and I wasn’t impressed at all. Hopefully this will be better, I’ll look out for it.

    • HELEN SMITH says:

      I tried the Starbucks instant Christmas coffee – did not mix very and was very very strong

  2. Stunning coffee! Unfortunately my coffee intake has now doubled because it is hassle free to make. My cafetiere is now redundant and I’m on my 3rd refill pack. It’s about half the price of the Starbucks instant and has double the about servings.

  3. Hi again. Finally got around to buying some this morning and just had my first cup, its very impressive for an instant. Like Andy said its much cheaper than starbucks which I didn’t like anyway. I bought it at a tesco express this morning at £4.15 for 100g. Hopefully I will be able to find a place that sells the refill packs.

    As I said in my first post on march 15 thanks for posting this as it really is good for an instant coffee. :)

  4. bob winmill says:

    i have tried quite a lot of instant coffees – some are ok’ish and others not so. i saw the kenco millicano in a supermarket and thought i’d give it a go. i was pleasantly surprised. nice aroma, with a very good taste. yes! – i’m converted!

  5. Bought some on Saturday and will be using it to foist onto unfussy visitors.
    No aroma and insipid either black or white. I really wouldn’t bother. Shame as I really like all the other varieties that Kenco offer. I will stick with them thank you.

  6. karen burrows says:

    Having seen all the hype about kencos latest coffee, Millicano I couldnt wait to try it. What a disappointment,the only thing good about this coffee is the novelty of it being in a tin…Bland is the only comment I can make about this coffee and having bought two tins because of the half price offer a Tescos I wish I had saved my money,I also asked my 21year old son to try some and he agreed with me.
    Whoever developed this coffee needs firing!!! YUK!! I much prefer Kencos costa rican and columbian range as both make you feel that you are drinking real coffee and not an imitation.

  7. mr james says:

    after having tried both starbucks via and this new millicano, trust me – starbucks have nothing to worry about. I am an avid coffee drinker (not a particular starbucks fan either) but found millicano tasteless. I’ll stick to my senseo/ecopad combo

  8. Bought some of this yesterday as it was on offer at Asda, and was also taken in by the claims on the fancy packaging it comes in. I’ve had a few mugs of this now, and I must say I’m really surprised just by how poor it is. It certainly tastes nothing like fresh coffee and is a big let down. I’ll be sticking to my usual brand, carte noire, as this is the best brand on the market in my opinion. Also Kenco really rich (which I think has now been remanded?) is excellent.

  9. Stewart says:

    Karen, thanks for the heads up on the half price offer at Tesco. Checking the supermarket comparison site I noticed its also half price at Sainsbury’s and Asda too.

  10. I got this at Tesco as it was on sale – do not make the same mistake! This tastes just like any other instant coffee – and is incredibly weak and bland in comparison to any cafetiere made coffee.
    Starbucks Via in comparison is more expensive, but defintiely worth the extra money. Via is the only instant I have found that is anything like drinking a ‘real’ coffee.

  11. I am actually really surprised that people do not like it.

    It is not exactly like ground coffee, but tasted pretty good to me, and certainly better than any instant I have had before.

    Maybe I am making it stronger than others?

  12. I’ve just tried it and I have to say it tastes like bland instant coffee. I’m so disappointed that I’ve also written to Kenco to let them know. I’ll be sticking with Nescafe Espresso…now THAT really does taste like real coffee. I find that Starbucks Via tastes more real if you have it in a small cup but I find that this Kenco stuff is vile.

  13. des walker says:


  14. I got some from Sainsbury’s yesterday expecting coffee-shop or coffee maker quality but it just tastes like your bog standard instant coffee. Although it’s half price at the moment I would NOT pay the full £3.99 for it. It’s WEAK and boring. I wish I came on here before I jizzed my money away on it

  15. Dave Clegg says:

    To everyone who dislikes this product I must tell you my experience.
    On my fist cup I thought exactly the same it tasted weak and boring then I tried another a few hours later.
    This time I put a HEAPED tespoon of coffee in and STIRRED like crazy – OMG what a difference – It now tasted just like I was expecting it too – Absolutely Gorgeous and I havent looked back since.
    Infact i’m off to Morrisons in the morning to stock up on some more can’s while it’s still on offer :o)
    GIVE IT A REALLY GOOD STIR – Like you’ve never stirred before!!! It make all the difference.

  16. I’ll be using this when working, to try and save some money on take-out coffee. There is a definite difference in the texture of this, much thicker than instant coffee. It also has the black dregs when I reach the bottom of the cup, that I see if drinking cafetiere coffee. I’ve stocked up on the half-price refill bags. Nicer than instant as it is, there is no way I would pay full price for this!

  17. I’ve got to agree with some of the posters here.

    Yes, it does taste like “takeaway coffee” if you go to Starbucks, which I also think is rubbish.

    It’s too weak – sorry – I don’t see why I should have to put 2 heaped teaspoons in to get the same effect I can get from Gold Blend or a MaccyDees coffee. Fortunately it was half price, so no loss.

    Once again, my apologies for making such a crap coffee after giving it so much hype.


  18. My wife bought this to try and she likes it as she does not like her coffee too strong. I was skeptical at first, but a good heaped full and mixing it thoroughly brings out the flavor which I can only describe as very smooth and velvety. Love it as it does not leave a bitter taste in your mouth afterwards. Will definitely stock up

  19. Just tried some, as I enjoy the Kenco Blue Smooth instant. The new Millicano has no umph and lacks in taste. I am going to stick to Kenco’s Blue Smooth instant, or filter coffee.

  20. Awesome instant coffee, and is only £1.99 at Tesco’s at the moment


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