Sometimes it is so hard to decide what kind of coffee to buy considering the plethora of choices that are on the market these days. It seems like almost every store here in South Korea is selling some sort of coffee. From the chain coffee shops to instant mixes produced by conglomerates, coffee is everywhere.
Along with the aforementioned options, many of the local big box stores and supermarkets are producing their own generic brands of coffee. One of the supermarket chains that I visit sometimes, Homeplus, has their own labeled coffee that they are now selling.
Before we get into the coffee, Homeplus is a major big box chain here in South Korea. They have four large stores here in Ulsan alone, along with some smaller ‘Express’ locations as well. Originally partnered with Tesco from the United Kingdom, they are now independent, and creating their own “Homeplus Signature” products.
When I was shopping there recently, I found a very large bottle of a product that is called “Homeplus Signature Flannel Extracted Americano”. This rather large bottle of black coffee, 750 ml, of Brazilian coffee was a deal at less than 3,000 won, so I figured I’d pick it up and give it a try.
Getting home, I took a look at the bottle. The plastic bottle and label were both very dark, perhaps to match the inky black liquid that was inside.
The label of the bottle also says that we should the Earth, and recommends proper recycling of the bottle by taking off the vinyl label and separating it from the plastic bottle. It even has slight perforations down the side of the label to make taking it off easier.
After opening the bottle, I didn’t notice any strong coffee smell, but as it was cold and the top of the bottle was quite narrow this was not totally unexpected.
Slowly pouring it into some cups, the liquid looked less dark than it had in the bottle, and there was a slight coffee and chocolate smell coming from the cup.
Upon sipping the cold coffee, there was a nice but strong flavor. It was quite bitter, but had a much lower level of acidity than I would have expected from a black coffee. The Homeplus Signature coffee does have quite a long aftertaste, and it was dancing upon my tastebuds long after each sip.
As I continued to sip it, some subtle chocolate notes were evident.
By the time I had finished the cup, I was pleasantly surprised. I had not expected much from such an economical purchase, but the Homeplus Signature Flannel Extracted Americano was actually quite tasty. The bitterness of the coffee does not last long and the flavors slowly change as it lingers on the tongue to the chocolate flavor.
I would definitely consider picking this up again the next time I am near a Homeplus!