Inka – Not to be confused with instant coffee

October 2, 2009

Naturalis Inka

Naturalis Inka

First, I know this is a tea blog but Inka can equally be enjoyed by tea and coffee drinkers (as well as recovering coffee addicts).

I like coffee beverages a lot too. Specifically café au laits and lattes but I’ve been thinking for a while now that I slowly want to ween off them since my level of consumption of these beverages cannot be good for me. I’ve tried decaf and it’s just not the same. I’ve tried a few coffee alternatives and some just taste nastified while others are just lacking that creamy coffee taste. But alas, I have discovered Inka!

I was very skeptical when my friend first presented Inka to me. It comes in a round can and looks similar to instant coffee – a little deceiving. As it turns out, Inka is a Polish beverage made of very simple/natural ingredients – roasted barely and rye among the main ones.

DESCRIPTION

” Naturalis Inka is a rich, flavorful instant grain beverage enjoyed by Polish families for generations. Rye, barley, beets, and chicory root are simply roasted,ground and combined to make Naturalis Inka the perfect substitute for coffee and a great tasting drink in its own right. The toasted beets lend a subtle sweetness that is naturally satisfying. There are no chemical processes, additives, preservatives and added sugars used in making this flavorful and relaxing natural beverage.

Naturalis Inka is quick and easy to prepare. Just place a rounded teaspoon in a cup and add boiling water or milk. Then sit back and enjoy a richly satisfying cup of Naturalis Inka.

Ingredients: 45% Roasted Barley, 27% Rye, 25% Chicory, and 3% Beet Roots.”

EVALUATION

Presentation: To make the inka beverage, you add one heaping teaspoon of the powder, mixed with boiling water or milk. I add 3/4 water and 1/4 hot milk. When the water is first added, it remains black with a little brown foam at the top. The addition of milk makes it a really creamy beverage which I like a lot. Instead of sugar, I go with Agave Nectar (another new love of mine). What I really like about the final result is that the beverage does not feel watered down like it typically does with instant coffee/coffee alternatives.

Taste: I must admit, the “coffee taste” is pretty mild but I happen to like it that way. Sure this won’t give you that kick  – since it’s both caffeine free and milder but the coffee taste is still very present. What I really like about this beverage is that it doesn’t taste watered down, I can add milk and it remains creamy. Usually with instants and alternatives I end up having to add a majority of milk in the beverage to subdue the watered down taste but not here. Overall, Inka is awesooome.

FINAL VERDICT:

If we’re going with a star rating, I’d give Inka a 4.5/5. It’s one of the best coffee alternatives I’ve seen available on the market. Think about it, a healthy beverage alternative that actually tastes like what it’s “replicating” is a rare thing. I also feel that because the coffee taste isn’t in your face, it can be enjoyed by both coffee and non-coffee drinkers. Take advantage!


You can find Inka at select Whole Foods at around $4.50/ 5.25oz where the coffee is located.

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