Sunday 8 July 2012

Thanks Carte Noire for giving us the perfect coffee break !

Madhouse Daddy Mike's favourite coffee-makers (well what do you expect? he's French!) Carte Noire have been working with the sensory experts at MMR Research Worldwide to create the world’s first optimised Wholebean Instant Coffee-tasting experience, all to celebrate the launch of Carte Noire Instinct. This research brings together colour, flavour, texture, aroma and sound to create the perfect coffee moment. They kindly sent us a gift bag containing everything we needed  to "take this research out of its academic context and create our own multi-sensory coffee tasting experience within the comfort of our own living room". 

Each item in the bag had been carefully selected to complement the coffee tasting experience, in line with the findings of their research, which revealed that the ideal coffee-break "doesn’t take place in a trendy coffee shop with a handsome barista as you might expect, but at home - sitting on a quality leather chair, listening to the silky tones of saxophone based jazz, surrounded by the deep colour purple, with the coffee served in a porcelain mug and accompanied by a simple but satisfying Victoria Sponge". They advise you to "forget the fancy croissants, flapjacks and finger cakes of today’s coffee shops, a good old fashioned Victoria Sponge is what really sets off a cup of coffee. Plus there is no need for fiddly cups and saucers or long-necked glasses, a standard white porcelain mug is the ideal, three quarters full with hot coffee. The surrounding environment proved equally important, with people favouring a homely leather armchair, furnishings of deep purple and the silky tones of saxophone based jazz, to the heavy wooden furniture, bright lighting and popular modern music that is favoured in modern coffee shops."

OK, so we've got the porcelain cup and saucer, as well as a leather coaster for me to sniff and pretend I'm sitting on a comfy leather chair ! There's a glittery purple candle to set the mood (and I'm even wearing a purple top today !). The kettle's boiled and I've got the tin of Carte Noire Instinct out. They didn't send through any Victoria Sponge - that would have been a bit difficult to fit through the letterbox ! - but they did put in a rather nice bar of Green & Black's Dark 85% chocolate. (I prefer milk chocolate but the dark stuff does nicely complement the coffee.)

The rest of this mission was simple. The instructions were : "Now sit back, relax and enjoy a deliciously silky and deeply aromatic cup of Carte Noire Instinct, served on your homely leather coaster, best accompanied with you mouth-watering selection of Green & Blacks chocolates. Make sure to let your ears be seduced by the smooth sound of jazz (on the CD provided) and your nose tingled by the bitter aroma of dark chocolate, whilst you relax in the dark purple hues from your scented candle and savour your perfect coffee moment."

Taste expert Tristan Stephenson says, “The way the brain untangles and identifies flavour is a complicated thing and many more factors come into play than just our taste buds. Different environments, with different sounds, smells and temperatures all affect the way we perceive the flavour of the liquids we drink and the foods we eat. Coffee has a bold taste and a strong smell, so the multi-sensory elements of flavour - such as colour, sound, smell and texture - are all vital to our enjoyment and appreciation of the product.”

“Because coffee has such a full flavour, the best accompaniment is something simple and light like a Victoria sponge, rather than cakes with a very rich taste or heavy texture. The smooth mouthfeel of coffee, is best complemented by furnishings made of quality leather that have a silky feeling against the body, as opposed to something that is rough like wooden chairs or cold like marble tables. And in terms of sound, the seductive sound of saxaphone jazz best enhances the intense aromas of coffee. Ultimately the research found that people consider the coffee moment as a relaxing daily ritual, so an uncomplicated but sophisticated porcelain mug is the perfect way to serve coffee, as opposed to the traditional cup and saucer.”

Well, I have to say, I think they're on to something. It does seem to enhance the coffee-drinking pleasure, but there is one important thing they forgot - wait until the kids are fast asleep in bed so you can really appreciate the moment !

If you'd like to sample Carte Noire Instinct, you can grab yourself a free sample over on their facebook page at the moment.

for more information :

Disclosure : We received a Carte Noire gift bag, including some Carte Noire Instinct coffee and a selection of items designed to enhance the coffee-tasting experience.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


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  7. I read the article "Thanks Carte Noire for Giving Us a Break!" on the Madhouse Family Reviews blog and agree with the author that sometimes we need a break and time to relax. In this fast and chaotic life, it's important to take care of yourself and find ways to relax. Although the article does not directly mention going to a spa, I think it can be a great relaxation option. A visit to this spa provides an opportunity to disconnect from everyday worries and enjoy treatments that will help you relax and restore energy. The spa offers a wide range of services such as massages, aromatherapy, water therapy and other treatments that can help us experience deep relaxation and renewal.


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