Wednesday 9 February 2011

Free coffee and £100 to spend in Tesco

So, in the last post I thanked all you dear adorable people who clicked for me over the Christmas Next promotion. You did me proud, you really did. If you didn’t read that post, I’ll save you the bother (and, seriously, I wouldn’t recommend it as it’s one heck of a self-absorbed dirge) and recap here: basically you made this the winning blog (out of the 100 in the promotion) and so it’s all thanks to you that we, the sorry denizens of The Bonkers House, will no longer smell rankly offensive and won’t die untimely deaths through inadvertent electrocution. My gratitude is deep and enduring.

So deep and enduring that I figured I ought to offer something in return. So, when a very nice, very polite PR said: ‘Would you like to offer your readers the chance to win £100 of Tesco vouchers?’ I said, ‘Tell me more.’ Trying not to sound my usual cynical, suspicious self.
‘Along with some free coffee,’ he said.
‘What’s the catch?’ I said.
‘No catch,’ he said. ‘Honest, guv.’ Well, okay, he didn’t say that, but he did in my mind’s ear.
‘It’s just it sounds like you have a pretty busy schedule and we thought you might like to try some coffee to give you a bit of a boost.’
Yeah, right. Like coffee, however nuclear, could sort out my deep soul sickness, career suicide and severe writer’s constipation (block doesn’t even touch it).

Anyhow. Turned out that Douwe Egberts, the Dutch coffee company, are launching a new ground coffee product on 14th February (why does that date ring a bell? Ah yes, my lovely agent’s birthday) and, in order to launch it with a swing, they’re offering one of you lot £100 of Tesco vouchers. So, basically, you can have your next food shop on me (or rather on Douwe Egberts).  Oh, and they’ll even throw in two tins of the coffee.  See, I said he was a nice guy.

So I said yes. Well of course I did. But I did warn him that we take our product testing very seriously chez Bonkers and that I couldn’t guarantee a glowing report. Bless his heart, the PR gulped manfully and said, ‘Okay, go for it.’

So we did. Now I don’t drink a lot of coffee. I love coffee-flavoured things but neat caffeine just sends me slightly ga-ga (okay, more ga-ga than usual). So it was down to Adrian and Lulu (who was staying) to test.

‘Ewww,’ said Lulu. ‘It looks like a tin of Whiskers.’
‘I think it’s supposed to look sultry,’ I said.
‘It looks like Whiskers,’ she said, firmly. ‘What’s it called?’
‘Aromettes,’ I said.
‘What? No!’ She snatched the tin from me and peered closely. ‘Shit. I thought you were kidding.’
‘Why the surprise?’
‘It sounds like some kind of sanitary product.’
‘Mixed with essential oils,’ I added helpfully.

I tore off the lid. ‘Well, it smells nice,’ I said.
She dug her hand in the tin and pulled out an “aromette”. ‘Ooh, neat idea!’

Lulu, btw, is a marketing guru so she knows about this stuff. And, lo and behold, the ground coffee had been squished and squeezed into coffee bean shapes (coffee beans on serious steroids, it has to be said).  I reminded me of something but I'm not entirely sure I want to recall exactly what it is...

Basically, you bung one bean (let’s not say aromette, it’s starting to disturb me) per cup desired into your cafetiere or filter machine, bung on the hot water and lo and behold. No mucking around with measuring; no need to clip the top of the packet or bung it in the fridge or whatever (and yes, I know all that doesn't work anyhow).

Did my testers like them? Well. Hmm.  Put it this way – they’re the kind of coffee snobs who think Starbucks is a dirty word. Who buy fresh beans to grind – only after lengthy discussions about the very field in which said beans were picked and the precise humidity level of the day on which they were picked. So we'll gloss over that.  Instead I offered them to normal people (a random selection around town) who reckoned they did the business very nicely, thank-you.

Anyhow...don’t take this lot’s word for it – try ‘em for yourselves. You can buy them from Tesco only from 14th February and they come in two varieties – Smooth (strength 3) and Intense (strength 5).

Anyone who comments before February 14th will be entered into the draw (sadly, you have to be a UK resident and I will need to be able to contact you in some way other than mind reading). Simply tell me what your take is on coffee – love it? Hate it? Uber-snob or anything goes? Oh, and give me a reason why you'd like to win (go on, make me feel better about my crap life - gimme your sob stories!).

Rules? Not many. One entry per person. Winners will be notified within 28 days and prizes will be sent out a further 28 days afterwards.

btw, if you want to read more of Lulu's reviews, check out her blog.... (in which she also relates her views on the Bonkers House and its inhabitants). Lies, perfidious lies!


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

What is the difference between coffee squashed and coffee instant? If you put one of these little lumps in a cup and stirred in hot water, would it be ok or is the cafetiere stage really necessary?

I like coffee because it makes a change from tea. I swing backwards and forwards between the two all day.

I wish I could choose between coffee fields. I used to like freshly ground beans but find it hard now to find fresh beans to grind. If they have sat in a tin in a shop for . . . how long? . . . they don't taste interesting at all.

£100 of tokens sounds good . . .


Jen said...

I savour the first coffee in the office every morning. I share a cafetiere of coffee with R and B every morning - R never puts enough in, so beans would work well for us, that's why I'd like to win.

Exmoorjane said...

Lucy: nah, it would be like putting a spoonful of ground coffee into a cup and adding water - you need the filter/cafetiere bit...
Yup, rather wish I could enter this myself!

Jen: fair enough. You're in the pot! :)

Unknown said...

Enter me in this one please.
I only drink decaff unless its a very special occasion, its surprising how they crop up on most days. I did use to work in a deli which ground the beans for people, it was honestly one of my best ever jobs grinding lovely Columbian coffee beans all day...

MichelleTwinMum said...

Would love to win please! Like coffee and happy to drink mostly anything! How sad is that?

and a sob story..... I can't think of one. The kids ate all my time! I have a mass pile of ironing in front of me right now!

Thanks, Mich x

Georgie B said...

I don't drink much coffee and am therefore rubbish at making it!!!

Now a nice cup of the tea on the other hand . . . .

Please enter me in your comp.
Thank you.

Inside the Wendy House said...

I love coffee...I love coffee shops and the funny names they give to their drinks. I don't get to go often enough though. My 18 month runs amok and causes havoc. The regular coffee shop connoisseurs give us dirty looks :(

I'd love to enter please!!

Milla said...

I am the most serious contender among a load of light weights. I have a minimum of ten cups of coffee a day. Yes. Ten. Or twelve. I am therefore THE most desirable person to hope gets a habit of this particular caffeine. Never unfaithfully flirt with vile tea. I am woman, hear me slurp coffee.
A hundred quid wouldn't go amiss either. I've a heavy duty hobby to support.

Adam Fronteras said...

Oddly I dont't like coffee but in my younger courting days - I would if lucky be invited back for coffee and ended up drinking a lot of coffee which I hated and still do but stangely even if I ended up staying the night I was still to shy in the morning to confess I did not like coffee and could I have tea instead

English Mum said...

I can't do coffee either. Or alcohol. Well, I mean I do DO alcohol, but it only takes 2 to get me totally trollied (as you well know). Still, means I'm a cheap date.

Anyway, coffee - I happen to have a dearest loved one (in the UK, happily) that loves the stuff. So, what else is there to say but PICK ME!

Suzie @keatsbabe said...

I adore coffee and drink it really strong but I recently learned that levels of caffeine in your body have been shown to negatively affect those prone to depression and anxiety (that's me). Still drinking it though - I would be more depressed without my morning cuppa to look forward to.

Just thought - how not to win a coffee competition - tell people to avoid drinking it...

Unknown said...

Ah coffee - it's the one concession in our very small and very cold office (there's only 3 of us) that we have filter coffee. Therefore I usually leave my crappy instant first thing in favour of running and popping the machine on as soon as I get in the door. I don't function until I've had at least two.

As for the tesco vouchers, well I am outnumbered in my house by boys 2 to 1 and they eat a lot! So they would come in very handy, pretty please and thank you.

Michele Brenton aka banana_the_poet said...

The Coffee Drinker's Song.

Aromette jaunty Aromette!
Aromette in cafe au lait!
Coffee nice and hot & wet?
Just dissolve an Aromette!
Haven’t tried any yet?
Go and buy Aromette!
Have to say it could be packaged better.
But if I win I’ll drink it anyway.

PS £100 would keep us fed for a whole month - so that would be good too.

Tattieweasle said...

Thank kerist I can't go for the coffee and anyway it would confuse the cat who cannot stop eating Whiskas cat food! Would love to think this immediatley makes me a contender but fear those with a serious Coffee habit are more in need or just might go on the rampage with out their fix. I mean look at poor Milla...

Martin said...

Funny thing coffee. I'm in the process of redrafting my first novel (Argh!... and Yay!) and I find myself drinking what I like to call 'propa coffee' when I write. When I'm not writing, sachets of mocha-flavoured dust are fine, but 'propa coffee' helps the creative juices (and other things) flow.

My favourite coffee name is 'Hot Lava Java'. It blows your socks off that stuff. Lately though I have been sampling the Douwe Egburts coffees. Yum. I also shop online at Tesco so when I saw this blog entry I couldn't resist.

Why should I win? Because I stepped down to part-time from my teaching job in order to give me more time to write and now I can barely afford my weekly shopping. Feel sorry for me?

Bumbling said...

I cannot abide coffee... devil's drink that! I'm a fizzy pop or tea girl any day of the week.

I can do sob story. Me and Moo are finding our feet as a two-man team after her dad moved out before Christmas... Tesco vouchers would certainly help purchase our girly supply of chocolate to keep our chins up!!!

Mrs. Tuna said...

Tesco is mighty far from Arizona, so is guess no coffee for me.

Miss Sadie said...

Tea, m'lady. Tea's the thing to drink. Abstain from coffee, for it is intoxicating and conducive to riots.

Besides, being in the colony across the pond, I have no way of benefiting from this offer. Unless you open a post box for me in, ah, Barnstaple, or um, Cardigan.

Maggie Christie said...

I am a coffee addict (and a bit of a tart for anything new so I'll be trying those bean shaped things even if they do look like... er...)

Why should I win? Well I could give you the sob story about being broke and the car having failed its MOT had to be replaced and now we can't afford to eat etc.

Or I could say that it's because I'm such a brilliant and lovely person that I clicked on your Next link a million times every day (well, perhaps not a million but I was very loyal to that little button...).

Or could it be that I know where you live...? I could hold the SP to ransom....! Bwahhahahahahaha!

Caroline said...

Am on a ridiculous diet at the moment and coffee is the highlight of my days. I like mine ground, strong and steaming. Will def check out this new product. Enter ms, please. X

Neil said...

Coffee is the drink of Gods. Very fidgetty and almost cocaine nervy Gods if you are like me and drink 5 expresso every morning before work. It will shape the world- and has done already.

Coffee will be what changes this world, totally. It, along with twitter and facebook have completely transformed how and when we communicate. I have spent nights re-tweeting the Tunisian revolution, the Egyptian revolution, student sit ins and the up coming Scottish revolution. None of these changes would have been possible without coffee, twitter and me. Coffee, sometimes Cuban, will have us Glaswegians out storming the City Chambers at 3.36am, all paley-wally and panda-eyed (watch out for the tweet).

The brown stuff, the ground stuff, the fidgetting around stuff- coffee, with a small tray bake or scone, is all the mover and shakers of this world need to move and shake. My car moves Tron like across the motorway, utilizing small spaces between cars to deftly "ride that 'jam"- rush hour driving skills that have been bestowed upon me by the eight cups of mahogany rich, cigar smoked, south American elixor of mad driving. I rarely crash.

A day without coffee is a day under the covers, curtains drawn, head screaming and stomach churning. I need my fix. My ducking and diving reduced to treacle like wading under water with a pair of gators on and heavy chains weighing me down. No revolution will be won by my caffeine withdrawal.

But here's the rub. Should someone shove a handful of caffeine in an insipid brew such as tea or Coke or (dry boaks) Irn Bru... in front of me when I am sweating and retching my call for my addictive drink, I would throw it at them. Coffee is more than it's drug (though caffiene free coffee might as well be tea) -it is an experience beyond wine tasting. It awakens the taste buds; the brain synapsis and will awaken the youth and the revolutionaries typing insanely over their laptops at 3.36am.

Viva la revolucion!

(pushes the plunger on the cafetierre and retweets someone extolling the virtues of small caramel covered traybakes in Milngavie... nom nom...)

simone11 said...


Anonymous said...

I'd sooner give up alcohol than coffee- I think that makes me an addict! xxx

Sarah's Book Reviews said...

I must admit i don't like the taste of coffee but i love the smell of freshly made, ground coffee! Luckily, hubby likes coffee and i can smell to my hearts content!!

please enter me into teh draw - what a great valentines pressie for hubby!
@sbroadhurst on twitter

Marzena said...

I love coffee.
The smell, the taste…mmm, so good!
I can't imagine a day without a cup of coffee

please enter me to the competition

Anonymous said...

Went off drinking coffee when preggers but husband drinks loads & I like the smell...

No sob story for me - I could make something up? But I really would like to enter thanks x

I also want some nice pr contacts!!

Anonymous said...

It's a real love/hate relationship for me. I love the smell and I used to drink bucket loads of the best quality coffee, but one morning in Ibiza, after a strong black coffee with demerara sugar, I had what my nan would describe as a funny turn. It may have had more to do with the millions of san miguel I had the night before and the fact that I was embarrassed because I remember talking to one of Showaddywaddy and I can't rem,ember what I was saying. Thought i was hilarious after all the San miguel and I have a vague recollection of the ShowaddyWaddy person looking at me, slightly alarmed. Lord knows what I was saying. I mean what so you talk to Showaddywaddy about?
So the next day I was cringing and hungover and my heat was beating so fast I thought I was having a heart attack.
And I haven't drunk coffee since but I LOVE the smell of coffee and hubby loves coffee and when I make him a coffee , I take long lingering smells. Sometimes it reminds of Showaddywaddy, but not all the time.
When I was little I used to make coffee butter icing and eat it from the cup I made it in- butter, icing sugar and a little coffee dissolved and mixed up in it - MAGiCAL!
And coffee cake- ahhhh I love coffee cake. And I love coffee actually- it just doesn't like me :( and that makes me sad,
So what would really cheer me up is £100 of Tescos vouchers.

Emma@christmascupboard said...

Arhhhhh a coffee comp...Mmmmmmm.
Its my main vice, well that and the odd bottle of vino on a friday night.
But coffee, Oh coffee...I love its taste, aroma and how it keeps me going all day.
I'm a complete addict! Oh a Douwe Egberts is the Fav in our house, No lie...I'm not just crawly bum licking because I want to win, it really is. So the Syder House would be thrilled to win and the Tesco vouchers would seriously be welcomed at the mo.

Zoë said...

Cor! this feels like attending a meeting of Coffee Addicts Anonymous. *stands up* 'My name is, Zoë, and I am a coffee addict!'

I think I tried something similiar to this recently, but another brand, also found in Tesco. Sachets of what looked like dried compost, that were supposedly superfine ground beans added to instant, to give you that authentic 'coffee shop' experience, just add your own sound effects. That I will admit wasn't half bad, just much too expensive (worked out about 70p a sachet!).

If this is similar I would gladly give it ago, although I agree with Lulu, as do Jazz, Jake, Nina, Mia, and Smudge who really do know about these things; it looks a lot like a tin of Whiskas!
Think she was pretty bang on with the feminine hygiene name thing too, bound to put all the blokes off being vivid pink and sounding female/lovey? or maybe we are the intended market.

Why do I deserve to be the winner? well, after the appalling two years I have had *plays the big C card* I reckon I deserve some good luck! No? oh well... nothing new there then.

Unknown said...

Well now that's original, coffee that looks like a bean! Don't like coffee myself I'm a tea drinker; well I say that but I was offered a cup of coffee at my Italian friends house just before Christmas, and accepted so as not to offend...well it was absolutely beautiful, Italian coffee so would definitely have that again! Maybe I could buy some with the Tesco vouchers if I won them lol!!

Anonymous said...

well, i LOVE coffee and definitely need the kick, but i hate the faff - which is why i virtually only drink coffee out these days. but this brilliant little idea could make all the difference. i could make faffless coffee at home any time - and then think how productive i could be! xxx

Anonymous said...

I would have commented anyway that your friends sound like mine with their coffee snobbishness. Glad the festive clicking helped.

Anonymous said...

I’m sure my German exchange friend was astonished when she found out that my mother boiled, boiled and boiled her gift of coffee beans expecting a delectable beverage to eventually emerge. Claudia did not comment – too polite – but must have gone back to Deutschland convinced that we English are not coffee connoisseurs. I must admit that it was years later when I found out where my mother was going wrong. A pensioner now so prize Douwe Egberts would be extra appreciated. Guests would think I know great coffee yet serving Douwe Egberts wouldn’t be a grind!

Sharon said...

I love coffee, I love the smell when you open a new jar or pack, I love the smell of fresh coffee in the cafetiere, I just love coffee and I drink too much of it. Would love to win the competition - my 23 year old son is always moaning there's not enough food in the house! thank you

Charlotte said...

I love coffee. Love it. Drink gallons of it, black and so strong it looks like there's been a tanker oil spillage somewhere. Small aquatic mammals would get their feathers stuck together in it.

However, having embarked on The The Year From Hell I have had to give up my coffee habit due to the COST of the stuff. £5 Tesco wanted for a jar of coffee the other day! £5 and it didn't even come in a purple tub or sound like a sanitary towel.

Jane. My washing machine is broken, my toaster has died, my boiler is terminally ill (the actual boiler, not my Mother in Law) and I'm so poor I consider a teabag for my personal use a treat. Send me the vouchers.

Taz said...

I love coffee, coffe wakes me up in the morning, keeps me going during the day and is the only drink that my small people can make for me without diastrous results.
Sob story?
Lap top is dying and that is really much my only link with outside life, tv is near death, car is dying, boiler is in desperate need of a service, eldest child just turned 16 so I feel like an old hag, ex is being a tw*t and I have my Mother visiting which makes me swing between feeling like a 13 year old and murderous want me to go on?

Unknown said...

I can't wait for these 'Aromettes' to come out, I'll certainly be one of the first to try it!

I love coffee: it's the first thing I consume every day and I've always preferred cafetiere to instant coffee - but I'm not quite sure where to place this. Is it just instant coffee in the shape of a coffee bean?
I hope they win the taste-test!

If I could win some free coffee and a week's free groceries this would make me very happy - because coffee is rather expensive, after all!

F said...

I started to comment on this, not because I'm eligible for the prize, but because coffee is important to me. It ran amok and ended up a blog post instead.

Mmm. Coffee.

Rebecca Brown said...


I need the coffee - NEED it - because I'm suffering from severe sleep deprivation thanks to my kids.

I also need the vouchers because we're suffering from poverty. That enough sob story for you?


BigFashionista said...

Would you like to see the coffee I am drinking today? It's pitiful. It's supermarket own. I weep as I write this. I too am a coffee snob. My cafatiere is sulking in a corner feeling unloved and frankly I dont blame it. I neeeeeeeeed coffee. My work is being affected, my home life, frankly even my
Love life. But when money is tight, nice coffee is a luxury. So I would love to win some coffee and while we're there having some food in the cupboard would probably help too.