Roots Aroma Black Original Coffee

I believe I've complained before--and often--about a significant hole in the packaged, pre-made coffee arena. By that I mean: I've taken to drinking my coffee black. This because I realized a while back that with the amount of coffee I go through--and the accompanying sugar--I was expecting a collect call from Wilford Brimley at any moment. So when I'm traveling and there's not a live barista for miles and I pull into a gas station/convenience store--and the coffee might have been freshened sometime in the past 72 hours (maybe)--I want to grab a coffee that's already made. Starbucks, for example. They sell tasty Doubleshots and Mochas and whatnot in cans and bottles.

Know what they don't sell? Straight coffee. Black--no sugar, no cream. In fact, I've yet to run across an example in the southeastern U.S. You might have--and if so, I envy you. Because it seems that I have to go to Japan to get anything close to what I want.

I say "close," yes. Because on one hand, you get the taste of straight coffee. Not the sort of black coffee I normally make--my preferred kind is the type I have to wrestle into submission--but just straight down the middle coffee. Nothing spectacular.

However, the ingredients give me pause. Maybe it's something lost in translation, but on the English ingredients sticker, I see this: "Coffee flavour (natural and artificial)." That's it. But yes, you noticed it too: not coffee. "Coffee flavour." Then when you look at the front of the aluminum bottle, you see: "Quality Coffee / Deep and Clear Taste." Maybe that's truth in advertising: "Taste? Yes. Coffee? Not exactly."

But then I found the main company website, which does talk about actual roasting. And another site in Japanese did list "coffee" in the ingredients, so the sticker might just be misleading. However, there is flavoring besides the coffee--there's just a trace of that coffee flavoring you get when, say, there's some coffee candy and you know there's no real coffee in it. Not unpleasant, but just slightly askew.
Regardless of all that, it serves its purpose: black coffee on the go, when you need it. I only wish more people would offer the same.