Best instant coffee? - Page 3

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#21: Post by jbviau »

Yes, Tim, thanks for the review. I'm actually impressed that you got much at all in terms of volatile aromatics from B&W's instant, as aroma has been the major weak point of *all* specialty instants I've tried (reported on elsewhere here); Cometeer is significantly better in that regard. Anyway, you've made me curious to try this one.

Aside re: the instructions and brewing experience being lacking: I would suggest you're overthinking this a bit. 8)
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

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#22: Post by Milligan »

Curious to know if anyone else has some impressions of their instant coffees? I believe a few members ordered some?


#23: Post by jpender »

The one I tried wasn't bad. But it wasn't as good as I was hoping either. It had some aromatics but it didn't blow me away. And there was a cooked sort of flavor lurking in the cup. It's the best premium instant I've tried. And I might buy more if it were a lot less expensive and locally available. Otherwise, it's a miss for me. Maybe I just had the wrong one.

The granules are different than other instants. They're sticky and kind of shiny. It reminds me of food that I've home dehydrated that contained oil. Getting it out of the little package required some shaking and fiddling. Given what it cost I didn't want to leave any behind so I ripped the package completely open to get the last little bit stuck in the corner.


#24: Post by CamBam_HB »

I think intelligentsia did an instant coffee with sudden coffee that may be different. Also, didn't blue bottle buy a up and comer in the instant space? Wonder what happened there. A local roaster out here, rose park roasters also has an instant but no explanation on their process.

Another alternative is coffee tea bags like counter culture offers via steeped. Steeped has a large coffee roaster partner list that should make it easier to find something to your liking.

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#25: Post by yakster »

Blue Bottle bought Perfect Coffee which was selling pre-ground coffee in pouches, but they still needed to be brewed, they weren't instant.

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#26: Post by jpender »

CamBam_HB wrote:I think intelligentsia did an instant coffee with sudden coffee that may be different.
I think Sudden is no more. Intelligentsia sells instant made by Swift.

I bought a box of the Ritual Coffee Roasters version of Swift's instant product. It was ridiculously expensive but I thought it would be a luxury item for a backpacking trip. I made a cup at the trailhead and couldn't drink it. It tasted so weird. I have no idea what they were shooting for but I was glad I brought some Starbuck's VIA along as a backup.

Maybe the Intelligentsia version is better? They price it a bit more competitively.

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#27: Post by jbviau »

^^^ Since Blue Bottle was mentioned earlier, they actually *do* have an instant now. It hasn't officially launched yet, and I haven't seen reviews, but here's one version of the press release: ... 57424.html
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias


#28: Post by jpender »

This morning I did a side by side blind tasting of four instant coffees:
  1. Starbuck's VIA Colombian
  2. Little's Colombian
  3. Black & White Riripa Natural
  4. Black & White El Vergel Guava Banana


#29: Post by jpender »

Each cup had 4g of solids and 250g of 85°C water. I put a number on the underside of each cup to identify the coffee. Then I used a salad spinner to blind myself as to which cup was which and tasted them without looking at them.

It was easy to identify the Startbuck's VIA with it's pronounced roastiness. The Little's I had never tried before but it also easy to ID by process of elimination. It was balanced but had a kind of "dusty" quality to it. Like dirt. I will try it again but I think I will probably throw this rather expensive jar out.

The two from Black & White were more similar than different. Both were very lively, interesting cups of coffee. I couldn't really say which was which but my favorite of the two turned out to be the Riripa Natural.

Then I brewed a cup of Riripa from beans out of my freezer, using an Aeropress. And I blind tasted that fresh cup with the Riripa instant. I warmed the instant in the microwave to match the temperature (which was about 70°C). While the instant was still good the brewed cup was better.

I guess there's nothing terribly surprising about all this. And, for me, it doesn't really change anything as far as my use of instant coffee for backpacking.


#30: Post by Mbb »

I don't know what cruise you're going on but any instant coffee is should be trash compared to regular coffee you can get.

I was on a celebrity Cruise a few months ago.... And the coffee wasn't what I would call great even in the coffee shop, but it was something.

When I backpack and take coffee...... I usually have little packets of Folgers instant coffee. I've tried others I've tried Starbucks via, it's complete garbage. It's micro ground coffee grounds and all. Regular Starbucks sucks, via sucks worse.

Real kinds of instant coffee are coffee that's been evaporated and freeze dried and you just reconstitute... The desirable portion of coffee.

It is certainly not a problem to bring a pour over set up with you for a week, especially with the big luggage people bring on cruise ships. I kind of wish I had done that. Probably would need one of those heater coil things that you put in the cup to heat water and it would take a while... I don't think they allow appliances. I've taken pour over seas with me for work, a month's worth at a time. By the third to fourth week the coffee is getting kind of flat and bad.