Why Instant Coffee Is Underrated

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Instant coffee has a bad reputation, but the truth is it doesn’t deserve all the hate. Instant coffee saves you time, saves money on fancy equipment, and can taste just as good as any other type of coffee. Don’t believe us? Just see what Blue Bottle Coffee’s senior director for global innovation and quality, Ben Brewer, has to say.

How Instant Coffee Is Made

Both instant coffee and regular coffee start with whole coffee beans. From there, the beans are roasted, ground, and brewed for instant coffee. After that, the water is removed, leaving dehydrated crystals or soluble coffee behind. According to Brewer, “By taking a gentle approach to extraction by using milder temperatures and pressure, [as well as] treating the coffee more delicately and as purely as possible, the quality of the output improved exponentially.”

Is it Really That Different?

When made correctly, a cup of instant coffee should look indistinguishable from a cup of regular coffee. It should also have the same caffeine levels. In terms of taste, that all depends on the quality of the beans, and the roast and extraction processes. Brewer says it’s important to “treat the coffee as gently as possible to maintain its pure flavor and aroma. We developed a specific roasting process that takes our learnings from 20 years of small craft roasting and brings it to our soluble production. We then extract a similar ratio to our cafe espresso, which results in a stronger and better-tasting cup.”

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Basically, if made right, the only difference between instant and regular coffee is how much time you have to dedicate to your morning routine.

How to Make Hotel Room Coffee Taste Way Better, According to an Expert

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Manuel Barsallo, a partner of the Panama Coffee Club, founder of Coffeetologist Coffee Company, and co-founder of Cruce Coffee Company, understands the struggle of facing lackluster hotel room coffee. To combat this, the coffee connoisseur shares insights on transforming even the most uninspiring brews into a more enjoyable morning ritual.

Unexpected Ingredients for a Signature Drink

Barsallo suggests adding an unexpected twist to your hotel room coffee by incorporating a splash of orange juice or other fruit extracts. This creative approach not only masks the coffee’s harsh flavor but also adds a punchy and refreshing element to your cup.

Alternatively, when juices are not on hand, Barsallo recommends a surprising yet effective trick—adding a sprinkle of salt to the coffee grounds before brewing, which is particularly effective for darker roasts. This method helps cut the acidity, offering a smoother taste. For those with a sweet tooth, Barsallo suggests opting for brown sugar or simple syrup, readily available at hotel restaurants or bars.

Bottled Water and Balanced Ratios

Barsallo emphasizes the importance of using bottled water to brew your hotel room coffee. Choosing water with higher magnesium content and lower calcium and sulfate content enhances the overall mouthfeel, texture, and sweetness of the coffee. Additionally, Barsallo advises adjusting the water-to-grounds ratio to intensify the flavors, providing a bolder and more enjoyable coffee experience.

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For the coffee purists or those uncertain about the destination’s coffee quality, Barsallo recommends creating a portable “to-go” kit. Including essentials like a Carter mug, Aeropress, Acaia coffee scale, and Comandante grinder ensures you’re prepared for a satisfying coffee experience wherever your travels take you. Practical alternatives like drip kits, specialty coffee capsules, and ultra-specialty coffee solubles offer convenient solutions for a delightful cup of joe on the go.