By Frans Goddijn & Jan van der Weel. This blog is also on kostverlorenvaart.nl
Travelling can be tough when you are used to excellent coffee. How does one prepare a decent cup on the road if there is no specialty coffee place in sight?
You can load all your equipment in your trunk but this isn’t a very practical solution when you travel by airplane or when you drive out to very remote places, if you want to go backpacking or if you don’t want to have another coffee related argument with your partner.
Now there might be a simple solution. A relatively new company, Sudden Coffee, promises to offer a solution. “Just add water & stir – it’s really that simple”, they say.
Sudden Coffee compared to Nescafe
Sudden Coffee is crafted by Kalle Freese. He won 9th place in the 2015 World Barista Championship. The company only uses high quality single origin coffee that has been roasted by different roasters like 49th Parallel and Ritual Roasters.
Can Sudden Coffee live up to their claim? The proof of the pudding is in the eating and we tried two of their recent productions, as sent out to their subscribers. First we tried the Saint Frank’s Little Brother espresso, roasted by Ritual Roasters. This coffee is a mix of Hermanos – washed Bourbon & Caturra from Honduras and the Guatamalan Don Guayo washed Bourboncito. The second coffee we tried was a single origin roasted by 49th Parallel roasters. This Colombian El Tambo coffee is said to be clean, vibrant and sweet.
Both instant coffees have been packed into tubes and each tube contains about 4.5 grams of instant coffee. This should be mixed with 240 – 250 ml of hot water. We used filtered water of 90ºC and we compared these two coffees with instant coffee powder by Nescafe.
First we smelled the dry aroma of the three coffees. None of them smelled like freshly ground coffee. The sensation was more like a liquorice aroma.
After pouring the water on the instant coffees we noticed something remarkable. There was actually crema forming on the Nescafe instant coffee. Normally you would need pressurized heater water to create crema. How was this possible? Well, there is a patent for this. Reducing the percentage of certain polysaccharide molecules (Mannan) would do the job.
Nescafe is simply awful, we think. It looks good but in the mouth it would be an ideal medicine to kick any caffeine habit. You take a sip and wonder why on earth people do this to themselves.
In comparison, the Sudden Coffee is very pleasant, especially if you add a little sugar. Although both Sudden Coffee samples have a nice acidity and complexity, in our view they both lack sweetness and taste a tiny bit salty. We found the Colombian El Tambo more interesting than Saint Frank’s Little Brother espresso.
Still, the Sudden Coffee tastes better than any other instant coffee that we have ever tried.