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Oct 14, 2007 07:08 AM

does anyone still use instant coffee on a regular basis.....

and actually prefers it??

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  1. Yes and no. While I do appreciate a great cuppa joe, my espresso maker and burr grinder are currently buried in our garage in some forgotten box. Theyare being kept safe while we finish our remodel which is in its final stretch. I do have an Aeropress that is almost bullet-proof but without a proper grinder, it sits unused except when the occasion arises where I can go to the local coffee house and grind a small quantity of beans.

    To tide me over, I am using instant coffee but fortunately it's not the usual stuff that one will find at your usual grocery chain. UCC instant coffees are actually quite nice. They are made in Japan and the focus of their various coffees is on quality. They offer instants that are sourced from highly praised locations like Blue Mountain, Kona, and Mandheling. The jars even offer labels that show graphs that indicate acidity versus darkness of roast of each instant coffee in their line. In other words, if you really like coffee but are relegated to instant for any reason, UCC is a very decent substitute. And just a tidbit of trivia. The process of creating instant coffee was first conceived in Japan. Who would have ever thought that a huge food industrialist like Proctor & Gamble was not at the forefront of this process. The obsession of the Japanese culture to find the best fill-in-the-blank is well-known. When combined with the inspiration by some chemist in Japan back in the beginning the 20h century to make it easier for folks like me to instantly create a cup of coffee, the result of a decent instant coffee coming from Japan seems to make sense.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      I'd love to know where you discovered that Japan was the first to conceive of making instant coffee. The first patent on instant coffee was granted by the British Government in 1771. When I am in a hurry I use the microwave and instant and my favorite instant is Nestle's from Mexico, yes, I know they make it here too but it is not the same.

      1. re: Seasoned Warrior


        Maybe I should have prefaced the information with the terms, "truly instant," and, "palatable." From what I gathered about the info that you are referring to is that the 1771 patented "compound" was neither truly instant nor palatable.

    2. I do. I dislike coffee a great deal, but benefit from the caffeine in the mornings. I drink 2 cups of instant every morning.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Spencer

        It may come as a surprise to hear that you could get an excellent cup of coffee in Taipei and Tokyo long before you could get one in nearly any American city, back as far as the mid-'80s, at least. But that was in coffee houses. In your own kitchen, lacking a fancy coffee maker, you settled for the various instant coffees, which for some reason were better than the American ones, sometimes even bearing the same brand.

        Nowadays, though, the trend over there is drifting away from powdered instant toward prepackaged complete grounds-and-filter things (I remember seeing them on European trains as well), with a paper cradle that holds the dripping filter over your cup. Just add water. The coffee provided inside ranges in quality, but the better brands can be quite decent, at least in a pinch. And certainly cheaper than a premium cup in a cafe.

        Here in the USA, I'd probably save the instant for camping and for making coffee-flavored desserts--and I'd go with the Italian brands, the "instant espresso."

        1. re: Barry Foy

          Filter coffee (the pre-packaged things, you mention) are not new - the first time I had one was in Israel in the early 1980's and I am sure they were around way before that - The ones I drank when living abroad were made by Rombouts - I have not seen them in any grocery stores in the States but you can order them online although shipping costs may not make it economical -

          1. re: Barry Foy

            I don't know where you live but if you have any well-stocked Japanese or Chinese markets in your area, you should be able to find those individual drip filter to-go coffee products there.

        2. I use instant exclusively. No coffee maker - the SO is crazy about kitchen counter space so I'm limited in my gadgets. Would rather have the blenders and such.

          I don't think I prefer it, but on weekends a cup of instant with some foamed milk ain't that bad.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NovoCuisine

            I would rather lose a vital organ than drink instant coffee.

            When I was doing the coalition forces sand dance in Saudi Arabia/Kuwait/Iraq back in 90-91, I was cut off from brewed coffee for 11 months. All I had was the instant stuff packaged in MRE's. I made a vow that if I came home, I would never, never, ever drink instant coffee again. I have kept that promise going on 16 years.

            For those times when all I want is one cup, I purchased a cone-filter holder (Melita) made out of ceramic that sits on top of a mub. Just throw in some grounds, and pour on hot water. Out drips freshly brewed coffee into the mug in the time it takes to boil a little water.

            Life is way to short for instant coffee.

          2. My mom. I have offered her up a coffee pot 1000 times. No deal. She will drink "real" coffee when she is out, but she is truly addicted to her instant with one saccharin and skim milk.

            I WILL say that the small container of instant I keep in the cabinet came in handy during the October storm last year when we were without power for 6 days!

            1 Reply
            1. re: L_W

              Whenever my sister-in-law comes over and I make a pot of coffee, she dilutes it half and half with hot water because she says my coffee is too strong. She actually prefers instant, so I just bought a jar and let her make her own. If she wants to perpetrate a criminal act against coffee I'd prefer not to be an accessory. Bear in mind, this is the same sister-in-law who has accused me of trying to kill her by putting fresh ground pepper in the salad dressing.

            2. yup. i use it all the time. to make mocha cake. The recipe that i have that uses freshly brewed coffee splatters way too much when i mix it, so, i typically use a regular chocolate cake recipe and add instant coffee.