Assessing Instant Coffee

If I were the hat-wearing type, I’d tip this head-covering appliance to the person who came up with the idea of instant coffee. Unlike some if not many of my colleagues who have expressed their views on this topic, I do not desire that four dollar cup of Latte, Cappuccino, Mocha, or any of the other flavored gourmet blends of coffee found at your local Starbuck’s.

In fact, I find it repulsive. It’s ridiculously overpriced, and more often than not it tastes like someone mixed a concoction of cooking fuel used for camping stoves with turpentine. As for that which is commonly labeled as “real” coffee, I certainly find the taste far more agreeable, but there’s a problem.

Specifically, I’m the only person in my household that drinks coffee. To be fair, I do own a drip coffee brewer, but along with the glass carafe, a neatly packaged set of filters, and a three-pound can of Maxwell House Light Roast, it remains tucked away in the cupboard until we have company. At most, I’ll dig it out five times over the course of a year.

If instant coffee affected my palate as unfavorably as it would seem to do to most people, then I suppose spending the time to brew a pot would be worthwhile. However, this just isn’t the case. Save for perhaps a few stale brands whose freeze-dried crystals taste like they were processed around the time Wolfman Jack was still hosting the Midnight Special, I happen to like instant coffee. Taster’s Choice, manufactured by Nescafe, has been my chosen brand for nearly 30 years and counting. I would furthermore challenge any coffee drinker to place one cup of traditionally-brewed java and one cup of Taster’s Choice on a table, drink from each, and tell me which is which.

Thus, I simply don’t bother with the Mr. Coffee machine when it’s so much simpler to fill a mug with a bit of instant coffee, water, a teaspoon or so of sugar, and throw it into the microwave. Exactly one minute and forty-five seconds later, I have a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. I can repeat this process several times each day without having to go through the ordeal of discarding used filters filled with coffee grounds and then washing out the glass pot. Best of all, and since I’m about as mechanically inclined as a tadpole, I only have to clean the brewer out with vinegar about as often as presidential elections are held.

Instant coffee? It works well for me.

1. Assessing the antioxidant activity of melanoidins from coffee … – NCBI
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