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How to make the best tasting instant coffee

What's the best way to make
instant coffee? 

Since we developed a freeze-dried instant blend of our coffee to send to the International Space Station, we've been getting a lot of questions about instant coffee. That's why we thought it'd be a great idea to write a blog on how we make the best instant coffee possible. 

Instant coffee is the perfect solution for when you're not able to access a coffee maker — whether you're camping, serving in the military, or traveling outside of the United States. A lot of countries in Europe and Asia actually prefer instant coffee to regular brewing methods — so how do you make the best cup of instant coffee? 

If you're a regular coffee drinker and prefer methods like the Chemex or a simple auto-drip maker, instant coffee definitely has a different taste. But that taste doesn't have to be bad. Instant coffee is a great way to get your morning fix in an area where you don't have access to a coffee maker, which is why so many people take it with them when they camp. 

Here's how to make the best cup of instant coffee: 

1. Buy quality instant coffee

When it comes to picking out instant coffee, try to find packaging labeled "freeze dried" instead of "spray drying." Freeze-dried coffee tends to produce a truer coffee flavor. Freeze-dried coffee tends to have a granule shape, whereas spray-dried coffee tends to have a powdery consistency. 

2. Heat your water

No matter what, do not microwave your water. Use fresh, filtered water to get the best taste — the type of water you use has a huge effect on how your coffee ends up tasting. We recommend heating between 190 degrees Fahrenheit and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. Measure your instant coffee in a mug 

Follow the package instructions, but if it's too watery or too strong for your taste, adjust based on your tastebuds. If there's no specific recommendation on the package, try 1 teaspoon for 8 ounces. 

4. Add a little cold water

This is optional, but add a little cold water before you add the rest. Only add enough to wet all of the coffee and to turn it into a paste. This helps give your instant coffee a smoother flavor. 

5. Pour in the hot water 

Add your hot water and enjoy! Feel free to add cream and sugar if you're into that sort of thing. If you need to adjust the taste, experiment with what works. Try an extra teaspoon of coffee if it's too watery, or add more hot water if it's too strong. 

6. Store any extra instant coffee in an airtight container

If you're taking your instant coffee with you on the go, keep it in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible. It keeps water and air out, keeping the taste fresh for longer. 

Related: How we made freeze-dried instant coffee for space

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