Six Simple Steps To Perfect Instant Coffee

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Have you had a truly dreadful hot drink in the past? I can’t be the only one who has been the proud owner of a barely brewed cup of tea from a motorway service station which cost more per cup than liquid gold. You know you can get a good cup from a mobile coffee franchise but if you’re at home and need a caffeine hit, instant might seem like the only option.

In honour of all those disgusting, lukewarm monstrosities, we’d like to give you some tips on getting the best cup of coffee possible, for very little extra effort.

So sit back, take note, and learn how to make a better cuppa at home.

  1. Use Fresh Water

If you only boil the amount of water you need, you’ll save on electricity. You’ll also save time, as a less full kettle will reach boiling point quicker than one which is nearly overflowing. By only using the water you need you’ll be saving on electricity, and you can get your cup a little bit quicker.

The other advantage is the taste. Water makes up the vast majority of your cup – unless you like a particularly milky number – and so it will definitely impact the end product. Ideally use freshly boiled, filtered water to maximise taste. The higher oxygen content of water which has only boiled once will improve the end product.

  1. Add The Milk First

The order you add milk might seem like a personal preference. It can be, of course, but for the very best cups of coffee, add a small amount of milk before you add water. This will prevent the freshly boiled water from scolding the grounds which can result in a fairly unpleasant and bitter taste.

While we’re on the subject, it’s better to use water which has not quite boiled. This is more important if you’re a fan of the milk-free stuff, because you won’t have that dairy buffer.

  1. Don’t Skimp On Quality

If you’re using instant coffee be aware that there are two different types. Spray drying denatures the coffee beans more than freeze drying, so a freeze dried coffee is more likely to taste like the real deal. Price is a bit of an indicator of quality, although you can buy a really pricy jar which will be no better than an own branded bargain. You’ll have tasted the difference when you buy from mobile coffee franchises and overpriced but poor quality cafes.

Shop around and try a few until you find one which you like best. The chances are you’ll find that you have a preference as instant coffee can vary wildly.

  1. Teaspoon Dilemmas 


Alt: Mobile Coffee Franchises use a measure rather than different sized spoons for consistent taste.

Teaspoons come in all shapes and sizes, so one man’s one and a half sugars could be another’s three. It can be particularly  problematic when trying to make a coffee for someone else, so we would like to propose an international teaspoon size and shape to be used at all times. It exists in the world of baking – why can’t we use it to make a better cup? A teaspoon (should) hold 5ml, in case you wondered.

If you find a teaspoon which makes the perfect coffee for you, stick with it. You can keep the spoon in your coffee jar so you know where it is at all times.

This is basically a scientific process. You know how much effort has gone into getting your grounds to you, so why spoil it by treating it like it’s an insignificant beverage?

  1. Pick A Mug


Alt: The right mug can make or break your coffee experience.

Every coffee lover should have a favourite mug. If you use a different one each time you’ll end up with different amounts of water, and a different strength. It all comes down to keeping all the variables the same. If you always use the same spoon and the same mug, your coffee will be consistently great every time. The paper cups from a mobile coffee franchise are specifically sized because it makes the baristas job easiest.

Mugs come in all shapes and sizes, and you might prefer a teeny bone china number to a giant ceramic one. It’s all about what works best for you.

  1. Don’t Use Instant

Yes it takes longer, and yes it can be more expensive, but it is entirely worthwhile.

There is a reason people continue to buy from coffee shops and mobile coffee franchises, and it isn’t because they’d rather spend the money than make their own. Coffee outlets use espresso machines and freshly roasted and ground coffee to maximise taste and quality. Your freeze dried grounds probably didn’t even start out life as the best quality beans, so they have little hope later on. 

Surviving A Coffee Nightmare

Friday, November 29, 2013


Alt: What should you do when the kettle isn’t working?

The worst thing has happened.

The kettle in your office has broken. There isn’t a mobile coffee franchise in sight. It’s 7.30 in the morning. It’s Monday. You got in extra early to crack on with work. You were just making your first cup and it all went wrong. The element didn’t heat up, or the fuse went, or something equally technical and far beyond you and your whole day is ruined before it has even started.

You’ve run between floors; there is just no kettle anywhere.

Might as well go home now, hey? Ring everyone else and tell them not to bother coming in. There is no way you will make it through the day. No deadlines will be met. This is worse than the time your boiler gave up the ghost in January and when you forgot your girlfriend’s birthday combined. That would be quite a pleasant morning compared with this.

But wait.

Let’s think about this logically. Mobile coffee franchises don’t use kettles. Coffee shops don’t use kettles. Surely man functioned in a world without kettles. Coffee has been around for centuries, and we’re pretty certain electric kettles haven’t been.  That said it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to create a small fire in your office and heat your mug over it.

Once I moved into a new house, and I didn’t have the foresight to buy a kettle. The oven worked so for a few terrible pre-kettle days every time we wanted a cup of coffee we resorted to boiling water in a saucepan. It did the job, but it’s quite a faff. And whose office has a fully functioning hob, anyway? The supplies just aren’t there.


Alt: Don’t forget to place a non-metallic object in there to lower the risk of super-heating.

Using the microwave for your coffee fix isn’t the best, but if it must be done, make sure you do it in the least awful way possible. Heat water separately and pour over beans as you would have if the flipping kettle had worked. You can even use microwaved water for cafetière coffee. Whatever you do don’t try and construct a cold coffee and then heat to taste. The grounds won’t dissolve and you’ll end up with a horrendous milky mess.

Be extra careful if you’re microwaving water, and remember that it will heat from the centre first. Place something non-metallic in the cup, such as a wooden stirrer. This will increase surface area and help form bubbles. Microwaved water can become super-heated if you’re not careful. This is when it gets hotter than boiling point without bubbling and can then erupt. By placing a non-metallic object you’ll give the bubbles somewhere to gather. If you heat at short intervals and stir regularly, stopping when the water is steamy you should prevent this.

You’ve managed to make one fairly dire cup of lukewarm instant ‘brown’. It’ll get you through until your tea break but you’ve still pretty concerned about how you’ll get through the day. And you don’t think you could stomach that again, even with your high caffeine requirement.

You’re going to have to go out for coffee.

You work miles from the nearest coffee shop, and you aren’t served by a mobile coffee franchise. Your co-workers have asked you to pick them up a cup ‘as you’re going’, like the caffeine starved professional wolves they are. You also cycle to work so this might not go well. What a terrible day. Tomorrow you’re bringing in your own kettle.

Always Be Prepared


Alt: Are solar kettles the answer?

In future we will plan ahead. In future we will have a coffee contingency plan more prominent than the fire evacuation method – which you might need if you went for the office campfire approach to making hot beverages. An emergency solar power kettle shall be kept behind glass with a tiny hammer for access, and spare jars will be in every drawer.

We will also request a mobile coffee franchise to coincide with the morning coffee break, because microwave coffee is horrendous, and apparently solar power kettles take about two hours to boil.

Reigniting The Coffee Spark

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Coffee is undeniably a marvellous thing. The hot comfort of your familiar flat white can be just what you need on your break. But you visit the same mobile coffee franchise and order the same drink every day. The familiar can get a bit… dull. Sometimes you just need to spice up your order to bring back the spark.   

You’ll never stop loving coffee, but you don’t want it to feel like a chore. Let’s keep our addictions exciting. 

A Bit On The Side


Alt: There’s nothing better than a slightly bitter coffee and a slice of chocolate cake.

You can spice up your regularly by having a little something on the side. There is a lot you can add to your order.  While you’re out and about a cheeky little biscotti, a muffin or a croissant might be your best bet. If you’re standing, anything that can be a bit tricky to eat is likely to be considerably more faff.

Cake is fairly excellent with a coffee, but a cupcake will be easier than a slice when you get down to eating the thing. If you’ve just nipped out of the office to one of our mobile coffee franchises you’ll be able to pick anything you like to go with your coffee.

Whether it’s an independent shop or a mobile coffee franchise, most places where you can buy coffee will also sell sweet treats to go with them.

Chocolate and coffee go particularly well, because the rich sweetness of the cocoa bean offsets the bitterness of the coffee. We’re also big coffee cake fans because it combines two of our favourite things. Yum!


Add a bit of chocolate sprinkle, a couple of marshmallows, or some cinnamon to your beverage can make world of difference. Powders give your barista the opportunity to get a bit more creative with their coffee art as well, because it can make up a huge part of the design.



Alt: There are all sorts of syrups you can add to your coffee.

Syrups are thick, flavoured liquids which contain a lot of sugar. They come in lots of flavours; there are probably a hundred different nut based numbers. Syrups make quite a big difference to the taste of your coffee. If you haven’t tried one before, have a sip before you pile in the sugar and accidentally over sweeten your drink. And if you don’t normally put sugar in your cup, they might be just a bit too sweet for you.

A lot of coffee shops produce really popular seasonal drinks just by adding a splash of syrup to their bestsellers. A peppermint, cinnamon, or ginger syrup will make your latte feel extra Christmassy.

Change It

There is a whole world of options out, so there is absolutely no need to stick with just one type. If adding to your existing order isn’t enough, maybe you need to try something completely new.

Make it your personal quest to try all the coffees on the menu. You might find your tastes have changed and you’re no longer simply an Americano aficionado but a coffee connoisseur. You might not like all the types, but you’ll never know until you try them.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your barista. If you’re at one of our mobile coffee franchises you know you’ll be talking to a professional who will make a brilliant beverage every time, but they’re also there to help. They’ll almost certainly have their own favourite, and maybe they have their own off menu drink which you’ll get to try.