A lot has changed within the specialty coffee industry since I began to take part in it five years ago. The lines between 2nd and 3rd wave have blurred as shops innovate and diversify; specialty roasters started popping up in numbers like never before, making great coffee accessible in remote places; and a new instant coffee was born that has surprised everyone with its quality: Sudden Coffee.
Sudden Coffee is the child of two-time Finland barista champion Kalle Freese, a coffee professional originally from Helsinki, Finland. As the story goes, Kalle was sipping on a cup of stale, dull instant coffee while on an airplane and wondered if there was a better way to provide convenient and tasty coffee.
Personally, I’d say he’s found it.
What Does Sudden Coffee Taste Like?
Lauren, my beautiful wife, bought me a round of Sudden Coffee vials in December of last year. I haven’t noticed a decline in quality over the last two and a half months, but I’ve been drinking the coffee sparingly, so a subtle decline may have slipped past my palate. I haven’t seen anything officially indicating how long the coffee powder can be kept.
The coffee that fills the vials I received in December is from the Biftu Gudina cooperative in Agaro, Ethiopia. I am under the impression that they will be switching the coffee periodically (maybe monthly?), though the product page on the website doesn’t specify how often.
This coffee has a milk chocolate aroma, floral flavor, gentle acidity, and a light caramel sweetness. Texture-wise, this offering features a silky, almost buttery smoothness and a medium body akin to an Americano.
I was sipping on a cup of Sudden Coffee last week and thought to myself, “This coffee is really good. What did I make again?” When I realized it was ‘no-brew coffee’, I was pleasantly surprised. I wouldn’t be ecstatic about this coffee if I were to receive it at a specialty shop, but it’s definitely good enough to satisfy my picky coffee shop manager palate.
How Does ‘No-Brew Coffee’ Work?
Sudden Coffee is extremely easy to use. You unscrew the vial lid, pour the dehydrated coffee powder into your vessel of choice, and dilute. You can dilute with hot water, cold water, milk, or any other liquid that tickles your curiosity.
I’ve only used it with hot water, but I’ve heard of people enjoying it in the form of homemade iced lattes and iced coffee. The company’s blog even features a cocktail recipe: Suddenly Tipsy.
What’s The Verdict?
I’m very fond of Sudden Coffee and believe it is a significant new product that will continue to rock and shape the instant coffee world. I’ll definitely be ordering some more to keep around for when we leave town and don’t want to lug coffee gear around.
This instant coffee is absolutely worth a try. At $2.40 per cup, it’s not the cheapest coffee you can find, but you won’t beat the convenience at this level of quality. All things considered, Sudden Coffee is very upfront about their costs and why $2.40 is appropriate.
Sudden Coffee is offering a free trial right now of their specialty instant coffee. All you have to do is pay for shipping (like $3 or something). Check it out!
2019 Update (Big News)
Sudden Coffee recently announced that they’ve discovered a NEW brewing method that completely transforms the flavor of their instant coffee.
In short… they say it finally tastes like what they dreamed of years ago.
This is a fantastic time to try Sudden if you haven’t already!
As always, start off with the free trial (you just pay for shipping) and see how you like it. Check it out!