As a long-time reviewer here at Best Quality Coffee, I've had the privilege of testing out some incredibly innovative coffee products. Some hit the mark while others miss it, and still others miss it badly. Saturnbird Coffee has been making waves in the specialty instant coffee realm with their award-winning coffee. As a self-professed coffee snob and admitted skeptic of instant coffee, I accepted the task of doing this Saturnbird Coffee review. Let's just say I was totally surprised by what their product offered.
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Before diving head first into this Saturnbird Coffee review, allow me to offer some brief context about me as a coffee drinker. I do this in hopes the reader can better see where I'm coming from and in doing so, determine whether this is the right product for them. As a brief disclaimer, Saturnbird Coffee sent me some of their coffee in exchange for the following honest assessment of their product.
I sometimes ask myself, “since when did drinking coffee become a so-called experience?” When I was growing up, we used to drink coffee to simply get us going in the morning. As time passed, we started using it as an excuse to meet up and “grab some coffee together”. These days, I see many coffee producers touting the “multi-sensory experience” their coffee affords. As a coffee lover in every sense of the term, I'm thrilled with the evolution of the coffee experience.
With that said, when I come across something new in the coffee industry I tend to view it with a natural skepticism. Some things look gimmicky. That's how I admittedly felt when I first encountered Saturnbird Coffee. Saturnbird is a new take on instant coffee, an industry that in years past hasn't necessarily been synonymous with quality. Additionally, it's full of many companies that make lofty promises that unfortunately don't always deliver in spite of their best efforts. Fortunately, I can confidently say that Saturnbird Coffee proves such stereotypes wrong.
Who is Saturnbird Coffee?
Saturnbird Coffee actually started out as a specialty coffee shop back in 2014. But since then, it's changed its focus to delivering supremely high quality coffee in a supremely convenient delivery form. It's philosophy is based on a few key points that any coffee lover can appreciate: quality coffee that is convenient, coffee that fits your lifestyle, and coffee that is diverse and fun. My experience with Saturnbird Coffee proved all of these points to be true.
As mentioned, Saturnbird is instant coffee. I know that thought of instant coffee for many is an “instant” turn off. But if you were to give into such stigmas, you'd be missing out on a real treat. Saturnbird Instant Coffee is unlike any instant coffee I've experienced in terms of quality. This is made possible via their process.
Saturnbird Coffee Process
Saturnbird Instant Coffee's super extraction technology and self-developed freeze drying process are the key reasons why their coffee tastes and smells superior to others (we'll get into exactly how their coffee tastes later in this review).
Their trademarked freeze drying process allows the flavor of their coffee to be retained to the maximum extent. For some slight context, your average instant coffee company will use the water distillation process. It's considered the oldest and easiest processing method which evaporates water via distillation. One of the pitfalls of this method is that as the water evaporates, so does the precious aroma of the coffee along with it.
Saturnbird's freeze drying method alternatively uses a process called ice sublimation. We won't get into too much of the chemistry involved here, but basically brewed coffee is subjected to -40℃ temperatures after which the moisture is removed from the frozen liquid itself. This process preserves aroma and flavor in a most effective manner.
According to Saturnbird's website, the main differences between freeze-dried and ordinary instant coffee are as follows:
- Freeze dried coffee is first frozen with the ice removed by a process of sublimation.
- Freeze Dried instant coffee preserves more of the bean's original flavor
A key point to instant coffee is dissolvability and Saturnbird’s coffee dissolves beautifully. More impressive is how Saturnbird Coffee functions wonderfully as iced coffee, dissolving in cold water or milk in about 3 seconds. Yeah, that’s right…3 seconds. That's phenomenally fast and a major bonus point when you consider how many instant coffees out there dissolve slowly and unevenly. According the company's website, their super extraction technology allows the coffee to dissolve this quickly in water at any temperature between 0 and 100℃.
How does Saturnbird Instant Coffee Taste?
Let me be clear. This doesn't taste like instant coffee. In fact, it's tastes like 100% fresh ground coffee in the convenience of a little capsule. Whatever the company is doing over in their coffee lab, they're doing something very right.
The company sources only specialty grade Arabica coffee beans rated at an 80 or above as graded by the Specialty Coffee Association. The beans are grown the altitude mountains of some of the best coffee-growing regions in the world such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, PNG, Guatemala.
The flavors of their coffee span the gamut. From bright floral and fruity notes to complex hazelnut and caramel notes, all of Saturnbird's coffee is worthy of coffee snobs of all types. I was truly impressed by what the company has been able to accomplish.
Saturnbird Coffee comes in compact single serve coffee cups numbered 1 through 6. This simple yet effective system is based on roast level. The lower the number the lighter the roast or conversely, the higher the number the darker the roast.
Taking it a step further, each of these different roasts offer distinctly different “coffee experiences”. I have had Saturnbird Americano coffee using a #5 cup, an iced latte with oat milk using a #4 an #6 cup, and a variety of black cold brew style coffees using cups #1-#4. Basically, I have a Saturnbird barista on hand ready to mix me up a variety of coffees all from an instant base.
Each cup has a unique description that adds context to the roast level. For instance, I had an iced latte treat before an unappealing afternoon meeting. In another scenario, I grabbed a #4 cup, aka “Gameday” medium+ roast, and mixed it into some iced oat milk. With a quick 3-second stir, I was drinking an absolutely wonderful latte that prepared me to meet the day. Basically, once you get to know your Saturnbird cups you can easily match a specific coffee with a specific mood and task. Match your roast with hot water, cold water, milk, even soda (yes, I know, but read the included Saturnbird recipe book). The possibilities are really endless.
Saturnbird’s excellent flavorings come from a commitment to tried and true quality coffee practices. Saturnbird Instant Coffee has consulted several world renown roasters in developing their coffee profiles and you can literally taste their efforts.
Saturnbird Coffee Review Conclusion
In closing this Saturnbird Coffee review, I can say their instant coffee is probably the most sophisticated, high-quality instant coffee on the planet. I am sure Saturnbird Coffee could supply a top-notch whole bean variety now, but they have firm goals of becoming one of the best specialty instant coffees available. Having tried their product, I think they're well on their way. Saturnbird Coffee saw a clear need for high-quality instant coffee. And we coffee lovers, regardless of our perceptions of instant coffee, are better off for it.
Saturnbird is something else. I’ll admit, there are some very, very good coffee products that hit the convenience mark but these products often come at the expense of quality. Fortunately, Saturnbird Coffee hits the mark in both areas. With their keen eye on convenience and razor sharp focus on quality, they've given me a coffee experience that will have never have me looking at instant coffee the same.