Intrigued by the prospect of genuinely high-quality instant coffee, Best Quality Coffee contacted Sudden Coffee to do an unbiased review in exchange for some samples. The following Sudden Coffee review was done by Bryce Dick, one of our resident coffee connoisseurs who, like us, was interested in sampling the legitimacy of premium instant coffee.
Going into this review, I had never heard of Sudden Coffee before. But upon visiting their website I was immediately intrigued. This is a company making some bold claims. Throughout their homepage were statements such as “Crystallized coffee that’s better than a $4 Starbucks”. Admittedly, to me, this statement was ambiguous. My first thought was which Starbucks coffee? My second thought was that depending on your coffee preferences, Starbucks may not be the best benchmark. However, a snippet from a PASTE Magazine review boasts, “An instant coffee that tastes like a pour over you’d get at a specialty café.”
Now this statement really intrigued me.
A pour over is my favorite method of brewing coffee. It’s a delicate dance between science and art and to my taste turns out the smoothest most delicious coffee. If an instant coffee could really turn out a flavor profile matching my favorite, yet admittedly time consuming, brew method, that would be something. I was a bit skeptical. Perhaps the folks at Sudden Coffee have a goose that lays golden eggs? Perhaps that same goose makes the coffee too. The only way to really know for sure would be to try it. As such, below is my Sudden Coffee review.
My coffee arrived neatly packed in two canvas pouches. Each pouch contained 8 tubes of crystallized (instant coffee). Also included was an envelope containing a handwritten note, a Sudden Coffee sticker, and cards containing details about the roasts. I tried a light roast called Rayos Del Sol, and a medium roast named Crystalina.
Sudden Coffee is categorized as a convenient coffee, along with K-Cups and single serve coffee pods. Perhaps one of the most common critiques of convenient coffee is the footprint it leaves behind. While they now offer recyclable k cups and coffee pods, a majority of these single serve luxuries are still not recyclable. An environmentally conscious coffee lover may take issue with putting plastic in the trash with every cup of coffee they make. The people at Sudden Coffee have made it a point to alleviate these concerns. Their test-tube style coffee containers are compostable. The lids can be recycled. If you still don’t want the tubes you can choose a purchase plan that will deliver your coffee in a pouch instead. Even the handwritten note comes on “seed paper” that can be planted in your garden and will grow some sort of plant. Sudden Coffee has made an effort at alleviating some of the impact that single serve coffee waste may have on the world. It’s an effort that can be appreciated by anyone who craves convenience but doesn’t like environmental cost.
Sudden Coffee Review: How does it Taste?
Having done the research, my expectations were very high when I dissolved my first tube of crystals in a cup of hot water. To cut right to the chase of this Sudden Coffee review, I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
My first cup of Rayos Del Sol was rich and deep in flavor. This is not your grandparent’s instant coffee. Throw away any preconceptions you had about what instant coffee in the 20th century tastes like. It has a bright, citrusy profile that calls your taste buds to attention. As a light roast single origin coffee it is acidic and exciting.
Crystalina is a medium roast single origin that produces full bodied taste as well. You can definitely distinguish the darker roast. It is less acidic with notes that remind me of toasted honey oat bread and finishes with a hint of chocolate.
Sudden Coffee has created the best instant coffee I’ve ever tasted. That in and of itself is a feat. But what about claims that it’s taste could stand up to a pour over? I decided to put this to the test. I brewed a pour over with a delicious Dean & Deluca single origin I had lying around. Using identical glasses I brewed a cup of Sudden Coffee Rayos Del Sol. For a control in the experiment I brewed a cup of generic instant coffee.
I realize this test may be as much a test of my coffee palette as it is a test of the quality of the coffees.
My wife mixed up the glasses to make this a blind taste test. I picked out the generic instant coffee right away but I was interested in whether I would be able to separate the pour over from the Sudden Coffee. It was remarkably difficult. They both produced an impressively robust and delicious flavor. In the end I was able to decide between the two but only because the Rayos Del Sol id had a bit more citrus. I was surprised, in the end, that I was distinguishing between the tasting notes rather than the quality of the brew. I think that really says something about just how far Sudden Coffee has pushed the envelope in the instant coffee world.
It's worth noting that my mother-in-law also took part in the blind taste test. She preferred the generic instant coffee over both single origins but that's a matter of preference in taste. She drinks a lot of coffee but truthfully isn’t much of a snob.
If you like gourmet single origins and are looking to enjoy gourmet coffee on the go, this is just the product you’ve been waiting for. Coffee this good shouldn’t be this easy. And coffee this easy shouldn't be this good. Sudden Coffee completely dissolves old notions of having to give up quality in order to enjoy convenience.
In concluding this Sudden Coffee review, the coffee is totally not what you'd expect from something branded as instant coffee. Having tasted it myself, I'm a believer in Sudden Coffee's bold claims. But don’t take my word for it. You can get a free sample and try it yourself by visiting their website. Get free sample of Sudden Coffee