For many avid coffee lovers, the thought of high quality instant coffee may seem like an oxymoron or better yet, an impossibility. Instant coffee is typically a last resort during times of coffee desperation. Whether you're out in the woods camping, running low on time, or just out of coffee altogether, it's usually not treated as a first option for most coffee drinkers. However, Waka Coffee has set out to change that. They are relatively new coffee company aiming to redefine the very meaning of high quality instant coffee. They sent us a few samples for us to demonstrate their commitment to this goal. The following Waka Coffee review will hopefully give you an idea of whether it's worth checking out.
A few things are worth noting first. I'm not an instant coffee drinker and so I admit to having reservations. Helping to address these initial concerns were two facts about this particular product.
- For those who may not know, a vast majority of instant coffee uses the Robusta species of coffee beans. It's considered a lower-grade bean that produces a harsher and extra bitter flavor. Waka Coffee distinguishes itself from the pack by using 100% Arabica coffee beans which due to their quality and aromatic characteristics, fetch a much higher price on the global coffee market. The fact that Waka Coffee went with Arabica instead of Robusta was already an encouraging sign.
- Secondly, their coffee is freeze-dried as opposed to spray-dried. The process of freeze-drying coffee is much more costly than spray-drying and produces a far superior product because of it's lack of exposure to high temperatures. It's rare to find an instant coffee brand willing to go the extra mile to preserve the authentic coffee flavor and aroma.
Their coffee comes with 8 single serve packets that are easy to take with you when you're on the go. The branding is simple and to the point. As a bonus, Waka Coffee also donates 4% of all proceeds to Charity Water which focuses on bringing clean drinking water to different areas of the world.
Waka Coffee Review – The Aroma
The coffee's aroma was as potent as it was unique. The uniqueness came from a distinct caramel fragrance which was new to me but still enjoyable nonetheless. I've always associated instant coffee with a muted aroma so this was a very pleasant surprise for me.
Waka Coffee Review – The Taste
Instant coffee has a notorious reputation for being diluted and watery. And if you're anything like me, I try to avoid that kind of experience at all costs. Fortunately, this coffee was bold and anything but watered down. The flavor was much deeper than I would have expected from an instant coffee. Dare I say, this coffee stays so true to the characteristics of quality Colombian brew that you wouldn't even know this was instant coffee. That's saying a lot in my opinion. This medium roasted coffee packs the punch that coffee lovers with a bolder taste profile will appreciate. The tasting experience is like a tale of two cities. The first stage hits you with a strong smokey taste characteristic of a deep dark roast. The second stage is the complete opposite. After enjoying the bold flavor, I noticed it quickly tapered into a smooth and balanced aftertaste where subtle citrus notes were readily discernible. I was impressed by how true this coffee remained to the traditional coffee experience.
In the end, Waka Coffee has taken what I consider to be major strides to advance an industry historically focused on convenience over quality. The folks behind this brand believe you don't have to sacrifice one for the other. And while many brands make such a claim, very few have actually proven it. Waka Coffee has.
If you're interested in exploring another high quality instant coffee brand, check our review of Sudden Coffee as well.