This Instant Coffee (Yes!) Will Make Any Trip Better

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Lisa Diederich)

If you are serious about your coffee and you are away from home, you have a few options. You could make a morning habit of exploring the local coffee shops. This is one of my favorite ways to see a new destination and, by the end of your trip I’ll bet you’ll have discovered a favorite and made a few friends along the way. The problem with this option, however, is that it means you have to get dressed before coffee. And it can also get expensive.

You could be like my mom and bring your fancy coffee maker (and your favorite coffee) with you. There is nothing wrong with this approach; in fact, bringing your own coffee maker along for the ride makes a lot of sense if you are driving to your destination and planning on staying for a while. If you’re flying, however, things get a little trickier. Can you fit your Aeropress into your carry-on? Probably! A glass French press? Maybe not the best idea.

Side note: We’re very excited about this Kickstarter campaign for Dripkit, a single-use pour over coffee packet with a filter that fits right over your mug and high-quality coffee. All you need is hot water.

But, wait! There’s a third option: instant coffee. Yes, instant coffee.

This Instant Coffee Will Change Your Life

The brainchild of a former Finnish Barista Champion, Sudden Coffee delivers really good instant coffee in individual vials that are perfect for travel. We first heard of the brand last year and were smitten, despite the sticker shock. Back then, a single cup cost $5; a little over a year later, the price per cup has gone down to $2.75. It’s still not cheap, but think about that airplane coffee after a red-eye and you might be willing to pony up $2.75, which is still significantly cheaper than the coffee you’ll find at most airport coffee kiosks.

If you’re concerned about the packaging, there are two things to note: First, the company is working on fully biodegradable packaging. Second, those vials might come in handy: I love the idea of reusing them to pack my favorite spices for the road.

Try It: Starter 2-Cup Subscription, $6 per month

What’s your coffee strategy when you travel?