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Is it impossible to make a great instant coffee?

Here’s how we elevated the art to make Instant Adventure

We developed Instant Adventure coffee based on an idea that came to us while we were camping in the backcountry. We looked at the gear we had to haul (and the trash we had to pack out) to make a great cup of coffee away from home, and we thought there must be a way to create a delicious, concentrated coffee powder we could pack anywhere—just add water!

To be honest, it took a lot of experimentation to create an instant that captured the same smooth-drinking flavor and aroma as our whole-bean coffees. But that hard work paid off. With Instant Adventure, we’ve perfected a method of making an instant coffee that meets the high standards we set for all our coffees.

In other words, not all instant coffees are created equal. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why would I drink instant coffee? Isn’t it all, well…bad?!” – read on. We’ll share just a little insight into the secret sauce that sets our Instant Adventure above the rest.

You can’t create fantastic instant coffee without fantastic coffee beans.

That statement may seem super obvious, but instant coffees have historically sacrificed flavor for convenience. One reason? From the beginning of consumer production in the 1930s, it’s been common to use for instant coffee producers to use sub-standard beans. The “rejects” that couldn’t be marketed as regular whole bean or ground coffee were earmarked for making instant. Sad, but true.

Also, the beans used to make instant coffee were (and still are) often cheap “Robusta” beans. Robusta coffee is grown at lower elevations, is resistant to pests and rot, and can be picked at varying stages of ripeness, all of which make it cheaper to produce. But the result is a flavor that can be harsh and bitter. So instant coffees suffer a double whammy when it comes to being made from cheap, inferior beans.

At Cascadia, our approach is entirely different. Instant Adventure starts with the same high-quality Arabica beans we use in our whole bean and cold brew coffees. Arabica beans are picked at the peak of perfection and provide a smooth, complex flavor. 

As a small-batch specialty coffee roaster, we take a lot of care in selecting the best beans and roasting them for optimal flavor. Then, we use a portion of our fresh-roasted beans to make Instant Adventure.


Great instant coffee requires an amazing initial brew.

We know a lot about brewing the perfect cup of coffee because we own two successful coffee shops in Portland, OR. Our coffee craft is a genuinely 360-degree experience, where we pay meticulous attention to roasting…and then consistently brew up coffee based on our café best practices. It also doesn’t hurt that we get lots of excellent first-hand feedback from our café customers.

The “magic” of Instant Adventure has a lot to do with creating an amazing initial brew. We pay special attention to the flavor nuance that makes a great cup of coffee. We’ve learned how to bring out just the right notes in each of our instant coffees through careful experimentation. 

So, for example, our Cannonball Dark Roast instant carries all the full-bodied flavor and aroma you expect from whole bean Cannonball. Those notes of caramelized sugar and roasted nut? They’re in your instant cup. The caffeine? All there, too. That’s because we’ve brewed our Instant Adventure concentrates to the exact flavor profile we desire. 

Not your granny’s “granules.”

With Instant Adventure, we’ve taken care to create an instant coffee experience that tastes fresh-brewed…and the feedback we’re receiving from customers tells us our efforts are successful. Part of that has to do with how we brew Instant Adventure.

If you’re familiar with traditional instant coffees, you know they usually have a bitter, unpleasant taste. That’s partially because most roasters use a process and technology developed way back in WWI (!) that includes boiling the coffee down a second timeafterthe initial brew to achieve the desired concentration for drying.That means essentially “cooking” the coffee a second time. Then, they traditionally “cook” it a third time, using hot air to dry the concentrate. This process results in those weird little granules you expect when you think “instant coffee.”

We knew there had to be a better way. 

First, we developed a method to achieve the concentration we wanted the during the first brew. No re-boiling! Simple, right?

Then, we freeze-dry (vs. using hot air to dry) our finely-tuned concentrate to lock in the flavor. From there, we evaporate the moisture without re-cooking and burning the coffee. In the end, Instant Adventure is a fine powder that mixes easily with hot or cold water, with all the flavor and aroma of our regular coffees.

We control the whole process, beginning to end.

Quality control is critical to achieving a truly remarkable cup of instant coffee. And we wouldn’t trust part of the processing to an outside vendor. So, we’ve acquired the necessary space and equipment to enable us to handle every step. With Instant Adventure, you can expect a consistently excellent coffee-drinking experience.

We’ve made the perfect cup, so you don’t have to.

Honestly, it’s as simple as that: We took our time and care to brew a great batch of coffee…and concentrated it down into a fine powder. All you need to do is add hot or cold water, and there you go! Instant Adventure powder is measured out into individual 8-10oz coffee serving packets. They’re vacuum-sealed for freshness. Store them in a cool, dry place, and you can expect the same flavor today or 9 months from now.

It’s always about the coffee.

We love a great cup of coffee, just like you do. What started as an experiment to create an instant coffee that we could carry into the backcountry (and is worthy of the Cascadia name) has grown into a successful product line. Our Instant Adventure coffees have caught on with travelers who always want an excellent cup of coffee on the road. They’re a godsend to folks who work in an office and to students burning the midnight oil in their dorm rooms. And they’ve become the standard for many who work from home and just plain cherish having a great cup of coffee in 10 seconds, with no mess or hassle. 

At the end of the day, we’ve created a product that enables you to focus more on “adventure” and less on “coffee-making.” Whatever your adventure is, a great cup of coffee is always a welcome companion. We’re here for you. 

Still have questions? Check out our Instant Adventure FAQ's for answers!

Jason & Susan
Cascadia Roasters

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