A quick cup of coffee can make for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up during a long day at the office, but that stale pot of traditionally brewed coffee that's been sitting in the break room for hours might not be the most satisfying thing to drink. It might have been the best option in the past, but today's fast-growing gourmet instant coffee packets are changing the scene due to their blend of top-notch taste and convenience.
The Difference Between Instant and Regular Coffee
To understand the benefits of this delicious drink, it's first important to understand how instant coffee is made. Each jar or packet begins as a regular brewed pot of coffee. After that, manufacturers use one of two methods to extract the concentrated powder. The first is called spray drying. As the name implies, this uses a technique in which the coffee is sprayed in a fine mist through very hot air. The heat quickly causes the water to evaporate, leaving behind a fine powder. The other technique, freeze drying, uses cold temperatures and a vacuum chamber to extract the powder. Freeze drying tends to preserve more aroma and caffeine content than spray drying, but both can result in a delicious cup of coffee.
Taste and Nutrition
Advances in manufacturing and brewing have created many delicious blends to choose from, which are carefully balanced and taste-tested for quality. Instant coffee also generally has about half the caffeine of a regular cup, which makes it a good choice when you just need a little boost in the afternoon or evening but don't want to stay up all night. The drying process preserves most of the beneficial antioxidants that coffee is famous for, however. It also tends to have a low calorie count, which can let your staff sip it during a brainstorming session or while gathered around the break room table without feeling guilty.
Consider keeping a jar or box of instant coffee packets in your break room for those emergencies when the coffee maker breaks or an unexpected client stops in and wants a hot drink. It's also ideal for late afternoons or evenings when most people have stopped drinking coffee for the day but one or two staff members still want some. For smaller or less busy offices, a fresh cup of instant coffee can be more appealing than a stale cup of regular brew that has sat in the urn for an hour or so. You can even take advantage of subscription programs, such as the one offered by Office Depot, to make sure your cupboards stay stocked without your office manager having to reorder manually every time. Instant coffee can take the guesswork out of brewing a perfect pot by coming in small, easy-to-measure packages as well. Your staff can stop arguing about whether to make coffee too weak or too strong, because everyone can create their own simple brew and sweeten it to taste.
The Best Instant Coffee Brands
Old-school instant coffee had a bit of a bad reputation, but there's a reason that it now accounts for around 50 percent of all coffee consumption in some countries. Leading manufacturers have realized the appeal and taken action. Starbucks VIA is one popular gourmet brand that exploded onto the market and includes both hot and iced instant coffee blends. Folgers, Maxwell House and other major brands followed suit with their own gourmet lines. Even small-batch brewers and gourmet regional coffee manufacturers are starting to produce their own instant coffee brands. These often come with additional benefits, including being made with organic and fair trade ingredients to help meet sustainability goals.
If you're looking for a quick and convenient way to get your staff and clients the coffee fix they need, consider stocking your office with instant coffee packets instead of a more traditional brew. With a wide variety of roasts, flavors and other options to choose from, instant coffee is a good way to keep even a large and diverse office happy.
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