Is that title a bit sensational? Why yes. Yes, it is. But here at JOJO Java, we found that the most shocking thing about this taste test was something we never expected. So what did we discover?
Single Serve Coffee Shocker: What We Discovered
During our taste testing for this article, the most shocking thing we discovered is that more people than ever understand that you don’t always have time for the perfect, fancy cup of coffee.
Would we love a pour-over? Yes. Would we prefer a piping hot French press? Absolutely. Would we rather hit our local java drive-thru for our fix? Of course. But there’s just not always time, is there?
And that’s what shocked us most. More people than ever are on the level and are perfectly happy with a solid cup of single-serving coffee. But that’s the key word, isn’t it: solid.
And that brings us to the point of today’s article: we’re going to do a taste test of single-serving coffees and see what comes out ahead between K-Cups and instant coffee.
The winner may surprise you…
Let’s Talk About Instant Coffee
When you hear the phrase ‘instant coffee’ you might immediately think bad things. But we really want to give instant coffee its moment in the sun here, so we’re asking that you keep an open mind.
To give it a fair shake, let’s take a look at what instant coffee truly is. The method that’s used to make instant coffee is actually pretty cool. It goes a little something like this:
- The coffee is cooked down into a pure extract of sorts
- The extract is cooled at about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, making it into what could be described as coffee slush
- The slush is chilled even further (with a tray, drum, or belt) to -40 Fahrenheit
- This makes the coffee into big frozen chunks that are then shattered
- The shattered coffee has a special drying vacuum that eliminates the ice
- Tada! You’re left with little dusty crumbs of instant coffee
- Add hot water, and watch your instant coffee rehydrate back to life!
As interesting as all of that sounds, you’re asking yourself: “But how does it taste?” And the truth is, that it all depends on a lot of factors. If the coffee used in the process described above is delicious, then your instant coffee should at least be passable. The thing is, not all instant coffee starts its process out with good quality ingredients.
Most instant coffee is made to be cost-conscious, not flavor-conscious. That means that corners are often cut when it comes to raw ingredients and roasting methods. Then, the coffee undergoes the process we described, and sadly, it often sits on the shelf for quite a while before it even gets to you.
So what does that mean? It means that at its best, instant coffee will absolutely do in a pinch, and its main benefit is pure convenience. It’s also very affordable, and since it’s already essentially dust, it has a decent shelf life.
Instant coffee also tends to have weaker flavor and even worse, lower caffeine content– which is one of the worst sins of all.
Think of it this way: instant coffee is better than no coffee, right?
Let’s Talk About K-Cups
If you’re a friend of JOJO Java, you know that K-Cups are a massive staple in coffee drinking culture. Since they came crashing onto the scene K-Cups, have taken over the minds and hearts of coffee drinkers everywhere who are looking for a solid cup of coffee– but who also need a sweet hit of convenience with their caffeine.
So how are K-Cups made? It’s pretty interesting, actually. (But we’ll be fair– it’s not quite as cool as how instant coffee is made…)
The creation of K-Cups goes a little something like this:
- Fresh beans are roasted and ground
- The ground coffee is sealed into plastic pods
- Nitrogen is used to ensure maximum freshness and a longer shelf life
- When you make a K-Cup a needle pokes the pod
- Scorching hot water pours over the grounds inside the pod
- Into your cup flows hot, delicious coffee
So, again, how does this all factor into the flavor? Well, the truth is, if you have the right K-Cups (and your water is reasonably tasty) you can actually get a solid cup of coffee.
See the thing is, since the coffee inside a K-Cup isn’t frozen, it does a better job at keeping the robust flavor that it had to start with. When you couple that with being packed with nitrogen, you have a much better chance for a solid cup of coffee.
There are also a ton of hacks that you can use to get a better cup of coffee out of a K-Cup: and that’s not something that you can readily do with instant coffee.
Surprising Results of the Single Serving Taste Test
While some people prefer the taste of instant coffee, K-Cups definitely won this taste test overall. But there’s something different about this taste test that we need to mention…
When you’re talking about JOJO Java K-Cups, you’re talking about a different kind of K-Cup.
See, the truth is you get out what you put in, right? Remember that K-Cups are just little sealed containers, so if you put amazing ingredients in them, you’ll get amazing coffee out of them.
Some companies are taking advantage of the popularity of K-Cups and throwing quality to the wind, filling their coffee pods with subpar coffee that they can source inexpensively (and sometimes unethically).
They slap a fancy boutique flavor name on the box, and boom, they’ll sell a lot of coffee.
Here at Jo-Jo Java, we’ve set out to make the best K-Cups possible because you shouldn’t settle for anything less than amazing each morning.
We aren’t trying to cross into snooty territory, but give you K-Cups that are just fancy enough to make you feel like you have standards.
Here are some of the things that set our coffee apart from any other K-cups on the market.
If you’re ready to try some of the taste test-winning JOJO Java K-Cups, you can snag some here.
Happy java drinking, friends.