Broke and addicted to caffeine. What is a boy to do?
Enter: Espresso Powder.
Now a lot of people that know me would be sitting here and going “sacrilegious! How dare you, a man of 3rd wave coffee stoop so low and drink that on a daily basis! Blearrrgh!”
But, if I haven’t made this clear yet, being unemployed for over a month and being humbled by my actual lack of knowledge and authority in the coffee world, I have been brought down to reality and I know now that to truly appreciate the opportunity that I had working with some influential people in the coffee industry and make amazing coffee I really needed to be open and appreciate coffee in ALL of its aspects. There are people who have made a successful living working on improving the coffee crystal industry. If I sit there and scoff at their dedication than I am completely missing the whole point of the craft coffee movement. Not only that by being pretentious I again am missing the number one point of this industry; to provide a need and community!
Espresso Powder, or more specifically espresso “crystals” are very dark, very intense dissolving solids that when added with hot water create a rather thick creamy texture very similar to that of espresso, sans the beautiful crema on top. Compared to instant coffee, the “crystals” give a rich flavor rather than the generic bland coffee flavor like you expect from Folgers. A lot of the different instant coffees that I have tried have a very bland taste to them. By bland I mean you can taste notes of plastic and burning.
For my money, and because I have been broke I have been using Medalgia Doro. A because that is the one I found scavenging my parents pantries, and B from what I have seen they are the largest distributors of instant espresso in the Midwest area.
The basic recipe is as follows
1. Pour 1-2 teaspoons of espresso in the bottom of a cup
2. Pour hot water over espresso and stir
3. Sip with pinky out. *Note: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART TO THE COFFEE EXPERIENCE
The coffee is not actually that bad. In fact, I like it extremely better than espresso I get at some shops here in town. Where the local coffee shops espresso will have a burned carbon taste to it, this just has a very strong rich coffee flavor. Imagine that the smell of Folgers is the actual taste and there you have it. The only problem with it is there is a lack of a caffeine buzz and milk really doesn’t add or deter from the flavor.
Having to resort to primarily drinking instant espresso has made me gain a new found appreciation of the work that an artisanal barista does at their job including constantly working to improve their skill, the flavor of the coffee, and their presentation. Sitting at home in the silence sipping my coffee has made me realize that a good coffee shop not only serves fantastic coffee, but also serves up a conversation and human interaction. For some like myself, the only interaction they are going to get all day is at the coffee shop because they have nowhere else to go. If you are in dire need of a decent coffee that can be made in 30 seconds than I say hell yeah! Drink this coffee because it isn’t bad. But, if you are looking for more of an experience with coffee you really need to support those craftsmen working hard. Give it a try and see what you think.
“Life is too short to not worry about coffee”-John Geurin Coal Creek Coffee Company