How instant coffee has become a specialty offering

Nuvin Sithanen
April 5, 2023
An image of The Barn Coffee roasters specialty instant coffee offerings in a small kraft paper coffee bag in an article on how instant coffee has become a specialty offering

Instant coffee has come a long way from its humble beginnings. 

What used to be a quick and convenient option for a caffeine fix is evolving into a high-end specialty product. 

Advancements in technology and production methods have seen instant coffee reach new heights of quality and flavour. 

As a result, more specialty roasters are offering it as part of their product line. This is a significant shift from the traditional view that instant coffee is of inferior quality and is only suitable for mass-market consumption.

Delve into the history of the product, and the advancements in its development to discover why more specialty roasters are adding it to their offerings.

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Exploring the history of instant coffee

The history of instant coffee dates back to the late 19th century. 

It was first developed as a way to make coffee more portable for soldiers in the field and became an immediate hit.

The product became particularly popular with the public during the first and second World Wars.

During the 1950s, instant coffee was considered a symbol of modernity and convenience. Notably, large, well-known brands such as Nestlé and Folgers Coffee saw enormous growth in their instant coffee sales.

However, as coffee roasters became focussed on origins and flavour notes, instant coffee developed a reputation for being low quality and lacking in flavour.

More roasters began roasting high-quality beans and using different brewing methods to create the best possible cup of coffee. 

Therefore, many consumers began to associate it as a cheap, mass-produced product that prioritised convenience over taste. 

That said, with advancements in technology, it is undergoing a revolution. New processing methods help maintain the flavour and aroma of the beans while providing the convenience of instant coffee.

This has led to the emergence of specialty instant coffee, which is now gaining popularity among consumers who are looking for a quick and easy way to make a high-quality beverage.

One notable example of this is Blue Bottle Coffee, which launched its first-ever instant coffee product, Craft Instant Espresso, in 2022.

The company took two years to develop the product, which uses a blend of high-quality Arabica coffee beans sourced from Colombia, Brazil, and Ethiopia. 

Blue Bottle’s instant coffee is freeze-dried and packaged in sustainable coffee bags – a testament to the growing trend towards sustainable coffee packaging.

The rise of instant specialty coffee can also be attributed to several other factors.

First, the advancements in production methods have led to a significant improvement in the quality and taste of the product.

Second, the convenience of it appeals to consumers who lack the time or equipment to make a fresh cup of coffee.

Last, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the trend towards at-home coffee consumption, making instant coffee a more attractive option for those looking for a quick and easy caffeine fix.

An image of a coffee roaster roasting coffee to be used in specialty instant coffee offerings in an article on how instant coffee has become a specialty offering

Advancements in technology & methods

In recent years, there have been significant advancements in the production of instant coffee that have allowed for a higher quality product. 

Roasters have shifted their focus to using better quality beans which results in a higher quality taste and aroma.

Additionally, roasters have had to work to change the narrative and stereotype of “instant coffee” compared to specialty coffee.

Companies such as Blue Bottle Coffee have created craft instant espresso products that are made from 100% arabica beans and offer a more sustainable option for coffee packaging. 

These advancements have helped attract a new audience of coffee drinkers who are looking for convenience without sacrificing quality. 

Additionally, the rise of specialty instant coffee has been driven by a growing demand for sustainable coffee bags and packaging. 

A growing number of companies have responded by using environmentally-friendly materials in their packaging. 

As the specialty instant coffee market continues to grow, it will be interesting to see what new innovations and advancements will be made in the future.

An image of a spoonful of instant coffee granules in an article on how instant coffee has become a specialty offering

Why more speciality roasters are offering it

Several specialty coffee roasters are now offering instant coffee due to the benefits that come with it.

First, it provides accessibility to casual coffee consumers who may not have the time or resources to brew a fresh cup.

Additionally, it allows specialty roasters to cater to a different and wider market beyond their traditional customers. 

Second, offers an opportunity for specialty roasters to improve their existing instant offerings.

For example, roasters can introduce better beans, improve the production process, and use sustainable coffee bags and packaging to make their product line more sustainable.

Last, offering instant coffee allows specialty roasters to innovate and diversify their product lines, reaching new customers and boosting their revenues.

As consumers become more aware of the quality and sustainability of their coffee choices, specialty roasters are taking advantage of this trend to create exceptional instant coffee offerings.

At MTPak Coffee, we offer a range of sustainable packaging options for specialty coffee roasters, including instant coffee packaging and design. 

Our packaging options include drip coffee bags and boxes, as well as RTD pouches made from recyclable and biodegradable materials, with several customisation options and accessories, including degassing valves, spouts, and ziplock seals.

Our sustainable coffee bags are made using kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining, while our coffee boxes are made using recycled cardboard.

Our coffee bags and coffee boxes can be customised to reflect your brand’s characteristics, as well as vital information about your product.

MTPak Coffee offers a wide range of customisation techniques, including spot UV with a glossy, satin, or matte finish, embossing and debossing, as well as hot foil stamping in a variety of colours.

We also offer our clients a quick turnaround time of 40 hours and 24-hour shipping time in addition to low minimum order quantities (MOQs) for those looking to remain agile while showcasing a commitment to the environment.

For more information on which packaging solutions are best, contact our team.

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