Here is a reason why Instant coffee is good!

by chee leng-Oncoffeemakers
(Singapore)

Nestle Zero gravity test for perect bubble

Nestle Zero gravity test for perect bubble

For coffee snob, instant coffee sucks. Instant coffee have no taste and absolutely no style. But, how many "gourmet", handcrafted coffee goes to the space for a perfect froth?


No? Baristas probably experiment with many cappuccino with different machines, different pressure, different ways of tamping.

An instant coffee company, goes all the way to space to test the right bubble size that their coffee should achieve.

And that is Nestle, a company with the means to do it. They are still after all, the world's largest coffee company by value and distribution.

The scientist in Nestle are working with European Space Agency to experiment foam in zero gravity so that they can produce the "perfect" bubble.

Now, personally I think that is a lot of work and investment just to produce the perfect bubble.

This experiment involves bringing some water and milk to zero gravity and flying in 'parabolic' flights, i.e. up and downs dips.

The flight is described as similar to being in a roller coaster, only thing is you are flying at a height of 28 000 ft.

And they are doing all these for a sachet of instant coffee that is probably 10% of what you paid for a handcrafted coffee.

My $0.02

I am sure people in the coffee industry faced the same problem I faced: People coming up to you and asked about the best coffee, the best coffee machine and so on.

Some of you might have a ready answer. Me? I don't. Till today, I still believe the "best" is a combination of many factors.

Thus, one cannot really say that a hand crafted coffee taste better than an instant coffee in all circumstances.

Take this experiment for example. So, is what Nestle doing wrong? They are trying to "create" a perfect bubble for the froth for their instant coffee, is that faking it?

Now, when you think about the millions that have gone into producing the instant coffee, that is consistent and safe. Versus, the inconsistent quality of a handcrafted coffee, is the latter really worth the money.

The cost of an instant versus a handcrafted coffee is not that much different. Yet, a handcrafted coffee can buy a few dozens serves of instant coffee.

Personally, I think it still has very much to do with positioning and marketing. The high street, independent cafe marketing always focuses on theme such as quality.

Now, if it is quality, is there anything wrong with the quality of an instant coffee? So, why it is being relegated as a low class coffee?

Here is my $0.02: it is all a matter of perception (which is the battle for the mind share of the consumers, the company that has the better story commands a better perception and price for their products).

Sure, Nestle does a lot of marketing and they are quite good at it. But, they are not able to occupy the "premium" position in the mind of the consumers.

They are known as cheap and easy to drink coffee, but not quality. They might never achieve the positioning of quality, but that does not mean that there is anything wrong with their quality.

Do remember that recently a coffee chain that is well known for their freshly brewed coffee also launched an instant coffee brand, i.e. Via.




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