Passenger Instant Coffee

By David Shaub Stallings

Uncompromised quality has, since day one, been a guiding principle for Passenger.

So too has been making specialty coffee accessible and available to as many people as possible. This has manifested in different ways… from our offerings menu, which always includes coffees that we source specifically to present flavors that all coffee lovers appreciate (chocolate, toasted nuts), to how we approach customer service in our flagship coffee bar. This quasi-egalitarian approach to specialty coffee also played a large part in the creation of our Education Lot offerings menu. Many of the Education Lot offerings are coffees that do not fit the current trends that most specialty coffee roasters feel obliged to conform to, but we thought were coffees that contained both flavors and ideas that are worth presenting. As stewards of coffee we feel that we owe it to our customers, but also to the producing regions and farmers to cast a wide net, highlighting teachable moments and diversity, while also having a clear focus on quality. Balancing those two things can be, at times, quite challenging. As with many things in life, balancing them can also be quite rewarding.

This week we announced the release of a collaboration with Swift Cup Coffee: Passenger Instant Coffee. Seeing as this is a seemingly antithetical move to anyone associated with Passenger Coffee or even the specialty coffee movement at large, I wanted to take a minute to explain why we would do such a thing…

Specialty coffee has a fairly high bar to entry. If you want to make excellent coffee in a retail setting you need equipment that will set you back tens of thousands of dollars. From espresso machines, to grinders, to reverse osmosis systems, the list of "required" equipment for making truly top notch coffee can be borderline nauseating. The bar to entry for a good home set up is much lower, but still fairly significant. An entry level, good quality grinder, the most important (end expensive) piece of equipment for your home setup, will be in the triple digits and as you could guess, the more you spend the better it will be. Adding to your grinder purchase a hot water kettle, dripper of choice and filters, you are looking at a couple hundred dollars, easily. For many people the joy they get out of making coffee at home and relishing an excellent, well extracted cup is well worth the investment. For others this is insanity. Our Instant Coffee almost completely removes any bar to entry and makes it possible to produce a truly excellent cup of coffee at home with only clean water - hot or cold.

We have partnered with our dear friends at Swift Cup Coffee, who are processing the Passenger roasted coffee in order to create this tiny miracle of convenience. Through a proprietary process, Swift Cup prepares an extremely high extraction concentrate of the coffee and then freeze dries said concentrate, leaving only the water soluble material from the coffee, which is ready to be rehydrated and enjoyed, instantly. As long as the coffee is stored away from moisture and light (keeping the instant coffee crystals in the Passenger jar will accomplish both of these requirements), it will stay good indefinitely. When brewing coffee from ground beans the mineral content of the water is crucial since different minerality will lead to different rates of extraction. But, with our Instant Coffee the soluble material has already been extracted. As such, as long as the water is clean and odor free the results will be delicious. We have given general parameters on the jar, but since the coffee is already properly extracted, you can easily adjust the strength to your personal taste by using slightly more or less Instant Coffee crystals than we recommend.

Not only is this Instant Coffee an excellent introduction to specialty coffee, but it is also the ideal travel companion for those who are already thoroughly committed to quality coffee. Easy to prepare on a plane, train, while camping or simply a lazy morning on vacation, it's nearly impossible to beat the convenience that this product presents.