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Luxury Instant Coffee

Some of my favorite memories of childhood are sitting on my dad's lap after dinner, grabbing an occasional spoonful of his instant coffee. 

The last time I had instant coffee was 20 years ago in a dirt-floor cafe in the Atacama Desert in Chile.  Back then (and perhaps today), in Chile what you got when you ordered cafe was instant coffee, and it seemed to be the only kind of coffee you were able to get there.

So I was intrigued and nostalgic to hear that Ritual Coffee, one of San Francisco's premier coffee roasters, was trying to de-commodify instant coffee and reach the rest of America with their new $4/packet instant coffee.

The idea of $4 for an instant cup of coffee shocked me at first, and woke some moral hackle that felt this was simply too much to pay for a cup of coffee.

I remember when the old-timers would say:

that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee

and now here we are at $4?

But I have to admit I have paid $5 for coffee at a fancy cafe or two pre-pandemic, and my patio is probably a lovelier place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, so I decided to give it a try.

And I'm glad I did -  it was as simple to prepare (yep, you just boil water in your tea kettle, pour it on and stir!) as using a nespresso or keurig machine, but the coffee tasted much richer and had more depth  - it tasted more like I'd done the work of making coffee with an aeropress and good beans, but a heck of a lot simpler and no mess.

Will I be switching to it for my daily coffee? Nah, I'll be sticking to my intense morning nespresso-made espresso shot, but I'll be keeping a box of these on hand for those days when I need a bit of an extra treat and pick-me-up.

Oh, and we're excited to announce our puzzle  Caf-fiend (81 pieces) by Vikram Madan is back in-stock! 


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