Whether you’re needing to pack light, or are looking for coffee that can be ready in a pinch, instant coffee saves the day. There are dozens of instant coffees in grocery stores, but let’s face it – they don’t taste very good. But did you know there’s local roasters that make instant coffee that actually taste good? They’re made in small batches – meaning they’re high quality and haven’t lost their flavour in the process. You won’t even notice that you’re not drinking a traditionally brewed cup (trust me, I’ve tried all the ones on this list!).
Calgary Heritage Roasting Co. was founded by two wildland firefighters whose methods and values forged with their growing love for coffee roasting. They believe in active collaboration, giving back to our environment with their 1 Million Planted initiative.
In addition to roasted and un-roasted beans up for grabs, CHRC has launched their instant coffee line: Flash Fuel.
Flash Fuel tastes like Sunday mornings. That’s the best way I can explain it. It reminds me of a classic cup of Joe: Flavourful, yet not too bold or acidic. A crowd pleaser to say the least.
When it comes to coffee, Rosso knows whatsup. What started as a single café, has won champion awards (Canadian Barista Championship, Canadian Coffee in Good Spirits Championship and the Canadian Latte Art Competition), and has since grown into a top notch roasting company with multiple locations across the city.
Rosso offers a few instant coffees, including a decaf option. I tried the Basecamp line and I have to say that it’s personally my favourite. It has a more bold coffee taste with notes of chocolate. Yum!
You can pop into one of their cafés to get your hands on their instant brew, but it’s also available at Breathe Outdoors. Excuse me while I go make another cup.
Okay, so Hasty isn’t in Calgary – they’re based out of High River but they do things a little differently. They solely specialize in instant coffee. Partnering with local roasters, Hasty transforms premium small batch beans into phenomenal instant coffee (some are on this list!)
I tried two: La Severa and Alternate Route (although an American Roaster, you can buy it in local outdoor stores). Both of these had a wonderful flavour profile – slightly on the acidic side, but very pleasant. For added convenience, you can order from them online.
When Monogram first started out, they were a pop up coffee cart. Clearly, they have come a long way with now having 3 cafés in the city. Their secret? An awesome team. They believe amazing coffee cannot exist without amazing people. “Behind the apron, we are photographers, foodies, hikers, and musicians. There are science geeks, number geeks, and everything in between. Throw in a couple competitive speed-skaters and climbers and you’ve got the Monogram Family. But what brought us all together was a passion for taking care of our community and the diverse people that are a part of it.”
Remember Hasty? Monogram and Hasty have partnered to create Milligrams, Monogram’s feature instant coffee line. I was surprised to open the pack and discover they had 2 flavours in there! One is called N3, the other N4. If you typically like fruity and acidy coffee, these will be your winner winner chicken dinners.
Eight Ounce Coffee is another special place to make this list. They’re not a roaster themselves, but they help make it possible for local roasters to make the best coffee for their consumers. They carry the best quality equipment and coffee brands, and sponsor barista competitions.
With that in mind, I decided to try an instant coffee they carried that came from roaster that’s a skip and a hop over the bridge… Edmonton! Vamos by Transcend is another delicious brew. I’d have to say it’s in my top 3.
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