I have made a complete switch to drinking instant coffee. This after drinking filter coffee for more than 20 years. Why the switch? Well, I used to hop over to either Dunkin Donuts or Au Bon Pain to get my coffee. When I was in Canada, it would be Tim Horton’s or Second Cup. That was my morning routine: getting a fresh cup of filter coffee with half & half and 2 packs of Domino sugar.
Then I had my epiphany and realized that sugar is evil and dairy may be allergenic, if not carcinogenic. So I started drinking from the communal coffee pot at work, using either stevia or Splenda for sweetness and coconut milk in lieu of cream. This was good for a while but I began to mightily miss heavy cream in my coffee.
Through a series of experiments, I came to realize that if I drank stronger coffee, I could cut down on the overall volume drank and do without the cream. With stronger coffee, I need to drink only once in the morning and evening — no mug full of weak and lukewarm coffee to sip for an entire day.
Besides, you can increase the dose with instant coffee and mix other ingredients which improve the taste. For example, I add a teaspoon of instant espresso to boost the flavor. The concentrated espresso flavor can be jarring if you’re not used to drinking espresso. My favorite is Ferrara but the other two aren’t bad either.
I also sprinkle cinnamon powder and add some extra virgin coconut oil. Then I add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa. Either Hershey’s or Nestle’s unsweetened cocoa gives my coffeee the rich, mocha taste that I’ve come to like.
Then comes coconut milk. There isn’t a brand that I haven’t tried. I find these two brands to be acceptable. Naive Forest is a bit thicker and creamier than Thai Kitchen but it tends to crust after a few days. One tablespoon from either source is plenty for me.
As for instant coffee, my favorite brand is Savarin. Works perfectly well when mixed with instant espresso. Cheaper does not mean inferior. I’ve tried most other brands (Folger’s, Maxwell, Nescafe) and I simply prefer Savarin. Two heaping teaspoons for an 8-oz. coffee cup.
What results is not just coffee. It really is a coffee-flavored energy drink packing quite a punch. In an 8 oz. serving, the drink resembles a stronger version of Caffè Americano or long black mixed with mocha. The coconut milk gives it the softer, creamier taste but not quite as creamy as espresso mixed with hot milk.
Back in my student days, my staple coffee drink used to be cappucino and au lait. When I started working, I drank Au Bon Pain’s house coffee mixed with cream. When drinking coffee as strong as this, however, you don’t quite miss the taste of steamed milk and foam, nor pasteurized heavy cream. Even when you drink twice a day.