Instant, Finely Ground Brewed Coffee

I first thought it was ground coffee. As in green coffee beans roasted and ground. Not the usual commercial instant coffee which gone through brewing and crystallization process. Its elegant gold packaging was suggestive of the former. Gold is an expensive element and so any piece of jewelry made of it or has it is also expensive. Any object covered with gold inherits a premium look.

On the back label written “instant coffee finely ground roasted coffee”. I could not clearly see if the “instant coffee” is separated from the rest with a comma. Perhaps it is. It makes it two ingredient product with two same ingredients but passed through different process. Same coffee batch, divided, processed differently and mixed to certain ratio may result to a unique flavor. This time, their purpose was to add a natural brewed taste which is rather unique to instant coffee scene. I once said instant coffee taste was flat and boring. You too may say the same thing if you are a black coffee drinker.

On the other hand, it could be just one. Finely ground roasted coffee. Ground to fineness to point imperceptible to human tongue and remain suspended in plain hot water. In this case one heaping tablespoon per cup is not practical. It will be too strong and all the undesirable flavor will be into the cup. For enthusiasts, coffee preparation is a very delicate thing. Extreme care is taken to exclude unwanted flavor extraction. The product offset this problem by recommending only two grams ground per 100 ml hot water.

The product has hint of naturally brewed coffee. No visible signs of solid powder. Whatever the case maybe, solid is solid. It will settle to bottom after a while. Not unless they added minimal amount of finely ground.

Currently, preparing own brewed coffee is getting easier. There are cheap espresso machines out there. Espresso shots that can be done quickly with even cheaper machines. Filter drip brewer and table top grinders are even cheaper. Grinding can be done with regular blender or bullet type. There are growing numbers of small coffee processors. So fresh coffee grounds are accessible. Roasting coffee at home are become possible with small capacity roasters and diy setup. Huge companies have to do something with current trend.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Natural and Instant Cocoa Powder ?

For whatever reasons I cannot pinpoint, the cacao tablets I have been making is now easily soluble in hot water. When I say hot I mean recently boiled. Take a piece or two and stir in hot water for about 15 to 30 seconds and it is ready to drink. Almost as good as instant coffee. It is more convenient compared to how we suggest preparation before. Boiling for not less 30 minutes or it will just sit in bottom for eternity. If we think about it, only people with time to spare can enjoy the delicious taste of self made hot chocolate.

I loose track. I started by switching to good fermented beans. Experimented with oven roasting in lieu of unpredictable tulyasi method. Made the particle size as fine as I could. Lastly, hand tempered before pouring into molds. Water solubility must be caused by one of the criteria or two that I’ve mentioned. Whatever, I have no time right now to figure that out. I should recover first the beans I wasted during the long research and development.

Some folks are asking me if I could produce an instant cocoa powder. I always say no for reasons. First, I don’t have the means to produce it. The equipment required is beyond my reach. The bars I was producing were not readily water soluble. I have means of turning them to powder but still, it need boiling to dissolve completely. Last, I never want a powder that has been ripped of butter.

Now, cocoa bars are readily soluble in hot water. I can make powder without extracting off the butter. There still one thing that I can never solve. I did a packaging test. The powder melts easily when held with hands. And if subjected to harsher temperature, it will melt completely and turn to ugly looking mass when hardened.

natural-cocoa-powder

Maybe the best way is stop experimenting with the powder thing. The better solution, maybe, is revise the suggested serving instruction.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Instant Coffee is 100% Pure Coffee?

Well, 100% pure means made only of one natural product, not adulterated, no preservatives and no carriers of any kind. Do you believed that instant coffee powders are made of nothing but coffee only? It is up to you to decide and do some deeper research.

Based on the mini magazine “The Ultimate Guide to Philippine Coffee”, the invention of instant coffee powder was triggered by the oversupply of Brazilian coffee in 1930s. It came to the point when some produce need to be destroyed to prevent its price drop. The help of coffee companies were asked to help expand its consumption and solve the oversupply problem.

The brand Nescafe was born after eight years of research and development. Instant coffee powder made of brewed Robusta coffee. No carriers and other ingredients were mentioned in the process.

Instant coffee has the advantage of easy preparation, easy and light transport and very long shelf life if contained in a good package. Has inferior in taste though.

There are other coffee brands that were developed earlier but not mentioned by the mag.

Green beans are roasted then extracted by percolation at temperature of 155 to 180°C. This contradicts the normal brewing process which only requires about 90°C. The high temperature extraction plus the additional heat of spray/free drying might have a great deal on flavor loss.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Alicafe 3-in-1 Classic

It is sweet but not too sweet compared to local versions. Most 3-in-1 instant coffee I bought here are too sweet. It has a slight bite of medicinal taste which I think was a bit off.

alicafe 3-in1 classic in cup hot

The power root term is suggestive of energy. It seems like it is energizing anyone drinking it. However, I did not find any energy boosting ingredient except for sugar, dry glucose syrup and maltodextrin.

the alicafe 3-in-1 sachet

Ingredient listing is hard to read. Small golden fonts in a brown background. I set the flashlight pointing to it to get a clearer vision. Full ingredient listing are: sugar, creamer, dry glucose syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, sodium casseinate (cow), Stabilizer (E34011), Emulsifier (E471 from palm oil), Anti-caking Agent (E5511), Instant Coffee Powder and Maltodextrin.

I am guessing it is my first and last cup. The coffee sachet was brought home by my balikbayan cousin.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Common Foods With A Hard To Find Recipe.

Perhaps you too will have a hard time finding the right recipe to make the following products. They have a hard process flow. Some recipes are secret. Others require costly equipments. Few institutions provide trainings and on-line articles are rare.

Bubble gum. Made of gum base from tree resins or synthetic materials (rubber + plastic). Producing the bubble gum manually is hard. Mixing gum base, glucose syrup, dextrose and flavorings is done using mechanical arms in a heated vessel. The mix is then extruded, cooled and cut to bite sizes. Some recipe for home made bubble gum can be found but the quality similar to commercially made is hard to achieved.

Instant coffee, juice and milk. Converting liquid to powder is done using a highly specialized equipment called spray dryer. A huge tool where the liquid is sprayed, in form of mist, and applied with high temperature. It causes water component to evaporate and retain the powdered solid portion.

Cola. To date, the recipe of the famous cola is well guarded. Only few companies are able to manufacture – Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, RC Cola, Pop Cola and Virgin Cola. Are those secret recipe leak legitimate? Providing own soft drink bottle and acquisition of carbonation machine requires a huge capital.

Tsitsirya. Probably the best sellers in many sari-sari stores. Cheap and children’s favorite – one peso each and very tasty. How do you translate tsitsirya in English? Is it snack? Junk food? Anyone who can translate it in just “one word”? Anyone know how to make a piso tsitsirya?

Potato chips. There are so many different versions of “How To Make Potato Chips”. No sweat finding one! Wait! What I mean is the recipe for chips of uniform sizes. Buy a potato chips and notice the size uniformity. Other brands also follow the same uniform sizes scheme. Common potato chips recipe will tell you to slice potatoes thinly then deep fry. Uniform thickness can be achieved easily. Stamping a mold on slices will trim the edges and Voila! uniform sizes. This technique sucks – trimmings will be gone to waste basket.

Ice cream cone. Mixing and cooking of batter can be done manually. The hard part is the molding of soft baked batter to cone and immediate hardening.  All cones should be of uniform sizes and should be dried immediately to retain its shape.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.