The Triumphant Return of Instant Coffee? (Part 1)

X Café is everywhere, even if you can’t see it … even if you’ve never heard of it before.

If you have had coffee in the military, on a cruise ship, in a corporate cafeteria, at college, at a sports arena, a casino, a convention center, or a hospital … you’ve probably had X Café.

If you eat or drink coffee flavored ice cream, gelato, bottled or canned drinks, liquors, or desserts, you’ve probably had X Café. If you drink iced coffee from a machine, like those ones at some large convenience store / gas station places … including truck stops … you’ve probably had X Café.

I didn’t even know what it was until I saw a Google Ad for it right here on this page.

X Café is in the business of creating coffee extracts, using special (and secret) methods to brew very strong coffee in a way that you can dilute it back to normal strength and have it taste like fresh brewed gourmet coffee.

Years ago, I used to buy a very strong coffee extract — but not for making coffee. It was for making Kahlua style coffee-flavored liqueur, which I did, and it was good … but that extract was not for making regular everyday drinking coffee.

X Café makes extracts expressly for drinking coffee.

I’ve sampled three of their blends: 100% Sumatra, 100% Columbian Dark Roast, and a 100% Columbian Medium Roast. All of them, when properly measured into hot water (I had some trial and error that was no fault of X Café) tasted very close to freshly brewed coffee.

Not exactly, but close.

If you’ve ever made coffee that was a bit too strong, and you added water to it … or if it was too hot so you added a few ice cubes, because you had to drink it down in a hurry … you’ll get the taste that I describe as “dilution tang.” It slightly damages the taste of the coffee. As good as they are, the X Café extracts still suffer from a hint of this tang. You’ll only notice it, though, if you drink it straight up black with no sweetener.

However, it’s vastly superior to that old freeze-dried crud my mom used to make. It’s also just as good if not better than most of the pre-ground mass produced coffee on the market. I’ll also say this: it is much better than the horrid coffee I used to get at the office.

X Café extracts are not meant to replace your home bean grinder and coffee maker. This is more for those places and products (listed at the beginning of this article) that require a flow of consistently high quality coffee. The key word is consistently. Think of it like Coca-Cola flavored syrup that’s used worldwide to make Coke taste the same no matter where you go. That need for consistency is the driving force behind X Café.

You can’t rush out and buy this coffee, at least not with their brand on it. They’re in the business of selling it to other companies for repackaging, remarketing, etc. Portion Pac, a division of H.J. Heinz Company, tried repackaging X Café extract into little one-serving bags (looking like fast-food ketchup bags) which I thought was a brilliant idea. Apparently it didn’t work out too well, as when I inquired about it Portion Pac simply stated they no longer carry it and wouldn’t go into details.

I still have one of their sample bottles I haven’t yet opened. It’s labeled, simply, “Sumatra Blend.” I’m saving it for making a batch of a Kahlua style vodka/brandy coffee liquor … the recipe for which I’ll post here after I’ve made it.

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