Most of us have to be suffering from a pretty mind-blowing caffeine-withdrawal migraine before we’ll reach for instant coffee.
Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy some. Because while instant coffee makes a generally lousy cup of java, it can do astounding things for your cooking.
And that is why it is such an overlooked and underappreciated ingredient.
First, an instant-coffee primer.
Coffee hounds have been tinkering with versions of instant coffee since at least the late 1700s, but it wasn’t until just before World War II that it became widely available.
Those early varieties were made by spraying brewed coffee into heated towers and drying it into granules. By 1964, a freeze-drying method had been perfected, which boasted superior aroma and body.