I have come to embrace the fact that I am not a morning person and never will be. The only thing capable of transforming me from a groggy disheveled hobgoblin to a functional human each morning is coffee. When the opportunity came along to review Cascadia Instant Coffee, I was more than happy to oblige. Cascadia Coffee Roasters is a Portland-based small business that offers its artisan coffee in instant packets for adventures and also in a glass jar for an at-home quick brew.
Cascadia Instant Coffee comes in 4 varieties:
Vista Trail Light Roast: A single-origin honey processed coffee from the Santa Elena Estate in Costa Rica blended with a Honduran co-op coffee. Tasting Notes: Walnut, Light Molasses, Citrus
Mountain Sunrise Medium Roast: A three-bean blend bringing together South and Central America coffees with a touch of an Ethiopian selection. Tasting Notes: Bittersweet Chocolate and Berry
Dark Mountain Dark Roast: A bold coffee combining beans from the Americas and Ethiopia best suited for dark roasting. Tasting Notes: Roasted Nut and Caramelized Sugar
- Columbia Decaf: A single-origin sugar processed decaffeinated coffee from Colombia. Tasting Notes: Orange Peel, Sugar Cane
To try out this coffee I prepared it three ways: cold-soaked, as directed with hot water, and Dalgona (whipped). More details on each preparation:
Cold-soaking: While long-distance hiking I prefer caffeine to make its way into my body with as little effort as possible. Enter: cold-soaking, the process of using cold water to rehydrate food and drinks. For this test, I pulled out my trusty cold soak jar and mixed together one packet (2 teaspoons) of the instant coffee and roughly 8 oz (½ jar) of room temperature water and gave it a shake. I glanced down at my watch to time how long it took for the coffee to dissolve and by the time I looked back up, it was completely incorporated. I took a sip and was happy to find that even with cold water, the coffee is still flavorful. It tasted like I was drinking a light cold brew. For more of a kick, I recommend doubling the packets or using a little less water.
As directed with hot water: I heated up 8 oz of water using my trail pot and stove to test it out as if I was actually backpacking (oh, how I wish I was!). I dropped in the coffee, stirred, and BOOM! Instant coffee excellence as promised. I sipped and saw my caffeinated life flash before my eyes … have I been wasting my time on traditional brewing? Isn’t good coffee preparation supposed to be a giant time-consuming pain in the butt? Apparently not. This instant coffee, prepared as directed, is delectable and rivals the coffee I make each day at home.
Dalgona (Whipped) Coffee: I came across this trend and decided I needed to try it out myself. The Cascadia Coffee whipped up beautifully (literally, it is just so pretty!). The coffee was light and sweet and had a big caffeine kick with this preparation method. If you’re interested in giving whipped coffee a try, I have included a recipe at the bottom of this review.
Things I Like About Cascadia Instant Coffee
Flavor: Instant coffee is inherently quick and easy. However, where most brands fail is on flavor. That is not the case for Cascadia Instant Coffee. The fine grounds dissolve quickly and do not lose the aroma or flavor profile of the selected blend (my favorite being the Mountain Sunrise).
Ethical Sourcing: Cascadia Coffee Roasters makes sourcing FairTrade, Organic (FTO) green coffee a priority. For green coffee sources that do not have this certification, Cascadia has a direct trade relationship, meaning the farms are directly involved in sales to the US. They research each potential supplier to ensure that the green coffee is traceable back to farms. Cascadia has also taken additional steps to build relationships with suppliers that support the local communities. In one such partnership, they support a medical clinic for women's health care. This dedication to sourcing ethically grown green coffee that supports the communities it is produced in is impressive and a standard all coffee roasters should strive to accomplish.
Things to Note
Cost: You get what you pay for. The unit cost for the individual packets is on the higher side for instant coffee. If you drink coffee daily like me, I’d rather pay a little bit extra and know I am going to really enjoy it and that I am supporting a small business using ethical practices.
Packaging: The individual packets are not recyclable at this time. However, I spoke with the founders of Cascadia Coffee Roasters and they are currently in the final stages of swapping out their current packaging to a more eco-friendly material.
Worth it! The instant coffee packets are perfect for backpacking and the jars are a great way to make a quick tasty cup of coffee at home. Cascadia Coffee is my new go-to coffee for mornings on the trail and lazy Sundays.
*Dalgona Coffee (Whipped Coffee) Recipe:
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (any variety)
2 tablespoons Cascadia Instant Coffee
Milk or milk alternative, to serve
Ice, to serve
Add the boiling water, granulated sugar, and instant coffee to a bowl. Hand whisk or use an electric mixer to beat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and forms soft peaks. To serve, spoon the coffee mixture over a cup of the milk of your choice with ice and stir.
Rachael DeLano aka “Rabbit” is a long-distance hiker and outdoor enthusiast residing in Colorado. She left behind a career in corporate America to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2016, and this journey ignited her passion for backpacking. After completing the Appalachian Trail she went on to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017 and the Continental Divide trail in 2018 completing the triple crown of hiking. Then in 2019, she went on to section hike portions of the AT, PCT, and CDT and pursued hiking abroad in England completing the Hadrian’s Wall walk.
Rabbit’s other passions include yoga, bike-packing, and caring for the two most adorable bunnies in the world. She is a certified yoga instructor and finds joy in teaching and practicing yoga. You can find out more about her adventures on Instagram @rabbithikes and on her website www.rabbithikes.com.