Not too long ago I received a package of instant coffee cubes to sample from a company called Jiva. At the time, they were in the midst of their second Kickstarter campaign to get their next line of flavors funded. A lover of all things coffee related, I decided to give them a try.
Owners Natasha Rodriguez and Allen Gomberg created a fair trade coffee company of instant ready to brew cubes that are gluten free, vegan, kosher and non-gmo. Inspired by her family’s native Columbian grown coffees, Jiva consists of only two ingredients; 1) 100% Columbian, high-quality, shade grown coffee beans and 2) Panela, a minimally processed, unbleached cane sugar. It’s gourmet instant coffee that just so happens to fit in your pocket.
What it is: Instant coffee in the form of dissolvable cubes. They come in varying flavors, like Mocha, Hot Chocolate, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Caramel Hot Chocolate, Decaffeinated, Classic and Strong Classic which is 20% stronger.
How you drink it: They recommend using 1 cube for every 4-6 oz. of milk or water, but that may vary depending on your personal preference. Just drop one or two into the hot liquid of your choice, stir until they are completely dissolved, and enjoy! Making a cup of coffee is as fast as you can boil water.
How I drank it: I tried two cubes since I like my coffee strong. But using one is just fine.
Another day, I melted the cube in hot milk and then poured it over some ice for an ice coffee.
For a treat, I used the caramel hot chocolate cube in some hot milk, then added an extra shot of homemade espresso with some whip on top. It made for a tasty beverage.
I took some on vacation with me to use when there were no cafés around.
I didn’t try this yet, but I’d imagine, these are also great for adding coffee flavor while baking something like brownies or cake.
Why you should drink it: You’re away on a camping trip and miles away from the nearest coffee shop. You are a college student and you can’t wait in line to get a much needed caffeine fix before class. Or maybe you just want a quick cup that takes no effort at all to make – something that actually tastes like gourmet coffee – not chemical or instant crap. My mom takes nasty jars of dissolvable instant stuff to work because she needs fast coffee when she’s out and about. As a frequent traveller, I’d imagine this would be perfect for her.
The Bad: As of this moment they do not have a sugar-free option. If you are used to drinking coffee without sugar, like me, you may find the sweetness more overpowering than the actual coffee flavor. Personally, I’ll most likely only use the cubes when I want a specifically sweet treat, and would probably not use them to replace my daily cup.
The Good: It’s an artisanal treat and indeed a fix when you’re in a pinch.
The End: For us coffee snobs, we’ll gladly wait in that long line or spend the morning grinding our beans, boiling our waiter and waiting for our pour over or drip to make that perfectly nuanced cup. However, for most people who travel or who just don’t have the time, this is a good product to try. Sure, Keurig is an option, but what about when you’re on the go? Plus, other than the small wrapper, there’s hardly any waste with Jiva (unlike those Keurig K-Cups).
Jiva proves that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor, quality or taste to get your gourmet coffee, fast.
Or customize your cup as you like…