Sudden Coffee Review: New Coffee Brand to Love or Hate?

Sudden Coffee Review: New Coffee Brand to Love or Hate?


Sudden Instant Coffee is now quite popular with more coffee lovers out there!

Why all of a sudden? The new coffee brand was just introduced in 2015 in San Francisco, CA.

Maybe this Sudden Coffee review will enlighten us.

Sudden Coffee is one of the so many new brands with a humble beginning that suddenly rise to fame in just a short time. Many coffee lovers attributed the phenomenon to the unique proprietary brewing process that the company uses.

Others are more skeptical about Sudden’s success to the quality of coffee beans the company brews. There is a rumor that Sudden get their beans from just one supplier.

But some just don’t give a damn thing on Sudden Coffee’s phenomenal rise to fame. They just want to savor the newbie’s delicious coffee wherever they are!

Though not cheap as Nescafe instant coffee or the Starbucks’ VIA brands, Sudden Coffee still enjoys a seemingly large share of the market. This is amazing for a new brand!

What is Sudden Coffee?

Sudden Coffee is a new high-end instant coffee brand that has no additives. The brand is 100% Arabica coffee beans sourced from only one origin (1).

The coffee beans used in Sudden Coffee are also ethically-sourced from small farms. The company also practices the Fair Wage Supply Chain in dealing with their suppliers.

This new product just hit the market just 5 years ago and the response from coffee lovers was remarkable.

Like any other instant brews, Sudden Coffee is a ready-to-drink coffee powder that needs only hot water, seconds of stirring, and voila! You got a quick cup of coffee to brighten up your day.

The new brand is considered a specialty coffee like Starbucks and Voila Instant Coffee, among others. Meaning, the price is usually higher than other coffee brands.

Specialty coffee had gained popularity in the US over the last 5 to 10 years.

Sudden Coffee is sold to customers via a subscription with free shipping so you never miss your favorite coffee any time. The company delivers the coffee monthly if you have a subscription.

The product is also available on Amazon if you don’t want to subscribe.

Facts & Figures about specialty coffee

In 2015, the National Coffee Association of America (NCAA) found out through a survey that 48% of U.S. coffee cups are perceived by the consumers to be specialty (2). NCAA said that the domestic coffee market retail value is estimated to be US$48 billion; the specialty variety comprises about 55% of the value share.

The association also found out that 24% of people aged 18 years and above drank specialty coffee in 2015. In 2011, it was 25%; 31% in 2012 and 2013; and 34% in 2014. Moreover, NCAA hinted out that although the figure slightly goes down in 2015 compared to the 2014 estimate, the succeeding years were forecast to have higher percentages.

The story behind Sudden Coffee

Sudden Coffee was founded in San Francisco, California, USA, by Kalle Freese, adjudged as the world’s 9th best barista in 2015; and Joshua Zloof, an engineer by profession with some culinary skills (3).

The two visionaries were assisted by Caterina Fake, nicknamed Flickr, and Jyri Engestrom (or Jaiku); both certified as social media revolutionaries. Freese, who was also a two-time Finnish Barista Champion, is currently the company’s CPO.

On the other hand, Zloof, who was previously an Operations & Supply Chain Consultant at McKinsey & Co., is now the Sudden Coffee’s CEO.

5 secrets in the making of Sudden Coffee

The rise of Sudden Coffee into one of the world’s favorite specialty coffee may be attributed to the firm’s 5 unique practices and manufacturing processes that had remained secrets, until now.

We are revealing here the 5 “secrets” in making the Sudden Coffee recipe (4) simply explained for your easy understanding.

Specially-chosen coffee beans

Kalle Freese compared coffee making to winemaking. He said, “Amazing coffee is a lot like amazing wine”. With this in mind, the coffee beans used to brew Sudden Coffee were hand-picked and come directly from small farms.

Only a specific farm is considered for the take which is called single-origin beans.

The beans were grown in Honduras, in a farm called La Colmena. The 100% Arabica beans are maintained and care for and kept away from insects and fruit flies to prevent the beans from damage.

Moreover, the carefully-selected ripen coffee beans are dried immediately to prevent mold and yeast.

The company admitted of paying a premium for the coffee beans making sure the farmers is “paid fair wages”. Consequently, Sudden Coffee deals only with farms that have “sustainable farming practices”.

Coffee beans are roasted in small batches

Just like in a bakery, Sudden Coffee’s beans are treated like precious chocolates during roasting. The roasting is observed keenly by expert roasters so that the quality is maintained.

“Like baking chip cookies”, the beans are crispy roasted in the outside but slushy on the inside. This unique roasting style in small batches lets the varied-size beans to have equal texture; hence, the time of roasting also varies.

Sudden Coffee collaborates with some of the world’s best roasters, such as the Equator Coffee based in San Francisco and the 49th Parallel in Vancouver, Canada. The firm believed that these highly-skilled artisans bring more aroma and balanced taste to their coffee.

Slow brewing for flavor

Unlike other coffee brews, Sudden Coffee employs some unique methods to enhance the flavor of the beans.

For most coffee makers, they ground the beans when dried, then boiled everything several times, and squeezed out all the flavor and aroma. This method lessens the quality of the coffee.

But Sudden twisted some unique ideas and utilized a special brewing process creating “a naturally sweet flavor with pleasant aroma”. Before drying the beans, they were first fully brewed, just like a cup of coffee.

They employ expert craftsman, Umeko Motoyoshi, the Head of Coffee and a specialist who brew coffee unlike any other. Motoyoshi spends a lot of time supervising the brew.

Beans are crystallized below freezing to lock the aroma

Sudden Coffee has criticized the spray-drying technique used by other coffee makers in drying their beans. The company believes by doing so, the aroma and taste are wasted by this drying method.

Moreover, spray-drying is an inexpensive and fast method of drying but it only contributes to the loss of flavor in coffee beans.

Interestingly, Sudden Coffee uses freeze-drying. In this method, coffee beans are frozen to subzero temperatures then the water is removed using a vacuum leaving behind coffee crystals.

The crystals locked in the aromatic elements of the coffee beans along with the taste and fruity smell. Crystallization by freeze-drying works tremendously for Sudden Coffee!

Single-packed to maintain freshness

Sudden Coffee comes in single-serve compostable packaging. Unlike packaging in bulk (bag or jar) or disposable sachet for other instant coffee brands, Sudden Coffee transformed their packaging in 2017 into biodegradable container (a small test-tube).

The resulting product (in a unique coffee tube) has a shelf life of more than a year without altering the taste. As coffee in jars or bags, once they are opened, the product will start stalling.

The environment-friendly packaging of Sudden Coffee helps reduce the material’s impact on the environment. But still, the company continues innovating in finding solutions to more effective packaging that will not harm the environment.

The sealed freshness of Sudden Coffee avoids you to dispose of old coffee because the content will have the same aroma and taste.

Sudden Coffee’s main products

  • 8-cup Pack
  • 24-cup Plan (Pouch)
  • 48-Cup Box
  • Sudden Coffee Travel mug

Sudden Coffee Flavors

Some of the great flavors of Sudden Coffee are the Mzuzu, Malawi (medium roast) and Rayos del Sol, Peru (light roast).

What’s good about Sudden Coffee?

To most avid coffee lovers in the past years, instant coffee was seen as tasteless, cheap, and fast compared to conventional coffee that is self-brewed. It is also viewed by the specialty coffee community as the lowest form of coffee.

But the perceptions were changed when known coffee manufacturers introduced the instant coffee set-up. We may consider Sudden Coffee to be more similar to a pour-over coffee.

Some Sudden Coffee reviews stated that the instant coffee “has a surprisingly pleasant aroma, a mature and fruity sweetness, nice acidity, and lingers well in the tongue” (5).

Aside from the “5 secrets” about Sudden Coffee that we have tackled above, we have listed here some other great features of the brand which you may also find very interesting:

  • The blend has a mildly sweet and fruity aroma
  • It can be added to milk and ice
  • High-quality specialty coffee comparable to other premium brands
  • The packaging is very convenient to use
  • Works as hot or cold coffee
  • Absence of “woody” smell of other instant coffee brands
  • The crystals are easily melted in hot water
  • The coffee crystals are just flexible, you can make other drinks out of it
  • Can be used virtually anywhere and anytime where there is hot water
  • Easy and quick to prepare
  • Ideal for coffee lovers who travel a lot
  • Low acidity

What’s bad?

Not everyone has all praises for Sudden Coffee. Aside from its more expensive price, consumers are blaming the kind of packaging the instant coffee is marketed.

We know that this specialty coffee has imperfections of its own but everybody does. So we can’t blame anyone if Sudden Coffee critics are roaring for changes in some of the coffee’s aspects.

An 8-shot of this product may cost you $19 (plus $3 for shipping if you are not a subscriber). The price is a lot pricier than other instant coffees you drink in the comfort of home or office.

Moreover, we also listed here some of the drawbacks of Sudden Coffee.

  • No dark roast option
  • The product comes with limited flavors
  • No option to buy variety packs
  • Subscription requires for the best prices


Overall, we find Sudden Coffee’s taste an original one. The aroma and smell are superior among other instant coffees proliferating in the market.

We also like the idea of single-origin beans and the “paid fair wages” concept. By these ideas, we can be assured that the coffee beans we drink are not being “sabotage” by farmers when they are not satisfied with the price they are paid.

Also, we are avid fans of Arabica coffee beans; we just go nuts about this coffee variety. The idea of roasting the coffee beans in batches surprises us more!

While much of coffee, or even all of them, we supposed, roast their beans in large quantities, we are just glad that we can drink a coffee that is basically “care for”.

Moreover, the freeze-drying technique utilized by Sudden Coffee is locking the important taste (sweet and fruity) and aroma as a result of the reduced temperature in extraction. The high quality is unparalleled!

Furthermore, although the price is relatively above board for budget-stricken coffee lovers, you can save some and opt for a more economical way of buying the product via Amazon. You don’t have to make a subscription to ensure that you have a supply every month.

If you want to try Sudden Coffee, there is a free coffee tube (2-pack free trial); you just have to pay a $3 shipping fee. Once you are satisfied with the brand, you can order on Amazon whenever you felt the urge.

This way, you don’t have to pay for a monthly subscription so you save money.

We hope that this Sudden Coffee review helps you a lot in knowing more about the brand.

Rate this post

Leave a Reply