5 secrets revealed – to the Sudden Coffee recipe

by November 16, 2017

Amazing coffee is a lot like amazing wine:

It takes a lot of care and attention to detail to make a great cup of coffee. It’s as much art as it is science and requires people with a love for what they do at every step.

This is how we make our coffee and it’s the reason it can taste so different.

1. Hand-picked beans – like a winery.

Sudden Coffee beans come from directly from small farms – think of them like Farmer’s Market coffee beans.

Farms we work with like, La Colmena in Honduras, treat coffee beans like grapes. Farmers hand-pick them when ripe. The beans are closely monitored to prevent damage from fruit flies and carefully dried to prevent mold.

Our beans are 100% Arabica, known for aromatic, sweet flavors. We only use single-origin beans, meaning each coffee type is selected from a specific farm. Like grapes, beans grown in different regions, soils, or conditions result in very different flavors.

We pay a premium for beans to ensure farmers and their teams are paid fair wages and we only work with farms that use sustainable farming practices.

Most (Other) Coffee: Usually bought on the commodity market, beans are treated like wheat or rice – machine harvested, homogenized, and put in a warehouse for years before they’re sold. No one really knows where they came from.

2. Roasted in small batches – like a bakery.

Sudden Coffee beans are roasted in small batches. Roasting is like baking chocolate chip cookies.  You want a nice crispy (but not burnt) outside with a soft inside. Beans come in all shapes and sizes so you need to change your cook time for every coffee, requiring intense supervision.

We work with some of the best roasters in the world, folks like Equator Coffee in San Francisco or 49th Parallel in Vancouver. Like artisan bakers, these roasters bring unparalleled craftsmanship to the roasting process.

Most (Other) Coffee: Roasted on giant conveyor belts, thousands of pounds go in and out. Beans usually get overcooked. If you’ve ever thought your average coffee tasted a little burnt – that’s why.

3. Brewed, gently for flavor – like a cafe.

Before we dry it, Sudden Coffee is fully brewed, like a cup of coffee. It’s our goldilocks step – we want to capture the best parts of the bean, but not too much!

Umeko Motoyoshi, our Head of Coffee, has crafted a special brewing method that results in a naturally sweet flavor with a pleasant aroma.  As with roasting, every coffee needs to be brewed a little differently, so Umeko personally spends a lot of time brewing each new coffee to be just right.

Lastly, as a licensed Q-Grader – a coffee sommelier – she uses her trained taste buds to ensure our coffees taste like they’re supposed to.

Most (Other) Coffee: Beans are ground up to a pulp and boiled, multiple times – everything is squeezed out. If you’ve ever thought your average coffee tasted ‘woody’, that’s why.

4. Crystalized below 0° – to lock in aroma.

Sudden Coffee is crystalized by freeze drying.

We freeze the coffee at subzero temperatures and use a vacuum to remove water from the frozen coffee. The water disappears, leaving behind coffee crystals. The fragile aromatic components that give coffee it’s taste & smell are literally locked in the crystals.

Most (Other) Coffee: Coffee is spray-dried.  Imagine taking a hairdryer and blowing it over a bowl of soup until all the water is gone. It’s cheap and pretty fast. Unfortunately, all the aroma and taste…is just blowing in the wind.

5. Packaged individually for freshness.

Sudden Coffee is packaged one serving at a time.

As a result, each serving will last for over a year without tasting stale. This also means you’re less likely to have throw out old coffee.

In September 2017, we made our packaging compostable, and we continue to look for ways to innovate to make a package that preserves the quality of the coffee and continues to reduce the impact on the environment.

Most (Other) Coffee: Packaged in bulk – as soon as you pop the lid, it starts to go stale. Within weeks aroma dissipates and coffee turns bitter.


Compound interest!

Like interest on your dollar, all these differences compound to produce something spectacular.

Borrowing practices from top cafes, wineries, and bakeries results in a cup of coffee with natural sweetness and fruity aroma – that you can have anytime, on your schedule – without machines or lines.

At our office, we like to say that “great coffee is one of the cheapest luxuries”. The nicest bottles of wine can cost thousands. With coffee, you can have some of the best coffees in the world for just a dollar or two more.

We made Sudden to give you the easiest ticket to a moment of delight in your busy week – we hope you love it!


– Josh Zloof
Cofounder & CEO


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