What is Instant Coffee?
Instant Coffee has a terrible reputation and until now we think there are good reasons for this. But instant coffee is not a taste or a certain coffee bean, it is a process that makes coffee preservable and transportable. So it matters a great deal what beans you use and which method you apply. But essentially it works like this.
We use hand-roasted, single origin coffee beans only and leave everything else out. No artificial aromas or preservatives. Then we brew the coffee, like at home but for a little more people than just yourself and your pal. After that we have to concentrate the coffee, a little like espresso but even more concentrated - heat and pressure are key here. Lastly, basically the best part of the coffee gets extracted and then freeze-dried. So you can take it wherever you want to. For the full process and more details check this page. Here we talk in much greater detail how we make our instant coffee taste so different from other.
What is Specialty Instant Coffee?
Well, our coffee is not just the best of any coffee but it's the extract of specialty coffee beans. These coffee beans are regarded as the world’s best beans and undergo a rigorous rating process. In order to be considered as a Specialty Coffee, the beans have to be rated by an objective Q-Grader with 80+ points. These coffee experts have been certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) after taking a very encompassing coffee tasting training themselves. The grading scale was introduced by the SCA and had done a great deal for making coffee ratings more objective and fair. All of this is done to make sure the beans in your cup are only the best!
What is the perfect amount of water to use?
So we tested and tested and drank so much coffee until we found the right amount of water. Ideally you should use 230ml of hot water. Which is how much water fits in a normal cup. We know you might think and what is “normal”? Maybe measure once how much 230ml is and see in which cups or to go cups it fits. Also, if it’s slightly more or less it won't ruin it. If you add more water it just makes the coffee taste less strong and if you use less water… well what a surprise, it makes your coffee stronger.
Why do we came up with this weirdly precise measure in the first place? Because if you dissolve the 3,45g instant coffee in our sachet in 230ml water, you are left off with a 1,35% rate of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Which is according to the Specialty Coffee Association Europe, ideal and comparable to your cup of filter coffee. Just in case you are into coffee geek stuff. Boiled down, it just gonna taste great with 230ml of water.
What temperature should the water have?
Since we want to get away from all the complicated measurements and tools we would suggest that the best temperature is the one your water boiler is able to produce. For those who still want some Barista feeling our recommendation is 80°C degree. Usually a normal water boiler boils the water to up to 100°C degree, so just let the water sit, with an open lid, for 1-2 minutes and then use the water to brew your BLÆK. How did we decide the 80°C degree? Well usual filter coffee requires a temperature of 92°C to 96°C degree in order to properly extract the coffee from the coffee bean. We took care of that already. Keep in mind BLÆK already is coffee! You only have to dissolve it again, so basically you can drink it with cold water too if you like to do so. Make sure you do not drink it too hot, since it won’t taste much and you just burn your tongue!
How long does the coffee last?
For very long. But we have to follow some certain rules so each single sachet lasts for at least two years. Which gives you plenty of time to enjoy! And we don’t think that it will be lying around for that long but in case you want to know just check on the stamp on the side of the sachet. It is usually longer than a year!
What can go wrong?
Well, BLÆK is all about that you cannot really mess it up and if you do we would like to know how you did it.
How do you pronounce Æ?
As you probably have guessed it is combination of ‘a’ and ‘e’ so the original Danish pronunciation is: [blɛg] but well since we speak mainly English and German we just say [bläck].
Are we German, Danish or Austrian …?
Well we would love to be Danish and maybe our three years in Copenhagen made us a little Danish but our passports say that we are German (Edgar) and Austrian (Luis).
Packaging: BLÆK Box
Our BLÆK boxes are individually packed by us in our small office, we fill every box with 6 sachets. The boxes are made of cartons which we encourage you to either recycle (paper trash) or even better, reuse them, also known as up-cycling. We have friends who use their BLÆK box again for card games, cigarettes, condoms, passport pictures of their ex-girlfriends, gums or whatever you have to carry around with you. Send us how you reuse your BLÆK box on Instagram, and we provide you with a nice treat.
Packaging: BLÆK Sachets
Well, this is our heart, and we spend a lot of time in researching, testing and designing our small sachets. We always struggled with what the right portion of Instant Coffee is, when we drank it during university. So we designed a sachet that fits the perfect amount of BLÆK coffee (3,45g).
The packaging was probably the biggest challenge we encountered during our journey. Our packaging is not perfect yet. The packaging industry is developing towards more sustainable solutions but especially when it comes to food some requirements have to be met, and keeping instant coffee safe is even harder. Humidity and air are big threats to our yummy coffee. We tested a lot of different materials and in the end most of them did not provide the needed protection. Therefore, our first sachets contain a small amount of aluminium to keep your coffee safe. We know it sucks! We are on it, and we are testing, testing, testing. But for now if we were to pack our coffee in aluminium free sachets we would risk that the coffee gets bad too quickly. Which is not sustainable either. In fact, it has a far bigger impact on our environment. But we know that this is not an excuse for not having more sustainable packaging, trust us, we are on it! We are testing right now some promising compostable packaging, and fingers-crossed they come with the protection necessary to keep your coffee yummy, for a very long time.
Merchandise: T-Shirt Size
We have our first T-Shirt in three unisex sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Please be aware that we refer to US sizes. We tried all the T-shirts, washed and measured them. So even though the label on your T-Shirt says EU: M, please see this as being a fit for an actual size S. For EU:L, it is M and EU: XL is to fit you with size L. Confusing we know! If you are still unsure about the perfect fit for you - write us or give us a call! Our body heights are 191 cm and 182 cm, and we both like the fit EU: XL since it fits us like an L.
Who made the designs?
The BLÆK Team! We did not hire any external freelancer or a graphic designer! We are not sure if we could make it again. It was the result of a bottle of wine at an inspiring location. Almost sounds like the start of a romance? Yea we know, but this is how we work. So if you are awaiting the next line of BLÆK shirts, send us a bottle of wine.
How long is the delivery time?
The delivery time is 2-5 days within Germany as soon as the payment is received. Shipping times worldwide vary and might take up to 9 business days.
Click on shipping policy for more info about your delivery times.
How can I pay at BLÆK?
Payment is possible by credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay and Sofortüberweisung. In Terms of Service you find more info about our payment methods.