For instant coffee, Jiva Coffee Cubes are pretty great
EC: I Tried Replacing My Coffee With Instant Coffee Cubes
Photo by Naheed Choudhry Courtesy Jiva Cubes
| Credit: Photo by Naheed Choudhry Courtesy Jiva Cubes

Lately, I've been feeling a little tired of the monotony of preparing my coffee in a French press, the only implement I currently own, every morning. Although it makes a great cup—albeit highly caffeinated and sometimes a bit muddy—it's a hassle to clean, particularly the mesh plunger screen, which often collects coffee grounds. I'd considered reverting to a standard drip maker, but something more convenient recently arrived in the mail that has kept me satisfied for the last couple of days. I'm talking about Jiva Coffee Cubes, which are sold by a duo in Miami who use Colombian coffee to make their product.

These caffeinated cubes, which are basically a kind of fancy instant coffee, take very little time to make. All you have to do is boil some water, pour it in a cup or thermos or whatever, and plop in a cube, which looks about the size of two sugar cubes. Let it sit for 30 to 45 seconds, stir, and you have your drink.

The cubes, which come individually wrapped in plastic and in handsome, colorful boxes the size of a bar of soap, look a bit like small brownies, and they are potent—which is to say, quite sweet. The flavors I got are "caramel," "French vanilla," "black" and "classic." Black is the only flavor that isn't sweetened, and while I normally prefer my coffee un-done-up, I have to say I enjoyed the classic flavor the most. Slightly sweetened, it went well with a splash of milk. The caramel and French vanilla were too sweet for my taste.

The overwhelming taste, as you've probably guessed, is sugar, perhaps to make up for a lack of coffee flavor, which comes in a bit weak. But for instant coffee, it's good stuff. Not that I'd indulge in these sugary cubes every day. After having consumed Jiva Cubes for three or so sittings, I have the urge to return to my French press for a more robust cup. But if you're in a rush or on a camping trip or perhaps traveling for work or fun, these cubes—a sample pack of which costs $17.99—do the trick.