If you’ve ever been down under in Sydney, Adelaide, or another sunny Australian city, you know Aussies do coffee differently. Most notably, Australians don’t drink iced coffee (their iced coffee is closer to an affogato) and they’re obsessed with both espresso and instant coffee.
For some reason, quality drip coffee just ain’t a thing and specialty beans are even farther from reach (costing tons of Australian dollars to drink).
While espresso is hyper-strong, most of us probably think of instant coffee as weak, watered-down, and pretty flavorless. In fact, I’ll go out and say instant coffee is terrible for the most part — but we’ve been convinced otherwise after the U.S.-based instant coffee company, Voilà, collaborated with one of Australia’s pioneers in specialty coffee, St.Ali. The result is an instant coffee that tastes like a real, robust, meticulously crafted, quality, farm-to-cup brew.
It’s pure magic.
An exclusive batch of Voilà and St.Ali’s Finca La Laja was made available on May 14, marking a first-of-its-kind partnership enabling specialty instant coffee to be increasingly available and more affordable. This coffee comes from producer James Fernandez’s namesake farm in the El Tambo region in Colombia, which shares its acreage with a forest reserve. Tasting notes of plum, brown sugar, and florals carry through the instant flakes.
Finca La Laja was chosen to be the first St.Ali coffee made into instant form, although there are promises that more will come. This is great news for travelers who are addicted to their first-thing cup of coffee, but aren’t always close to a Starbucks. It’s great for campers, too, since St.Ali’s instant coffee is the size of a deck of cards. It’s also a trend that bougie coffee drinkers may get behind, since hey, we’ve already obsessed over gin barrel-aged cold brew and coffee-infused bedding.
“I’ve known the people behind St.Ali for a long time and I’m thrilled that Voilà has finally found an opportunity to team up with the company to bring specialty instant coffee to Australia,” says Kent Sheridan, founder of Voilà.
This fusion of quality coffee taste in instant form comes 13 years after specialty coffee really started becoming mainstream on the continent — a quality of joe which simply didn’t exist in the cafes of Melbourne and other Aussie cities as late as 1999. *Shudders imagining life without specialty coffee.*
Initially, when St.Ali started bringing specialty coffee to Australians, they were labeled “pretentious.” Now, the superiority of taste has convinced any non-believers. (Those not living in AUS should count your blessings there are so many hipster coffee haunts in your neighborhood.)
Voilà’s recently launched monthly guest roaster program sparked the partnership between Melbourne-based St.Ali. With this new program, the company plans to highlight one exceptional coffee roaster each month, giving customers access to a larger variety of roasters and specialty instant coffees from all over the world.