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Does instant coffee need to be fun & sexy? Well, this local brand is already working on it.

Coffee-making has been changing a lot in recent years. Home cafes have become more popular than ever thanks to the pandemic leaving us homebound for the better part of the past two years.

Last year, I, too, got into Moka pots and pour-over coffees after watching one too many James Hoffman videos on YouTube. Still, I find myself reaching for the simple instant coffee whenever I want something quick and easy.

3commas Coffee doesn’t want instant coffee to just be quick and easy, though. No, they want instant coffee to be sexy and fun, according to its website.

Its founder, Ric Ye, said that the instant coffee scene has been stagnant for far too long. He believes the younger generation have stopped using brands from monopoly companies such as Nestle, which shelters brands such as Nescafe and Starbucks’ packaged coffees.

Each capsule contains three grams of fine processed coffee powder that can be blended with water or milk at any temperature / Image Credit: 3commas Coffee

“The branding is getting old. The marketing and community engagement is outdated,” he claims.

3commas Coffee was thus created to go against the grain.

Somewhere between instant and capsule

Essentially, 3commas Coffee sells instant coffee packaged in a capsule. However, Ric would rather not call it instant coffee because he believes people associate that with cheap and bad quality tastes.  

Instead, the company prefers positioning itself as a capsule coffee that doesn’t require the use of a machine.

Currently, the capsules are only available in boxes of 15 on the 3commas Coffee website / Image Credit: 3commas Coffee

While customers can forgo machinery, the same can’t be said about the production process. The coffee is vacuum freeze-dried, which Ric claimed is different compared to other instant coffee brands in the market.

According to him, such technology is rare, if not unavailable, in Malaysia. The company has visited over 10 factories in Malaysia, but could not find one with the required technology. Thus, 3commas Coffee is currently being produced in China.

So far, the only similar brand we could find online was Saturnbird Coffee from China, which has been producing its premium super instant coffee since 2018, using its trademarked Super Extraction technology.

3commas is open to switching to a local factory, but it comes down to the equipment.  

“The advantage of our technology is that we can preserve the original aroma and tastes of the roasted beans up to 90-95%,” Ric explained.  “Our customers feel the difference right away when they tried.”

He and his team actually conducted blind tests too, bringing freshly brewed coffee from Starbucks and Coffee Bean, as well as instant coffee from grocery stores such as Illy Coffee and Nescafe Gold.

The results? “Surprisingly, our coffee stood out at either number one or two as the participants’ preferred choice,” he shared.

Designed for casual drinkers and coffee lovers alike

A common issue I have with instant coffee is that it often clumps up after some time. With 3commas’ capsules, however, the issue is circumvented.

“If you buy bottles of instant coffee, once you open the bottle the air gets in, so from day one, the coffee’s taste is being compromised,” Ric explained. “Most people finish the bottle in a month or two, and the taste degrades every day.”

3commas packages each serving of coffee in individual capsules sealed by nitrogen, which keeps the coffee fresh. Each capsule contains 3 grams, which is ideal for a 200 to 300ml cup of coffee.

There are three levels of coffee customers can choose from: light, medium, and dark. This refers to the level to which the beans were roasted. If you’re looking to try each flavour, 3commas also has a box called The Trio which offers a mix of the three.

The Trio features an assortment of light, medium, and dark roasted arabica beans / Image Credit: 3commas Coffee

The capsules are sold in boxes of 15, priced at RM79.99. This means one capsule is around RM5.30.

According to Ric, corporations from Malaysia and Singapore have started purchasing the capsules for employees. Some are also using the capsules as gifts.

The company’s goal isn’t to replace coffee shops, but to provide an option for users to enjoy good coffee, anytime and anywhere.

Green capsules are the future

On top of using recyclable plastic for its capsules, the coffee brand is also hoping to launch recycling projects in the future.

“We are launching offline shops in malls where our customers can bring in used capsules to redeem vouchers and free gifts,” Ric said. “We target to launch in Q2 2022.”

On top of the recycling project, the company is also working on a 3commas CLUB, according to its website. Members will be able to earn points that they can use to redeem vouchers, free gifts, designer crafts, and more.

With three new flavours being released in the upcoming months, 3commas Coffee is seemingly on track to make instant coffee fun again.

  • Learn more about 3commas Coffee here.
  • Read more articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: 3commas Coffee

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(UEN 201431998C.)

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