5 Tips to Make the Best Instant Latte – Anywhere

Woman drinking coffee with an epic view of the Columbia Gorge

Here at CinderBird, instant lattes that can easily be made anywhere are kinda our thing. For years, I made my morning coffee every day and tirelessly added MCT oil and medicinal mushrooms, blending it all together with an immersion blender. I found that it improved my focus and made me feel more lifted and yet balanced compared to drinking regular coffee.

At the same time, I was going on a lot of big hikes, camping trips, and international journeys. I didn’t think it was very reasonable to travel with an electric blender and bottles of supplements, so I would forgo my special coffee whenever I was out of the country or camping. 

But the thing is, it was times like those that I needed the extra goodness the most. Waking up after a cold night on the forest floor, boarding long flights, waiting for buses in the early morning in an unfamiliar town - that’s when I really, really wanted a convenient coffee that could help me feel my best.

That’s why we went to work to create a recipe for our instant lattes. They’re designed to make you feel great and give you an extra boost when you need it most - when you’re out there crushing it.

So yes, these instant coffees are made to be super convenient and very simple to make, but you can certainly do a couple of things to ensure that they’re as awesome as possible. Whether you’re making a coffee latte, a mocha or a matcha latte, here’s five tips to make absolute perfection in a cup:

1. Heat your coffee water to the proper temperature

When making coffee, the temperature of the water can really affect the flavor. Instant coffee is even more sensitive to heat than freshly ground coffee beans, as the flavor compounds have already been subjected to heat several times in the manufacturing process. If you overheat your water, you’ll end up with coffee that has a bitter, burnt flavor.

To ensure the best flavor possible, aim for a temperature that’s around 195° - 205° F. Of course, we don’t expect you to carry a thermometer around with you. A simple way to make sure you have the right temperature is simply to turn the heat off just before the water boils, as the boiling point is 212° F. If you accidentally boiled your water, just turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before mixing it into your instant latte powder.

2. Incorporate air into your coffee for maximum frothiness

Pouring hot water into a travel thermos

CinderBird Instant Lattes are designed to taste like rich, creamy lattes. Because they already have both coconut and oat milk in them, they have a nice viscosity and velvety mouthfeel. However, you can make the texture even more delightful by incorporating air into your beverage when you mix it up. 

Whipping air into your coffee is what helps make it creamy, fluffy, and light. There are a handful of ways to do this, but these are the simplest options:

1. Use a blender ball and travel thermos. This is our preferred method (we like to call it the “Shake & Wake” method) and it really couldn’t be any easier. Just throw the little whisk ball into a sealable travel thermos with your ingredients, shake it up for 10-15 seconds, and you’ve got a perfectly aerated coffee ready to go. Eliminating the need for electricity or batteries, this is a super travel-friendly way to make an instant latte.

2. Use a milk frother or immersion blender. This is a great option if you’re making your latte at home. Froth your drink for 10-20 seconds with a milk frother or emulsion blender, then sit back and enjoy. Note: if you’re using an immersion blender, make sure your ingredients are in a container that’s tall enough to minimize the splatter!

3. Simply shake it in a jar. If you’ve got nothing else on hand, you can always add your latte mix and water to a jar, seal the lid, and give it a good shake. Done!

3. Whisk your instant latte well

Although we chose literally the finest ingredients available so that they dissolve really easily in hot water, instant lattes can still clump up sometimes. To reduce clumping, it’s best to whisk hot water into the latte powder. We find that it’s more effective to pour water into the dry powder than it is to add the latte mix to a cup of hot water.

We love using a blender ball to whisk our lattes. Not only do these simple tools blend the ingredients together perfectly, but they help create that perfect frothy texture we just talked about. Perhaps best of all, if you leave the blender ball in the thermos you’re drinking out of, you can occasionally give it another shake. This will help keep the ingredients well blended and also give your latte a little re-frothing.

Simply stirring the water in with a spoon will work, but it’s not ideal. You’re likely to end up with some clumps and the latte isn’t going to be as aerated. You deserve better than that!

4. Do a little bit of planning ahead

Whenever we go on a hike or go camping, we do a little bit of prep work so making coffee at camp or on the trail is as easy as can be. Sometimes, we make our lattes at home beforehand and just pack them with us. Other times, we bring hot water with us so we can make our coffee on the go. Either way, having an insulated mug is an absolute must.

When camping or backpacking, we like to scoop out how ever many servings of coffee we’re going to need for our trip and pack it into a smaller bag or reusable jar. Don’t forget to pack enough water, a water filter (Grayl is our favorite), and your favorite camping mug!

5. Drink your instant latte in an awesome place

CinderBird Coffee Latte in front of a waterfall

While this is not technically a real tip, it's a completely real experience. Things just taste better when you’re in a great place, with great people, having a great time. There’s something about drinking coffee by the campfire, or next to an alpine lake, or while gazing down at the miles of forest you just traipsed through. It’s that feeling that inspired our entire business, after all.

Bonus: How to make an iced instant latte:

Too hot outside to drink your coffee hot or just fancy an iced beverage? You can make our instant lattes iced as well. Just mix three tablespoons of instant latte mix with two ounces of hot water and whisk well to combine. Add as much ice as you like, then top with about six ounces of cold water or milk of your choice - we find oat or coconut milk to be especially pleasing.

We hope that these tips help you to make the most amazing coffee and/or tea wherever your adventures take you. Got a question? Contact us, we’d love to help!

Have you enjoyed a cup of CinderBird somewhere awesome? Tag us @cinder.bird on Instagram or TikTok for a chance to be featured. We can’t wait to see where you bring us!


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