Each afternoon, I come up against a brick wall. It’s always exactly when you expect it to be: immediately following lunch, when I’m stuffed from eating a sandwich. I’m certain it’s because my body is diverting energy to my stomach to digest my food, converting my brain to molasses in the process. This is the point at which I reach for a cup of coffee, which must be instant.
Why not make a quick pit stop at Starbucks? To begin, as the majority of you coffee drinkers are well aware, Starbucks and similar cafe coffees are robust. I prefer strong black coffee in the morning, but a cup of jet fuel in the afternoon gives me the dreaded jitters (which also reduces my productivity) and makes it impossible to fall asleep at a reasonable hour later.
Consider the following: a packet of Maxim.
While instant coffee is somewhat reviled in the United States, it is a national treasure in South Korea. Why would this be the case? When you were a child, did your parents ever drink instant coffee? I’m not sure why people are so dismissive of it.
Maxim’s instant coffee is ideal for an afternoon pick-me-up in part because it comes in a small serving size. It is intended to be combined with 100 mL of water only. That’s 3.38 oz. of H2O. If you combine a packet with the more typical coffee-sized serving of 8-10 oz., you’ll end up with a watery cup that tastes awful. When prepared properly, it will reward you with a mild and delicate cup of sweet (but not too sweet) and creamy (but not too creamy) coffee.
Maxim contains 50 milligrammes of caffeine, which is just enough to get me through my afternoon slump. If you want a stronger caffeine kick, simply double the serving by adding another packet of coffee and some additional water. Bear in mind that even with two packets, you’ll want to be cautious with the water!
Each packet also contains a small amount of sugar and powdered creamer, which is not unique to Maxim but is a significant improvement over other instant coffees. Even if you don’t normally drink your morning coffee with milk, the creamer transforms this cup into something decadent, despite the fact that it isn’t particularly rich. For those of you who crave sweets in the afternoon, this is an ideal way to satisfy your craving without succumbing to a sugar crash.
I introduced Maxim to my coworkers (I keep a 100-packet box of Maxim Mocha Gold Mild on my desk), and they were all delighted. I surveyed them all to ascertain precisely why they enjoyed it so much.
“Anything more than a tiny baby cup of coffee in the afternoon sends me flying like a Wild Thornberry,” fellow staff writer Lillian Stone explained. “These packets are the ideal size for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.”
“It defied everything I thought I knew about instant coffee by being so smooth and delicious (with no undissolved particles remaining! ),” associate editor Brianna Wellen said.
“It was the first time that powdered creamer appeared to improve the creaminess of a liquid,” managing editor Marnie Shure added.
If you want to try some for yourself, you can purchase a package of Maxim online from major retailers such as Amazon. However, online sellers take significant advantage of you; you will almost certainly be presented with an overpriced product. The 100 pack of Mocha Gold Mild will set you back nearly $28 (which may seem like a lot, but trust me, you’ll fly through it).
Your best bet is a Korean supermarket, such as H Mart, or a smaller, independently owned one in your neighbourhood. I purchased this box for $15, which is significantly less than double the price plus shipping, even with the added convenience of the web. As much as I adore this stuff, it is still instant coffee, and as such, it should not be overpriced.
I’m fully aware that this looks and sounds exactly like a product placement in a Korean drama, but I swear it isn’t. Maxim brand instant coffee has been a staple in my life for years, but I wanted to share a little-known secret with you that will hopefully brighten your day as much as it does mine.