If you think instant cold brew sounds like an oxymoron, you’re not alone, but Trader Joe’s has figured out a way to make it happen. First, a little on how regular instant coffee is made: According to Healthline, brewed coffee grounds can either be spray-dried or freeze-dried, but both methods remove water to make a powder, which can be dissolved in hot water to produce instant coffee. Making instant coffee usually only takes a few minutes, as it involves simply heating up water and stirring in the powder.
Trader Joe’s instant cold brew, it turns out, is made in a very similar fashion. On an episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, an employee said that it’s brewed “like normal cold brew. So it’s brewed cold, freeze-dried. And that’s how it’s made instant.” According to Trader Joe’s, all you have to do is stir a teaspoon of the freeze-dried product into water, although you can use cold or hot water (It is cold brew, after all). And while a grande Starbucks cold brew is $3.95, per Fast Food Price, Kitchn notes that one jar of Trader Joe’s instant cold brew yields 22 servings, with each cup of cold brew coming out to about 18 cents. Cost-effective and time-saving, instant cold brew sounds like a win-win.