I'm afraid this is a dirty instant coffee question.

Every morning I'm up pretty early and will usually make myself a quick instant coffee in a travel mug and hit the road. It is really good instant coffee, IMHO, and not only keeps me going for most of the morning but is also very tasty. But usually just after lunch I'm hankering for another, and herein the problem lies: most of the office are tea drinkers, and the options for coffee are limited to one awful instant variety.

It wouldn't really be acceptable for me to bring in a jar of coffee (I know this would be fine in some places but I wouldn't feel comfortable with it in my workplace culture) so what I'd like to do is bring in a mix of my coffee contents to use in a one-off way. I take my coffee with two spoons instant coffee, three spoons sugar and about 40ml milk or so (it's quite a big mug), and would love a way to transport this concoction to the office daily.

Ideally I would create a little sachet with all the ingredients inside but that doesn't seem like something I'd be able to do. I've also considered bringing it in in a tupperware or some other airtight container, but I think I'd struggle to transfer it all properly from the container to the mug.

Does anyone have any coffee transporting solutions where I could somehow bring in all the ingredients I need, mess free, in my backpack?

  • Have you tried any powdered milk or creamers that you enjoy? This would allow you to create small dry mix that would be much easier to transport and be shelf stable. You could possibly even keep a box of them at work. Jul 25, 2017 at 16:16
  • @DevinB That's a very good point. I'm not quite sold though, because whole milk (full fat) is the only way I can really enjoy this coffee (even being a good instant one) and I'm not sure how a creamer or powdered milk would measure up. I'll be sure to try a few though. Jul 25, 2017 at 16:23
  • Is there any refrigeration at your workplace that you can use? I will put a bit of milk in a large mason jar and keep it in the fridge at work on occasion. If this doesn't work, you 'could' use a double walled thermal carafe, but having milk in it means that you need to make sure to clean it out really well, including seals or it will start to smell. Occasionally, I will use a S'well bottle for this, as it keeps the milk cold all day. I'm not an instant coffee person.. but you might be able to mix all ingredients in that type bottle and have a simple solution for transport.
    – Nate M.
    Jul 25, 2017 at 17:45

5 Answers 5


Actually, I will change the direction to ground coffee. A few months ago, I have seen a nice solution for campers. I took a photo of it for reference at that time. It seems quite useful to me. However, I mostly prepare my 'tasty' coffee at home and drink 'crap' coffee in the office. So it didn't fit me.

Still, here is the invention. A camping style brewer pack. You will need just the hot water in the office. Each pack is single use only. It was just a bit more than regular price. But it was still affordable. Still, you may not like to use this in daily routine.


  • 1
    I appreciate the suggestion, but this doesn't really solve the problem I have Aug 1, 2017 at 8:23
  • @JackParkinson I tried. :) Good luck.
    – MTSan
    Aug 1, 2017 at 20:59

Can you bring not in the mixed dry ingredients (your suggestion of Tupperware) and use the office milk (contributing to a kitty perhaps) ? That removes a large element of the messiness. However Tupperware can be quite bulky and isn't easy to pour out of sometimes. For handling those dry ingredients without mess I recommend baby food containers something like this:

small, convenient, tight caps.

This would also mean you don't need to keep the mix cold as its only dry.

I advise against creamers as they just aren't that nice (I tried it). Pre-added milk does seem to get absorbed in the flavours and I think you'd possibly be disappointed.

Since its only dry ingredients, you can just wipe them clean.

  • So an update: I have taken to bringing in only the dry ingredients, in a tiny jar I found in the back of a cupboard (not dissimilar to your baby jar suggestion) and am using the office milk - it's skimmed, so not that great, but there's not a lot I can do about that as it's the office preference. I may look into bringing in 'single servings' of my own milk if I spot an appropriate container - I figure I don't need to keep it cold if it's only half a day. Aug 1, 2017 at 8:22
  • thanks for the accept (its my first). Glad my suggestion was of some use. Could you bring cold full fat milk in a small thermos from home? Aug 1, 2017 at 10:42
  • That's the idea - a thermos would be good, but we're talking about ~40ml here, and I don't know how I feel about bringing in more milk than I need in one go. I guess I could fill up a thermos and keep it in my fridge at home? Not sure about the details, but I'll be looking to do something like that. Aug 1, 2017 at 10:48
  • 1
    you can get small ones. Bring a couple of days worth in and leave it in your work fridge. There are really small ones for baby food that might do Aug 1, 2017 at 11:24

Doesn't starbucks make a decent instant coffee type? They call it VIA I think .

But why not bring in regular coffee and just microwave it again ? Sure it won't be so fresh, but I think instant is similar.

  • I want to bring in my own ingredients specifically so that I don't have to compromise like this :) Aug 1, 2017 at 8:24

When I travel I have to do shift work. I am less fancy. In case it helps others, before I leave home I measure out my instant coffee into a snack size ziploc baggie coffee, enough for my travel mug that I pack with me. That way I bring coffee to work with me from the hotel in my travel mug and then when I am ready for my second cup of coffee, I get hot water from the dispenser and add my ziploc baggie and stir. I don't prepackage too many days in advance or humidity will clump my coffee in my baggie. Even this is fine, I just dump the clump into my cup and it works/tastes fine, just looks silly.


What came to my mind was all the sizes zip lock bags come in. Make up your mix. bag it. Put in your pocket. Heat the water at work & add to it. From the bag.

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