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Pandemic-Exhausted Consumers Turn Back to Instant Everything

Despite the slow-food recipes that make the rounds on social media, most people just want it now.
Instant green goodness from Cuzen Matcha

Instant green goodness from Cuzen Matcha

Photographer: Hannah Whitaker for Bloomberg Businessweek

Eileen Rinaldi was visiting Brazil a decade ago to buy coffee beans when a traveling companion opened a pack of Via, Starbucks Corp.’s instant coffee, for a quick morning fix. Despite her own desperation for a cup, the founder of San Francisco’s third-wave shop Ritual Coffee Roasters couldn’t bring herself to drink what she calls “that swill.”

But that moment—on the road and craving caffeine—nudged Rinaldi to consider how she might produce an instant coffee that could rival the brews she’d gone to South America to experience.