The International Space Station – currently orbiting our planet 230 miles away – is right at this very moment stocked with Hula Girl Freeze-Dried instant coffee. You can buy a box of twelve Hula Girl Coffee freeze-dried sachets for $8 plus shipping, so as to impress all of your friends by saying, “I only drink coffee that’s also consumed in outer space.”

Just be prepared to add some cream or sugar to it. Which was precisely the problem astronauts faced: that big old nasty mothership has no condiment bar, nor is there an orbital barista aboard to hand-craft a custom amount of cream and sugar to each cup. Instead, astronauts are given set ratios of coffee to milk and coffee to milk and sugar.

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Nauts both astro- and cosmo- complain about the current system’s viscosity and mouthfeel. When you’re flying high above the Earth, doing your spacely duties, you don’t want a big thick cup of coffee sludge. You want something that’s balanced, soft, and delicious. If space is the final frontier, having a drinkable brew must surely be one of mankind’s top research priorities.

Photo by Rice University Media.

Enter a team of bright young college students, determined to change the galactic balance in the name of good taste. With the help of NASA and the Texas Space Grant Consortium,  students have concocted a whole new way to inject hot water, sugar, and cream in Hula Girl Freeze-Dried instant coffee pouches. Watch this incredible video:

“It’s kind of a dream,” says student Robert Johnson, on developing this new system for NASA.

There’s one thing we know for sure here at Sprudge: mankind’s drive to boldly go cannot be deterred, and so our coffee systems must keep pace with humanity’s unquenchable thirst to explore infinity…and beyond. Freeze-dried space-ready pico-roasts? Universal direct trade? Hydroponic rust-resistant farms on the moon? Zorlack The Ferocious, 2155 Intergalactic Barista Champ? Only time will tell.

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