But the needle finally moved in 2008, when astronaut Don Pettit invented a zero-gravity coffee cup. While it didn’t exactly improve the instant coffee’s quality, it did return part of the user experience to the deprived astronauts, who could sip coffee out of an open container, thanks to some science that’s found in rocket engines.
A few years ago, NASA evidently did see coffee quality as an issue and adopted a technique from a group called “Houston, We Have Coffee” which improved the brew significantly. Invented by college students from Rice University, the extremely simple technique simply separated the sugar, creamer, and coffee, allowing astronauts to use the proportions of their choice.
Even with this improved system, it wasn’t quite enough for everybody, which opened the door for LavAzza.