Instant coffee is made from dried coffee bean extract, meaning that it can be classified as regular coffee. While the brewing process is slightly different from regular coffee, both types are made from the same source material: coffee extract.
How is Instant Coffee Made?
Instant coffee is made from dried coffee extract, which is made by brewing coffee beans. After the brewing process is done, water is removed from that extract to create the final instant coffee product. Overall, instant coffee can be found in both powder or fragments.
Currently, there are two main ways used for making instant coffee: spray-drying and freeze-drying.
In this process, the brewed coffee is placed into hot air located at the top of a cylindrical tower. When the extract droplets fall to the bottom of the tower, they dry due to the hot air. As the process culminates, the brewed coffee turns into coffee powder, which can be poured into water to prepare the drink.
Since the drying process is reasonably quick, the coffee powder preserves its flavor and smell throughout the packaging process. Additionally, some manufacturers may texturize the powder to make it easier to prepare.
In this case, the coffee beans extract is frozen to a certain degree (Usually -40°C) and then turned into freeze-dried granules. The frozen coffee is dried under a drying vacuum at a lower temperature and packaged into jars. As with the spray-drying method, the frozen coffee powder preserves its smell and flavor due to the freeze-dried process.
How Can You Prepare Instant Coffee?
Making instant coffee is fairly different from preparing ground coffee. One of the main advantages of instant coffee is that it only takes a few minutes to get it done with just water, whereas ground coffee takes slightly more.
Generally, to prepare a cup of instant coffee, you need to take a hot water cup and place one teaspoon of powder in it. Mix the powder inside the hot water cup, add some sugar if required, and it’s done.
What Are the Health Benefits of Instant Coffee?
Coffee, in general, has proven to have many health benefits for the consumer. However, some people don’t like to drink instant coffee because they believe it contains harmful agents.
While it may vary depending on the product the consumer finds on the market, both regular coffee and instant coffee have the same nutrients and antioxidants, meaning that the health benefits are similar.
Aside from saving much time during the preparation process, here are some of the general health benefits that someone can expect from drinking instant coffee:
- Metabolism boost.
- Lower risk of disease and diabetes.
- Improved liver health.
- Improved brain function.
However, there is another health benefit that people may get from drinking instant coffee. As mentioned before, regular coffee and instant coffee share a similar count of antioxidants; however, the amount of caffeine varies depending on the product found on the market.
Normally, the caffeine content in instant coffee is half the amount of regular, fresh coffee, which can help regulate blood pressure levels.
Are There Other Benefits to Instant Coffee?
Besides the health benefits mentioned above, there are a few extra benefits that someone can get from drinking instant coffee.
Considering that you don’t have to buy particular equipment to prepare a cup of instant coffee (such as an espresso machine), the total cost for preparing this type of coffee goes lower. Additionally, these roasted and dried coffee beans are pre-selected by the manufacturer, meaning that the buying process turns into a much smoother experience.
People who are used to prepare ground coffee may have noticed that they have to get rid of many components after they’re done brewing their cup. On the other hand, they must clean all the used equipment so that it doesn’t break down with time.
Instant coffee contains little to no waste for the consumer, meaning that it’s more user-friendly for someone who doesn’t like spending too much time cleaning up everything that was used after preparing their coffee.
Instant Coffee vs. Regular Coffee
This is has been one endless debate among coffee consumers worldwide. While it has been proven that both of them have similar counts of antioxidants and benefits, they may differ in some other aspects as flavor, quality, and others.
Overall, it mostly depends on the user’s coffee preferences. To put things in perspective, here’s an overview of the main differences between instant coffee vs regular coffee.
Coffee Quality and Flavor
Generally, instant coffee contains lower-quality Robusta beans, which are roasted and brewed to powder. While that isn’t necessarily bad, Robusta beans are known for having a slightly bitter touch to the coffee, so people who don’t like too much bitterness on their coffee drink may not like instant coffee that much.
However, there are some high-quality products that use Arabica beans for their instant coffee, which is a great way to keep the same drinking experience with the new benefits of instant coffee.
On the other hand, regular coffee can be prepared with many kinds of beans that you can find on the market. If there’s a specific brand of beans you know, all you have to do is go to the store and use these; this provides a broader list of choices to pick from.
Overall, people can get a more complex flavor from fresh coffee than instant coffee, although the essential components, such as antioxidants, remain the same.
Coffee Preparation Process
As mentioned at the beginning of this page, one of the main differences between ground coffee and instant coffee is that the latter takes less time to prepare. By simply adding water and instant coffee powder to a cup, you can get your drink in an instant, whereas with regular coffee, there are some extra steps involved.
First, you need to determine if you’re going to use whole beans or if you have ground coffee ready to go. On the other hand, you need to choose which equipment you have to use for the preparation, such as a Moka pot or an espresso machine. The experience of preparing fresh coffee is even more satisfactory than with instant coffee, but some people prefer to have their drink ready to go in less time.
Which Type of Coffee is Better for You?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer on this topic. Although it has been severely debated for years, it all comes down to preference. However, there are some pointers that may help you decide whether ground or instant coffee may be an even better choice for you.
First, you need to keep in mind the caffeine content in your coffee. On one side, consuming a high caffeine count in the liquid may cause high blood pressure levels in some people. However, this is not a severe risk for everyone; as long as you consume a regular caffeine count in your drink, there’s less risk of disease. If you want to cut back on caffeine, instant coffee is more recommended.
On the other hand, caffeine can impact the intensity of the coffee’s flavor. According to expert data, Robusta beans tend to use a higher amount of caffeine, which is why most instant coffee manufacturers include them in their products.
Another important factor in regular and instant coffee that everyone should know and consider is convenience. If you’re someone who has less time to make their coffee before work or going out, instant coffee would be the best choice since all it takes is water and a bit of product to have the liquid mixed and you’re done. In essence, instant coffee contains everything you need to make it in a few seconds.
Last but not least, the flavor can be the dealbreaker between choosing instant coffee or regular coffee. Most instant coffee brands on the market provide a similar taste, so if you’re looking for a different experience in every cup, instant coffee may not be the one for you. Keep in mind that instant coffee is brewed coffee already, which doesn’t provide the same properties. On the opposite, ground coffee has a broader range of flavors to experience, so if you’re looking to find the best flavor for your drink, regular coffee may be better than instant coffee.
Instant Coffee – Bottom Line
When it comes to coffee consumption, you can go for the option that suits you the best. Instant coffee may be a great option for the average drinker who wants to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning, whereas regular coffee contains a more complex process that some people even enjoy. Both traditional and instant coffee are made from the same essential components, so generally, you’re getting a similar experience.
The decision to make regular or instant coffee usually relies on a few factors: Coffee flavor, preparation, quality, and content. However, instant coffee can still be considered real coffee since they’re both made from the same material, which is coffee extract. The only things that change for the coffee are the ones just mentioned, so before you go back into the store to look for your favorite brand of ground or instant coffee, make sure that you’re choosing one that suits your needs.