It’s no secret that instant coffee is a popular drink.
Instant coffee is a convenient way to get your caffeine fix without the wait time for brewing or grinding beans. However, some have criticized instant coffee due to its low quality and lack of taste compared to ground coffees.
But what exactly are instant and ground coffees? And do they differ? Which one should you be drinking?
This article will explore these questions! Let’s begin.
What is instant coffee?
Before I go over the differences, let’s begin with the most important question, what is instant coffee?
Instant coffee is a drinkable liquid produced from instant coffee powder, which is instant dried coffee. The instant powder is dissolved in hot water, and the instant liquid is de-aerated to produce a foamy liquid.
There is instant coffee containing sugar and milk, but there are also instant coffees without milk and artificial sweeteners.
The most common types of instant coffee consist of Arabica beans from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, or Indonesia.
Instant coffee usually has a shelf life of up to three years due to the high heat processing during production, meaning it doesn’t have to be stored in a fridge.
Did you know you can make amazing whipped coffee with instant coffee called Dalgona coffee? You can check out the recipe here.
How is instant coffee made?
Instant coffee is made by instantiating roasted and ground coffee beans.
The instantiation process mainly consists of defatting the bean, which means that most oil must be removed through heat processing.
It’s also important to remove all moisture from the beans, so instant powder does not clump together when water is added later on.
After instant coffee is produced, the powder remains in a moist state and has to be dried.
What is ground coffee?
But what about ground coffee; what is that?
Ground coffee refers to coffee beans that have been ground into a specific grind size depending on the brewing technique. The difference in grind size makes for a different tasting coffee.
Ground coffee is usually stronger than instant coffee because less water is used when making ground coffee due to its increased surface area, which means more solids are extracted from each gram of coffee.
Ground coffee is made of the same ingredients instant coffee consists out, which is whole coffee beans.
How instant coffee differs from ground coffee
Let’s get back to instant coffee vs. ground coffee! What are the differences?
In order to know what instant and ground coffee differ in, you need to know what instant and ground coffee consist of.
Instant coffee is made out of powdered instant coffee, whereas ground coffee consists out – as mentioned earlier- of freshly ground coffee beans, making delicious freshly brewed coffee.
Ground (or even instant) coffees contain larger particles, which means they produce a stronger and thicker taste.
Suppose instant coffee is not instantiated well enough. In that case, the powder will clump together, resulting in bad-tasting instant liquid – you can prevent this by adding sugar or milk to the beverage!
Instant coffee vs. ground coffee: Which has more caffeine?
It’s also important to know how instant and ground coffee differ in caffeine content.
Instant coffee usually has lower caffeine than ground coffee because it loses some flavor during the manufacturing process, which means the solids have less time to be extracted from each bean, resulting in a milder taste.
This means that coffee made with freshly ground coffee beans usually contain more caffeine.
However, instant coffees can also contain more caffeine than normal ground coffee because the powder is denser and contains less air, but this all depends on how strong you like your coffee.
The benefits of instant coffee vs. ground coffee
The benefits are quite different, and many people have a preference one way or the other.
- Instant coffee is great for those who don’t plan to brew any time again soon, as instant coffee will last much longer than pre-ground beans without losing its flavor profile!
- The instant powder has many benefits for one cup of instant drink preparation when you are on the go or traveling long distances! You don’t need any special equipment; just add hot water at any time. It’s also very convenient if you live in an area where freshly roasted beans aren’t readily available all year round.
- However, instant coffee doesn’t retain the full experience of brewed java – it certainly packs a pick-me-up punch with caffeine levels that rival drip coffees but can leave you wanting more depth in taste than fresh ground bean flavors.
- Ground coffee is obviously more portable than instant, but you can use instant coffee to make some seriously good iced coffee drinks. For those who don’t need their caffeine fix immediately, ground beans are definitely the way to go for that perfect cup every time.
- Although instant powdered drinks are made with artificial sweeteners nowadays, some brands are out there that incorporate sugar in the instant powder itself.
- Instant coffee is fantastic for those on a budget, as well! It can be bought almost anywhere and comes at a much more affordable price than ground beans.
The disadvantages of instant coffee
The main downside of instant powder is that it’s full of artificial ingredients and preservatives. In contrast, freshly roasted beans are a healthy alternative with many natural components to benefit your mind and body!
- Instant coffee is instant and convenient but not as healthy.
- Instant coffee doesn’t have the same aroma and taste as ground coffee.
- Instant coffee can be less flavorful than ground coffee.
So, which one should you be drinking – instant or ground?
Now that you know all about instant vs. ground coffee, it’s time to answer an important question: Which one should you drink?
When choosing instant coffee vs. ground coffee, you should consider what your needs are.
Instant might be more convenient for you because it doesn’t require any special equipment or electricity to make it work; instant might be the best option for you!
However, if your main goal is to get a quality cup of java that tastes better than instant with less artificial ingredients in it – go with freshly roasted beans.
Instant will give you an on-the-go pick-me-up without slowing down anything else going on at home, which makes it perfect for those who live busy lives where they don’t want to lose time brewing on-demand or waiting hours for the perfect cup of cold brew.
Ground beans take some extra prep but allow greater control over how much caffeine goes into each drink, so this may be a great option for those who want the best tasting coffee, instant or otherwise.
The ground coffee is fresher and has higher caffeine levels, making it better than instant but not as convenient since you will need some sort of brewer to make it work!
So, which one should you drink? In my opinion – ground coffee! It’s fresher, and it has more caffeine!
However, as you read above, instant coffee is great for instant gratification, and if you don’t mind the taste (or love it), then ground may not be your best option.
Don’t forget that, if you’re always in a hurry, you can brew some delicious cold brew the day before! You can check out this amazing recipe here.
The instant coffee vs. ground coffee debate will likely rage on for centuries, but it all boils down to different people having different needs and preferences!
How about you?
Which do you prefer – instant or ground coffee? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope this article has helped clear up any confusion surrounding instant powder drinks vs. freshly roasted beans so that you can make an informed decision when you’re craving some coffee!
If I’ve missed anything or if there’s something else you’d like to share, then please let me know by leaving a comment below.
Enjoy your coffee today!