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Knowing what you like in your coffee can make all the difference in the world when it comes to deciding what is best for you.
If you’re wondering what is instant coffee and what flavor can you expect, read on to learn the difference between regular ground coffee and instant coffee.
What Is Instant Coffee?
The best way to explain what is instant coffee is this: instant coffee is made from coffee beans that have already been roasted, ground, and brewed.
Instant coffee is derived from brewed coffee beans, but it is made in a way that removes the water faster to produce the powdered, saturated coffee that you buy in boxes.
Instant coffee is the name given to the powdered version of regular coffee.
Since it has been pre-processed and then dried, it brews up in a flash and is ready to go in only a few minutes.
This type of coffee has become popular among health-conscious people looking for a quick way to get their caffeine fix.
However, there are some drawbacks to instant coffee.
For starters, the pre-processed dried coffee has been treated with a chemical that can contaminate boiling water.
This chemical is removed from instant coffee if boiled for a full 12 minutes.
As a result, there are some health benefits to drinking instant coffee instead of regular ground coffee.
This includes the process of brewing and drinking, as well as the lack of calories and fat in instant coffee’s powdered form.
What Is Instant Coffee? – The Process
The production of instant coffee is no simple process.
It involves a lot of juggling at the beginning to remove the leftover water, and then a few more steps to dry it out.
The end result is a sugary-like powder that has been filtered at some point before it was packaged, making its appearance and flavor similar to that of ground coffee.
Let’s take a quick look at how instant coffee is actually processed: from beans to your cup!
Instant coffee is the result of many heavy processes such as:
- Freeze drying
- Spray drying
The Roasting Process
This is a process where the beans of coffee are heated and roasted so they become a brown crusty substance that looks like small rocks.
When the beans are roasted, they lose some of their moisture and flavor, which is what will be added back into instant coffee.
To produce instant coffee, you have to extract the coffee’s soluble contents by heating the coffee beans.
This causes the vapor to rise to the top of the container, which is then condensed.
This process removes the excess moisture from your coffee beans, creating an oily substance that is used to make instant coffee.
The extraction stage that removes the flavors and aromas of the coffee is done using water at around 175 degrees celsius.
A result of this water pressurization is a liquid extract that now needs to freeze or evaporate.
The freeze-drying process involves placing the liquid coffee extract inside vacuum chambers.
As the liquid expands it turns into gas, so the pressure inside the chamber is lowered.
This causes it to freeze solid, which in turn removes the leftover water from the coffee.
These are broken down into crystal-like granules that are sifted and sorted out by their size.
Next, the remaining moisture is evaporated through a process called sublimation, where the granules are placed in a drying chamber.
The temperature is lowered until the water turns into vapor again, which is then collected to make instant coffee powder.
As a final step, the water in your instant coffee is removed using a caffeine-based solvent material.
This process can take place either through a direct solvent or indirect solvent method. The process is designed to remove the caffeine, not the flavor.
The resulting powder is then heat dried to ensure that no moisture remains in your instant coffee.
This turns it into a fine, all-natural brown powder called instant coffee.
Instant Coffee vs Ground Coffee – Which One Is Better
Although I have a whole article about this subject, I want to touch a bit on the main differences between what is instant coffee and what is ground coffee.
Instant coffee is produced by extracting the soluble substances from the beans prior to roasting.
Because this process removes all the flavor and aroma in the coffee, many people think that instant coffee would be preferable to regular ground coffee.
However, in order to extract all of these things, a lot of heat and energy has to be used up in the process.
So rather than using the right amount of heat, they end up burning off all their flavor and aroma in this initial extraction stage.
Ground coffee beans are roasted at lower temperatures, which preserves the flavor of the coffee.
So, instant coffee is more popular among people who say they don’t like the taste of regular coffee.
1. The Taste Difference
Instant coffee is made from roasted coffee beans that are ground up, which can make it taste bitter.
However, with the right amount of heat and skillful roasting, you can make your instant coffee taste sweeter.
Since most people drink their instant coffee black, there’s really no way to mask the bitterness with milk or sugar.
Ground coffee has its own unique taste that is softer than instant powdered coffee. Ground coffee isn’t always bitter depending on how light or dark roasted it is.
It can taste mild and sweet with the right roasting process.
2. The Consistency
Ground coffee is very consistent in its texture and taste because there is no difference in how it is processed.
So, if you purchase ground coffee that has been roasted and decaffeinated, then you expect each cup of coffee to retain the same acidity and flavor as the first cup you made.
Instant coffee is less consistent in its taste especially because there are several other steps involved.
However, the instant coffee industry has done a better job ensuring that each batch of instant coffee is consistent in taste and texture.
3. The Flavor
Ground coffee has more flavor because the process of roasting allows the beans to retain most of their flavors.
As a result, you can use ground coffee to make different aromatic blends by adding different spices and flavors to your favorite recipe.
Instant coffee doesn’t have much flavor. In fact, most people use it to mask the taste of bad flavors in their food or to add a bit of sweetness without any additives.
What is instant coffee that makes it so popular?
Speaking about convenience, instant coffee is the winner since it’s literally a two-step process before holding your cup of joe.
Ground coffee is still convenient but takes a little more time to get your java in your hands, depending on your method of brewing coffee.
Although instant coffee has a subtle taste, it’s a better-tasting option for most people.
So, if you want a clean and defined flavor in each cup of your coffee, then instant coffee is the way to go.
On the other hand, ground coffee beans have more complex flavors that can be used to create more aromatic blends.
If you like playing around with different flavors and spices in your coffee, then using ground coffee is the way to go.
6. Caffeine Quality
This is a good question to ask: what is instant coffee and the caffeine content in it?
Instant coffee has definitely less caffeine content due to the various processes it has been through.
Also, the final product is not as potent as regular coffee because there isn’t as much caffeine.
The best kind of instant coffee has about 60 milligrams of caffeine for a typical 8oz cup of coffee.
Benefits of Instant Coffee
Here we’ll see some of the many benefits of consuming instant coffee.
Although this is a review of unflavored instant coffee, we could still reap the same benefits from flavored instant coffee.
1. It Can Be Used As A Supplement
Due to its nutritional content and super-healthy nutrients, you can use regular instant coffee as a supplement for your regular diet.
It’s best that you use organic or all-natural instant coffee in order to get all these benefits from your preferred source of caffeine.
According to experts, instant coffee can also be used to eliminate cravings for drugs and alcohol.
However, keep in mind that you should not drink too much of it since it can change your mental state and can cause some dangerous side effects.
2. Reduces Stress
Many people drink their cup of instant coffee as an afternoon break from their stressful jobs and cluttered schedules.
Instant coffee can help you relax and unwind a bit, which is why it’s the preferred libation of many professionals and unemployed people who want to relax a bit.
The caffeine in instant coffee not only makes you more alert but also helps improve your mood and improve your cognitive abilities.
It’s as if you’re taking a mental vacation from reality as soon as you take your first sip.
3. Helps Your Weight Loss
Due to its low-calorie content, you can drink your instant coffee without worrying about putting on the pounds.
For just 9 calories per serving, you can enjoy your instant coffee without guilt or regrets.
And because it has less sugar than your actual coffee, it’s also perfect for those who are trying to reduce their daily sugar intake.
4. Helps Improve Your Sleep Quality
Since it contains caffeine, you would think that instant coffee is not good for sleep quality.
However, the caffeine in instant coffee can actually improve your sleep quality and help you get a solid night’s rest.
It’s also good for making you wake up feeling refreshed.
But please don’t take your cup of coffee 10 minutes before going to bed.
5. Helpful for Reducing Painful Joints
It’s not just instant coffee that has the benefits of reducing pain and inflammation.
You can also reap these benefits from ground coffee, which has more anti-inflammatory properties than instant coffee.
But you should be careful in your intake since it still contains caffeine, which can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
6. Cuts Down The Bad Breath Odor
Bad breath can make you look extra-shy around your partner or boss, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you drink instant coffee regularly.
Regular intake of instant coffee can help you eliminate bad breath odor because it’s known to cut down the bacteria that causes bad breath odor.
7. Improves Your Digestion
If you’re experiencing digestive issues while trying to lose weight, then you can drink instant coffee to improve your digestion.
Instant coffee has more fiber, which will help reduce your risk for heart diseases and boost your overall health.
Just make sure that you don’t take too much of it if you are sensitive to caffeine consumption.
Final Thoughts on What Is Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is basically dehydrated ground coffee.
It’s usually ground, but it still has the same basic features that regular coffee has.
A lot of people believe that instant coffee has an inferior taste to regular coffee. However, both drinks are still very good.
Different companies make different types of instant coffees; some are lower in calories while others have more caffeine than traditional brews.
The most common instant coffee has about 60 mg of caffeine per cup.
It’s an excellent choice for those who want to cut down on their caffeine content.
However, the most important thing is that you check your label to see if the instant coffee you’re drinking contains any artificial flavorings or additives.
Instant coffees with artificial flavors and additives can cause some negative side effects such as headaches and jitters.
Because of this, it’s best to stick with regular ground coffee as your main source of caffeine consumption.