When it comes to preparing your own cup of coffee, some take this process pretty seriously. A lot of people enjoy the process of making it, as it definitely gives you a pleasurable experience. However, there are other people who prefer to make their coffee in a quick and comfortable manner. That’s where instant coffee comes into the scene.
We believe that nothing is better than having a really quick cup of coffee in the morning, which is why so much instant coffee is sold daily. If it was not for the speed benefit, then nobody would buy this type of coffee, right? Considering the fact that there are plenty of choices, everyone would go for plain ground coffee beans which take slightly longer to brew.
It is very important to note that the majority of people do not even consider instant coffee a coffee! Which is not true at all. In reality, either Robusta or Arabica coffee beans are used to make instant coffee. The same beans are utilized by specialty roasters and coffee cafes all around the world. This means that instant coffee can definitely be great when you go for high-quality brands and products. In this guide, we want to talk about why people choose instant coffee, what it really is and how it is actually made.
What is instant coffee? Instant coffee is sometimes also referred to as soluble coffee. To put it in a few words, it is created from roasted and ground coffee beans. The coffee flavor and fragrance are then recovered by extracting the ground beans with hot water. To make things more clear, let’s take an example. The procedure is pretty identical to that of brewing coffee in a percolator at your own home. Instant coffee is not the actual beans or anything – it is a dried coffee extract made to immediately dissolve in hot water and turn into a delicious brew.
You might come across two different types of instant coffees: Freeze-dried and spray-dried. The fundamental texture of freeze-dried coffee is a lengthier, firm chunk of coffee that is difficult to break and does not dissolve when rolled between fingers. When it comes to spray-dried coffee, it has a very different feel from freeze-dried coffee – rolling a granule between two fingertips reveals that it crumbles very quickly and is not a solid granule. Spray-dried coffee is also rounder, more porous, and delicate in appearance. The color is also significantly darker than that of freeze-dried coffee.
So, here comes another simple question – how is instant coffee made? As we already mentioned earlier, coffee beans are freeze-dried and spray-dried to produce instant coffee. After brewing, the water in the extract is evaporated & frozen to produce either powder or dry granules. When mixed with boiling water, these granules remain solid at normal temperature and then dissolve.
In total, there are nine different stages of manufacturing instant coffee. The most important ones include roasting, grinding, brewing, evaporation, freezing, sublimation, lost aromas readded, and packaging. All in all, the whole process is pretty simple and nothing too complicated. However, it is important to note that manufacturing instant coffee is relatively cheaper compared to others and that is the main reason why the majority of instant coffee products that you might come across will cost you less than green coffee beans.
When we talk about making a good instant coffee, there are some things to keep in mind. The first and the most important part is the beans as they can provide a high-quality taste to your cup of coffee. Generally, there are two main types of beans used for instant coffee – Arabica and Robusta. We are pretty sure that you have heard about both of them.
Arabica is one of the world’s most popular types as it produces more than 60% of the total output. This is mostly due to the fact that people who drink it prefer sweet flavor notes including caramel, chocolate, fruits, and nuts. All in all, Arabica beans can definitely be used for producing instant coffee.
Robusta, on the other hand, comes after Robusta, producing up to 40% of total output. Robusta can be characterized as bitter, with notes of pepper. A lot of people agree that Arabica makes better tasting instant coffee, however, in the past, such coffees were mostly made from Robusta due to the simple fact that it is cheaper. So, if you are looking for high-quality instant coffee, keep two things in mind. You should buy a product that comes from 100% Arabica beans and additionally, it should also be freeze-dried.
A lot of people have concerns about instant coffee, some might even consider consuming it unhealthy, however, this is not true. When compared to regular coffee, instant coffee can do the same damage or have the same benefits. The only difference between regular and instant coffee is the level of caffeine – however, instant coffee caffeine mostly depends on the manufacturing process, the brand you decide to purchase from, etc.
Once again, the best way to start with your instant coffee is 100% Arabica coffee beans as they generally have less caffeine and taste better. All in all, to stop your confusion, try looking at the list of ingredients that your instant coffee comes with. Once you see a lot of unfamiliar ingredients on the list, it might be a warning sign that your coffee may be bad for your health. Generally speaking, the answer to the question – is instant coffee bad is that this type of coffee is not bad for your health (unless you have any medical condition) and is completely safe to consume on a daily basis.
Yes, if you have heard about instant coffee tasting different, then it is true. Compared to filtered or drip coffee, it is much more bitter and tasteless – it comes as no surprise as with instant coffee, you will have to pay relatively less. In addition to this, instant coffee does contain less caffeine than regular coffee, which is the main reason why some people can drink several cups a day without any side effects.
If you have never tasted instant coffee, now might be the best time for it. That way, you will see all the differences and you might even like it!
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