Instant vs Ground Coffee – Unveiling the Perfect Brew

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Cheers! If you are asking yourself instant vs ground coffee which one is better, you are already a coffee lover or on the right track to becoming one!

Indeed, some people prefer the simplicity of instant coffee or capsules, while others opt for the authenticity, taste and quality of coffee beans or ground…

In this case, what to choose between ground coffee and coffee beans?

You’ve come to the right place to get all your questions answered!

In this article, you will find the advantages of coffee beans and ground coffee, where to get them and you will be able to know which is the best coffee for you.

Ground coffee vs instant coffee – the basics

The name is the key to this distinction. The easiest way to make regular ground coffee is to simply grind roasted beans in a grinder. Instant coffee is pre-brewed soluble coffee. Instant coffee was created to provide an instant alternative to regular coffee brewing.

Two things are needed to make a brew with ground coffee. The first is to squeeze the coffee out of the beans and into your cup. There are many ways to do this. This involves adding hot water to the grains and then soaking, percolating or increasing the pressure. Cold brew does not require heat, but it does require a longer extraction time.

You will get your used grounds and liquid coffee at the end.

Instant vs ground coffee a detailed guide

What is Instant Coffee?

Ground coffee and instant coffee both start with the same ingredients: green coffee beans. They roast the beans in large quantities and then grind them at the factory. This is the final step in creating an ordinary coffee. We have a complete guide on how to make coffee.

To make huge pots of ground coffee, the grounds are brewed. This coffee is then reduced to make a thick concentrate. To make a shelf-stable product, the concentrate must be completely free of all moisture.

One of the two final drying methods is spray drying or freeze drying. While freeze-drying preserves more of the coffee’s natural flavor and aroma, it is more expensive and time-consuming. Our article on the science of instant coffee will give you a detailed explanation of the science.

What is ground coffee?

Ground coffee is the most common form of coffee sold on the market today. This is coffee powder. It is found in different formats, in ready-to-use packets, sachets of pods or capsules, each time corresponding to a specific type of preparation and therefore to a specific machine.

What are the types of ground coffee?

Arabicas, robustas, blends… whatever the coffee vintage, it can be sold ground. Thus, coffee can come from any production region of the world, whether it is Ethiopia, Brazil or even Vietnam. You are free to choose the coffee you like the most according to your tastes and desires.

freeze dried coffee - instant coffee
Freeze-dried coffee

Instant coffee vs ground coffee which is better?

There is a difference between ground coffee and soluble coffee from their name: Ground coffee consists of roasted coffee beans that are then ground using a coffee grinder.

Instant coffee is a soluble form of ground coffee. It aims to be “instantaneous” in its preparation thanks to its soluble form.

Coffee bean / Ground coffee

So, in the battle between grain coffee and soluble coffee, which is the best?

Coffee beans will always win the gold medal. There is no surprise about this!

Thanks to the smell that escapes from the opening of your coffee beans, you are able to judge the quality of it; at the same time that it transports you. But that’s not all, because the grain itself is a bit like the lines present in your hand: its shape, its color, the homogeneity of its grains are factors of excellent quality.

The shape of the beans lets you know the method of harvesting. As long as you only find grains of the same size, not damaged, you can be sure that the harvest was done by hand. In this way, we select only the best beans, sufficiently ripe, for a unique experience.

Likewise, the darker color of your beans is a sign of a longer roast. This promises you a bitterer and stronger taste!

It is therefore quite easy to judge the quality of a coffee bean, just through its appearance. But beyond that, bean coffee is in any case the freshest coffee that can exist, while also being its most ecological form.

But then what place remains for soluble coffee?

Spray dried instant coffee
Spray-dried instant coffee

Instant coffee

Soluble coffee undergoes more processing and is produced on an industrial scale. Therefore, it would seem difficult to compare them, as much on the benefits as on the quality at the taste level.

What can be said, however, is that soluble coffee contains less caffeine than a cup of filter coffee, at equivalent volume. It can therefore be a good alternative for those who appreciate their dose of caffeine, but who nevertheless have difficulty supporting its high concentration.

Now, to know a little more about soluble coffee, know that there are two drying methods:

  • Spray drying: a jet of hot air is propelled over the ground coffee, it is then moistened, then dried again

This solution makes it possible to obtain the coarse-grain appearance that you have certainly already encountered. This is particularly the case for NESCAFÉ coffee.

  • Drying by freeze-drying: this is cold drying where the coffee is frozen, then broken into fine particles before a chemical process

This method results in a smoother, finer powder. It does not undergo extreme temperatures, which allows it to retain its taste more in the face of the spray drying method. This also allows it to retain more nutritional qualities.

Still, atomized coffee is the best-selling coffee.

We advise you to read the labels carefully to know what you are buying. Indeed, even if it means turning to soluble coffee, favor the freeze-dried method, which is a strong argument on the labels! You shouldn’t miss it.

Now that we know the basic differences between ground coffee and instant coffee, let’s talk about their differences from consumers’ perspective:

Ground Coffee vs Instant Coffee: Consumers’ Perspective:

1. Flavor:

Instant coffee is made by cooking ground coffee beans and drying the resulting liquid into a concentrated powder. Due to this process, instant coffee tastes different than freshly ground coffee.

The flavor of instant coffee is often described as flat and lacking the depth and complexity of freshly ground coffee. However, instant coffee has come a long way in recent years, and some brands of instant coffee now offer a rich and satisfying taste.

Ground coffee, on the other hand, is made with freshly roasted coffee beans that are ground to a fine powder. Because the beans are freshly roasted, ground coffee has a much more complex and nuanced flavor profile than instant coffee. Additionally, ground coffee can be prepared in a variety of ways, allowing you to explore different flavors and concentrations.

ground coffee vs instant coffee - differences in cost

2. Caffeine:

On average, a teaspoon of instant coffee contains about 60-65 milligrams of caffeine, while a teaspoon of ground coffee contains about 80-85 milligrams of caffeine.

3. Cost:

Instant coffee is usually cheaper than ground. This is because it is mass produced and made with lower quality coffee beans.

Ground coffee, on the other hand, is usually made with high-quality beans and is produced in smaller quantities. In addition, the cost of ground coffee varies greatly depending on the type of coffee beans that is chosen.

instant vs ground coffee preparation time
Instant vs ground coffee preparation time difference

4. Preparation time:

Instant coffee is incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Simply add hot water to a tablespoon of instant coffee powder and stir.

Ground coffee, on the other hand, requires a preparation process that requires a little more time and effort. Ground coffee takes several minutes to brew, whether you use a French press, brew, or drip coffee maker.

5. Comfort:

Instant coffee is much more convenient than the ground. You can take it with you on a trip and prepare a cup of coffee in a matter of seconds. Ground coffee, on the other hand, requires a brewing process and the necessary equipment to prepare a cup of coffee.

6. Personalization:

Ground coffee offers great customization when preparing it. You can control the strength of your coffee by adjusting the amount of ground coffee you use and the brew time. Instead, instant coffee is pre-packaged and pre-brewed, making it less customizable.

7. Expiration:

Instant coffee has a much longer shelf life than ground coffee. Ground coffee begins to lose its flavor within a few days of being ground, while instant can last several months without losing its flavor.

Ground coffee vs Coffee beans vs Instant coffee: Advantages and disadvantages

The benefits of ground coffee

Why ground coffee is the most consumed form of coffee in the world?

Firstly, ground coffee is very convenient for those who do not have time to grind their own coffee, but want to enjoy the original taste of coffee.

And yes, preparing a coffee with ground coffee is very simple and quick: just put your coffee in the filter, fill the water tank and start the machine, and you’re done!

At your roaster, you also have the choice between several different grinds, which allows you to best adapt to the preparation method you use at home:

  • The filter grind is recommended for preparation in an electric coffee maker or chemex.
  • The espresso grind is perfectly suited to percolator espresso machines.
  • The piston grind is essentially suitable for French press coffee makers. Coarser, it does not pass through the filter.

Disadvantages of Ground coffee:

Although very convenient, ground coffee has a few drawbacks.

The first of these disadvantages is certainly the loss of coffee aromas. You will have less aroma in your already ground coffee compared to the same freshly ground coffee.

The second disadvantage is that you can find all kinds of quality in ground coffees and it is very difficult to control this quality by eye because the coffee beans being already ground, it is not possible to know if defects were present. You can only judge the quality of your coffee by smell and taste.

Some manufacturers also use lower quality coffees for their ground coffee, with numerous defects because once ground these defects are no longer visible to the naked eye.

Ground vs instant coffee : flavour
Flavor difference in Instant and Ground coffee

The benefits of coffee beans

This is coffee in its purest form. Choosing to buy coffee beans means choosing a tailor-made consumption. The caliber of the grind, its freshness, the composition of its coffee, everything is controlled by the informed consumer who chooses to control the entire preparation process.

It will probably take a few tries to find the coffee beans that best suit your needs and tastes.

You can easily have several origins of coffee: very typical, very original coffees and coffees with a rounder taste that appeal to the greatest number of people and switch from one to another since the coffee beans keep much better than the already ground coffee. It will not lose its aromas during storage.

The grain retains all its taste characteristics: the fresher the grind, the more powerful the aromas. It thus reveals all its aromatic complexity.

Grinding the beans just before tasting is the best way to test the aroma of a coffee.

So if you are a coffee lover, don’t hesitate and take the plunge! Switch to coffee beans!

The disadvantages of coffee beans

Honestly, there are none!

We encourage you to take the plunge towards coffee beans if you use ground coffee and to bring a small grinder, you will not regret it!

Learn why coffee tastes different in a travel mug!

Health benefits of instant coffee

Instant coffee is good for you as long as it’s consumed in moderation. This is important for your long-term health and well-being.

You are probably aware of the benefits coffee brings to your daily life. You will notice an increase in energy and performance, as well as an increased fat-burning rate.

Your daily cup of instant coffee will make you feel more alert, as well as improve brain function.

But it’s the long-term benefits that make coffee so good for you. Studies have shown that frequent coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and diabetes, as well as lower levels of depression.

Instant coffee is packed with essential nutrients, including vitamin B2, vitamin A5, vitamin B5, vitamin D3, manganese, and potassium, despite the intense processing involved. It’s not bad for a cup of coffee.

Learn if coffee is behind your sleeplessness.

FAQs: Instant coffee vs Ground coffee

Are there antioxidants in Instant Coffee?

Yes, instant coffee does contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules that can damage the cells in our bodies. Instant coffee is rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. Studies have shown that polyphenols can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can lead to a variety of health benefits.
Instant coffee also contains other antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, which can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, and quercetin, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So, although instant coffee may not be the healthiest beverage out there, it does contain some beneficial antioxidants.

Is Instant Coffee the same as ground Coffee?

Instant coffee is not brewed coffee. It is a coffee that has been dried and filtered to obtain soluble granules. Ground coffee simply means roasted coffee beans that have been processed in a grinder.

How long does Instant Coffee last?

Instant coffee can be kept for up to 20 years even after opening. If stored in the freezer, it can be stored indefinitely. This shouldn’t scare you. This is due to the way coffee is processed.

Is soluble coffee bad for the body?

No, instant coffee is not unhealthy. No scientific study goes in this direction and seems to establish a potential danger.

Where is soluble coffee most popular?

Instant coffee is consumed all over the world, especially across the Asia Pacific region.

Why does soluble coffee foam?

Instant coffee foams because it is made by freeze-drying a liquid, which produces a powder that has many air spaces inside. As the coffee dissolves, the air is released which creates foam.

How to consume soluble coffee?

You must use instant coffee in any way you like. Some prefer it plain, others with cream or milk. Since instant coffee dissolves in both cold and hot liquids, the only limit is your imagination. You can even use instant coffee for your pastries.

Last Word by Buy for Pantry

In our last words, instant coffee and ground coffee are two different forms of coffee that offer different tastes, costs, brew time, and other factors.

Choosing instant or ground coffee depends on personal preferences and lifestyle. If you are looking for a quick and convenient cup of coffee, instant coffee is the way to go. If you want a rich and complex flavor profile, ground coffee is the best option.

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