Instant Coffee vs Ground Coffee – Which Tastes Better?

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Instant coffee vs ground coffee – the ongoing debate between the most popular types in the coffee community.

Ground coffee has been no longer unfamiliar to many caffeine lovers. Yet, instant type has recently become a top choice for those not having enough time to wait for a filter cuppa.

So, which one is suitable for you between the two? If you don’t know what to choose, let’s take your time to read our comparison to get the best one!

What’s Ground Coffee?

When it comes to café, ground coffee is the first kind of flashing on the head of anyone. This is also the most common type, attracting many coffeeholic worldwide.

So, how do people make ground type?

After being harvested, the beans will experience the dry and roast process and then be crushed into the ground. This grinding step will determine the texture of the beans from big and coarse to smooth as sand or even almost as powder.  

Some people would love to grind them into coarse pieces. Not too rough, yet just small enough to bartend!

Depending on the types and the sizes of café, the way to brew for each kind is also different. For example, a fine grind is suitable for making espresso. Meanwhile, medium to coarse type works best for cold brew.

What’s Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee is extracted from dried coffee. This kind has the same brewing procedure as a regular one.

After getting the liquid extract from brewing the ground type, manufacturers will remove water from this mixture until it only has small fragments or fine powder left. Both special types have the good ability to dissolve once exposed to water.

Here are two ways to produce instant types you can refer to more.

The first method is spray-drying. Manufacturers will spray hot air into the café extract to dry into the powder form.

Or the second one is freeze-drying, totally contrasting to the above one. This way, they will freeze the extract, cut it into many pieces, and then dry it at a low temperature. All these steps happen in vacuum conditions.

With the instant cafe, you can adjust its weakness or strength by adding or subtracting the powder amount depending on your taste.

What Is The Biggest Similar Of Both Types?

In general, the remarkable resemblance of two kinds is the processing period before achieving a perfect cup of joe in the customer’s hands. Basically, they all start from original beans and then go through harvesting, drying, and roasting stages.

While the regular kind only has three main phases, the instant type will undergo more steps and add more ingredients like sugar or some other materials.

The Battle Between Instant Coffee vs Ground Coffee

Convenient Feature

Brewing Steps

There is no doubt that instant kind takes advantage when comparing convenience. 

If you have a short leisure time but still want to get back 100% of your energy, this kind is the best option ever to get your spirit up for a long working day.

Everything you need to do is to stir the powder with warm water and wait a minute to dissolve! 

Meanwhile, ground coffee doesn’t bring this advantage. Even if you’ve prepared a number of grounds and hot water already, you must take time to brew through a pot or a specialized machine.

You also have to spend time assembling your filter. This step will determine whether your cuppa can be pure. We make sure that you don’t want to drink a glass with lots of sediments.

Waste Cleaning

Not only stopping at simple brewing, but instant coffee also helps us save time to handle the waste. What you have to do is to throw its packing in the bin.

Waste disposal of the ground is a different story. No matter what method you apply to bartend, the soggy ground left is hard to clean.

You can also store these wastes to make the compost pile and feed your trees. But because they quite smell, not all resident management of the place you’re living can accept them.

In addition, there are many tools used for brewing ground coffee that you have to clean, such as pots, fins, cups, or tablespoons. With the instant kind, it’s so effortless to arrange and clean – just one cup and one spoon.

Quality Of Flavor and Taste

In terms of the flavor and taste, there is no denying that the taste of traditional café is more delicious than ever.

That’s because there is no preservative appearing in roasting and the brewing time is extremely reasonable. Meanwhile, utilizing the source of the undefined beans combined with long brewing time can decrease the quality of instant coffee.

Most instant packages are made with Robusta beans, which are considered bad because of their bitterness. Even if you dilute it with more sugar, it cannot kick the bitter taste away.

Fast drinks cannot replace traditional beverages despite many efforts to enhance instant coffee quality by using scrumptious Abrica beans.

Health Effect

Caffeine Content

According to a study, alongside boosting the mental alertness of users, it provides beneficial nutrition to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as liver cirrhosis. From that, it can help to prolong your lifespan.

Nonetheless, not all people can adapt to high caffeine. Some pick up a cup of ground coffee that can make them insomnia or jitter. Yet, some are wrestling with a lack of caffeine with symptoms such as anxiety, cantankerousness, etc.

Due to the dissimilar processing, the caffeine content contained in both types is different.

The content of grounds is higher, falling around an average of 145 mg per 8 oz. On the other hand, only about 8 oz of caffeine is found in 63 mg of the instant kind.

Antioxidants Substance

There is nothing strange when it comes to the antioxidants benefit of this drink. Antioxidants bring oxy to all parts and muscles of the body to refresh and reactive metabolism.

Without it, your body activity will run slowly, deteriorate gradually, and then even stop. This can lead to health matters such as illness, cancer, and more.

Fortunately, the amount of antioxidants in the two kinds is the same. It means that using which kind is up to you.

Not only that, these caffeine-packed drinks play an important role in the diet menu. And its grounds are known as skincare products to exfoliate dead cells on the skin. Many products extracted from these beans are becoming a beauty trend and best-sellers at stores.

Storage Time

It could be said that instant coffee can last longer than ground one. We only can store the fresh beans in a closed jar or container for five months. Otherwise, instant types offer an impressive shelf life of almost 20 years in sealed bags. 

You have to accept the truth that they will lose their taste over time and end up food garbage. No method can keep them fresh forever.

However, one way to protect it longer is to keep the bag unopened and stay in the freezer. That way, ground type can be used longer than expected, around two years. And it is the same with instant kind.

Range Of Prices

People come to instant coffee for its convenience and affordable price. There are various prices on the market for you to choose from. And of course, the cheaper you want, the worse quality you get.

Grounds are a little more expensive yet always worth it. The price is not too high at a reasonable point that you can cover even with a limited budget.

Therefore, don’t hesitate to buy and enjoy both! If you cannot wait for a filter cup of java, you can switch to the instant kind.

Pros and Cons of Instant Café

Pros:

  • Time-saving
  • Affordable price
  • Take away
Cons:

  • Less caffeine amount
  • Burnt smell and bitter taste
  • Potential health risks for drinkers
  • Underrated from nutritionists

The advantages and disadvantages of Ground Café

Pros:

  • Appetizing taste
  • Beneficial for drinker’s health
  • Diversity of beans and brewing ways
Cons:

  • Take much time to prepare
  • Some kinds are quite expensive

Questions You May Have

I Always Smell The Burnt Taste Of Instant Coffee. Why Does It Happen?

The beans making this type take double time to handle, from roasting, drying, to grinding. This way can make all the delicate flavor evaporate at a certain time before it is packed to preserve.

That’s why there is only a burning smell left when you put the water into the café.

Instant Coffee Tastes So Weak. Why?

As we answered above, that’s because the production goes through too many complex stages combined with preservative substances. Even worse, poor packaging and poor output quality control are the main reasons leading to the tastelessness of instant type.

Which Beans Are Used To Make Instant Coffee?

To reduce the product’s price, many manufacturers utilize the low-cost Robusta beans to produce the instant type. 

This kind is bitter than any kind of beans. After the brewing process, these Robusta beans will be a messy combination of preservatives and other flavorings but not strong and bold enough.

This doesn’t mean that all instant types are made with bad-quality beans. There are some high-class options like Arabica – considered the best beans for making instant coffee.

What Is The Distinction Between Arabica and Robusta Beans?

The flavor is the most different point among the two types. Arabica’s taste is a combination of a little bitter on the tongue and deeply vibrant smelling. Cafe addicts love it because of the delicate aroma it brings. 

Otherwise, Robusta beans get a stronger taste, even harsher. A blend of this kind only works well when mixing with sufficient milk or sugar.

Is Instant Coffee Suitable For Vegetarians?

Throughout the production, there are no animal-originated or alcohol factors added.  So black coffee is vegan! That said if you love to enjoy other milk-based drinks, try to switch to non-dairy types, such as almond or soy milk. So when you are a vegan, there’s nothing wrong with drinking this fantastic beverage. Don’t hesitate to try this product!

Does It Matter How Old The Coffee Grinds Are?

Of course, yes! Unlike wine or cheese, the longer you leave the grounds, the worse they taste! Freshly ground coffee is the best one.

Many shops know this, so they provide the “made-to-order” service to let buyers book a small roasted batch if they don’t like to buy with a huge amount to store.

What Is A Good Way For Preserving Coffee Beans?

Moisture, light, and temperature are the three main factors affecting the taste and flavor of beans. Keep a sharp eye on them unless you wish to get them musty after a short time of unboxing.

The key for preservation is to find a place where no air can get in or out, such as an airtight container, opaque canister, or glass boxes.

It would be best to keep these containers in cool and dry spaces that stay away from sunlight. Another essential point that you need to pay attention to is not to freeze coffee grounds.

Especially, don’t put your glass canisters on the kitchen countertop! Because the temperature in your kitchen is so high and makes your beans stale. They will gradually lose the fresh flavor and their original color.

Take note of some tips above to keep the original taste of coffee beans as long as they can!

In A Nutshell

What is the best drink in your heart between instant coffee vs ground coffee? – You might now get the answer for your own.

If your time doesn’t get pressed and your budget allows, conventional coffee would be the most ideal for you. In contrast, instant kind is not a bad offer for those who don’t have much time.

The answer is up to you! Thank you, and see you in the next post!

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).