In today's on-the-go lifestyle, an ever increasing number of people are drinking instant coffee. The convenience and time saving benefits of these powders, granules or crystals means they are an essential part of many daily routines. Knowing exactly what instant coffee is, how it’s made and why it has a less intense flavour than some other drinks can help us understand why it is the most popular type of coffee in the world.
Instant coffee, also known as soluble coffee, is a dehydrated form of brewed coffee. This type of coffee usually comes in a container of small, concentrated powder or granules that dissolve rapidly when mixed with hot water. The freeze-dried version of instant coffee, also called freeze-dried coffee, contains no water and is made from coffee that has been frozen at a very low temperature, then dried and dehydrated. While freeze-dried instant coffee retains much of its flavour and aroma, it is not as flavoursome as freshly brewed coffee.
So, how is instant coffee made? Before being dehydrated, instant coffee starts out like any other type of brewed coffee. Coffee beans are ground and brewed in a standard coffee maker to create a concentrated form of coffee. Then, depending on the desired final product, the coffee may then be stirred up with a powdered creamer and sugar, and possibly some flavouring. This coffee is then steam treated, which removes any remaining moisture, resulting in a concentrated coffee-like powdered product. To make your coffee, you just need to add the powder to hot water and stir.
Although instant coffee has been around for centuries, the process of making actual instant coffee was refined in 1910 by a Japanese scientist named Satori Kato. He developed a technique for dehydrating brewed coffee into small granules, which preserved the flavours. This invention quickly caught on, as it allowed people to quickly dissolve coffee crystals into hot water, giving them a much needed caffeine hit. By the 1950s, instant coffee was so popular that it had become the most commonly used form of coffee across the world.
However, much of instant coffee's popularity is due to its convenience. Since the coffee is already brewed, all you have to do is add hot water and you’ve got yourself a great cup of coffee in a matter of seconds. This makes it the perfect cup of coffee for those who are always on the go and don’t have time to brew an elaborate cup of coffee.
Not only is instant coffee convenient and easy to make, but it is also much less expensive than other brewed coffee. As it is not necessary to brew the coffee beforehand, there are no costs associated with buying and using a coffee machine. Additionally, since it has been dehydrated, it has a longer shelf life than regular brewed coffee, making it even more cost-effective.
Although many people will argue that instant coffee has a much weaker flavour than fresh brewed coffee, some studies suggest that given the right conditions, instant coffee can actually be more flavourful. In one study, researchers tested a variety of instant coffees to determine the optimal conditions for brewing a cup of instant coffee, and found that the best taste usually came from a mix of fine ground particles and hot water.
Ultimately, there is no correct answer as to whether instant coffee is better than fresh brewed coffee. It all boils down to personal preference. However, if you’re looking for a quick, convenient cup of joe, instant coffee is likely your best option. Not only is it cheaper, but it also offers a wide range of options when it comes to flavours and ingredients. So, if you’re in a hurry and want a great cup of coffee in a flash, instant coffee can be just the thing.