Instant Coffee or Whole Bean: What to Drink When?


can you use ground coffee instead of instant coffee in recipes
The Waka Life Blog

Instant Coffee or Whole Bean: What to Drink When?

With so many different available types of coffee, how can you decide when to have one drink over another? Are they not all made from coffee beans?

With coffee playing such an important part in our lives, it only makes sense that we want to find the best way to make coffee. 

What is instant coffee?

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As simple as it may sound, what exactly is instant coffee? Is it like ordering food that comes in an instant? To some extent, yes it is, only better. With instant coffee you can have a perfectly brewed cup of coffee all in a matter of seconds. No need to try and understand a complicate coffee menu, or wait forever in a line, your coffee can be ready in moments with instant coffee. Whether you choose to have your coffee black, or with milk and sugar, instant coffee is the easiest remedy to do just that. 

Just as the name suggests, instant coffee is exactly what it sounds like - coffee ready instantly. A few teaspoons of the coffee granules mixed with hot or cold water will give you that delicious brew to get you going all day long. No need to wait for a fancy machine to brew your cup of joe and it can be stored almost anywhere; at home, at work, or even in your backpack for a trip. 

How is it made?

There are two main methods by which instant coffee is made. The first method, or spray drying, involves hot air to create a powder like substance, what we know as instant coffee. As the liquid coffee passes through a hot air chamber, small drops of coffee seep through to the bottom. Once they have dried, those drops that fell through take on a powder-like consistency.

In the second method, known as freeze-drying, the brewed coffee is first frozen and then moved to the sublimation processSublimation is the process of when the ice immediately changes to steam, without defrosting first. Almost all of the water is removed from the coffee liquid in this phase. Lastly is the secondary drying absorption phase. In this phase the water molecules are removed from the product by vacuum to create the freeze dried granules you are familiar with. Yes, freeze drying is quite a complicated process to preserve the flavors of your coffee. 

What is whole bean coffee?

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When coffee cherries are cut open after harvest, what is found inside are halves of coffee beans. Those beans are then roasted extracted and processed in many different forms to bring coffee cups to our tables. What is most commonly known as the most purchased form of coffee, whole bean coffee, is sold to vendors all over the globe, both large and small. The whole beans are then used to make coffee in many different forms using different coffee preparation methods.

Ever notice how when you step into a coffee shop you are surrounded by coffee beans literally everywhere? That is because these places use the whole coffee beans to make their brews. When a cup is ordered, the necessary amount of coffee beans that are needed for the cup are grinded to perfection, ready to make your brew in the easiest fashion.

The reason for this is to not have the brewed coffee sitting for too long as it will lose its flavor. By grinding and brewing the coffee almost immediately before pouring it into a cup, it ensures that each of the cups are perfect.

Why make coffee out of whole beans?

As we already learned, instant coffee is such a simple way of making coffee. If it is so simple why even bother making coffee any other way other than instant? The reason why some people prefer to drink whole bean coffee is because the whole beans give off a fresher flavor, as they are grinded on the spot. The more time that has passed from the time when the coffee beans were grinded to actually brewed, alters the flavor of the coffee.

By using whole beans, the beans are grinded only as they are about to enter a cup, avoiding the risk of the time limit. Whole bean coffee gives a more natural taste and freshness to the cup of coffee - allowing your taste buds to be enhanced at every sip.

Where to drink what?

can i use ground coffee as instant coffee

For most circumstances there is a specific formula that we follow in order to fit into our circumstances. When it’s raining outside we are sure to put on boots and bring an umbrella, whereas when it’s sunny out we wear sunglasses and make sure to put on sunscreen. For something that plays such a big part in our lives, we would think that coffee has such a formula as well. When do we have it hot vs. cold? When do we add milk and sugar vs. not? When do we have one type of coffee over another? 

For the most part, coffee flavors are due to preferences; whether you like your coffee sweet, bitter, acidic or strong, they all come down to your taste buds. Aside from the differences in our taste buds, there are a couple of checklist items a person can go through when deciding between instant coffee and whole bean coffee.

Instant Coffee

As easy as it may seem, instant coffee has both its pros and its cons. It is best for making quick cups of coffee, or when you are on-the-go, but there are some times when you long for that freshly grounded taste of coffee beans.

Instant coffee is often seen as the emergency coffee for when you must have your cup of joe but there is none to be found. Stored in your bag or in your office desk, the instant coffee is always there to save the day and give you that cup of coffee that you need.

Instant coffee is also perfect for those lazy mornings when all you want to do is lay in bed but still crave your coffee, just put up a pot of hot water and your coffee will be ready very quickly.

If you're a go-getter and always find yourself being active, instant coffee is the perfect drink for that as well! In its small packaging, instant coffee can be packed in a bag easily and taken on any mountain or grassland, perfect for hiking and camping adventures. 

Lastly, instant coffee is also a great coffee solution to incorporate in your shakes and recipes. The coffee granules are fully dissolvable, which make them perfect for your creative coffee creations.

Whole Bean Coffee

Whole bean coffee can be drunk in a coffee shop or even on your commute to work, there is no place where it cannot be drunk. The thing to remember about whole bean coffee is that since the beans do not come pre-grinded, it would be hard to make whole bean coffee yourself, unless you are prepared to grind the coffee beans.

If you have the time to sit and enjoy the aroma of a coffee shop, whole bean coffee is the perfect drink for doing so. The freshness of the beans gives off the most welcoming experience to anyone who welcome its company. There’s nothing like a freshly brewed pot of coffee that was made just moments before you had your first sip.

"Is Instant Coffee Real Coffee?"

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When it comes down to instant coffee, there is often one question that is almost always asked. That question being whether or not instant coffee is real. For something that is so easy to make, it seems almost impossible that that could actually be true, but the answer is yes. Instant coffee is real coffee. 

Instant coffee is as real of a coffee as any other from of coffee is. The only difference is that instant can be made in a matter of moments since the beans are already grinded, whereas other types of coffee beans need to be grinded down first.

In order to manufacture instant coffee whole coffee beans are roasted, grinded and brewed into a thick brewed coffee mixture. Then, as mentioned before, it becomes the coffee powder we are familiar with via the spray drying or freeze drying methods.


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