With coffee playing such an important part in our lives, it only makes sense that we find the easiest way to make it.
We get asked quite often about the difference between instant coffee and whole/ground coffee, so we decided to give you an in-depth answer.
What is instant coffee?
With the help of instant coffee, you can make coffee almost anywhere. No need to worry when you are setting out on a long journey fearing you would not have access to coffee. Instant coffee puts all those nerves at ease.
As simple as it may seem, what exactly is instant coffee? Instant coffee is a dissolvable coffee drink. It is made from real brewed coffee that was converted into powdered coffee by extracting the liquid of the coffee bean. This can be done in two ways: spray drying or freeze drying.
How is instant coffee made?
Freeze drying (how Waka Coffee is made) is a process by which water is removed from the coffee extract to produce instant coffee without sacrificing its unique flavor and aroma. First, the coffee extract is frozen at about -50° C, which preserves the coffee’s aroma and depth of flavor. Then, it placed under a vacuum where the frozen liquid sublimates. Sublimation is the process of when the ice immediately changes to steam, without defrosting first. On the contrary, the spray drying method uses hot air to evaporate the water from the beans, which destroys the original flavor and eliminates the coffee’s aroma.
The instant coffee granules are easily dissolved when mixed with water to create a great cup of coffee, instantly. Contrary to some myths, instant coffee is made from real coffee beans. Whether you choose to have your coffee black, or with milk and sugar, instant coffee is the easiest remedy to do just that.
What is whole bean coffee?
There are two primary species of coffee that are grown for consumption—Arabica (75% of world production) and Robusta (25% of world production). We at Waka Coffee use Arabica beans for our premium instant coffee! Arabica plants are characterized by a large bush with dark green leaves. The fruits mature within 7 to 9 months and do not contain a lot of seeds. Robusta plants are much smaller and shrub like and the fruits take longer to mature—around 11 months.
After coffee cherries are firm and bright red—time for harvest! There are two primary ways in which coffee is harvested. The first is called selective harvesting which involves picking only the ripe fruit by hand. The second method of harvesting is called strip harvesting. In this method, all coffee fruits are “stripped” from the plant altogether by a machine.
Once the coffee beans have been harvested, they are ready to be processed and shipped. The green beans are delivered to coffee companies where they roast, dry, and prepare the beans for distribution. There are different types of roasts in which whole bean coffee can be made, such as light, medium and dark roasts. These all differ by the roast time. Consumers have the choice of purchasing pre-ground coffee or buy whole beans and grind the beans themselves.
When to drink what? Instant coffee vs. whole bean coffee
It is best for making a quick cup of coffee, or when you are on-the-go. Instant coffee is also sometimes seen as the emergency coffee for when you run out of your ground coffee at home. It is also a great 2nd cup of coffee during your day when you are at work or don't want to turn on your coffeemaker again.
Stored in your bag or in your office desk, instant coffee is always there to save the day and give you that much needed cup of coffee when you need it. While the exact amount varies by the preparation method, instant coffee generally has less caffeine compared to ground coffee, so you can enjoy it throughout the day.
Whole Bean Coffee
Ground coffee (you need to ground the whole beans to process them) is usually drunk in a coffee shops or when you make coffee using traditional coffee makers (not capsules or pods).
The thing to remember when you purchase whole bean coffee is that you need to ground the beans before you can brew your cup of coffee. Unless you are prepared to grind the coffee beans yourself, you should buy ground coffee beans or ask your barista to ground it at the store.
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.