What is Freeze Drying and Why do We Use it?
We freeze dry our coffee to preserve the freshness and aroma of the coffee beans, but there is much more to this unique technology.
The history and nowadays
The first users of the freeze drying method were the Incas! After harvesting their crops, they would store the food on the tops of mountains where they would freeze, and the water would slowly vaporize out of the crops. This would happen due to low temperatures and high mountain altitudes.
With modern technology, it is no longer necessary to store our food at the top of mountains... Nowadays, freeze drying is used for food, medicine, mechanics, and several other applications. It is also commonly used for astronauts as the freeze-dried food will not be affected by the change in pressure and atmosphere, it is lighter to transport and lasts for longer time. NASA was actually the first organization that made freeze-drying a more widely known method for processing food.
How freeze-drying works
Freeze drying food means removing all of the water from it. Moisture in food promotes bacteria growth which causes food to go bad, so removing the liquid will keep the food edible longer. First, the product is frozen at about -50° C. Then, the primary drying sublimation phase begins, where the pressure is lowered to allow the water to sublimate. Sublimation is the process of when the ice immediately changes to steam, without defrosting first. Almost all of the water is removed 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, it is quite a complicated process to preserve the flavors of your foods.
Watch this video to learn more about how coffee is freeze dried.
Perks of Freeze-dried
Freeze-dried meals can be stored for years, which comes in handy for all you doomsday prepares out there. Even if you believe the world will be around for the considerable future, freeze-dried foods can be great to have in case of emergency like hurricanes or tornadoes and can be very useful for long trips camping or traveling. Not only does it last longer, but it becomes much less heavy and easier to store. Freeze-dried food lasts for months or years and does not require any refrigeration or special care to keep it “fresh.” It can also be easily rehydrated unlike dehydrated foods. These dried foods can be stored anywhere regardless of temperature or altitude, making it perfect for people living in extreme climates where food cannot be easily stored or grown.
Freeze-drying also keeps the original integrity of the food or drink—it maintains smell, taste, and generally the shape of the original foods. With freeze drying, there are also no other ingredients added to keep the product fresh. With most air dried and infused products, sugar or preservatives are added to make sure they last longer and keep their original flavor. Freeze drying eliminates the need for this step and makes the end product more natural and authentic. It is also maintaining the highest amount of nutrients compared to other drying methods.
Lastly, it is considered the best food for survival supplies. Though it is hard to plan for emergency, having freeze-dried food and drinks on hand is a great way to ensure that you are always prepared for the worst. Many disaster kits are composed of freeze-dried products because of their nutrient value, size, weight, and long-lasting characteristics. This is also why using these products is perfect for camping and backpacking as they are relatively weightless, which is very important for backpackers that also carry 30-60 pounds of other materials to trek with every day.
Waka’s freeze dried coffee
Just as freeze-drying foods and drinks maintain the original taste and integrity of the raw material, the same goes for coffee. Using the freeze-drying method keeps the amazing depth of flavor that comes from our Arabica beans. The freeze-drying method also keeps the aroma intact to ensure holistic and perfect coffee drinking experience.
Watch this video to learn how to make Waka Coffee.
Another reason why using freeze-dried coffee is a good idea is because it is so easy to store. Waka Coffee’s premium freeze-dried coffee comes in easily stored bags and packets that can be slipped into a pocket for a day at the office or kept in the pantry or busy mornings. It easily dissolves in hot and cold water too!
Some instant coffee companies use a different method (spray-drying) to create their product. That method involves pumping hot coffee in a fine mist through hot and dry air. The dry air then sucks all of the moisture out of the coffee leaving only the dried granules behind. This method sacrifices the taste of the coffee because it burns the coffee and therefore removes the depth of flavor and leads to a more bitter taste.
Waka Coffee makes sure never to compromise taste or quality with instant coffee. It is just as good, if not better than a brewed cup of coffee. Using freeze-dried coffee is also incredibly easy, as it takes seconds to dissolve in warm or cold water. What’s not to love?
Try Waka Coffee's freeze dried coffee here.