We know that you’ll not ditch real brewed coffee to an instant coffee. But, there will always come a time where you’ll have no choice but to rely on instant coffee. When that time comes, you’ll eventually wonder how these instant coffees are made.
That’s why we dedicate this article to answer your wondering thoughts about instant coffee.
What’s the Difference?
Instant coffee has been branded by coffee enthusiasts as weak or fake coffee, compared to your regular coffee. They have a negative take when it comes to this water-soluble coffee, but still, some of the companies manage to make it consumable.
Both regular and instant coffee is made with roasted, ground, and brewed coffee beans. But what’s the difference?
The only difference is the process and the result of the process. Compared to regular, the method of making granulated coffee is faster and easier.
In processing regular coffee, after brewing, you can already have a cup of joe. While in instant coffee, the process does not stop with brewing because it's the starting point. The water from the brewed coffee is removed to get the dehydrated crystals for preservation.
The result of this kind of process made the coffee from these dehydrated crystals into a less caffeinated one. This kind of coffee would be good for those who want to lessen their caffeine consumption.
However, instant coffee contains chemical composition twice as regular coffee has. This chemical could be harmful in some cases that can potentially damage our nervous system.
Tracing Granules of History
It was said that this kind of crystallized coffee could be traced in the year 1771 in the land of Great Britain. It was after someone named John Dring got patent for “coffee compound".
While it was only known in the United States after a few decades, during the Civil War, it was when the soldiers look for possible ways that could give them sufficient energy for the battle in 1853.
And soon after many years, in 1890, coffee was patented as “instant coffee” with the help of someone from New Zealand named David Strang.
The Science in the Granules
Science is really everywhere even in making those granulated coffee found on every shelf of your local supermarkets. Are you ready to find out the science behind it? Let’s take a quick peek.
There are two ways to make the brewed coffee into powdered coffee. It could be either through freeze-drying or spray drying.
Have you tried cooking your coffee instead of brewing it? We know you wouldn’t even dare. However, in the freeze-drying method, coffee is cooked to make it down to a strong extract. Afterward, the coffee will be chilled under 20 degrees until the extract becomes globby.
It was once again chilled using a conveyors belt to around -40 degrees Fahrenheit to turn it into solid slabs of coffee and processed to be granulated. The ice was then vaporized in the drying vacuum to get the crystalized coffee.
- Spray Drying
In this next process, hot air temperature is the key. The concentrated coffee liquid is sprayed into 480 degrees Fahrenheit air. Through this process, the water in the coffee will evaporate that will leave the granulated coffee dried up.
Whether you like it regular or instant coffee, the bottom line is, they still both came from the seeds of coffee cherries. In short, they are still both coffees.