There are many ways to brew coffee (all of which we hope to cover on this site), but the fastest way to get a hot cup of coffee is to drink an instant coffee. I can feel your distaste now – “Instant coffee’s not real coffee!” I get it. Instant coffee is not for purists, but don’t dismiss it right away if you haven’t tried it. It can actually be pretty tasty!
What is instant coffee, anyway?
Instant coffee is actually nothing more than finely ground coffee that’s first mixed with water and then dehydrated. Just like regular coffee, instant coffee is roasted. Next, the coffee is ground super finely and then dissolved in water. Once it’s dissolved, the coffee is then dehydrated by a variety of methods including freeze drying or spray drying. The final product is a fine powder than can later be dissolved in hot water at home by the consumer. There are no added ingredients so yes, instant coffee is real coffee, just in different form.
For more detailed information, check out this Wikipedia page.
How is instant coffee different from regular coffee?
There are several ways in which instant coffee is different from regular coffee:
- Instant coffee has less caffeine than brewed coffee – about half the amount.
- Instant coffee has less antioxidants (polyphenol) than brewed coffee, also about half.
- If you like super strong coffee, instant coffee will never be as strong.
- There aren’t as many factors that go into making a cup of instant coffee as do into brewing methods. Therefore, there’s less room for variation in the coffee taste. On the positive side, this means that instant coffee is pretty much always going to turn out tasting good. The only thing you’d adjust is the amount of instant coffee powder you’d use.
If I’m gonna drink instant coffee, which one is the best?
I’m definitely no expert, but I am pretty lazy on occasion. When I’m in no mood to wait for coffee, I use Nescafe Espresso Instant Coffee. It’s strong, but smooth and definitely satisfying. In fact, it’s so easy to drink you may be in danger of getting hooked once you try it! Amazon sells a 3.5oz/100g size container for $14.95. You’ll want a nice heaping teaspoon for an 8oz cup, but this will still last you a good while.
Don’t be a snob – give instant coffee a try
It’s not the best brew you will ever have, but it’s a far cry from being the worst. Next time you’re in a hurry or just feeling lazy, give it a go and let me know what you think.