What is Instant Coffee and Should You Drink It?

What is Instant Coffee and Should You Drink It?

I first tried instant coffee many many years ago, way before I discovered how much I loved coffee.  Even then, I could tell that there was something completely different about it.  It didn’t taste anything like coffee… Or did it just taste like bad coffee…??

What is Instant Coffee?

So what is instant coffee anyway?  Instant coffee is made from coffee that has been roasted and extracted,  similar to using a percolator, and then dried.  Is it just me, or does that not sound like real coffee??  There are two different ways that instant coffee is dried, spray-drying, and freeze drying.

Spray-drying is when the coffee extract is sprayed into hot air.  The hot air then dries the extract, which then turns into a soluble powder.

Freeze drying is the process where the coffee extract is frozen and then cut into small pieces.  Then they are dried at a low temperature and under vacuum.

So really, instant coffee is just astronaut food….right!?

Should you Drink Instant Coffee?

Should you drink instant coffee?  Well I’m not your boss, so I can’t tell you that you should or shouldn’t drink instant coffee.  Personally, I don’t drink it, and I never plan to ever again (which would explain the lack of pictures in this post).  But you are probably an adult and I’ll respect your decision without judgement.  Instead of saying yay or nay, I’ll just give you a few pros and cons of drinking instant coffee, then you can decide all on your own.

Pros and Cons of Instant Coffee

Why you should drink instant coffee:

  • Instant coffee is incredibly convenient.  It only takes a few seconds to make a cup of instant coffee.
  • It’s easier to make than learning how to use a coffee brewer.  All you have to do is pour and stir.
  • Instant coffee requires absolutely no cleanup.  You don’t have to spend time cleaning your brewer, and there’s no waste.

Why you should NOT drink instant coffee:

  • Instant coffee does not taste as good as regular brewed coffee.  If you drink regular coffee, and then try instant coffee, you won’t have to be an expert to tell the difference in the two.
  • Instant coffee is not made using fair trade coffee beans.  They are typically made with inferior coffee beans to keep the price down, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I have never seen a brand of instant coffee that uses fair trade practices.
  • If you drink coffee for the caffeine, there’s actually much less in instant coffee.

Conclusion

If the only reason you drink instant coffee is because it is incredibly convenient, and fast, there are other options out there which taste WAAAAY better.  An Aeropress coffee maker is very inexpensive, and can brew a very excellent cup of coffee in just a matter of seconds.  You can purchase one here.  Using a french press takes only 4-5 minutes, with minimal cleanup.  You can read more about that in my post on how to make the perfect french press.

As I said earlier, I’m not going to tell you if you should or shouldn’t drink instant coffee, but my stance on it is that I do not, and all because of the reasons stated above.  I am very passionate about fair trade, and direct trade coffee.  You can read more about that here.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you drink instant coffee?  If you don’t, or do, I’d love to hear your reasons either way!

 

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