What is the difference between instant coffee and ground coffee?
Ground coffee is exactly what it says. Roasted coffee beans ground up to a varying degree depending on the final desired coffee making device e.g. french press, moka, espresso.
Instant coffee follows the same process to create ground coffee. The ground coffee is then brewed industrially and made into a coffee concentrate.
The concentrate is then dried using one of two processes: spray dry or freeze dry. Spray dry being the cheapest of the two and usually resulting in lower quality instant coffee. Freeze drying preserves the coffee flavour better.
So which is better?
We are biased, but you only have to brew up a ground coffee and instant coffee and you will soon notice the difference. First the aroma of ground coffee is much more noticeable and agreeable.
In terms of caffeine, ground coffee usually has around 20% more caffeine per serving.
For either, check you are getting the higher quality Arabica coffee and not the cheaper Robusta. Many instant coffee producers use Robusta, but you can find instant Arabica coffee.
Part of the joy of ground coffee is the brewing process and making the coffee just as you like it. On the flipside, if you don’t care about that or don’t have a coffee making device handy, instant coffee can be convenient.
Ground coffee also boats more health benefits as it is higher in antioxidants, potassium and other vitamins and minerals.
Like many things, it comes down to personal preferences. Do you prioritise taste and quality or convenience and price? Whichever it is, enjoy your brew!