Instant coffee. The name says it all. Pour coffee powder in a mug, add a little hot water, and, voila! Coffee is served.
Now, this kind of coffee is not for all. Some people live by it while others consider it brown piss in a cup.
Regardless of your views, let’s take a moment to take a look at instant coffee while considering other quick methods for brewing a cup of coffee.
Instant Coffee IS NOT Real Coffee
Instant coffee is considered by some as not being an authentic cup of coffee. We’ve already wrote an extensively on coffee roasts, coffee history (Dutch, Indonesian, Vietnam) and strange coffee, however, let’s try to debunk this myth.
Instant coffee, also known as soluble coffee, coffee powder, and coffee crystals, is made from real coffee beans. Using roasted coffee beans, the aroma and flavor is extracted by using pressurized, heated water then concentrated using either a freeze drying or spray drying method.
Advantages of Instant Coffee
The main reason why most people depend on instant coffee is due to its speed of preparation. Instant coffee works by dissolving in hot water and making it ready to drink.
For the makers behind instant coffee, it has a longer shelf life and lower shipping weight. For the housewives and househusbands (yes, those are real), the only thing you have to clean is your cup. For environmentalist, research suggests that it has a lower environmental impact compared to traditional coffee methods.
However, as wonderful as this may sound, there is nothing better than a strong cup of coffee from the bean.
7 Ways To Make “Instant” (i.e. Fast) Coffee
- The Aeropress. This has to be one of the most convenient coffee makers on the planet. If you aren’t grinding your own bean with a Hario Hand Grinder, then you can simply use your favorite freshly ground coffee to make a cup. Boil the water. Press the plunger. Your coffee is ready.
- French Press. Another quick coffee alternative is the French Press. Similar to the process mentioned above, this coffee can be made in a similar amount of time as instant coffee. You can save the clean up for when you get home if you’re busy running out the door.
- Bodum Aeropress Travel Mug. Here’s something that let’s you enjoy a quick coffee while on the go. Bodum has designed a way for coffee lovers rushing out the door to enjoy a delicious brew. To enjoy this travel mug all you need is some coffee grounds, hot water, and a slow enough pace as to not spill coffee on yourself.
- Hario V60 Decanter. The pour-over method with this Hario V60 is great for both a long, steeping brew or a quick, immediate fix. Having a Hario let’s you prepare a strong cup of coffee while you pack together a few last minute items before heading to the office.
- Keurig Coffee Maker. You know those K-cup machines? Well, this is one of them. Simply take a prepackaged plastic coffee cup, stick it in the machine, close the lid, and your coffee will be prepared. Perhaps this is what the future of instant coffee is going to be.
By the way, if Keurig isn’t for you, check out the Nespresso coffee maker, it makes a high quality quick coffee.
- BUNN BXB Velocity Brew. This machine was designed for those who need not just one coffee, but ten cups of coffee made quickly. It takes just 3 minutes for the pot to be prepared and that’s just enough time to shave, shower, and all other s-related things in the morning.
- Braun Brew Sense. Here’s a coffee maker that will have your coffee made right around the time you wake up. The Braun Brew Sense can be prepared the evening (i.e. filter and coffee grounds set) and set to start brewing just a few minutes before your alarm goes off. Pretty good, right?
Instant vs. Fresh Coffee
Instant coffee has its place. In those desperate situations when you have nothing better to drink, the instant brew will always do. However, have you ever wondered what was the difference between the two?
Fresh coffee, the kind of coffee made from freshly roasted and ground beans, has many flavours, oils and other qualities that instant coffee does not. Fresh coffee has a range of flavours that are distinct, sweet, fruity, etc.
From a caffeine point of view, freshly brewed coffee (especially a cup made with freshly ground bean) tends to have more caffeine than instant. Instant coffee tends to be made with a darker roast (which has lower caffeine) and some caffeine is lost during the process of making it.
Instant coffee is a loyal, and trusted backup drink to have just in case you forgot to stock up on fresh beans during the week. The quick brewing coffee methods above take less than a few minutes to make a cup and can easily satisfy the necessity to have a quick cup of coffee anytime of the day.