The main difference between instant coffee and ground coffee is that instant coffee has lower caffeine levels than ground coffee.
Instant coffee and ground coffee are two options you can choose when you are making a cup of coffee. Ground coffee is made of ground coffee beans, while instant coffee is made of brewed coffee beans.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Instant Coffee
– Definition, Features
2. What is Ground Coffee
– Definition, Features
3. Difference Between Instant Coffee and Ground Coffee
– Comparison of Key Differences
Ground Coffee, Instant Coffee
What is Instant Coffee
Instant coffee or soluble coffee is the dried coffee extract made by brewing regular coffee at a more concentrated level. After the coffee is brewed, the water content is removed, resulting in coffee powder or dry fragments, which we can easily hydrate again before use. As its name implies, instant coffee takes very little time to make. It is also cheaper than ground coffee. However, it has lower caffeine levels than ground coffee. Most instant coffee brands in the market are usually made from Robusta coffee beans, which gives instant coffee a stronger and bolder taste.
There are two main ways to make instant coffee: freeze-drying method and spray-drying method. Freeze-drying has three steps and is a bit complicated. Spray-drying method, on the other hand, is the most commonly used method and involves spraying the brewed coffee inside a large tower, where warm air is circulated. This makes the coffee particles dry, and then they gather at the bottom of the tower.
What is Ground Coffee
Ground coffee is made up of ground coffee beans. It’s what brewed coffee is made of. We can use ground coffee just like we would use teat – add hot water, let it steep for a bit, and then strain and drink. Generally, fresh ground is better than pre-ground coffee. Moreover, the fresher the coffee, the better the taste.
Ground coffee is available in different grind sizes, and each of them has different uses. Their size can range from powder-like to coarse ground. Grind size can actually affect the taste of the coffee. The very fine, almost powdery form is typically used for Turkish and espresso while medium-fine grind size is good for filter coffee and Moka. Medium-coarse size is better for pour-over, while coarse grind size is good for French press and cold brewing, which typically involve longer brewing times.
Furthermore, ground coffee has a higher caffeine content than instant coffee. Hot water absorbs the caffeine in the coffee, and the longer the coffee stays in the water, the more caffeine will get extracted.
Difference Between Instant Coffee and Ground Coffee
Instant coffee is the dried coffee extract made by brewing regular coffee at a more concentrated level, while ground coffee is made up of ground coffee beans.
Instant coffee has lower caffeine levels than ground coffee.
Instant coffee is cheaper than ground coffee.
Taste and Aroma
Ground coffee has a stronger taste and a better aroma than instant coffee.
Instant coffee will dissolve in water, but ground coffee does not dissolve in water.
Instant coffee does not require a long-brewing time, but ground coffee requires a comparatively longer brewing time.
The main difference between instant coffee and ground coffee is that instant coffee has lower caffeine levels than ground coffee. In addition, instant coffee is cheaper and of poorer quality than ground coffee.
1. “Instant coffee” By Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Top view of spoon of ground coffee and a jar of coffee on white background” By Editor at Large – Own work (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia