Instant Coffee VS. Ground Coffee

Instant Coffee VS Ground Coffee Comparison

With hectic and busy schedules, planned or unexpected trips, and other concerns pressing for our time and attention, some people turn to instant coffee to get their caffeine fix in a hurry.

Enjoying a fresh cup of coffee can be one of your favorite moments in a day. But with all the things pressing for your attention- and time, it can be challenging to make a freshly brewed cup at home, and stopping at a coffee shop multiple times a day can become costly.

blurred image of crowded street

When youre pressed for time and dont want to make a whole pot of coffee, instant coffee is an obvious choice.

But, how does instant coffee stack up to fresh ground and brewed coffee?

Strengths: Great for travel Super simple No brewer required Quick Preparation with Minimal Cleanup Single-Serving.

Weaknesses: Stale flavor Lackluster aroma Chemicals used in production Added flavors.

Instant coffee touts itself as 'real' coffee, but is it?

Background: The first version of instant coffee was created during the United States Civil war. This version was a coffee/sugar/milk concentrate that mixed with hot water. The drink was extremely unpopular, and its consumption didn't last long. Over the next few decades, "better" versions of instant coffee popped up all over the world. In the 1930s after advancements in its production, instant coffee gained popularity as a convenient alternative to fresh-brewed coffee.

Although coffee is often called a bean because of its appearance, it is actually the seed of a fruit, known as a coffee cherry.

Coffee plant with fruit

The cherries are picked, the seed is separated from the fruit, and then the seed is dried. Once dried, it is called a green coffee bean. Green coffee beans are sent to coffee roasters all over the world and roasted. These roasted beans are the coffee beans you can buy at the grocery store or your favorite coffee shop. Ground coffee is just roasted beans that have been crushed into a smaller size in preparation for brewing. Once ground, the coffee beans can be brewed into a cup of coffee, marking the end of the journey for most traditional coffee.

But for instant coffee, the journey has just begun.

Journey signage
Producing instant coffee takes already brewed coffee and removes the water.

That's why to make a cup of coffee from instant at home you only need to combine it with hot water.

Boiling water is poured from a kettle into a row of coffee mugs.

There are two ways to make instant coffee, and both start with real coffee.

One uses high temperatures, and the other uses low temperatures.

High Temp

Spray Drying: When using the spray drying method to create instant coffee crystals, a concentrated liquid coffee is sprayed as a fine mist into a sweltering and dry chamber. By the time the coffee hits the floor, all of the water has evaporated, leaving behind tiny coffee granules.

Low Temp

Freeze-Drying: The freeze-drying method takes a few more steps. The first step is to cook down the coffee until it becomes an extract. Then, using chemicals, the extract is chilled to -40 degrees where it will freeze together. Next, the block is shattered and dried. The results leave round, crystallized coffee granules.


Instant coffee originates with real coffee, but it is too processed to compete with the flavor of brewed coffee. With instant coffee, you get a cup of Joe as soon as the water mixes with the granules, but the resulting cup is stale and lackluster. We're excited to introduce Dancing Goats® Steeped Coffee- a new, single-serving, brewed coffee option that combines the strengths of instant coffee with the bold, delicious taste of brewed coffee. Check out our blog on steeped coffee to learn all about what makes this new brew method perfect for your on-the-go routine.

A mug of Dancing GOats Steeped Coffee alongside abag of Dancing Goats Steeped Ground Coffee

Let us know what you think of instant coffee by leaving a comment below, or on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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