Which is Better: Instant or Whole Bean Coffee?

According to a 2014 Euromonitor report between 2000 and 2014, nearly 50% of the world’s population prefers instant rather than fresh coffee. But in Brazil, people mostly have fresh, whole bean coffee rather than the instant ones. It really dominates the market.

What’s actually the difference, characteristics between instant and ground coffee beans? We have the information about which one is best for you.

First of all, we’re gonna talk about the instant coffee. What on earth is that?

It’s real coffee and the coffee beans, they’re seeds.

Coffee is actually the product of a cherry. It’s generally round and red and there are two seeds inside of each cherry. But peaberry is another different thing, which the seeds didn’t split. The different processing methods all affect the different flavours of the coffee. The beans are then dried, roasted, and ready for brewing.

They harvested the cherries and they’re processed differently depending on each methods. The methods could also affected the taste of the coffee beans later. At this point is where the instant coffee and whole bean coffee finally art ways.

Read More About Coffee : Coffee Bean Craft Ideas For Coffee Lovers

We can call it the product of impressive science.

coffee shop

How is instant coffee made?

Check out the instant coffee factory and you can come across huge vats of the most loved brew ready for you. What’s involved in the process? The water compounds are revoked, ready to be added later in time by consumers in their kitchen. It could be called dehydration, about the process. All that remains are the dissolved coffee compounds.

The methods of dehydration can be done through one of two processes which are spray-drying or freeze-drying. It’s worth nothing that some additional compounds can be lost, especially caffeine and the aroma compounds, although the quality of the current process affects this. Some manufacturers will add to additional compounds to compensate.

Brewing Differences

With instant coffee it’s a lot more simple. Just pour some crystals into a cup, add hot water and it’s done.

With whole beans, it’s pretty different. You must grind the coffee first, brew it with filter or mostly known as pour over method, could be using V60 or perhaps Kalita Wave, then remove those wasted grounds. It’s a new window for loyal coffee drinkers because there are some unexpected elements to play with including coffee ratios, water temperatures and the methods of pour over to create the perfect cup.

For heavy, body coffee you can use French Press or Aeropress instead of V60. To reduce bitterness and get the balance of sweetness and acidity you need to shorten the time of extraction and grind the coffee coarse with quicker brewing time or with water temperature that’s not too hot.

Instant coffee will always taste the same. Fresh grind coffee, will taste as the brewer create it and the way the brewer want to crafts it.

soda coffee

Which is Better?

  • Cost & Benefits

Instant coffee will always be cheaper and a lot easier. Just boil the kettle and it’ done.

But it all depends about which you prefer, does it worth it? The taste, aroma and all other elements.

  • Quality & Taste

The winner of this category is obviously whole beans. The coffee beans itself is always the major factor for coffee’s quality. If you want to get it with lower price, Robusta coffee it is. The taste would be harsher and heavier. As an organic product, coffee loses its flavour over time. Coffee traders often refer to past crop coffee: beans harvested the year before that have faded flavours and aromas. These coffees are then sold at cheaper rates. Again, this makes them a prime candidate for instant coffee.

It’s possible to create instant coffee out of high quality beans but only on rare circumstances. Low quality whole beans coffee are also in the market.

coffee shop

The Brewing Process

Coffee brewing is actually science and very very complex. Yet one of the most important things to know is that different flavour compounds are extracted at different stages of brewing. In result, if a coffee is brewed for too long, it becomes bitter. Think of it when you’re cooking something for too long, it would be burned. It is possible to use perfectly extracted coffee for instant, it is unlikely.

Aroma & Flavours

Finally, as we’ve already discussed, some of the flavour and aroma compounds can be lost when instantising. And the strongest aromas are always generated as the hot water first hits, and reacts with, the dry grounds – a moment that, with instant, happened months or even years before the consumer sat down to enjoy their coffee.

Aroma has a burden of responsibility of flavour, like a tastebuds but it’s the nose. meaning this fact can have a huge impact on the drinker’s experience. It has a huge impact on the drinker’s experience. Here’s a tip: it’s always nice to take the lid off your coffee before drinking it.


No, drinking instant coffee is not bad for you despite all the rumors in the air. Unless your instant coffee contains a lot of sugar and you consume it daily. There are no exact evidence that instant coffee is any better or worse for your caffeine needs.

Environmental Impact

2015 UK Barista Champion, Co-Owner of Colonna & Smalls Specialty Coffee, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood stated that instant is the best coffee out there if environmental impact is the only goal.

What? Instant undergoes greater processing and we often – rightly – associate processing with a heavier environmental footprint. Yet with a much lower ratio of packaging to number of coffees brewed (assuming you’re not purchasing the one-use packages that you see in hotels), and the waste grounds disposed of by large-scale factories with appropriate refuse systems, instant is actually greener.

Doesn’t mean whole bean coffee consumers can’t look after the environment or careless about it. There are several ways to reduce our impact on the world, such as the right waste disposal, recycling and reusing coffee grounds and use real cups.

The choice is in your hands, the consumers. Which one do you prefer best, the simple and easy way to have your cup of joe or do you want to enjoy the best coffee could offer you?


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