Instant coffee vs brewed coffee questions? There are three types of people: brewed enthusiasts, instant coffee lovers, and people who don’t drink coffee. For this article, let’s focus on the first two. Usually, it’s all peace until you ask those two to tell you which is better: instant coffee or brewed coffee?
If you prefer your coffee to be quick and easy to make, then instant coffee it is. If you prefer the best experience available and can burn out some time and cash, brewed coffee is better.
But what exactly are the variables that determine which one is better for you? Let us look at each one, so by the end of this read, you’ll be a coffee aficionado.
Instant Coffee Vs Brewed Coffee
Caffeine Content Is Higher For Ground Coffee
It may be common knowledge already, but ground coffee has higher caffeine content when compared to instant coffee. Through research studies, we find that instant coffee contains 60-80 mg of caffeine per cup compared to ground coffee’s 60-120 mg per cup.
It means that instant coffee can have half the amount of caffeine when compared to ground coffee. But what does this imply exactly?
Caffeine is a type of drug called a stimulant. A stimulant is a drug that promotes alertness. Caffeine specifically acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist, which helps counteract or block adenosine receptors.
What exactly is an adenosine receptor, and why does blocking it helps us stay awake? Adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. It means that when the adenosine receptor is blocked (the receptor that acknowledges the presence of adenosine), your body will not feel sleepy.
It means that when you want to stay awake for a longer time, ground coffee does a better job. However, there are also some side effects of heavy caffeine consumption and let’s look at that.
According to research studies, caffeine is likely safe when the amount taken is less than 400 mg per day. However, caffeine can get quickly unsafe when one takes more than the specified amount. Studies show caffeine can cause nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, stomach irritation, heartburns, nausea, increased heart rates, and respiration, and more.
More Inferior Taste, Lower Price
If there is one thing you can rely on brewed enthusiasts to trash talk about when it comes to instant coffee, it’s always the same thing: that taste, it’s gross to many. It is pretty standard for instant coffee lovers to defend their drink, however. Usually, they will reason out that at least instant coffee is cheap and easy to make.
It is a pretty well-known fact that instant coffee is a pretty cheap drink, especially when compared to ground coffee. Although it might be easy to think that instant coffee wins it because of its cheaper price tag, think again. Why exactly is ground coffee more expensive?
Ground coffee has had flavors just blatantly superior when compared to instant coffee. Some oils give the coffee flavors in which, during the production of instant coffee, are dissolved. Furthermore, instant coffee most often uses inferior Robusta coffee beans when compared to the better Arabica beans.
Starbucks reported that they would never use Robusta beans for their coffee. Starbucks coffee engagement manager Aaron Robinson when asked why they don’t use Robusta beans, once said, “So, what’s the problem? Well, the flavor. It comes down to flavor. And that less refined flavor is absolutely the reason we don’t even touch it.”
Studies report that Arabica beans thrive on higher altitudes than Robusta, wherein they grow at elevations between 3000 feet and 6000 feet. It has also been common knowledge within coffee growers that the stronger the altitude, the better the flavor.
It is because hot days and cool nights on high elevations slow down the growth of coffee cherries. It, in turn, gives the beans more time to develop, thus contributing to a more refined flavor.
Additionally, Aaron Robinson, the Starbucks coffee engagement manager, also stated the following regarding the higher quality Arabica beans, “It can be elegant. It can be complex. It can have body and acidity that is interesting and can be used and played with and blended into new, interesting tastes. At the end of the day, our heart is in quality.”
Ease And Convenience
Instant coffee itself is the reincarnation of the word “ease.” Despite instant coffee’s lackluster flavor compared to brewed coffee, no one can deny the ease of use and convenience when it comes to instant coffee.
Go to any kitchen counter, and you’ll spot our good old friend instant coffee. It’s known for its ease of preparation; instant coffee can be used and made within five minutes, contrary to its deluxe counterpart, ground coffee which needs more process time for production.
There’s also another reason why instant coffee lovers love instant coffee so much, which is availability. Virtually any convenience store or any marts around the world sell instant coffee in one way or another. Instant coffee is also available in many flavors and variations.
The Health Plan
There’s always that misconception regarding instant food. Instant food, including instant coffee, is highly unhealthy and full of preservatives. Though valid for other instant food products, instant coffee is a sore outlier.
Instant coffee has shown to have more or less the same health benefits as ground coffee, albeit slightly different. A research study once showed that you could directly compare almost all health benefits from ground coffee to the ones available on instant coffee.
Most of the differences are negligible except for a few differences. One of these critical differences is potassium. Studies suggest that the potassium levels of ground coffee are double that of instant coffee.
However, instant coffee also has its perks. Studies are signifying that instant coffee has more antioxidants when compared to ground coffee.
Remember that there are many antioxidants found in our fruits and vegetables, and coffee should not be the sole source of our diet.
Since ground coffee contains more caffeine, the positive effects of caffeine also follow suit. These effects include improved physical and cognitive performance, increased mental alertness, and even decreased fatigue.
There are reports regarding instant coffee’s effects on metabolic syndromes. In a study conducted in Korea, results show that instant coffee can have a detrimental effect and have elevated risks of metabolic conditions such as abdominal obesity, hypo-HDL cholesterolemia, and general obesity.
However, these effects come from the excessive intake of sugar and powder creamer on instant coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions About Instant and Ground Coffee
Is Instant Coffee Real Coffee?
A: Yes, of course, instant coffee is real coffee. Instant coffee comes from ground coffee beans, then brewed (yes brewed!), and then freeze-dried and made into powder. You can then mix these powder or flakes with water to create your coffee.
Which Coffee Bean Contains More Caffeine, Arabica Or Robusta?
A: Even though ground coffee, more commonly made of Arabica, has more caffeine, Robusta takes the cake for caffeine content. Robusta coffee contains more than twice the caffeine when compared to Arabica.
Are K Cups Instant Coffee?
A: No, K cups are not instant coffee. Unlike instant coffee, which is pre-brewed, K Cups need brewing first before consumption.