Why does instant coffee taste so bad? Let’s be honest; instant coffee tastes bad compared to freshly brewed coffee. Even the most popular brands cannot get the exact taste of brewed coffee. Among the common complaints about instant coffee is that it is so bitter that it almost tastes sour.
The culprit for instant coffee’s bad taste is the process of turning it into powder. Manufacturers dehydrate coffee in a hot chamber. As a result, the chemicals in the beans change, which makes instant coffee taste bitter or burnt.
Instant coffee is the fastest way to get your shot of caffeine, but if it tastes terrible, you will not enjoy your daily cup of joe. Fortunately, there are several ways to make instant coffee taste better.
Why Does Instant Coffee Taste So Bad? Here’s The Reason
A lot of people love coffee, especially in the morning. A shot of caffeine is all they need to kick in their energy and start their day.
However, making freshly brewed coffee is no doubt time-consuming. You have to ground your coffee, brew it, and let it steep before you can enjoy a cup.
Fortunately, instant coffee became popular.
But instant coffee is never the same as ground coffee. Sometimes, it even tastes terrible. The reason is the method used to turn it into powder.
The process of making powdered instant coffee starts as a real, liquid coffee. Companies harvest beans, roast them, and make a concentrated brew out of them. If manufacturers use lousy coffee, the instant coffee will turn out quite bad-tasting.
On the other hand, if the coffee is high in quality, it will become good instant coffee. Still, it is essential to note that instant coffee will never taste like a fresh brew.
But the problem is that instant coffee is used to serve quick, affordable, and bulk amounts of packed coffee. For this reason, each step, from selecting beans to the brewing temperature, does not get the care and attention needed to make a great-tasting brew.
Moreover, the process of preserving coffee flavors begins with the dehydration of liquid coffee. Most known brands have a warm, dry chamber where they spray massive amounts of concentrated coffee.
The chamber will dehydrate each tiny droplet in midair. The solid remains will then fall and collect at the bottom of the chamber. Such is the same process that manufacturers use for making powdered milk, powdered eggs, and powdered dyes.
Additionally, the dehydration process is the least expensive and efficient way to make large quantities of instant coffee. However, the intense heat that the liquid coffee undergoes sacrifices the taste of the finished product.
Spraying liquid coffee into the dehydration chamber means exposing it to intense heat. The heat changes the chemicals in the coffee. As a result, it turns out burnt, bitter, or sour.
Some companies use a freeze-drying process for making instant coffee in order to preserve more flavor. However, this method is much more expensive than dehydration. If you are familiar with lightweight camping food or crunchy dried berries in cereals, freeze-drying is the method used to make them.
While the freeze-drying method can make instant coffee taste better, it will also make it more expensive. Such is the reason why only a few instant coffee companies utilize this process.
Making Your Instant Coffee Taste Better
Most people who have tried instant coffee complain about its chalky consistency and bitter, nearly sour taste. However, there is no denying that it is still the most convenient way to have a dose of coffee while traveling, camping, or hiking. The reason is that instant coffee does not require any equipment.
If you constantly rush in the morning, instant coffee could save you from being late for your train. But despite all the benefits, we can all agree that instant coffee still has plenty of room for improvement.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can do to make your instant coffee taste better.
1. Use a bit of cold water to dissolve the coffee
The fastest way to make instant coffee taste better is to dissolve the coffee powder with a bit of cold water before adding hot water. This process will allow you to reduce the bitterness and acidity that instant coffee has. In addition, using cold water to dissolve the coffee mix will cut down the sourness that you taste when you mix it directly with hot water.
2. Add a slice of butter for silky coffee texture
Adding butter to coffee may seem odd. However, the truth is that it is a popular coffee craze.
Butter brings the best taste out of your coffee, especially when it is instant coffee. It allows you to reduce the bitterness of coffee and give it a silky texture.
A little slice of butter and a bit of cream to your cup of coffee will let you taste an entirely new flavor.
3. Mix your instant coffee with a spoon of cocoa powder
If you are a chocolate-coffee aficionado, this trick will work best for you. There is no doubt the coffee makes everything better. That also applies to instant coffee.
Before mixing your instant coffee with hot water, add in one to two scoops of cocoa powder. It is up to you if you will use sweetened or unsweetened chocolate powder. Once you added water to your cocoa and coffee mixture, you can enjoy a quick cup of mocha coffee.
4. Use cinnamon to add some spice to your joe
Sometimes, coffee tastes a little flavor-lacking. Adding a dash of cinnamon is an excellent way to add flavor to your cup of coffee. The reason is that cinnamon is spicy, but it will not overpower the original taste of your coffee.
In addition, cinnamon is a much healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners.
Before adding water to your cup of instant coffee, mix it with a small scoop of powdered cinnamon. Mix the two powders. Before adding sweetener and any liquid, such as water or milk, sprinkle a bit of extra cinnamon on top.
5. Add frothed milk to reduce sourness in your coffee
As mentioned, instant coffee can taste more bitter than fresh brew. Fortunately, you can easily eliminate that bitterness using frothed milk.
A good amount of frothed milk added to your instant coffee will help you neutralize its acidity. You do not need any fancy machine for this step. You can even do the frothing manually but note that it will take some time for the bubbles to form.
Froth either warm or cold milk in a separate container before adding a scoop to your coffee mug. Apart from improving the taste of your instant coffee, it will also make it elegant-looking.
Instant Coffee FAQs
Is Instant Coffee Bad For Your Health?
Instant coffee has slightly less caffeine than brewed ground coffee. It also has most of the antioxidants that fresh coffee has. When you consume just the right amount of instant coffee, you can consider it as a healthy and low-calorie beverage.
Is Instant Coffee Beneficial For Weight Loss?
Freshly brewed black coffee may be suitable for people who are trying to lose weight. The reason is that caffeine lets your body burn fat. So, when you drink a cup of instant coffee, you can burn off some calories, which results in losing some weight.
What Are The Advantages Of Instant Coffee?
Instant coffee has several benefits:
– Longer shelf life than ground coffee
– Speed of preparation
– Lower shipping weight than ground coffee