Why is it that some instant coffee is powdered while others are crystals? What is the difference between the two and which one is better? What does freeze-dried and spray dried coffee mean? These are some questions that we hear very often and we're here with all the answers.
How is instant coffee made?
The making of instant coffee requires the roasting and grinding of coffee beans like you do with regular ground coffee. The ground coffee beans are then dissolved in hot water in order to extract the flavour and aroma of the coffee. This liquid coffee solution of coffee and water is then dried and the end-product is what we call instant coffee. The major difference between the types of instant coffee lies in how the coffee is dried. Depending on the drying process, there are two types of instant coffee.
Our newly launched bold coffee is the highest quality of instant coffee available in the market. It’s freeze-dried using 100% arabica beans. Here’s why it’s better:
Spray-Dried Instant Coffee
- Spray-dried coffee is one of the fastest and most cost-effective type of instant coffee that is produced.
- In the spray-drying process, the liquid coffee solution is turned into tiny droplets using an atomizer.
- The droplets are dried in very hot air (approx. from 80 to 180˚C) and evaporate leaving behind the coffee powder.
- The coffee loses most of its flavour when it is spray-dried.
- With spray-dried coffee, the texture of the coffee powder is usually very fine for most people.
- The coffee powder has to go through an extra production process in order to fuse the powder to form coffee granules.
Freeze-Dried Instant Coffee
- Most coffee drinkers are quite aware of the fact that freeze-dried coffee is the highest quality of instant coffee.
- Unlike the spray-drying process, when coffee is freeze-dried it retains all its flavour and aroma.
- However this process is much more complex and expensive, which is why most brands prefer spray-drying their coffee.
- When coffee is freeze-dried, the solution of the coffee extract is frozen solid and then broken into smaller granules.
- The smaller frozen granules are then dried in a vacuum in mid-temperature.
- Heat is then applied which forces any ice crystals to turn to gas in a process known as sublimation leaving behind freeze-dried coffee granules.
The best Instant Coffee
Keeping aside the drying process for coffee, the best quality of coffee can also be defined in terms of the quality of the beans used in the process. The most popular types of coffee beans used are Arabica and Robusta. Most brands usually use a blend of arabica and robusta, but the best freeze-dried instant coffee is the one which is made with 100% premium arabica beans. Arabica beans have a brighter and more fruity or floral taste, compared to Robusta beans which are harsher in taste.
If you are used to drinking spray-dried coffee (most brands), you are probably used to a bitter aftertaste. In fact freeze dried coffee is preferred worldwide and was only introduced in India very recently. It feels different at first - super smooth and no bitter taste. But after a few cups, you'll be hooked. It’s like upgrading to a newer, bigger iPhone. It might feel funny at first but once you switch over there's no going back. We promise.