Making sense of the different types of coffee can be a challenge at times.

This post will show you the differences between instant coffee and ground coffee.

So, what is the difference between instant coffee and ground coffee? Instant coffee is coffee that was brewed then dried and frozen allowing you to make coffee with it by just adding water. Ground coffee is coffee beans that have been ground into small pieces.

There are actually a number of differences in the way that they taste, are made and in the way that they are used.

Differences between ground coffee and instant coffee

Below, I will show you the differences between instant coffee and ground coffee, why you might want to use one over the other, drinks you can make with them and how they taste.

Instant coffee

Instant coffee is coffee that has been brewed then frozen and dried. This means that, to make coffee with instant coffee, all you need to do is to add hot water to it.

Instant coffee is ideal for when you want to be able to make coffee quickly and not have to spend a lot of time cleaning things up either.

Most instant coffee is made from Robusta beans that are cheap with a dark roast. The reason that they have a dark roast is that some of the beans used will be bad and a dark roast can help to cover that up.

As a result of this instant coffee tends to have a more woody taste that is more bitter. Instant coffee can taste good if it is made using higher quality ingredients which is why I would recommend using a 100% Arabica version instead of regular instant coffee.

Another benefit of using instant coffee is that it lasts much longer than ground coffee unless it has been mixed with water. Instant coffee will usually last for years if untouched and stored in a cool dry place. Whereas, to get the full flavor out of ground coffee, it will be necessary to use it within a week but it can be stored for up to 3 months.

There are many different types of instant coffee flavors that you can get including:

  • Mocha (chocolatey)
  • Cinnamon
  • Caramel
  • Almond
  • Orange

Whereas, with ground coffee, you only are able to change the flavor by using a different type of bean. However, you can change the taste of ground coffee by adding your own flavorings when brewing it.

You can watch the video below to see how instant coffee is made.

Questions people ask about instant coffee

Does instant coffee contain caffeine? Yes, instant coffee contains caffeine.

Will instant coffee dissolve in cold water? Yes, but it might not dissolve completely depending on the brand.

Will instant coffee keep me awake? Instant coffee contains caffeine so it will keep you awake.

Ground Coffee

Ground coffee is what you get after grinding coffee beans.

Unlike with instant coffee, to make brewed coffee with ground coffee it will be necessary for you to add hot water to it and then to filter away the undissolved coffee.

There are a number of ways to make brewed coffee using ground coffee two of the popular ways are to either use the drip method or to use a french press.

To make brewed coffee using the drip method you put ground coffee into a paper filter which is located above a glass pot and then add hot water to the ground coffee. The hot water will then mix with the ground coffee and drip into the glass pot below it leaving the undissolved coffee in the filter above.

The advantage of using the drip method is that it is easy to do. However, it doesn’t give you a lot of control over the way that the coffee tastes.

A French press is a pot that has a plunger in it. To make brewed coffee using a French press you just need to put the ground coffee and hot water in the French press, wait a few minutes, press the plunger down and pour the coffee out.

It is easy to make brewed coffee using a French press and you can control the strength of the coffee by waiting for longer or for less time before pushing the plunger down.

The French press that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.

Ground coffee can also be used to make espresso.

Espresso is the mixture that you get when you push hot water through finely ground coffee. It is dense, rich and has a slightly bitter taste. It also has a Crema on top which is a foamy substance that is very bitter some people prefer to remove it with a spoon while others like to drink it with the espresso.

There are a number of different ways to make espresso. Three of the main ways to make espresso are either to use a traditional espresso machine, a pod-style machine or to use a stovetop espresso machine. I have written about how to make espresso using these machines in the past here.

The way that the ground coffee tastes, when brewed, will depend largely on the beans used to make it, their roast, origin, blend and how finely they are ground.

Arabica beans will normally give a more high-quality taste but they are expensive and sometimes they can taste sour. Whereas, Robusta beans will give a more bitter taste but they are cheaper. Generally, a blend of the two is recommended but it would be better for you to try them both and see which you prefer.

If the beans have a light roast then it will cause the coffee to have a slightly less bitter taste but they can taste sour. Whereas, it is the opposite when the beans have a dark roast.

If the beans are ground too finely then it can cause the coffee to have a bitter taste, especially when making espresso. This is because a fine grind will cause more of the water to mix with the ground coffee. You want some of the ground coffee to mix with the water but not too much.

To get the best taste out of ground coffee it is generally recommended to use them within a week of grinding them. This is an advantage that instant coffee has over ground coffee since instant coffee can be stored for years.

Questions people ask about ground coffee

Is ground coffee cheaper than beans? Generally, it is. This is because it is cheaper to transport, there is a higher demand for it and cheaper beans are normally used to make it.

How to store ground coffee? It is generally recommended to store it in a cool dry place in an airtight seal. It is not recommended to store it in the fridge since it will be too moist.


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