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Coffee in an Instant

It may seem faster and more convenient but what do you sacrifice for that? Instant coffee is still around, though. Let's learn more about it and how it may have evolved over the years.

instant coffee

What is Instant Coffee?

You may be wondering what instant coffee is. Is it a type of grind? Is it a roast level? Is it a way to prepare the coffee? No, none of the above.

Instant coffee is coffee that has been roasted, ground, brewed, and then either freeze-dried or spray-dried. The crystals that are left behind after the drying process can then be mixed with hot water to reconstitute them into liquid coffee again. They can also be used for cooking.

And, yes. Instant coffee is real coffee.

Why are we Talking About Instant Coffee?

Earlier this year, while everyone was going a little stir-crazy during the self-quarantine, a TikTok phenomenon brought instant coffee to the forefront of many people. The Dalgona (or Whipped) Coffee Experiment took the internet by storm. People were whipping their instant coffee and sugar into a concentrated coffee cloud that they then placed on top of a glass of milk or a cup of steamed milk. We briefly mentioned it over on Facebook.

That brought a few people to CoffeeAM looking for instant coffee. But there seemed to be a lot of confusion around it. We thought it was time to address that.

A Brief History

Instant coffee came into being back in the late 1700s in Great Britain. In the late 1800s, this instant coffee evolved into what was called Camp Coffee in Glasgow, Scotland.

Instant coffee came to the US in the mid- to late-1800s, specifically during the American Civil War. The soldiers needed a way to keep up their energy while being able to transport it easily.

In the early 1900s, coffee powder became available commercially, followed closely by coffee crystals introduced in the US by a European immigrant, George Constant Louis Washington. Instant coffee crystals were found to be extremely convenient and grew in popularity during the first World War.

In the 1930s, Nestle introduced Nescafe. Rather than freeze-drying the coffee, they developed heated towers and spray systems to dehydrate the liquid coffee. To this day, Nescafe is one of the most popular instant coffees.

Is it REAL Coffee?

Yes, instant coffee is real coffee. Depending on the method it is dehydrated, the crystals may be regular strength or possibly concentrated. When made correctly, it can taste good. But there is certainly nothing gourmet about it.

Does CoffeeAM Sell Instant Coffee?

Here at CoffeeAM, we do not carry instant coffee. We do have a wide variety of coffee options, including single-origins, organics, fair-trades, blends, and flavored coffees. We also have regular and decaffeinated coffees. You can find syrups and concentrates along with frappe and smoothie mixes. But you will not find instant coffee.

Like we mentioned at the beginning of this, instant coffee is not a type of grind. Therefore, none of the coffees we carry can be ground into instant coffee. It doesn't matter how finely we grind the coffee beans, they will still need to be brewed into a liquid coffee.

We hope this has cleared up any confusion surrounding instant coffee. Have you ever tried instant coffee? If so, what did you think? Would you say there is ever a use for instant coffee?

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