Coffee: Beans or Instant?

Coffee aficionados may baulk at the thought of drinking instant coffee, but is it really as bad as that? The truth is, no, it isn’t, but of course, it all comes down to personal taste and preference.

Making fresh coffee from beans can take time; you have to grind the beans, put the coffee grounds into a coffee machine with a filter, and let the device do the work, or put them in a cafetiere, pour in hot water and allow it to stand for a few minutes, before you push down the plunger. Both ways make a brew that has a sweet, fresh and distinctive flavour.

With instant coffee, you put a spoonful (or two) of the coffee granules into the mug, and pour on hot water; voila, coffee is made in a moment, but many people believe that you lose a little something in the process, that you sacrifice taste for convenience.

Coffee granules (instant coffee) are the best way to make an iced coffee such as a frappe, but it is possible to make an iced coffee with grounds too, it just takes longer, sometimes overnight, to get that same taste. Coffee houses get around this by creating a small hot coffee (espresso) and pouring that into iced water.

The advancement in instant coffees now means that you can have ground coffee taste, just like you would buy from a coffee shop, but in an instant coffee formula, meaning you just pour hot water over it, and you are done. The range includes a variety of tastes from espresso to macchiato, from cappuccino to Americano. Trendy home coffee machines also come with milk compartments and steamers, so making a professional tasting latte is possible.

When you consider that instant coffee is just ground coffee beans which have been roasted and then dehydrated, you realise that you are still getting all the health benefits of fresh ground coffee, without the hassle of waiting for the coffee to brew.

Instant coffee is also travel-friendly. You can take your little jar with you when you go to work, whereas many workplaces might not appreciate you taking a percolator or even a pod machine with you each day.

However, when you are home you can’t beat the smell of freshly brewed coffee to make you feel cosy, so why not enjoy the best of both? Have fresh ground coffee for when you have time to enjoy it and keep instant for the taste and convenience.