03 September 2008

There are people who drink instant coffee and mostly in England. Of course, it's a quick way to make a single cup of coffee.

Instant coffee is a beverage derived from brewed coffe beans. Through various manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of powder or granules. These can be rehydrated with hot water to provide a drink similar to but different than conventional coffee. At least one brand of instant coffee is also available in concentrated liquid form.

Instant coffee was invented in the early 1901s by a Japanese scientist working in Chicago, Sartori Kato. It began to be marketed commercially in the 1938 by Nescafe. Its simplicity, cost and long shelf life made it a popular product during world war.
After the conventional roasting and grinding of the coffee bean the coffee is then extracted. The extraction method is basically coffee mixed with water making a concentrate.

  • Quick service (instant coffee dissolves instantly in hot water)
  • You can regulate the strength of the coffee.
  • Less weight and volume than beans or ground coffee to prepare the same amount of drink.
  • Long shelf life
  • Coffee beans, and especially ground coffee, lose flavour as the essential oils evaporate over time.
Although it has a long shelf life, instant coffee quickly spoils if it is not kept dry. Instant coffee differs in make-up and taste to ground coffee. In particular, the percentage of caffeine in instant coffee is less, and bitter flavor components are more evident. The lowest quality coffee beans are often used in the production of instant coffee (the best beans are usually kept to be sold whole) and sometimes other unwanted residues from the harvest are used in the production process.

Then there are 2 drying methods for the extracted concentrate. Freeze drying and spray drying.

Freeze Drying
Freeze drying is the removal of water by sublimation. The coffee is frozen, is put on a metal drying rack and a vacuum is created in the chamber of the drying rack. The coffee is then warmed using radiation or conduction. Condensation occurs and the frozen granules expand and the water vapor is removed. The final step, granules are packaged.

Spray Drying
Spray Drying is a cheaper method for instant coffee producers. However, the coffee particles may be too small for the general consumer. Nozzle atomizers spray water and high speed rotating wheels are used to process the beans.


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