What separates a freshly cooked chicken tikka masala from a frozen packed one? or frozen fries from a freshly cut potato wedges? or frozen biryani from a dum biryani hot off the coal?

If you understand the above differences, you are halfway there on understanding our take on “Ground Coffee vs Instant coffee”! Before diving deep into the differences, let us understand what each of these actually mean.

What is coffee?

Coffee trees produce coffee cherries during the harvesting season in more than 40 countries. These cherries are harvested and processed in various ways to yield green coffee beans. These beans are roasted, ground and brewed in various ways throughout the world, using all sorts of devices. The word ‘coffee’ is often associated with a black coffee beverage which has been brewed freshly using coffee grounds. This coffee has a unique aroma which has people all over the world glued to.

What is instant coffee?

The story of instant coffee starts once the coffee is brewed. It is a frozen version of brewed coffee. Large batches of coffee grounds are used to get large amount of black coffee. Water is removed from this using multiple processes and it is frozen into small coffee crystals. These frozen coffee crystals are called instant coffee.

Coffee vs Instant coffee

Both of these beverages differ in many ways. The differences are not only due to the manufacturing process, but also due to other reasons like raw ingredients. Let us look into three key differences.


There is no good or bad. Be it freshly brewed coffee or instant coffee; both are coffee after all. Both have caffeine. But due to lesser focus on the taste of the coffee, instant coffee is often created using Robusta beans, which are much cheaper than arabica (almost half the price). As far as flavors are concerned, good quality arabica can be much more complex and richer in flavors, as compared to Robusta. Hence, most of the cheaper instant coffee tastes almost the same. The taste profile is mostly bitter and woody, with varying degrees of strength.


Another aspect of ‘Ground coffee vs instant coffee’ is time. While brewing coffee grounds in a device has its own charm, you can hardly do so much when you are running short on time. On the other hand, instant coffee takes as much time as warming up the water. Mix a teaspoon of instant in a cup full of hot water and magic happens! This very simplicity of making instant coffee in couple of mins is the single most reason why instant coffee has gained so much momentum in the whole world.


Traditionally, brewing a cup of coffee grounds has costed much more than making a cup of instant. The key reason for this was the presence of robusta as a key ingredient in instant coffee. Low or almost non-existent traceability of instant coffee is another. But new age specialty roasters have gotten into serving tastier cuppa joe for coffee lovers who do not have the time to brew daily. This move is slowly bridging the gap. A lot of instant coffee brands are producing flavored instant coffee as well by adding taste enhancers like caramel, butterscotch, chocolate, etc. But there is an evolving debate whether instant can ever come close to regular coffee in terms of intrinsic taste profile. Till then, instant will enjoy a cheaper price tag (per cup).

Options are good. In this ‘Ground coffee vs instant coffee’ debate, one thing is certain, that all coffee lovers will enjoy so many products to choose from. New technologies will emerge, and the world of instant coffee will evolve as well.

At PAHADEE Coffee Roasters, we mainly focus on freshly roasted coffee, brewed in various types of home and commercial devices. All our coffee offerings focus on intrinsic taste notes in the coffee sourced ethically from various coffee estates. Do head over to our coffee offerings to try our coffee now!

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