Ground Coffee Vs Instant Coffee

Ground Coffee Vs Instant Coffee

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!

<< Arabic vs Robusta >>

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An Introduction to Specialty Coffee

An Introduction to Specialty Coffee

According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), “The term ‘specialty coffee’ refers to the highest quality green coffee beans roasted to their greatest flavor potential.”

They are the highest grade of coffee beans available across the world, as they grow in the perfect location, time, altitude, and soil.

Specialty coffee beans are mostly single-origin arabica and are available in small batches. Hence, they vary from region to region, country to country, and even year after year.

We tend to think that Specialty coffee is quite a new term that trending in the current market. But it was the first cast in the 1970s, in the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, by Erna Knutsen. She had the vision to preserve the quality of coffee from the farm to the cup.

A cup of speciality coffee involves a team of skilled professionals (farmer, harvester, roaster, and barista). They work in harmony and focus on standards to get a coffee labelled as “specialty coffee” by SCA.

What is Specialty coffee?

On the world coffee stock exchange, specialty coffee comprises only 3% of the global yield. These coffees grow at high altitudes. Hence, they are unique, distinct, and less defective in nature.

Term specialty coffee refers to the entire process of bringing coffee from farm to cup. The process involves growing, washing, de-pulping, fermentation, drying, supplying, roasting, and finally brewing.

According to SCA, specialty coffee grades 80 or above on a scale of 100 on a Q grade score sheet.

It is further categorized into three grades. A score between 80 – 84.99 counts as very good, 85 – 89.99 is excellent and a coffee bean scoring over 95 to 100 is outstanding.

Specialty Coffee Grading

Specialty coffee is the high grade of coffee available across the world. The grading system is set by the SCA at every stage of the coffee production process. The grading parameters are:

Green Bean Grading

The grading of green beans is done by visual inspection. According to SCA protocol, a sample of 350gm of coffee beans is looked for imperfect or defective beans.

The defects are of two types: Primary or Secondary. The primary defects are black or sour beans and the presence of large/medium stones or sticks. While, secondary defects are insect damage, unhulled, broken or chipped beans, small stone or sticks, water damage, etc.

To qualify as a specialty coffee, a 350gm sample of beans should have zero primary defects and no more than five secondary defects.


Before going through the process of cupping, the high-quality graded green beans are first transferred to a coffee roaster. A roster is a scientist as well as an artist. He uses his knowledge, techniques, and experience to bring out the specialty-level roast profiles in roasted beans

Also, the ideal roasting process helps to bring out the consistency of flavours in the high-quality beans.


At its simplest, cupping is a technique of brewing roasted coffee with hot water. It is a way to taste and assess the various flavours present in the roasted beans. Cupping tends to bring out the quality, diverse flavours, and hidden potential in a coffee bean.

According to SCA, the quality of a specialty coffee is evaluated on the basis of various attributes like fragrance, flavour, acidity, body, consistency, mouthfeel, aftertaste, and clean cup.

During the assessment, a taster marks all the underlying flavours present in the coffee. They assign scores to each of the coffee attributes. Later these attributes define the “tasting notes” of coffee beans.

Coffee cupping
Formal coffee cupping process as per SCA standards

Specialty Coffee Around the World

With the new wave of coffee culture, the demand for speciality coffee has boomed in the 20th century. Consumers are using the latest brewing methods and high-quality coffee beans to appreciate speciality coffee.

Also, coffee house chains like costa coffee, Starbucks, etc. have created a market for speciality coffees.

Specialty Coffee in India

In India, the market of coffee was first introduced by Cafe Coffee Day (CCD).

Later, the coffee roasters like Blue Tokai, Third-wave coffee, Subko, etc, are now serving artisanal coffee.

Over the years, with the uptick in coffee demand, the production of coffee has also increased in India.

In Chikmanglur or Coorg region, small farmers are focusing on growing single-estate specialty coffee. They plan to sell their high-quality coffee at high prices on the coffee stock market.

Also Check out this YouTube video to know more about SPECIALTY COFFEE,

<< Arabic vs Robusta >>

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