Last Updated on September 13, 2023
Do you like the taste of instant coffee? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “no.” But did you know that it’s possible to make your own instant coffee at home using whole coffee beans?
You might decide that the small amount of effort required to grind your own coffee beans into a fine “instant coffee” powder will make all the difference!
In this blog post, we will discuss the history of instant coffee, the different methods for producing it, and how to make your own DIY instant coffee at home. We’ll also include a simple recipe so that you can try it out for yourself.
By the way, if you click on a link and then decide to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
The Origins of Instant Coffee
Making coffee is simple: just add water, right? Well, instant coffee takes that convenience one step further by allowing you to simply add water and have a hot cup of coffee in seconds. But how does instant coffee work? And what is its history?
There are several attributions regarding the origination of instant coffee. David Strang of Invercargill, New Zealand, invented and patented his “Dry Hot-Air” process in 1890. The process has also been credited to Alphonse Allais, a French writer.
In 1901 a Japanese-American chemist named Satori Kato introduced powdered coffee in Buffalo, New York. However, it was not until British inventor George Constant Louis Washington that instant coffee became commercially available.
Washington’s process involved brewing coffee and then evaporating the water, resulting in a concentrated syrup that could be reconstituted with water. Instant coffee became popular during World War II when it was included in soldiers’ rations, and it has continued to grow in popularity ever since.
How is Instant Coffee Made, Anyway?
There are two ways to make instant coffee powder: freeze-drying and spray-drying. Freeze drying is the more expensive method, but it results in a higher quality product. Coffee beans are first brewed, then the water is removed through a freezing process. This leaves behind concentrated coffee that can be reconstituted by adding hot water.
Spray drying is a cheaper method, but it produces a lower-quality product. Coffee beans are first brewed, then the water is removed through a spraying process. This leaves behind a powder that can be reconstituted by adding hot water.
Both methods have their pros and cons. Freeze-dried instant coffee has a better flavor because more of the coffee’s oils are preserved. However, it is more expensive to produce and the final product is less shelf-stable than spray-dried instant coffee. Spray-dried instant coffee has a weaker flavor, but it is cheaper to produce and has a longer shelf life.
So, which is better? It depends on your personal preference. If you want the best flavor, go for freeze-dried instant coffee. If you want to save money, go for spray-dried instant coffee. And if you want something that’s easy to find in stores, go for spray-dried instant coffee since it has a longer shelf life.
Why Would You Want to Make Your Own Instant Coffee?
If you’re like most coffee drinkers, you probably brew your coffee fresh every morning. I sure do, thank you very much. But there are some advantages to instant coffee that you (or I) may not have considered.
For one thing, it’s more convenient – all you need is a cup of hot water, and you’re good to go. Instant coffee is also great for traveling, especially if the destination is a campground with no electricity. No more lugging around a French press or worrying about finding a good place to buy coffee.
And instant coffee is usually less expensive than its freshly-brewed counterpart, so it’s perfect for budget-minded coffee drinkers. Maybe you want to stretch your java dollars a little further.
So if you’re open to trying something new, give instant coffee a try – you might be surprised at how much you like it.
How About the Coffee Beans?
When it comes to coffee, there are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are known for their mellow flavor and delicate aroma, while Robusta beans are prized for their high caffeine content and bolder taste. So, what’s the difference when it comes to instant coffee?
Generally speaking, Arabica are delicious coffee beans and make for a better instant coffee product. The instant coffee made from Arabica beans has a more complex flavor, with hints of fruit and floral notes. Additionally, the aroma is more delicate and subtle.
In contrast, instant coffee made from Robusta beans are often described as being harsh and bitter. It can also be quite grainy in texture. However, some people prefer the stronger flavor of Robusta-based instant coffees. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
Make Your Own Homemade Instant Coffee
Making your own homemade coffee powder is easy, and it only requires a few tools that you likely already have in your kitchen.
Here’s the quick list:
- fresh whole bean coffee
- electric coffee grinder
- fine mesh strainer
- airtight container
Here are a couple of my favorite dark roast coffee brands:
|San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee – French Roast (2lb Bag), Dark Roast||$20.29||Buy on Amazon|
|Peet’s Coffee, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee – Major Dickason’s Blend 18 Ounce Bag||$22.98||Buy on Amazon|
2. Use a coffee grinder to grind the beans into a fine powder. You’ll want to grind them until they’re very fine – the consistency of sand. They’re fine enough that they clump together in the corners of the grinder.
Do you need an electric coffee grinder?
3. Next, put the finely ground coffee powder through a fine-mesh strainer and shake it over an airtight container. The strainer will catch any pesky larger pieces of coffee, leaving only a fine powder that will dissolve easily in hot water.
In case there isn’t a fine mesh strainer in your kitchen drawer:
|Cuisinart Mesh Strainers, 3 Pack Set, CTG-00-3MS Silver||$11.99||Buy on Amazon|
|9″ Kitchen Fine Mesh Strainer with Sturdy Handle and Wider Hook – Perfect for Quinoa||Buy on Amazon|
4. To use, simply add one teaspoon of instant coffee per cup of hot water, adjusting as needed to strength and taste.
Stir well and enjoy your instant style coffee!
You can store your instant coffee powder in an airtight container for about 10 days, but remember that your coffee (instant or brewed) will always taste better with freshly ground beans.
How to Make Instant Coffee Taste Better
If you’re looking for ways to improve the taste of your instant coffee, there are a few things you can do. First, start with higher quality coffee beans. Instant coffee is made by finely grinding roasted beans and then adding hot water. The better the beans, the better the coffee will taste.
Second, be sure to use fresh filtered water. If your water tastes bad, your coffee will too.
Third, add a small amount of milk or cream to your coffee. This will help to round out the flavor and make it more palatable.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different add-ins like cinnamon, cocoa powder, or even a drop of vanilla extract. With a little trial and error, you can find the perfect combination that will make instant coffee taste amazing.
Conclusion: DIY Instant Coffee
So, if you’re considering the benefits of grinding your own instant coffee, we’ve given you all the facts, how-tos and embellishments for brewing a cup of joe in an instant (well maybe a minute, but you know what I mean!).
However you choose to brew, enjoy your tasty coffee!
Candi Randolph is a coffee lover, blogger, and content creator who loves to share her knowledge with the coffee-drinking world. You’ll often find her tending to her coffee bar at home, deciding which method to use to brew her next cup of java. Life is full of important decisions. ☕