Coffee snobs and coffee enthusiasts often turn their noses up at instant coffee powder – as far as I am concerned, it is their loss as Coffee powder has its use, which I’ll talk about later, and that begs the question, the main topic of this article what is coffee powder?
By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know all about this type of coffee, from what it is to its caffeine content and the version we use for baking.
Let’s get cracking on with this article, starting with….
Is Coffee Powder The Same As Instant Coffee?
Common questions asked by many are, what is the difference between coffee powder and instant coffee? And is coffee powder the same as instant coffee?
To answer the question, coffee powder is the same as instant coffee. There is little to no difference other than the size of the grains.
Soluble coffee powder, especially espresso powder, is a very fine flour like powder where instant coffee is more granular and more like coffee crystals.
Both only require the addition of water, usually hot water, to instantly make a cup of coffee. Unlike ground coffee, where you need to brew and extract the coffee.
What Is Coffee Powder?
Coffee powder, goes by many different names, including powdered coffee, coffee crystals, soluble coffee and more. It is an instant coffee beverage that is made from brewed coffee beans with the benefit of helping you to make a hot coffee, or cold brew coffee simply by just adding water to the coffee powder and stirring.
Instant coffee is manufactured by spray drying or freeze drying coffee.
The obvious advantages of coffee powder and instant coffee is the ability to quickly make a cup of coffee, be it hot or cold, and it has less of an impact on the environment due to having no coffee grounds being wasted.
Another plus, instant coffee is great when you are on the road, and you can make a fresh cup easily when travelling instead of canned coffee, which is not at all to my liking.
The disadvantage, as argued by coffee snobs, is you get less flavor from coffee powder than regular coffee beans due to being made from coffee beans that have already been brewed.
You can follow my ethos of reducing your waste by recycling coffee beans that you have used to make whole bean cold brew or cowboy coffee and effectively upcycle your coffee beans.
What Is Coffee Powder For Baking?
Coffee powder for baking is a more focused and concentrated coffee powder and is more often an espresso powder that is used in baking.
Coffee powder when used in baking is used in a similar way in which you sprinkle salt in your cooking. It is to enhance and bring out the other flavors. Coffee powder helps to bring you the chocolate flavor of your baking and, thus, is an excellent addition.
It is also what makes mocha and other coffee and chocolate based coffee drinks so tasty.
It is easy to make from used coffee pucks. Simply dry them in your oven at a low temperature. Break them down and run them through your grinder to ensure you have an even and very fine powder – it is that easy.
Coffee Powder Caffeine Content
A common question is the caffeine content of coffee powder, and if it is bad for you, well get to that part in a minute. First let’s talk about how much caffeine is in coffee powder.
Instant coffee has less caffeine content and some would argue it has less flavor than regular coffee. The reason behind this is the way in which it is made, which is from used coffee beans.
One 12 ounce cup= of regular coffee has 105 to 210 mg of caffeine while a cup of powdered coffee has 45 to 135 mg of caffeine.
Is Instant Coffee Bad For You?
Instant coffee could be said to be healthier than regular coffee due to having less caffeine and containing the same antioxidants and thus the same or similar benefits to your health as other types of coffee.
It can also be said that it is healthy due to being a low calorie drink and has less sugar than most soft drinks.
In my opinion, instant coffee is not bad for you at all.
Is Instant Coffee Better Than Ground Coffee?
In my opinion and without any coffee snobbery, proper whole bean coffee is better than both ground coffee and instant coffee.
ground coffee is better than instant coffee. It is a flavor thing. You get a fuller flavor, and a fresher and full-bodied flavor with more of an aroma. The aroma of coffee with instant coffee is very much lost.
You can get very good instant coffee, it depends on which one. Be sure to try out different brands. You can find instant coffee from Costa Rica in your local supermarket that tastes way better than Nescafé.
I disagree with coffee lovers who claim they all taste the same. Not at all. Although, this may be the case with the lower quality brands.
Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up – What Is Coffee Powder?
Coffee powder is simply used, previously brewed coffee beans that have been processed and turned into coffee powder. Instant coffee, while fairly and broadly similar, very much the same is manufactured using a spray drying or freeze drying process.
It has its use and purpose, especially in baking as well as making a quick coffee if you are short on time or travelling.