Ever since the invention of the wheel and sliced bread, nothing has impacted the lives of people more than dried coffee or instant coffee. The convenience brought about by dried coffee saves a lot of time when compared to traditional coffee making methods like espresso or brewed coffee. Contrary to what most people say about instant or dried coffee, it is still very popular, and a lot of people actually prefer it to whole bean coffee due to its convenience. Just like coffee that’s brewed or extracted as espresso, there is good dried coffee and bad dried coffee.
Dried Coffee Trivia
- It takes 140 liters of water to grow enough coffee beans to brew one cup of coffee.
- One-third of the world’s coffee is grown in Brazil.
- Coffee has been around since the 15th
- Honduras is in the Guinness book of world records for making the biggest cup of coffee containing more than 18,000 liters of coffee.
- Finland has the highest coffee consumption in the world, with a per capita consumption of 12 kilograms a year.
Dried Coffee Buying Guide
There are two types of instant dried coffee. Spray-dried coffee and freeze-dried coffee. The process starts the same for both as the coffee is roasted, ground, and then extracted. The extraction process is similar to percolating at home.
- Spray-Dried Coffee – This is the most commonly used drying process for coffee. After the brewing process, the coffee is pumped through an atomizer that is sprayed through hot air. This evaporates the liquid and leaves just the dried coffee powder or crystals. The resulting powder or crystal is further processed into larger granules for easier handling and visual appeal. This process is a lot cheaper than freeze-drying and, more often than not, uses cheaper quality beans as the heating and evaporation process can leave a burnt taste.
- Freeze-Dried Coffee – The first step to making freeze-dried coffee is to, you guessed it, freeze the coffee. The coffee extract is first frozen to -40 C before being cut to granules. After being cut, the frozen granules are dried under vacuum at a low temperature. This process preserves a lot of the coffee’s flavor and aroma as it is not subjected to intense heat like spray-drying.
These extra processes take away some of the coffee’s aroma and flavor, and this is why dried coffee will never be better than proper artisanal coffee roasts. Some premium freeze-dried coffee can be better than lower quality roasted coffee beans.
Dried Coffee Production & Farming in Texas
There is no large-scale coffee planting operation in Texas as the climate does not allow for successful coffee growing. There is also no small-scale coffee drying operation in Texas as it is more profitable for coffeeshops to roast whole coffee beans than to invest in coffee drying technology.
Since there is no coffee bean planting in 48 states, most of the coffee beans used for dried coffee is imported. Coffee planting uses a lot of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. Some large companies are also are starting to use USDA Certified organic growers to source their beans to be used for dried coffee production.
Dried coffee, both freeze-dried and spray-dried varieties are packed in a variety of containers. They can be packed in either glass or plastic jars, sachets, or tin cans. Dried coffee is also mixed in with either powdered creamer and sweeteners to make ready to drink sachets in different flavors.
Enjoying Dried Coffee
Preparing dried coffee is as simple as adding hot water to it and mixing. One teaspoon of dried coffee is usually enough for one full cup of coffee, adjust as desired.
Store dried coffee in its original jar or tin can, just make sure that it is tightly closed and there is no damage on the lids. Keep out of direct sunlight and make sure to store in a cool place.
Cooking with Instant Dried Coffee:
Unlike its whole coffee counterpart, instant dried coffee is the coffee of choice for use in culinary applications. Due to its convenience and ease of use and adjustability of taste, instant coffee is used for applications like cakes, ice creams, pastries, and jellies.