Is it safe to drink instant coffee?

In this text we will answer the question: “Is it safe to drink instant coffee?”. In addition, we will discuss the benefits of instant coffee and the effects of drinking instant coffee on your health.

Is it safe to drink instant coffee?

Yes, it is safe to drink instant coffee. The drink contains about 20% more caffeine than traditional brewed coffee. Therefore, it should be consumed in smaller amounts, mainly in order to avoid mood swings and other typical effects of caffeine on the body. 

In addition, due to the process that is submitted during drying, the soluble version contains less amount and concentration of antioxidants, excellent for immunity and general health of the organism.

Soluble coffee, also called instant coffee, is obtained from a 4-step process: first, the coffee beans are roasted, then they are ground and, later, extracted (extraction is done by immersion in water) and dried (the drying step is the most important).

Drying, the last step of the process and which differs from traditional coffee, can be done using two different methods, these being freezing (freeze-drying) or spraying (sprinkling). In contrast, in the case of traditional brewed coffee, drying is usually done by exposing the beans to natural sunlight. 

This difference is what makes brewed coffee richer in nutrients, such as antioxidants, compared to soluble coffee.

Does instant coffee have the same benefits as regular coffee?

Like regular coffee, instant coffee contains caffeine (unless it’s decaf) and plant chemicals called polyphenols. Both substances are related to the beneficial health effects of coffee, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

It can support memory, lower your risk of Parkinson’s, lower your risks of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and even help with weight loss.

The actual caffeine content of a cup of coffee can vary based on factors such as origin, processing, and brewing method. The 8 ounce coffee filter can contain 96 mg of caffeine.

8 ounce instant coffee, which contains one teaspoon of powder, usually contains 62 mg of caffeine

Is drinking instant coffee bad for your health?

In reality, drinking instant coffee is not bad for your health. Despite rumors that instant coffee can cause cancer, they seem to be just that, unfounded rumors. There is no conclusive evidence that instant coffee is better or worse than regular coffee.

Now, of course, if you buy a 3-in-1 instant coffee, with pre-added sweeteners or sugar, it will be less healthy. In addition, the instantaneous process does not appear to have negative or positive effects.

What are the differences between instant and regular coffee?

Instant coffee has some differences in aroma and flavor. In addition, there are differences in the practicality of preparation, cost-effectiveness, durability, caffeine concentration, purity and composition.

Flavor 

Coffee made with freshly ground beans keeps all of its essential oils and other chemical components intact, giving it a fuller, more subtle flavor than most instant coffees.

Many of the instant coffee makers tend to use the cheaper Robusta beans, which can have a bitter edge, rather than the more aromatic Arabica beans preferred by people who brew their coffee fresh.

Aroma

The strongest aromas are generated when the hot water first hits and reacts with the dry ground coffee. Something that in instant coffee happened months or even years ago, before the consumer prepared his cup.

As you can see, instant coffee may have some aroma and flavor differences compared to freshly ground coffee, but it is still a stimulating and healthy drink if consumed in moderation, less than 400 mg of caffeine.

Preparation practicality

Undoubtedly, preparing soluble coffee is easier, as it is instantaneous, simply by dissolving the powder in hot or cold water. Traditional coffee, on the other hand, needs to be ground, if it is in beans, and then strained.

In addition, it requires some equipment to prepare the coffee, depending on the preparation chosen (coffee maker, French press, strainer, filter, etc).

Cost benefit

Instant coffee costs less than traditional ground coffees, depending on the brand. When compared to gourmet/special coffees, the price difference is even greater, due to the superior quality.

Regarding waste, ground coffee is discarded after straining, generating by-products. Also, when in grains it ends up wasting some powder during grinding.

Soluble coffee is completely dissolved in water, not producing any by-product or waste to be discarded.

Purity and composition

Depending on the type of beans used, the quality of the coffee can vary in both versions, as well as its components. A 100% Arabica coffee undergoes a more careful crop in care and a meticulous selection of beans.

Therefore, many manufacturers prioritize Arabica coffee beans that retain a better flavor and aroma, as well as excellent components. This makes the quality of the coffee similar to traditional coffee of the same selection.

Coffees made from robusta/conilon beans or blends of arabica with Robusta are produced in a simpler way, having a lower quality on the market.

Even so, instant coffee contains up to twice as much acrylamide – a potentially harmful chemical formed during roasting, which is more potent than traditional Arabica coffee. In addition, both retain the same properties, although the soluble one is more concentrated.

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Is it okay to drink coffee on an empty stomach?

Is it safe to eat coffee grounds?

Is light roast coffee less bitter?

Conclusion

In this text we answered the question: “Is it safe to drink instant coffee?”. In addition, we discussed the benefits of instant coffee and the effects of drinking instant coffee on your health.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/instant-coffee-good-or-bad
https://www.mashed.com/218519/the-real-reason-you-shouldnt-drink-instant-coffee/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.