Instant Coffee vs. Ground Coffee – Which is Best?

Coffee is one of the healthiest drinks you can have, it’s full of antioxidants, boosts your mental alertness and cognitive functions, and is low in calories too! However, when it comes to making a choice between ground coffee and instant coffee, the jury is still divided.

It’s not an easy choice to make. If you listen to the baristas, they will tell you that instant coffee is anathema, the devil’s brew masquerading as coffee. The list of defenders for instant coffee tends to be shorter.

For the record: instant coffee IS coffee! It’s coffee that has been brewed into a concentrate. The factory process can involve a quick drying process, or freeze drying to create powdered coffee extract.

There are fundamental differences, however, between both types of coffee. The raw materials used (type of beans) are different, different skills are used to make either type, and, of course, there are differences in flavor and cost.

Instant coffee vs. ground coffee

1.Time and simplicity

Making instant coffee is simplicity itself. Measure the granules, add hot water, and you’re done! The whole operation takes a few seconds. If you’re in a hurry to get to work, but coffee is life, instant coffee will save the day by giving you the caffeine boost you crave.

You just can’t do that with ground coffee. Whether you start with whole beans that must be ground, or you have ready ground coffee, preparation will take a few minutes at the very least – even without cleaning the equipment.

And though some ways are quicker than others when preparing fresh coffee, they still can’t beat instant coffee when it comes to speed. A loaded coffee filter is also very quick, but will still take a couple of minutes as the water drips into your cup.

With instant coffee, there’s no complicated learning curve. Anyone can add hot water to a cup. But, when it comes to ground coffee you need to choose the right equipment. Will you use a French press, mokka pot or espresso machine? Each is different than the next, each will give a different coffee experience and each demands a different grind.

2. Waste

Manufacturing aside, there are no by-products to instant coffee, unlike ground coffee where you need to get rid of the used coffee and clean the equipment.

3. Flavor

Fresh brewed coffee keeps all its essential oils and other chemical constituents intact, giving it a fuller, more subtle taste than most instant coffees. There’s more flavor variety in fresh coffee.

The main reason for the difference in taste, however, is the composition of the raw material used in making instant coffee. Instant coffee manufacturers 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.

Cafe Altura’s freeze dried instant coffee is made from organically grown 100% Arabica coffee beans for great tasting coffee no matter how fast.

Health benefits

In spite of the difference in flavor, the antioxidant count is pretty much the same for both drinks. There’s only a difference in caffeine content, where instant coffee has about half the caffeine of fresh coffee.

While people can be downright rude about the flavor of instant coffee, things are changing, and instant coffee is updating its game with new varieties that use higher quality beans becoming available, such as our organic freeze dried instant coffee, in which 100% Arabica beans preserve the complex taste, giving you the best of both worlds.


One of the ‘disadvantages’ of ground coffee is considered part of its charm by aficionados. Brewing your coffee can become a relaxing ritual, adding to the coffee experience. You just don’t get the same performance with businesslike instant coffee.


Instant coffee is cheaper – a logical outcome of its simplicity – since you don’t have to buy any specialized equipment and the beans chosen for instant coffee are bought wholesale by the manufacturer.

When it comes to making a choice between instant coffee and fresh coffee, it comes down to a choice between convenience and ritual, cost and flavor. It’s also a matter of lifestyle. Health wise both are equally good for you. How much are you willing to invest in your coffee experience?

With Cafe Altura coffees, you’ll find the best quality ground coffee and instant coffee. Enjoy the great taste of 100% Arabica coffee in the style of your choosing.

~ We currently offer two Organic Instant Coffees ~
Certifications : USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Non-GMO, Kosher