What is the difference between Filter and Instant coffee?

Most of us today drink instant coffee as it has become the norm, staple purchase buy. The regular instant coffee tin has made its way into our very lives and has changed the way we begin our day. If we peer deeper into the subject, we learn that coffee comes in many formats. So, what is the difference between filter and instant coffee?

Filter coffee beans have been roasted and ground in preparation for a coffee machine or French Press. Instant coffee is made from a variety of filter coffee. Instant coffee dissolves in water whereas filter is ready ground that does not and still a filter is needed when making it one way or another. There are coffee grounds that need to be disposed of when making filter coffee. Instant coffee is already made coffee that has been freeze-dried to use on the go.

What is the difference between Filter and Instant coffee?

Normal coffee has more potassium level than instant. The main difference is of the percentage of caffeine. Instant coffee contains,60–110 mg of caffeine. Normal coffee contains,80–200 mg. More caffeine is not always good. However, if the need arises more caffeine can be good. Let us discuss each of these topics on its own to get a better understanding of it.

What is Instant Coffee?


Instant coffee is made from real coffee beans. Whole coffee beans are roasted, ground, and brewed, then freeze or spray dried to from coffee crystals. To make coffee again simply add hot water or milk to the coffee powder. This method of making coffee has changed our everyday lives. Instant Coffee is now commercially available to the everyday consumer.

Instant Coffee, also called Soluble Coffee, became part of a soldiers rations back in world war 2. It was believed that the morning beverage made the consumer more aggressive and determined. These would be perfect qualities for a Soldier to have on the battlefield. It was also believed to increase overall physical performance. Coffee, therefore, became a mandatory ration for the army. This led to the widespread distribution of such an amazing product, around the world today.

If you are not familiar with instant coffee, you have probably been living under a rock but don’t worry, we are here for help! Instant coffee is a pre-ground coffee that has been turned into a kind of a coffee solution which undergoes a whole drying process.

This removes the water from the coffee granules and gives us our granulated, instant coffee. As we are well aware, all you need to do is boil some water, add some coffee in your cup and add the boiling water and you have your coffee ready.

Another great thing about instant coffee is that you leave minimal to no mess behind when you make it. The cost competes with the instant-ness and flavour, majorly. Instant coffee lacks the richness of fresh coffee and is also low on caffeine.

What is Filter Coffee?

This coffee is prepared with either fresh or roasted coffee beans that are ground first and then used. The whole process requires at least a few minutes and some special coffee equipment, without which, it becomes difficult to prepare filter coffee.

The Mocha Pot

With this, we also need to realise that it is a work of skill and is not so easy for everyone to do. The whole process in itself is not only expensive but also a long one.

There are a number of ways to make filter coffee, namely …

  • Mocha pot.
  • French Press.
  • AeroPress.
  • Using a coffee machine with an espresso base.
  • Filter coffee machine with disposable paper filters.
The most common filter coffee method – The French Press

And once you are done with that, there is plenty of coffee that you need to get rid of. But when it comes to the taste, filter coffee feels light on the tongue and fresher than instant coffee. This is because the coffee beans used are usually of high quality and have most of the essential oils intact, leaving a subtle and fuller taste on your tongue.

The caffeine content is naturally higher in a filter or fresh coffee since it hasn’t lost much in the grounding process and also considering that the coffee beans used are generally high-quality Robusta beans.

Caffeine Content – Filter vs Instant

The most common misconception about espresso is that it contains the most caffeine, but, surprising to most is that drip, filter or pour-over coffee tends to contain much more caffeine than espresso.

French press brewing method – this is by far the most popular form of filter coffee.

Types of coffee Filter CoffeeEspresso Instant Coffee
Caffeine content 80-200mg per cup40-80 mg per cup60-110 mg per cup
Types of Beverages Drip, Filter, Cold Brew, Nitro Brew and Aeropress.Latte, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Piccolo, Cortado, Flat White, Mochaccino.Regular home made coffee. Cold brew coffees.

Caffeine content for different beverages.

Why? It’s simple. Drip or filter coffee extracts the naturals oils, sugars and therefore caffeine much more slowly, meaning you get a more nuanced cup but one that contains a slightly higher amount of caffeine. This is probably the most commonly used filter coffee brewing method. 

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, the best choice boils down to your lifestyle and taste preferences. There really isn’t a wrong answer here. At the end of the day, espresso is coffee — and we all love coffee, right? Filter coffee provides the drinker with more caffeine and may be best suitable in office environments.  Instant coffee provides the user a quick caffeine fix in a rather simple to make means of having coffee.

Introduced recently, another filter coffee method – The AeroPress

Remember, each method could produce completely different results with different beans, depending on their origin, roast, and more. The flavour, however, can vary up to a great extent because mostly, cheap quality of coffee beans are used to prepare instant coffee but with time and high demand for instant coffee, the manufacturers are now all set to upgrade the quality of instant coffee as well.

That’s the fabulous thing about coffee, isn’t it? It always has so much to offer. Just another thing that makes us love coffee just that little bit more!

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  1. Aug 30, 2020

    […] What about Expired, Unused coffee? […]

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