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The Untold Truth Of Instant Coffee
How Instant Coffee Is Made
Instant coffee is made by either spray-drying or freeze-drying. Spray-drying is when liquid coffee concentrate is misted into extremely hot air, so that it quickly dries into small crystals. Freeze-drying is when granules of frozen coffee are sent into a vacuum that vaporizes the ice, leaving behind just the coffee granules.
Caffeine Comparison
Instant coffee has around 30 to 90 milligrams of caffeine per cup, compared to 70 to 14 milligrams in a traditional cup of coffee. This may appeal to some coffee drinkers, but instant coffee can contain up to double the amount of acrylamide, a potentially harmful chemical that forms when coffee beans are roasted.
Early Versions
The earliest version of instant coffee dates back to 1771, when John Dring patented a “coffee compound.” Another version was made during the U.S. Civil War by soldiers who wanted a lightweight energy supply, and in the 1800s, James Folger began selling prepared coffee beans that didn’t need to be roasted and ground at home.
Commercial Availability
Though Folger’s coffee gained popularity, it wasn’t until 1910 that George Washington (not that one) refined coffee crystals from brewed coffee, creating the first commercial instant coffee as we know it today. Nestle launched Nescafe in 1938, and it quickly became one of the most popular instant coffees on the market.
The market for instant coffee is expanding globally, with China and Russia being two of the largest markets for growth. Chinese citizens once drank an average of two cups of coffee per person per year, but now the country has become the fourth largest market for instant coffee, which is a more affordable entry point into the beverage.