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Instant Organic Coffee
How does instant organic coffee differ from healthy organic coffee that you grind and brew yourself? Both instant organic coffee and non-instant come through the same process of organic coffee certification. Both instant organic coffee and non-instant have the same organic coffee aroma and flavor. What are the differences?
Instant coffee and instant organic coffee are both processed the same way to make an instant product. Instant coffee is made by either freeze-drying or by a process called spray drying. The usual end result is a coffee power or coffee crystals to which the coffee drinker adds water or milk, usually hot. Instant organic coffee can be a good way to make iced organic coffee as well. There are, however, instant coffees that come as a liquid concentrate. The nice part about instant organic coffee is that it is quick to make and has a long shelf life. Those who prefer organic coffee because of its lower environmental footprint will be pleased to know that the shipping weight per cup of coffee consumed is less with instant organic coffee than with organic coffee beans or ground organic coffee. Less weight to ship means less energy consumed and a healthier environment.
Instant organic coffee is made by the same process as that used for regular instant coffees. However, the processor needs to avoid contamination of organic coffee with regular coffee in the process. Instant coffee has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. The use of a high vacuum, freeze drying process dates to just after the Second World War and owes much to war time research into ways to process and protect things like penicillin and blood plasma for military use. In making instant coffee the bean is roasted just as with regular coffee. This process breaks down a number of chemicals in the coffee bean and creates a number of organic coffee antioxidants, the constituents so important to many of the health benefits of organic coffee. One process roasts or heats the beans in a moist environment which often results in a stronger aroma and stronger flavor. The beans are then ground and coffee is brewed.
The key part of making instant organic coffee is to remove the water after making the coffee. Freeze drying takes advantage of a natural process called sublimation. The brewed organic coffee is placed in a chamber at low temperature and a near vacuum. Water evaporates from the coffee, eventually leaving nearly dry coffee granules. The chamber is heated which caused the remaining water to evaporate and the individual granules of coffee to expand. This product is removed and packaged as instant organic coffee. An alternative process is by a more economical process called spray drying. In this process a very find spray of brewed organic coffee is passed into a large drying tower resulting in a dry coffee powder which requires further processing to create particles of appropriate, larger, size.