Soluble coffee is also called powdered coffee, instant coffee, or freeze-dried coffee.
Like powdered chocolate that is mixed with milk, soluble coffee can be made very simply by mixing it with water. This is the great strength of instant coffee: it is very simple and very quick to prepare.
Soluble coffee represents around 15% of the French coffee market.
Who Is The Inventor Of Soluble Coffee?
French writer and humorist Alphonse Allais is credited with the invention of soluble coffee in 1881. The idea of creating coffee that is easy to keep and simple to prepare is said to have occurred to him during a stay in the military.
Satori Kato, a Japanese student who studied green tea powder, alleged that the Allies’ idea was fulfilled.
It was not until the 1930s that soluble coffee began to be produced and marketed on a large scale when Max Morgenthaler, then working for the Nestlé group, saw an opportunity to be seized.
How Is Soluble Coffee Made?
Soluble coffee is made from ground coffee. Its manufacture is based on the principle of coffee desiccation, that is to say, the removal of moisture from the coffee.
Instant coffee can be made using 2 manufacturing methods: atomization and freeze-drying.
Atomized coffee is the result of a simple combination: water mixed with ground coffee that is filtered through huge percolators over several cycles.
The concentrate obtained is then sent under a stream of hot, dry air to be atomized therein. The atomization removes moisture from the coffee for completely water-free coffee.
This method of manufacture creates a soluble coffee of coarse and irregular shape.
Freeze-drying of coffee
Freeze-drying involves removing the water from the coffee, using deep freezing, and then vacuum evaporation of the ice without melting it.
When water is heated to a solid state at very low pressure, the water sublimates, that is, it passes directly from a solid state to a gaseous state. Water vapor leaves the product and is captured by freezing using a condenser, or cold trap.
This technique preserves the volume, appearance, and properties of the coffee. At the end of the cycle, the coffee only contains 1% to 5% water, which is extremely low.
What Are The Advantages Of Soluble Coffee?
The advantages of soluble coffee are numerous:
- Speed of preparation: this is its main asset. You can brew instant coffee in just 30 seconds.
- Ease of use: a cup, a teaspoon of soluble coffee, hot water and you’re good to go.
- Flavor: today it is possible to find very good quality soluble coffee.
- Price: soluble coffee is the most economical coffee compared to coffee beans or ground coffee.
How To Prepare Soluble Coffee?
To brew a cup of instant coffee:
- Heat 250 ml of water in the microwave, in a saucepan or kettle.
- Pour between 5 to 10 g of soluble coffee in your cup, depending on the strength you want.
- Pour the hot water into your cup.
- Add sugar or spices if you wish.
- Add milk or cream if you don’t like your black coffee.
- Stir and serve.