instant coffee

What Is Instant Coffee And How It Is Made?

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What is instant coffee?

Instant coffee is a type of coffee created from a coffee extract that has been dried. The extract is prepared by brewing ground coffee beans in the same way that ordinary coffee is, albeit it is more concentrated. The water is removed from the extract after it has been brewed, leaving dry fragments or powder, both of which dissolve when mixed with water.

Instant coffee can be made in one of two ways:

  • Spray-drying. Coffee extract is sprayed into heated air, which dries the droplets quickly and transforms them into fine powder or small bits.
  • Freeze-drying. The coffee extract is frozen and then chopped into minute fragments, which are subsequently dried under a vacuum at a low temperature.

How Instant Coffee is made?

Following are the nine stages of instant coffee:

The first stage is delivery.

Up to four times a day, lorries deliver raw, green coffee beans to the Nestle factory. The 27 tonnes of green coffee inside each of the four lorries takes more than two hours to unpack. After that, the coffee is sieved and cleaned by a machine to eliminate any debris that may have gotten into the batch of beans.

The second stage is roasting.

After that, the beans are roasted to change their color from green to the more recognized brown. A combination of five different beans totaling 420kg (926lbs) is added to a huge roaster for Nescafe Gold. The beans are cooked to 230°C (446°F) to generate a medium roast that is suitable for sipping with or without milk, according to the business. The beans are quickly chilled to 40°C (104°F) after 10 minutes of roasting to avoid further cooking from residual heat.

Grinding is the third stage.

The roasted coffee beans are then delivered to an industrial roller-mill grinder to be pulverized. This isn’t the type of grinder you’d see on a kitchen counter in your home. It can grind 1,500kg (3,300lbs) of coffee per hour. A lot of the aromas in coffee are lost when it is processed. To reduce the number of lost scents, nitrogen gas is pumped through the grounds, trapping the aromas as it passes through. The vapor is then collected in a tank, where it will be added later.

Brewing is the fourth stage.

Now comes the part you’re probably familiar with. The ground coffee is now combined with water to brew, much like a French press (cafetière) at home. This isn’t just a few scoops for your six-cup cafetière, though. In a massive extraction pod, about 700kg (1,543lbs) of coffee is brewed, enough to make 250,000 cups of coffee.

Surprisingly, the leftover coffee grounds at the Nestlé factory are not discarded. Because coffee grounds provide the same amount of energy as coal, they are dried and burned in the factory’s boilers. If you have a wood burner at home, this is something you might want to try.

Evaporation is the fifth stage.

We can now observe the beginnings of the shift into instant coffee. The brewed and filtered coffee is sent to a massive evaporation tank that runs the length of the Derbyshire factory’s six levels. Around one million cups of coffee are stored in the tank, enough for even the most ardent coffee aficionados! The evaporator moves 30,000 liters (6,600 gallons) of coffee through pipes every hour. The water evaporates and is siphoned off when heated to 70°C (158°F). To get a thick, syrupy coffee extract, the coffee is condensed by 50%. This is similar to how you might diminish a supply in your home. The flavor of the liquid stock diminishes and intensifies when it is heated.

Freezing is the sixth stage.

After that, the coffee extract is pre-chilled using heat exchangers to prepare it for freezing. Once chilled, the syrupy coffee extract is placed onto a conveyor belt and transported to a massive freezer with temperatures ranging from -40°C to -50°C (-40°F to -58°F). It’s colder there than at the North Pole.

Sublimation is the seventh stage.

The granules are stacked in trays and forced through a low-pressure tube for several hours to sublimate. Sublimation is the conversion of a solid to a gas without passing through the liquid phase in between. The remaining smells would be released and lost if the coffee was transformed back into a liquid. The coffee is sublimated by heating it to 60°C (140°F) in a strong vacuum. The frozen water vaporizes under pressure and transforms into steam. The coffee granules have been effectively dried with the smells sealed in when they exit the vacuum. When stored at normal temperature, the granules will now remain solid.

Stage eight: Aromas that had been lost have been reintroduced

The coffee granules have now been recovered, and the scents that were previously caught with nitrogen gas have been reintroduced. As the granules pass through into big sacks, the aromas are sprayed over them.

Packaging is the ninth stage.

The coffee has been freeze-dried and is now ready to be put into jars. In less than a second, a conveyor line of empty glass jars is filled with coffee. A label is placed to the top of each jar, which has an airtight seal. The cases are then packaged in sixes with cellophane and shipped all over the world, even to coffee-producing countries like Peru.

Method of spray-drying

Spray-drying coffee is less popular than freeze-drying, but it has some advantages in terms of production scale and cost.

A pulse combustion spray drier produces liquid coffee that is blown at a speed of around 400mph (644km/h) by hot air with a temperature of 538°C (1000°F). With the extreme heat driving off the water, the high-velocity air immediately atomizes the liquid, forming a powder that exits at the bottom of the drier.

The atomization zone’s turbulence is so strong inside the dryer that it allows for practically rapid drying with no scorching from evaporative cooling. Despite being a less expensive method of creating instant coffee, the spray-drying technique causes a significant loss of smells, resulting in a lower-quality beverage.

Freeze-dried :

Raw beans are first shoved into enormous ovens to be roasted. The beans will be roasted at different temperatures, depending on their strength and whether they are dark, medium, or light roast. The coffee is cooked until it condenses into a thick coffee extract with a viscosity similar to honey. After that, the extract is placed in a freezing chamber with an internal temperature of -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit). These frigid temperatures can only be found in the arctic or at extremely high elevations, and they can cause hypothermia if exposed to them. Machines are utilized to freeze the coffee because of the excessive and dangerous temperatures.


You will learn what instant coffee is in this article. You’ll also learn how to make instant coffee in a variety of ways. You can make instant coffee at any moment by following the instructions. You’ll also see that it has several advantages.