The universally loved drink of coffee happens to also be a beverage with universal varieties! It can often get overwhelming to see how many ways of coffee consumption, how many brews, blends and roasts exist. As consumers it often becomes a dichotomy to come out of…
Today we will cover the most cardinal aspect that divides coffee into two neat divisions : Artisanal coffee and instant coffee.
Mass engineered formulation, generic production does not create artisanal products.
Artisanal coffee is much more varied and layered than that. Usually created with a deeper care and specialization. Almost free from mechanization, human effort and touch to ensure utmost perfection, variety and top notch quality is what goes behind the making of artisanal coffee.
involvement of the artistry in the coffee.
The most substantial component has to be the involvement of the artistry in the coffee. That is what separates artisanal from instant.
So what are these two?
How are these different?
Is Artisanal coffee better than instant coffee? How?
The questions never cease.
To begin with, a specialty coffee is different from a typically cheaper instant coffee in its formulation. Elevated rules form premium coffees from the scratch. Handpicking, hand sorting, sundrying are what make the process.
generic coffee brands who select any and every cherries.
Due to hand picking the farmers only the sturdiest beans. This is unlike in generic coffee brands who select any and every cherries. They find cheaper and later engineered the product to taste a certain way often by added flavouring.
However, Instant coffee and Artisanal coffee begin the journey very similarly. It starts taking a very different shape for instant coffee when these soluble contents do not remain like this.
Mechanical extraction techniques are used for extracting water from the soluble contents of the bean. This is followed by either freeze drying or spray drying the beans. Freeze drying is a slightly more expensive method that involves breaking down of these beans extracts to further smaller molecules. While spray drying is much more economic and involves passing the extracts through air steam to flash dry them. The granules are then packed and called instant coffee.
For Artisanal coffee the journey is not mechanized and rapid. It involves a long, and effort taxing method of doing everything almost manually or at the finest time consuming detail.
best of coffee cherries.
Farmers hand pick the beans from the best estates. Then they hand sort the beans to collect only the best of coffee cherries. The farmers focus on flesh removal to bring them to their hand drying stage. Every step involves a degree of artistry and intricacy.
This follows a religious roasting and grinding process according to the producers requirements.
Consumers enjoy allmost flavours because the freshly brewed coffee is sold out rapidly.
These are the production differences that make Artisanal coffee stand out from instant coffee.
What follows is the obvious method of preparation or brewing… instant coffee requires nothing but just mixing with a solvent like water or milk. Whereas artisanal coffee requires a deeper build and filtering the remnants of the ground beans out after pouring the beverage.
coffee differs from premium coffee
The most imperative difference that comes to mind while drawing a parallel of these two types is: the taste!
It is no secret that Artisanal coffee has a richer, original and beautiful taste when compared to other coffees. Instant coffee differs from premium coffee because it just has the extracts, that too in a flash dried condition.
This makes instant coffee much more bitter in taste to artisanal coffee. The later has a much milder, moist, supple and fragrant taste because it has the roasted beans themselves. The freshness differs too as artisanal coffee has handpicked cherries i.e only the better ones of the lot are selected. Instant coffee however uses cheaper quality Robusta beans which are stronger and bitter. Flash drying and over roasting are also often use to cover up and camouflage the taste of defective cherries!
The taste of freshly grown coffee is fuller because it retains the natural chemicals and minerals it is born with. These also ensure a bigger presence of natural flavours in artisanal coffee like fruity, nutty, smoky, spicy. We find this absent in instant coffee because all the cheaper Robusta beans are processed quickly in the same way. Flash drying soaks out all chemical oils, minerals and natural sweetness from the powder.
Artisanal coffee uses a higher concentration of Arabica beans compared to instant coffee; Arabica has a much richer, aromatic, soft, and gliding flavour which reflects in the taste.
Another huge factor behind distinguishing an artisanal coffee from a generic coffee is the time duration and availability! We know artisanal coffees as popular for being easily unavailable. To understand why this happens we need to backtrack to coffee formation. We should remember that the finest coffee cherries bloom only once throughout a year and under right circumstances.
Needless to say that all these proceedings ensure a big gap in nutritional values of both these coffee types. Artisanal coffee is richer in potassium, caffeine, antioxidants etc. In ground coffee, we find double the amount of potassium as instant coffee. It helps to regulate fluid balance and helps bones.
Caffeine too gives us that adrenalin push we need to glide effortlessly through our day. Antioxidants are slightly more in artisanal coffee and the goodness of antioxidants are a worldwide discussion!
A very important difference that follows in accordance to all these factors is the variation in price… Instant coffee tends to be quite cheaper than freshly ground artisanal coffee. This is for the obvious efforts that goes behind handpicking, hand sorting, sun drying, mature blending of Arabica and Robusta beans protecting the flavours and freshness.
It is although very easy to always have that pack of instant coffee ready for a quick sip. However if you are looking for a daily drinking of a warm quality beverage artisanal coffee pleases you adequately. It stands out in standard!