What Is The Difference Between Instant Coffee And Ground Coffee?

What is the difference between instant coffee and ground coffee? Although they may look similar, each has its own characteristics that attract coffee lovers. 

Instant coffee is the best for convenience and budget. However, in terms of flavor and flexibility, ground coffee surpasses. 

The battle between these kinds of coffees will end in this article. Top Reviews gives you an ultimate comparison so that you can determine which is better.

Let's join us and find the winner! 

What Is Instant Coffee? 

Instant coffee is simply coffee extract after being dried and powdered. 

If you want to prepare a cup of java within seconds, this option should be your way to go.

The powder is often of inferior quality and can't defeat brewed drinks. Even though it is not as famous as regular java, it has also gained some popularity in certain places in the world. 

What Is Ground Coffee? 

You can get ground coffee by grinding the roasted beans with a grinder. 

The texture of the ground coffee can differ from extremely coarse to extremely fine. You can pick between super coarse, coarse, moderate, fine, or extra-fine, depending on the brewing procedure.

Ground coffees work with various brewing methods, including French press, espresso, cold brew, and many more.

The ground has excellent taste and quality. As a result, it's among the most popular choices for espresso lovers all around the world.

What Is The Difference Between Instant Coffee And Ground Coffee? 

Coffee beans are the same component in both options. They are almost nutritionally equivalent. The main differences between them are mostly in flavor and caffeine level.


They both originate from Arabica and Robusta beans. However, you mostly see the instant products in Robusta, while the ground one may come with both types of beans equally. 

Instant java is not the same as ground one because it doesn't come from genuine beans.

The ground coffee is a handful of beans ground to a specified size. It means that to make this product, farmers have picked and dried the cherries, then roasted them to a specific degree. 

The final stage of the production is to grind the beans to size. Then, they come in packages and show up in the market. 

You can also grind the beans yourself. This video will show you how to do it.


Youtube source: AllegroCoffeeCompany

On the other hand, instant products are also the ground beans one after being brewed into drinkable java. You will pour hot liquid into the powder. There are no more solids once the liquid has cooled. 

Both originate from Arabica and Robusta, but the production process is different

Caffeine content

Ground coffees have a greater volume amount of caffeine than its competitor. 

However, you can adjust the caffeine levels in the ground to your favorite. Meanwhile, you have no control over the flavor of the instant product. 

An 8-ounce cup of instant java has about 60 mg of caffeine. The quantity of caffeine taken is entirely dependent on the company that makes your instant java. 

The producers try to manufacture the strongest powder possibly. However, the higher content of caffeine doesn't always mean good. 

This figure for the ground coffees varies depending on the beans. Arabica and Robusta contain 19 mg and 29 mg of caffeine per gram, respectively. 

To make java, you will let hot water come into touch with the beans. The heat will absorb some caffeine. The more time your java stays in the water, the more the heat can extract caffeine. 

As a result, if you want to reduce the caffeine content of your drink, allow it to stay in hot water for longer. 

Brewed java has a higher caffeine level

Brewing method

The way you brew the coffees is one of the most significant differences.

Instant products aim for ease of use. All you have to do is put a tablespoon of the powder in a cup. Then, add some hot water and stir. If preferred, you can add some milk and sugar. 

The powder is a must-have in places where carefully preparing fresh java isn't practical, such as offices. 

The fresh beverage, on the other hand, comes in a variety of ways. Different factors can affect the extraction time and quality.

There are several types available, varying from simple automated drip makers to sophisticated, high-end equipment.

You don't need to prepare any special machines. However, it would be best to steep the powder in water for about 8 to 15 hours to achieve the best flavor.

The brewing method differs for each option

Brewing time

Since convenience is the priority for instant java, it takes only a few minutes to enjoy your drink.

Brewing the ground may need a longer time but still, be quick. However, the problem arises when you've done your brewing, and that is cleaning. 

Dissolving ability

Instant coffee is also brewed coffee. Hence, it can dissolve in water or any liquid. You must use extreme caution when adding water to the powder. 

The powder has a bland flavor, and too much liquid might make it worse. As a result, it's preferable to add a bit less than the package directions recommend.

Ground coffee won't dissolve in your liquid. Even if you blended it thoroughly and made a weird smoothie out of it, it couldn't dissolve but rather be split into really fine powder.


When brewed perfectly, high-quality Arabica beans provide a full-bodied, fragrant, delicious beverage. For years, it has been standard procedure to blend Arabica and Robusta beans in a 20:80 ratio.

Many competent baristas believe that adding a bit of Robusta gives the drink considerable depth.

Instant java has a flat flavor that often comes with a harsh aftertaste. On the other hand, some new types preserve a lot of the raw bean's unique aroma and flavor. 

Brewed java has a deeper flavor


Instant coffee is a cost-effective method to make java. One cup costs about $0.7 on average. Drip beverages, on the other hand, probably cost $2.15 for a cup.

A cup of brewed java in a fancy cafe may cost as much as $4.24. The cost of maintaining high-end machinery and the skill needed to make an excellent drink have a significant impact on the price of your beverage.

Shelf life 

The instant product can last significantly longer in terms of usage. It has a 20-year shelf life when unopened and 12-month shelf life when opened and appropriately maintained in a sealed container.

On the other hand, to create the most fantastic drink, you must keep your beans carefully and use them after grinding them within a certain amount of time.

The staler the brewed coffee becomes, the older it is. After grinding, most brewed coffees remain good for about one week. 

As you can see, the ground product has such a limited shelf life. You should use it within two weeks of purchasing to have the fresh and delicious java you like.

We have compared the two types of coffee. Now, this comparison will help you summarize their differences. 


Instant coffees

Ground coffees


Almost Robusta 

Robusta and Arabica

Caffeine content

60 mg for an 8-ounce cup

Arabica: 19 mg per gram

Robusta: 29 mg per gram 

Brewing method

Blending with hot water

Depending on the machine you are using

Brewing time

Very quick and convenient

Quick, but there will be extra time for cleaning the machine

Dissolving ability

Easy to dissolve

Hard to dissolve 





$0.7 per cup

$2.15 per cup

Shelf life

12 months after opening 

2 weeks after grinding


Final Words

Instant coffee is for those in a hurry and who don't want to waste time making java. Indeed, it lacks the flavor, yet it suffices for a powerful day.

Ground coffee is perfect if you want the greatest cup of java possible. You can also adjust the ratio and caffeine level in your beverage for the best drink.  

Hopefully, you will find the comparison above helpful for your decision. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask.

Thank you for being so interested in the post! 

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