Everyone has their preferences. Some like to partake in their morning coffee rituals, while others like to pour a bit of readymade coffee down their throat, and that is enough. Of course, I’m talking about instant coffee. With a huge difference between them based on brewing method etc., both are still coffee, which matters. But the factor of cost for both instant and ground coffee concerns a lot of people. So let’s take a look at the cheaper option in today’s episode: “Instant vs ground coffee: which is cheaper?”
Instant vs. Ground Coffee: Which Is Cheaper?
Before I start, I have a small request. Please read through the boring, nerdy stuff. I had to research a lot and pick up a few references to get them together.
With that said, let’s look into the price range for each type of coffee.
|Instant Coffee (Per 100g)||$2.18|
|Ground Coffee (Per 100g)||$4.07|
|Instant Coffee (Per Ounce)||$0.62|
|Ground Coffee (Per Ounce)||$1.15|
And today’s winner is Instant coffee!
I can almost hear the uproar of the ground coffee lovers as they mutter under their breath, “it’s not even real coffee.” But let’s take a look at the reason why instant coffee is cheaper.
To produce instant coffee powder, big companies like Nestle have to go through a time and resource-consuming process. So you must be thinking, how is it cheap then?
Here’s the secret: Instant coffee manufacturers cheap out on the main ingredient all the time. And their preferred one is low-quality and cheaper Robusta beans.
To cut costs, many manufacturers buy coffee crops from a previous harvest. Since it’s an old harvest, the coffee produce loses its overall quality, causing the prices for the crops to drop significantly.
Another reason for the cheap cost is that instant coffee is used very lowly, so the packaging doesn’t have to be really heavy either, which cuts down the cost even more. Sounds really cheap now, huh?
The amount of convenience also factors into how cheap instant coffee is. Just think about it: all you need is a mug and hot water. Just mix the coffee and water in the cup, and you are ready to go.
On the other hand, ground coffee requires that you buy the beans in the first place (which definitely aren’t cheap), plus you need equipment, knowledge to handle said equipment, knowledge of brewing process, grinding specifics, and I can go on and on.
In short: though it’s worth it, it’s still painful.
But in a world where many swear to drink only ground coffee or nothing at all, instant coffee gets looked down upon a lot. And that’s understandable.
The short answer is: Yes.
Still here? Well then, get ready to read through the long answer because a few factors affect the reasoning behind Robusta coffee beans being cheap.
Did you know that Robusta trees start growing fruit only after 2 years, whereas arabica beans take 4? And that means two extra years of maintenance without getting a profit in return.
The same can’t say the same since the fruits come out early, and the harvest can be sold for profit way earlier than Arabica. The availability of Robusta is what makes it cheaper.
Robusta beans ensure a higher profit margin by simply producing more fruits than Arabica. More fruit=more coffee=more profit
Even after making up 40% of global coffee production, Robusta beans are relatively less desired than Arabica beans because of their bitterness.
Though there is a demand for bitter coffee, the amount pales compared to the demand for Arabica beans, which make up 58% of global coffee production.
Robusta beans are so bitter that they are often filled with Arabica grinds. Due to their low desirability and high availability, coffee farmers sell them off at a lower price rather than spoiling the whole harvest of robusta beans.
This is the primary reason why instant coffee manufacturers choose Robusta or Arabica coffee grounds. And as we mentioned earlier, this price gets even lower when they buy Robusta products from a previous harvest and have lower quality and poor flavor profile.
Want to stick to ground coffee but still save as much cash as possible?
Granted, there are types of equipment for ground coffee that cost a ton and need heavy maintenance to provide you morning freshness, but there are also cheaper alternatives that can give you decent, fresh coffee.
The final brewed coffee experience may differ from what you can get from a high-quality machine, but it’s still better than costing an arm and a leg. And in this economy, I’d say that’s a huge plus.
So without further adieu, let’s dive into it.
Our first choice is the official mascot for fine cups of coffee. With AeroPress, you don’t need to waste a lot of time, and it’s almost as fast as making a cup of instant coffee. All you need is some fine coffee grinds, elbow grease to push that plunger, and a cup to collect your coffee.
AeroPress may be a budget option, but it can produce coffee as good as an espresso machine or similar qualities. You just need to combine milk or other additives of your preference to make the taste difference stand out.
Worried about clean-up? Just throw the used filter in the trash, rinse the AeroPress machine, and you’re done! Yes, it’s that simple.
Here read out our best tips for aeropress users should know article.
This coffee is another simple coffee maker with next to zero maintenance, this coffee works similar to a French press. The only difference is that the paper filter helps you get a more clean cup of coffee. The clarity of flavor in the final cup of coffee is also more present than in the French press or a drip coffee maker.
The body of a clever dripper is made from non-toxic, BPA-free plastic. So if you’re worried about your taste of freshly ground beans getting spoiled by the plastic body, no need to fear anymore.
Easy to clean, light on the wallet, environment friendly, and most importantly, you can enjoy a cup of fine ground coffee from it. Do I still need to convince you any further to get one for yourself?
Learn more from our clever dripper brewing guide article.
Instant Coffee Vs. Ground Coffee: Which Is Better
If you visit any coffee shop before work and take the time to ask about the contents of their coffee, the most common answer you will receive is: it’s fresh ground coffee. And we all love a nice cup of coffee that warms us up from the local coffee shop.
This brings us to the question: is ground coffee better than instant coffee?
Ground coffee is usually made from fresh coffee beans that do not need chemical treatment. Without outside tampering, the taste of the beans stays pretty much intact when you put them through any roasting process or brewing method.
On the other hand, Instant coffee granules lose most of their flavor and aroma from a hefty chemical and manufacturing process since all the compounds containing the flavor and aroma in a coffee bean get washed away or altered during the process.
Since ground coffees are more natural, they carry more health benefits than instant coffee. Ground coffee contains many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and potassium, among many other things.
Just because instant coffee is sealed tight in a packet doesn’t mean it’s as fresh as it looks. Remember, before turning into instant coffee, the beans have already been brewed once. The same isn’t the case with ground coffee.
Instant coffees main Robusta, but in the case of coffee shops, they provide their products that contain a blend of Arabica and Robusta, making it more diverse in flavor. The diversity comes from the flavor fullness of the sugary, oily feel from the Arabica beans and the bitterness of Robusta.
After considering all these points, it’s easier for you to realize why coffee shops prioritize ground coffees over instant coffee. Though it costs a bit more, the extra expense is worth it.
But at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.
Had fun reading “instant vs ground coffee: which is cheaper”? Here, read another battle of classics about aeropress vs french press.
After reading through all the boring statistics and stuff, are you willing to sacrifice the flavor goodness by choosing instant coffee? Or are you still going to defend the hill for ground coffee?
Since manufacturers save a ton of cost by buying out the old harvest, low-quality beans, the low price of instant coffee easily brings them profit. As a result, you can purchase instant coffee at a much lower price from any nearby shop.
Ground coffee beans are relatively fresh, as they don’t go through a chemical-heavy manufacturing process. It allows the ground beans to pertain to their original quality and nutrients. So ground coffee is definitely the healthier choice with additional health benefits.
The main choice for instant coffee is Robusta coffee beans, either for a hot cup of coffee or for a cold brew.
Instant coffee is pre-ground and pre-roasted coffee beans ready to be brewed just with hot water and sealed in a packet for preservation.
From the chart in the article, it’s safe to say ground coffee costs more per cup than instant coffee.
If you really need to fill up your daily dose of caffeine without sacrificing time, instant coffee should be your primary choice. Considering that pouring the powder into hot water and stirring it doesn’t take much time, you can have your regular coffee fix in literal seconds.