It’s a growing phenomenon in workplaces all over Australia – the jar of instant coffee siting on the staff kitchen shelf barely used while turns are taken to do the “coffee run”. So why is an espresso coffee so much better than an instant?
It’s not just your imagination that the coffee is better, it is. For a start, the lower quality Robusta beans are widely used for instant coffee. These beans tend to have a more bitter, musty flavour with less body (quality coffee is made predominantly from Arabica beans, but that’s another blog).
Great tasting coffee is achieved through a delicate extraction process. Water should be at about 92-96 degrees Celsius (not boiling!), the coffee freshly ground and tamped correctly with just the right pressure for the water to flow evenly and at the right speed to coax the full flavour from the coffee beans. Clearly, this can not be achieved with the instant process.
Instant coffee was invented at the turn of the 20th century for convenience. But for taste, it can’t compete with a good espresso!