Freeze-dried coffee is instant coffee, but not all instant coffees are freeze-dried. Sound a bit confusing? Don’t worry; this article will tell you everything about freeze-dried coffee.
Freeze-dried coffee is a coffee extract that has undergone a freezing process and then a process that removes the liquid and ice from the product.
The result is granules of freeze-dried coffee that only require hot water or milk to create a perfect cup of joe.
A coffee lover for years, I’ve recently decided to expand my horizons and learn more about the coffee-making process; why do some cups of coffee taste better than others?
I began researching the free-drying process to understand what makes freeze-dried coffee great and the best products on the market.
The Difference Between Freeze Dried and Instant Coffee
You take that first sip of that office brew, and the lack of flavor and rich aroma leaves much to be desired.
So different than your typical order at the artisan coffee shop down the road. Why?
The difference involves the process; how is most instant coffee made?
Spray dried results from hot water sprayed onto the coffee beans. The water evaporates, leaving behind a thin, dry coffee powder.
It’s thought that the high temperatures involved in the spray drying process leech the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
The instant coffee that most people are familiar with is spray-dried.
While freeze-dried coffee might be making a resurgence as a trendy coffee product, people have been making instant coffee since the 1700s.
There are three main steps in the freeze-drying process. These steps include:
When freeze-drying, low temperatures are critical to ensure flavors and aromas are not lost. How cold? Coffee is frozen to a sub-zero temperature of -40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
After the coffee extract freezes to the desired temperature, low heat is added, allowing the water to sublimate as the ice goes frozen to a gaseous state. This process results in dry coffee crystals.
Finally, more heat is added, so the remaining water molecules become gas. The result is dehydrated coffee crystals.
After a rapid drying process within the vacuum chamber, the crystals expand and are ready to be shipped out!
Free-dried coffee is instant coffee; however, it’s in the upper echelon of instant coffee.
What Makes Freeze-Dried Coffee the Superior Instant Coffee?
As mentioned above, the spray-dried processing causes much of the flavor and aroma of the coffee to be lost.
However, it’s still a popular method of serving coffee due to its cost and ability to be packaged and shipped.
If you’re part of the growing market that misses coffee’s rich flavors, you might consider switching to freeze-dried coffee.
Best Freeze-Dried Coffee Brands on the Market
Let’s take a look at some of the highest-reviewed freeze-dried coffees available.
Mount Hagen Organic
This coffee uses fresh Arabica beans grown in a high-altitude climate. This coffee is the first certified organic freeze-dried coffee. With almost 900 4.5-star reviews, Mount Hagen Organic is a favorite in the freeze-dried coffee community.
Buendia by Juan Valdez
Strong, smooth Columbian coffee at your fingertips and ready almost instantly. Customers love the intense flavors found in this coffee. Coffee beans are hand-picked in Columbia and washed in spring water before the beans undergo freeze-drying.
Franklin’s Finest Coffee
This brand of coffee is specifically marketed as an emergency supply coffee. Franklin’s Finest coffee claims to have a shelf life of 30 years. This brand of coffee features Columbian coffee beans and contains 60 servings of freeze-dried coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have questions about freeze-dried coffee? Let’s look at the most commonly asked questions surrounding this topic.
Can coffee be freeze-dried?
Yes! During freeze-drying, the coffee freezes to a temperature of -40 Fahrenheit or colder.
The ice sublimates from a frozen state to a gaseous state, and then after additional heating, the remaining coffee product is packaged.
What is the advantage of freeze-dried coffee?
Perhaps the biggest draw to this type of coffee is convenience without sacrificing flavor.
Unlike regular instant coffee, you have freeze-dried coffee seals in the taste and aromas during freeze-drying.
You can also make freeze-dried coffee at home, making it more cost-efficient than picking up a cup of joe on the go.
Is freeze-dried coffee the same as instant coffee?
All freeze-dried coffee is instant, but not all is frozen. It doesn’t sound obvious, but most instant coffee is a fine powder from spray drying.
Unfortunately, the flavor is lost, so many people prefer freeze-dried coffee for instant coffee.
Are there health benefits to freeze-dried coffee?
Freeze-dried coffee has nutrients and antioxidants, with only about seven calories per serving.
Like regular coffee, freeze-dried and instant coffee can increase brain function, boost metabolism, and improve mental health.
How long does freeze-dried coffee last?
In this article, we learned Franklin’s Finest coffee boasts that it lasts up to 30 years. Most freeze-dried coffee lasts up to 20 years on the shelf if unopened.
However, if frozen, it has no expiration date! Compare that to ground coffee which only lasts up to 5 months. That makes freeze-dried coffee a favorite among those who build up food storage.
So, what is freeze-dried coffee? Freeze-dried coffee undergoes a specific freezing process but preserves the coffee’s natural aroma and flavor.
The process includes extraction, crystallization, and dehydration, resulting in a longer shelf life of coffee.
We hope we’ve answered all of your freeze-dry coffee questions and that you’ve learned a bit more about the process.
Armed with more coffee knowledge, we hope you can now purchase coffee feeling more confident in what you’re looking for.