Instant versus fresh coffee: 3 Fascinating facts

With the UK consuming a staggering 70 million cups of coffee each and every day (Mintel Coffee UK 2008) there’s no doubt that we are indeed a nation of coffee enthusiasts. However whilst filter coffee has long since been known as the king of caffeine, delivering a more flavoursome taste, as a nation it seems that we remain dedicated instant coffee drinkers, with 74% of all UK adults drinking the stuff regularly, compared to 48% of us who drink fresh coffee regularly (Mintel Coffee UK 2012). Here we take a close look at the toss-up between instant and filter coffee and explain why it’s best to go fresh every time.

1. Instant coffee is usually high in toxic compounds

Many instant coffee brands can be high in acrylamide, which is a chemical that has (rather worryingly) been found to cause cancer and nerve damage in animals. In fact, so potentially damaging is this chemical that the European Union has recorded it as a category two Carcinogen and in California they display warning signs within coffee houses in relation to instant coffee’s acrylamide levels.

2. Instant coffee is seriously unnatural, as well as artificially manufactured

Instant coffee goes through a space age like manufacturing process to create the dry grains that you see before you in your coffee cup. This will involve either freeze drying or spray drying. What’s more instant coffee is also full of all manner of additives and preservatives to ensure a long sell-by date.

As a final point, instant coffee is usually lower in anti-oxidant compounds (which are thought to help our bodies get rid of toxins, as well as helping us in looking younger, for longer). This is despite coffee being naturally rich in anti-oxidant properties (you can thank that nasty manufacturing process for that!).

3. Fresh coffee is (almost) as fast, definitely cheaper and a whole lot more romantic

Gone are the days of waiting an age for the peculator and you can forget about having to resort to terrifying motorway service vending machines when on the move for a caffeine hit; today the Cafetière Travel Mug makes for a practical and compact answer for re-caffeinating on the go. The difference in brewing times is then barely a point to discuss.

Yet beyond this we turn to the issue of price. Taking the example of Nescafe Gold Blend instant coffee, for which you’d be forking out £0.09 per cup, by comparison, with Tesco Finest Colombian Supremo Fair Trade Coffee, you’d be able to enjoy fresh coffee and a cup price of just £0.092. That’s a tenth of the price (arguably for ten times the taste, too).

What’s more instant coffee really doesn’t compare when it comes to enjoying the caffeine experience – there’s simply nothing quite like brewing a Cafetière of coffee on a Sunday morning (and they look great upon the trays of breakfast in bed, too).

Take the plunge with good filter coffee on the go or at home and never again face the three instant coffee woes we’ve written about here – grab your 10% discount code to be redeemed upon Amazon. The code is Coffee10.

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