Difference Between Instant Coffee and Ground Coffee
By Marc Gordon - January 13, 2022

The instant vs. ground coffee debate has been going on for years. While some prefer the practicality of instant coffee, others swear by the taste of ground coffee. The truth is, like most things in life, both have pros and cons. Here are the main differences between ground and instant coffee.

Table Summary

Instant coffeeGround coffee
Pre-brewedRequires brewing
Freeze-dried or spray-driedRoasted beans
Person holding cup of coffee with both hands

Getty Images / Moment / Boy_Anupong


Also known as soluble coffee, instant coffee is prepared by roasting and grinding coffee beans, then brewing them and reducing the coffee into a concentrate, which is then freeze-dried or spray-dried. To rehydrate the coffee, the only thing required is hot water. Preparing instant coffee, as the name suggests, does not require a lot of effort or time – all you need to do is pour some boiling water into a cup filled with some instant coffee granules.

Ground coffee, on the other hand, is made by grinding coffee beans. To turn it into a drink, a few items are necessary: a filter (or percolator or a French press), a vessel and boiling water. Through this process, water seeps through the ground coffee, absorbing some of its chemical compounds, and passes through a filter. While the used coffee grounds remain in the filter, the brewed coffee is collected in a vessel such as a pot or a cup.

Instant Coffee VS Ground Coffee

When it comes to instant and ground coffee, their taste is so different some people consider them to be different drinks completely. While instant coffee is freeze-dried pre-brewed coffee, ground coffee is freshly brewed using a filter, percolator or French press.