What Is Freeze-Dried Coffee?

by Wanda Thibodeaux

In the morning, sometimes it’s pretty hard to get yourself going physically. Although eating a good breakfast is the best way to wake up your body, the occasional jolt of caffeine from a cup of coffee can give you a little extra shove if you need to get out the door in a hurry. Brewing a cup of coffee can take time, however, so as an alternative, freeze-dried coffee is available.

Definition

Freeze-dried coffee, also known as instant coffee, is dehydrated coffee that is made from coffee liquor (coffee that already has been brewed). To be used, freeze-dried coffee is placed in hot water and rehydrated. After rehydration, it can be used like any other type of brewed coffee.

Manufacture

The method of manufacture for freeze-dried coffee is relatively simple. Coffee grounds are brewed as normal in large commercial vats. The resulting coffee liquor is then placed through evaporators so that it becomes highly concentrated. It is then foamed and frozen. The concentrated coffee then is ground into particles, and the crystals of ice within the particles are removed through the process of sublimation.

Advantages

There are several advantages of freeze-dried coffee when compared to regular brewed coffee. Freeze-dried coffee is extremely portable. It comes in large containers but also individual packets that can be transported in pockets, purses, or lunch containers. Also, freeze-dried coffee does not require any equipment such as a coffee maker. All that is needed is a cup and hot water. Freeze-dried coffee is ready faster than brewed coffee. It is ready as soon as the crystals of coffee dissolve in the water. It is hard to get the strength of the coffee incorrect, since coffee drinkers can simply add more crystals or add water until they reach the strength they like.

Types

As with regular brewed coffee, there are many types of freeze-dried coffee available. Coffee drinkers can choose from caffeinated and decaffeinated versions, and there are many different flavors based on the coffee grounds that are used to make the freeze dried coffee. These flavors can be tweaked based on how many crystals are put into a cup, and coffee drinkers can find the brand that suits them best.

History

Freeze-dried coffee has a history that spans more than a century. It was invented in 1901 by Satori Kato, a Japanese scientist. Later, George C.L. Washington first marketed the product around 1910. The first name brand of freeze-dried coffee, Nescafe, was developed 18 years later in 1938.

About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.