Instant coffee is produced through a process called spray drying. The process involves brewing coffee to create a concentrated liquid solution, which is then atomized into fine droplets and sprayed into a large chamber where hot air is blowing. The hot air rapidly evaporates the water from the droplets, leaving behind dried coffee particles that can be easily reconstituted by adding hot water.
- Here are the general steps of the process:
- Coffee beans are roasted, ground and brewed to extract the coffee liquid.
- The liquid coffee is then concentrated, usually by boiling or evaporation, to create a thick syrup that contains a high concentration of coffee solids.
- The concentrated coffee syrup is then atomized into fine droplets by spraying it through a nozzle or by passing it through a spinning disk.
- The droplets are then exposed to hot air, which rapidly evaporates the water from the droplets, leaving behind dried coffee particles.
- The dried coffee particles are collected and packaged.
- When the consumer is ready to use the instant coffee, they simply need to add hot water to the dried coffee particles to reconstitute them back into a cup of coffee.
- Note that instant coffee can also be produced by freezing dried process, where coffee is frozen and then dried using sublimation. The result is a coffee powder that has a longer shelf life, better aroma, and a more natural taste than spray-dried coffee.