Ground Coffee vs Instant Coffee - What are the Differences?

Ground Coffee vs. Instant Coffee

Ummm! Coffee… The word itself is enticing for the majority of us. When we hear the word, the smell of a freshly made cup of coffee starts lingering around our senses, playfully making us crave a cup.

Having a cup in the morning to kick start your day, or probably at any time of the day to add some extra caffeine kick to step up your performance. We have many options to choose from, so choosing from them becomes a big task. Coffee and its varieties are extensive, and arguing about which is better often confuses us.

So to provide a valid justification between instant coffee and ground coffee, we considered breaking it down for your reference. The points below will let you decide what you wish to have in your cup of coffee, be it instant coffee, ground coffee, or probably both.

Both of them can be enjoyed in their own ways without any guilt. Let's dive into this wonderful discussion about instant and ground coffee.

Let's discuss each of them elaborately!

What is Ground/Filter Coffee?

What is Ground/Filter Coffee?

Let's get into a simple example for you to relate to. We need flour to bake and cook, but we need to grind wheat to get the flour. For coffee, it is the same as above. We need roasted coffee beans to be ground and brewed into a beautiful cup of coffee. There are many ways to brew your coffee, but all of them require ground coffee beans and water.

Before getting into our cups, there are some imperative steps to follow with these beans. Starting from extracting it from a little berry, the coffee berry has numerous steps to follow very intricately as per the guidelines of the Grower. The Grower's detailed guidelines help to retain the taste and flavour notes of the coffee beans. For example, some coffee beans are often sorted into categories and washed. Then their flesh is removed to reach the green coffee bean inside.

They are then put to dry in the bright sun on ample racks, given enough time to lock in all the different flavors and notes each one needs to carry. Once they dry up, they are packed and shipped all across the globe, ready to be roasted into what we often appreciate as "whole coffee beans." Ground Coffee is also called Filter Coffee.

Before we jump into the differences between ground coffee and instant coffee, let's know what instant coffee is and how it competes with ground coffee in the market.

What is Instant Coffee?

What is Instant Coffee?

The Beverage instant coffee is acquired from brewed coffee beans and helps people make coffee either by adding hot water or hot milk to the coffee solids, either in powdered or crystallized form.

First invented in Invercargill, New Zealand, in 1890, instant coffee was also known as soluble coffee, coffee powder, or coffee crystals, referring to dehydrated and packed-up solids accessible at retail stores to make an instant cup of coffee.

The instant coffee is prepared ideally by freeze-drying or spray-drying and can be rehydrated again. It was invented as an alternative to regularly brewing coffee.

Crucially, instant coffee is different from ground coffee in that it is more concentrated. As it is already dehydrated, adding it to hot milk or water makes it soluble instantly, as its name suggests; that's why even NASA astronauts prefer having it! Amusing right?

Instant Coffee vs. Filter Coffee: a Warfare!

The war between instant coffee and ground coffee has been substantial, letting people choose which is best or end up liking both. This part will help you choose and will let you decide for yourself with enough substantive facts about both varieties.

The Brewing Method: The Journey of the Bean to Coffee

The journey from the coffee berries to brewing is a significant difference that makes them stand out against each other. Ground coffee is brewed when needed. As discussed earlier, it is washed, roasted, and shipped worldwide, reaching its retail shops to further go through its natural deterioration process. in comparison, instant coffee has been cleaned, processed, brewed, and packaged before it reaches you.

As per the National Coffee Association, it depends on the type of coffeemaker we use to determine when the grounds need to be submerged in water to get the flavour we want. For example, a drip system needs approximately five minutes, while a French press requires two to four minutes. And if we want a cold brew, we must leave the coffee steeped in the water for around 12 hours! Or overnight.

Whereas with instant coffee, it gets done in a flash. Pour some hot water or milk, and the thirst for the caffeine kick can be quenched instantaneously.

Flavour & Taste

Instant coffee is known to have a bitter taste and can be chalky or sour. But this entirely depends on the brands you choose for yourself. For example, we at Odd Beans have combined our coffee with different flavours. So, every time you sip on it, you can feel the flavour and notes of coffee combined so well that you can hardly feel the bitterness of it.

Suppose you select an instant coffee brand that derives its coffee from Arabica beans. In that case, that changes everything in terms of flavour and aroma.

Pro tip: You can combine a spoonful of cocoa powder with your coffee to enhance the flavour. It adds a deep, rich flavour to it, along with antioxidants to your coffee.

Whereas for ground coffee, it continues its delivery of a balanced cup of sweetness and acidity that is not only aromatic but also flavoursome. The flavours and aroma notes linger around, from nutty and chocolaty to fruity and floral.

However, even some of the categories of ground coffee tend to hold on to their bitterness, but that doesn't overpower the flavour.

The caffeine kick We want: caffeine content

For all the coffee lovers, instant coffee has always been a blessing in disguise because of its lower caffeine content in it.The caffeine content in instant coffee is comparatively lower than that in ground coffee. One teaspoon of instant coffee contains around 30–90 mg of caffeine, while a cup of ground coffee delivers around 70–140 mg.

So, if you want to beat that morning dullness and want an instant caffeine kick, you can indulge in instant coffee. But if you are very particular about your caffeine punch to drive your day, you can choose ground coffee too. Both are winners here in this section.


As the ground coffee has been chosen from Arabica beans, it tends to be more expensive than the instant coffee.

In India, the average price of a cup of coffee can vary depending on various factors, such as location, quality of the coffee, and the type of establishment you are buying it from. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between 30 and 150 rupees for a cup of coffee. On average, an instant cup of coffee ranges from Rs 10 to Rs 100, whereas ground coffee costs Rs 50 to Rs 200, depending on where you prefer to have it.

Shelf Life

We coffee lovers are very possessive about our coffee, that even wasting one teaspoon of coffee feels like a sin! So considering the shelf life of coffee is crucial. Shelf life means for how long the coffee can retain its aroma and taste at room temperature.

The ground coffee has a shelf life of 12 months whereas instant coffee can have a shelf life of 18 months. Keeping this in mind, we at Odd Beans have improvised accordingly so that you don't have to waste even a single granule of coffee.

To put all the differences together for you to compare easily, we have made this table: 


Instant coffee

Ground coffee

Brewing Time

Very quick—less than 1 min.

Depends on brewing methods and ranges between 5 and 15 minutes.

Flavour and Taste

Bitter, chalky, and sour

Chocolatey, nutty, fruity, and floral

Caffeine content

30-90 mg

70-140 mg


Less compared to ground coffee

As per facts, it's a bit more expensive than instant coffee.

Shelf life

18 months

12 months


We hope that by comparing all the points, you can decide for yourself! Both instant and ground coffee have their own perks and are winners in their own fields. It depends on you and how you prefer your coffee.

You can have your traditional cup of ground coffee, or for an instant kick of caffeine, you can have instant coffee with different flavour twists.

Here at Odd Beans, we have delicately added the flavours to our coffee beans so that they not only add to your coffee experience but enhance it with different flavour notes. To start your instant coffee journey, we would suggest you choose from our hand-picked premium instant coffee flavours.

We have not only processed it well but also packed it with uttermost care to preserve the taste till it reaches your cup. Easy to carry everywhere you go, with a shelf life of more than 18 months.

Takeaway tip: Try Odd Beans premium coffee; you are going to love all the blends that we provide so handily.

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