Espresso vs. Instant Coffee – which one is healthier?

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espresso vs. instant coffee

I’m drinking my afternoon cup of coffee in front of my laptop.
I made myself an instant coffee in less than 90 seconds, including heating the water:

  • 2 tbsp of nescafe, to be exact, and 1/2 cup of hot water

It’s quite bitter without sugar or milk, but it was ready in less than 2 minutes, which is a real time-saver!

Whereas my traditional espresso takes up to 5 minutes to prepare:

  • 3 min. to grind my favorite coffee beans in my home grinder
  • 2 min. to actually prepare the cup of coffee in my manual espresso machine

Traditional espresso is my everlasting love ever since I was 14. I’m not a coffee snob, though.
Always looking for new coffee experiences, but yet keep coming home to my favorite espresso.
Now I make it with freshly ground beans, which I prefer to grind specially for every cup of coffee I drink.

Long black espresso with no sugar or milk in it – I love it!

That’s strange. I’m sitting right now, still drinking my Nescafe,
wondering how did I develop this odd attachment to instant coffee?

After last summer camp I ended up with a whole box of instant coffee, which we couldn’t drink, so I started to drink it at home.
It’s so easy and fast to prepare! This is my third box, since last summer, and I’m starting to feel guilty of not using my espresso machine so often…

A neighbor of mine once told me that instant coffee is healthier than regular coffee – being more refined and better for the heart, and so on…
Ever since I recalled that claim, I can’t stop thinking:

“Is it really possible? Can instant coffee be healthier than espresso?”

If the answer is “Yes” then I am on the right track with my afternoon cup of coffee today, right?

Well, I started digging into it, searching for the truth, reading about the methods for processing both types of coffee – instant and espresso.

Instant coffee vs. Espresso

Both are made from roasted coffee beans.
However, beans used in instant coffee are a little bit more pre-processed prior reaching end customers.
Whereas, coffee beans used to make the traditional espresso, are far less processed.

Instant coffee making
instant coffee
There are two ways of making it – spray drying or freeze drying.
Both processes start with using large quantities of freshly brewed concentrated coffee that is either spray dried with hot and dry air,
or freeze dried using the same process which is used to make dry ice.

Espresso making

Raw coffee beans are roasted and packed either as whole bean coffee, or ground and packed as pre-ground coffee.

In my opinion the less processed the coffee beans are, the healthier the coffee is.
In this case espresso must be healthier. But I may be wrong…

Difference between Instant coffee and espresso


Caffeine content in instant coffee is less than traditional espresso due to processing the concentrated coffee into dry soluble powder.

A normal cup of espresso up to 1- 1 ½ oz has about 65 mg of caffeine. Double espresso has nearly 125 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine content in instant coffee is up to 80 mg per 8 oz cup.

Instant coffee has more benefits compared to espresso – myth or fact

Myth, I think. I couldn’t find any hard evidence supporting that claim.

Yes, instant coffee is:

  • fast and easy to make
  • good because there is no waste or mess while making it,
  • preferred when your are not that skilled at making really good espresso at home

All good, but these are not health benefits. What I see is a problem with taste and flavor:

Taste and flavor

Sure there is one huge and very distinctive difference between instant coffee and espresso – taste.

The taste of a cup of instant coffee is bitter and can be enhanced with some additives like sugar and milk.
But to be honest, the raw beans used for making instant coffee are of inferior quality compared to
the beans used to prepare regular ground coffee for espresso.
espresso vs. instant coffee

Espresso tastes like magic. It’s a whole ritual – grinding, preparation, extracting.
The smell of freshly ground coffee early in the morning, the flavor of the steaming hot black coffee – that’s romance for me.
Yes, it takes a bit more time to make, but it tastes wonderful – I can drink it all day long with no sugar or milk to spoil its flavor.

Well, I will definitely make myself an espresso tomorrow morning.


Instant coffee is cheaper than espresso. I just explained why – poor quality of raw coffee beans used.

Fact: The lower the cost and quality of the raw coffee beans, the cheaper the ready made instant coffee.

Price rage of espresso coffee blends vary greatly due to so many different coffee varieties, their qualities and specific properties. One article won’t be enough to list all of them.

So I stop here, for now.

I finished my cup of coffee and hope later to read your personal opinions about which type of coffee you prefer. And have you heard or read about one being healthier than the other?

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