Barrel-Aged Coffee vs. Instant Coffee. What’s the difference?
The rich dark liquid that flows across the world and greases the wheels of our economies need no introduction as such. We might eventually run out of coffee since it is one of the most traded commodities in the world and because of its allegedly insatiable demand. Apparently more than 2 billion “cups of Joe” are drunk every day and for most of them, working life would seem hopeless without it. As predominantly tea-drinking Asian drinking countries like India are bewitched by coffee’s charms, soon enough it may become the world’s most preferred drink.
There’s no doubt when it comes to the kick of adrenaline rush we experience as an instant after-effect of coffee that helps us to focus better, stimulates our physical performance, provides immunity against several diseases, and if consumed in moderate amounts, can protect our health against illnesses.
One more reason for the popularity of coffee is that it can be cherished by almost everyone. Being an inexpensive product, it is a simple pleasure appreciated by the masses and a drink that brings people together. With the amplifying popularity and disparate fondness in various demographics of people, there are various styles, tastes, and brews of coffee. Also, food joints and cafes have become involved to overture their customers with the famous coffee drinks everyone is fond of.
So, what are the various popular coffee drinks that keep everyone sane? Well, for starters let’s begin with the most common and regular coffees. We have a choice of dark or light roast, house blend (with a coffee grinder), french roast, and breakfast blend, these are a few to name. If you want, you can switch between only regular coffees every day and try new varieties daily, and much longer than that. You can easily get regular or decaffeinated coffee and from there, you can move on to cappuccino, espresso, and latte.
What is Instant Coffee?
There is no concrete proof as to who created instant coffee, but some likely contenders include John Dring, who in 1771 obtained a patent for "coffee compound," a Glasgow company that asserts it created "Camp Coffee," and Japanese chemist Sartori Kato, who in 1901 introduced "powdered coffee." But, almost all introductory inventions failed as they couldn’t preserve the aroma and taste of freshly brewed coffee.
Formerly, instant coffee (also known as soluble coffee) primarily received attention from military commanders that were eager to experiment with something that would give them a caffeine boost without carrying cumbrous brewing equipment. Today, instant coffee has termed as a beverage derived from brewed coffee beans that allow people to instantly make hot coffee by adding hot water or milk to coffee solids in powdered or crystallized form and stirring. The dehydrated and packaged solids that are sold at retail outlets and used to produce instant coffee are known as instant coffee solids, also known as soluble coffee, coffee crystals, coffee powder, or powdered coffee.
Some of the many benefits of instant coffee include the speed of preparation, lower shipping costs, lesser volume than beans or ground coffee, and long shelf life. Instant coffee is available and sold in powder or granulated form contained in glass and plastic jars, sachets, or tins. There are numerous varieties of instant coffee brands available in the market, but there are 2 primary categories of instant coffee types.
Before we learn more about Instant coffee, it is important to understand that all instant coffee is ‘pre-made’. They are made from entire coffee beans that have been finely ground and brewed using steam that is under extreme pressure and temperature. This produces an extremely viscous, thick substance that must subsequently be dehydrated. After being divided into smaller bits, the dehydrated product is what we now refer to as instant coffee.
Freeze-dried instant coffee
This type of coffee is termed the highest quality level of coffee available. Arabica beans are used to make this quality coffee. Your coffee's texture is a definite, obvious giveaway that it has been freeze-dried. When rolled between two of your fingertips, a piece of freeze-dried coffee has a lengthier, firm shape that is difficult to break and does not decompose. Coffee extract is chopped into granules and frozen to a temperature of roughly - 40°C in order to freeze-dry it. The frozen granules are then vacuum- and low-temperature dried. The extremely low temperature and gentle drying conditions safeguard the quality of the aroma and flavor.
You can see why these kinds of coffee are regarded as being of higher quality: the dehydration process, the use of higher-quality coffee beans, and the preservation of aroma.
Spray-dried instant coffee
Commonly regarded as the less expensive of the "high-end" instant coffees is spray-dried coffee. There is a very precise reason why it is made to use lesser quality coffee beans. The spray-drying method is less expensive, but it results in a significant loss of the coffee's natural flavor. Using expensive coffee beans makes little sense because the flavor will be greatly diminished. In some circumstances, spray drying is preferred to freeze drying because it enables more economical large-scale production, has faster drying times, and yields tiny rounded particles. Rolling a granule between two fingertips indicates that the granule crumbles rather easily and is not a solid granule, indicating that the texture of spray-dried coffee is very different from that of freeze-dried coffee. Additionally, spray-dried coffee has a rounder, more porous, and brittle appearance. Additionally, the color is much richer than that of freeze-dried coffee. The fluid is evaporated using a hot stream in the spray-drying process for coffee. In a tube with hot air streaming through, the coffee is ground under intense pressure.
What is Barrel-Aged Coffee?
Although it might sound strange or crazy, barrel-aged coffee is revolutionizing the flavored coffee industry. Since many coffee businesses rely on artificial flavors or sweet syrups, the sub-niche of flavored coffee has been lacking in creativity. Contrary to those choices, barrel-aged coffee gives the term "flavored coffee" a completely new meaning.
See what this newest coffee craze is all about and whether coffee lovers around the world will adopt it.
Barrel-aged coffee, as the name suggests is coffee aged inside an alcohol-aging barrel and is way too different from flavored coffee as there are no added syrups, artificial flavorings, or extracts and the coffee is truly flavored naturally which means the coffee has no additives or chemicals added to enhance the flavor.
How is it made?
The process of barrel-aged coffee is simple but demands time and patience to get the authentic flavors to emerge. The fresh and plucked green coffee beans are kept inside a barrel previously used to age alcohol as they still contain the flavor and aroma of alcohol. The green beans absorb them and create a distinguished flavor profile. Once the aging process is done, the beans are roasted and ready to use. The result is a naturally flavored cup of coffee with spices and notes from the alcohol barrel. The flavors can be diverse due to the fact that each aging barrel has its own unique aroma that the coffee will absorb.
What kind of alcohol does the coffee taste like?
The type of flavor the barrel-aged coffee delivers entirely depends on what type of alcohol was aged in the barrel. Most of them come from Whiskey and Bourbon, but Rum and Wine are also popular choices. The coffee doesn’t entirely taste like alcohol, but the coffee absorbs stronger notes and definitely spices up the green coffee beans during the aging process.
The barrel-aged coffee beans sure do have an earthy and nutty flavor. Coffee aged in bourbon barrels will have a sweeter, vanilla-like flavor. Wine-aged coffee varies on the type of wine but has the same earthy flavors as red wine. Rum-aged barrel coffee has sweet and spicy notes, similar to that of caramel. Nevertheless, every barrel ages differently, so each batch will be unique and different.
Does it contain any Alcohol?
You may term it as a coffee shot, but barrel-aged coffee doesn’t contain any alcohol, though it is worth giving it a shot. The flavors are there but the taste will be completely different from other flavored coffees and won’t get you drunk. It’s crucial not to confuse barrel-aged coffee with alcoholic beverages containing alcohol, which will give you quite the buzz.
It's challenging to stay on top of the most recent coffee trends, as there are plenty of them that come and go. However, barrel-aged coffee is a trend that is here to stay and slay in the long run. Say goodbye to flavoring syrups high in fructose and hello to coffee that has been slowly aged in oak barrels with natural flavors. Yum!
We believe that barrel-aged coffee should be on everyone's list, whether you appreciate coffee and the occasional whiskey and want to match the two. As delicious as it sounds, the best part is that you can try them. Few Brands like Chariot Coffee have a premium range of Barrel-aged coffee beans with enhanced flavors and strong notes giving you an overall experience and assisting you in becoming an at-home barista.