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Facts, Features

A Brief History Of Instant Coffee

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Instant coffee has been around for more than a century, and is made with a blend of beans mixed in a blending drum, then roasted and ground. It is then brewed in huge percolators and sprayed into a heated stainless steel dryer that removes all the water, leaving granules that rehydrate when hot water is added.

A Japanese-American chemist named named Dr. Satori Kato was credited with inventing the first soluble instant coffee, presenting his invention in  1881 at the Pan-American World Fair.

A few years later in an American inventor named George Constant Louis Washington developed his own instant coffee process. He discovered the process after noticing a fine powder on his coffee pot caused by vapors, and  began selling his coffee in 1909 and founded the G. Washington Coffee Company to manufacture it in 1910.

In 1930, the Brazilian Coffee Institute, an organization that once controlled the price of coffee by regulating the amount grown and sold on the world market, faced a potential problem. Faced with a massive coffee surplus the institute was searching for a way to store coffee, and was also researching ways to make the beverage more accessible to consumers.

During this time, the Brazilian Coffee Institute approached the chairman of Nestlé. With a great deal of experience with hydrated products, the company began researching methods to dehydrate coffee.

instant-coffee-nestle7 years later, a scientist named Max Mortgenthaler working at the Nestlé Research Centre laboratory in Switzerland, created the first instant coffee by spray drying the liquid coffee into a dry soluble product. The name of the project was Nescafé, and on April 1, 1938 ,Nescafé  instant coffee was launched.

According to Starbucks, Americans spend about $700 million on instant coffee, but according to the National Coffee Association, only 7 percent of Americans drink instant coffee on a daily basis, according to the National Coffee Association. (“NYTimes.com”)

Globally, sales of instant coffee account for 40 percent of coffee sales globally, making it a $17 billion industry worldwide. (“NYTimes.com”)

In the United Kingdom, according to Starbucks, 81 percent of coffee sold is instant. (“NYTimes.com”)

. “Starbucks Coffee, Now in Instant .” NYTimes.com. N.p., 07.02.2009. Web.  <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/business/18sbux.html>.

. “1938 Nescafé – The first drinkable instant coffee.” Nestle.com. N.p., n.d. Web.  <http://www.nestle.com/RANDD/INNOVATIONS/ALLINNOVATIONS/Pages/1938-Nescafe.aspx>.


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