Instant and soluble coffee has been dried into soluble powder or granules, which can be quickly dissolved in hot water for consumption. It is distinct from fresh coffee and is commercially prepared differently, by vigorous extraction of almost all soluble material from the ground roasted beans. This process naturally produces a different mix of components than home brewing; in particular, the percentage of caffeine in instant coffee is less, and undesirable bitter flavor components are more present. Due to the mass-production of instant coffee, lower grade beans may be used. Opinions on instant coffee range from "intolerable imposter" through "reasonable alternative" to "better than the real thing", and in some areas of the world it is seen as a sophisticated beverage popular in the United States due to the fact that it was the norm in American homes until the 1980s. Ironically, in some countries that export coffee it can be hard to get anything but instant coffee, possibly for this reason ("it's modern, therefore better"). Some varieties are freeze dried in an effort to maintain a flavor more similar to brewed coffee. In countries where it is popular, it is often referred to as "CafĂ© Puro" to the horror of coffee aficionados. Instant coffee is also convenient for preparing iced coffee, which is popular in warmer climates and/or hot seasons.
Canned coffee is a beverage that has been popular in Asian countries for many years, particularly in Japan and South Korea. Vending machines typically sell a number of varieties of canned coffee, available both hot and cold. To match with the often busy life of Korean city dwellers, companies mostly have canned coffee with a wide variety of tastes. Japanese convenience stores and groceries also have a wide availability of plastic-bottled coffee drinks, which typically are lightly sweetened and pre-blended with milk. In the United States, Starbucks sells its popular Frappuccino drinks in glass bottles, a beverage consisting primarily of milk, coffee, sugar, and flavoring (like vanilla or caramel). They also sell a canned espresso drink, Double Shot, lightly sweetened and blended with cream. Other premade coffee drinks are also commercially available, but tend to be less popular.
Another type of premade coffee is liquid coffee concentrate. It is described as having a flavor about as good as low-grade robusta coffee. It costs about 10 cents a cup to produce. Its primary use is in large institutional situations where coffee needs to be produced for thousands of people at the same time. The machines used to process it can handle up to 500 cups an hour, or 1,000 if the water is preheated.