Bascially, instant coffee is just regularly brewed coffee with nearly all the water removed. It's not that mysterious a process at all. There is no strange chemical adulteration that goes on. Instant coffee is still pure coffee. There are hundreds of different coffee species but the two most commercially viable are coffea robusta and coffea arabica. The sturdy, disease-resistant coffea robusta, which thrives at lower altitudes, produces beans with a harsher, more single-dimensional flavor than the more sensitive coffea arabica, which grows at high altitudes (3,000 to 6,500 feet) and produces beans with elegant, complex flavors. The coffee plant is actually a small tree that bears a fruit called the "coffee cherry." Growing and tending these coffee trees is a labor-intensive process because blossoms, unripe (green) and ripe red cherries can occupy a tree simultaneously, necessitating hand-picking the fruit. The coffee cherry's skin and pulp surround two beans enclosed in a parchmentlike covering. Once these layers are discarded, the beans are cleaned, dried, graded and hand-inspected for color and quality.