Solutions for Instant Coffee Manufacturing

From roasting and grinding through to instant products

For decades our customers have recognized the GEA name as synonymous with state-of-the-art plants for the highest quality instant coffee manufacture. Our process and technology expertise, industry know-how and experience in plant design and engineering make us an ideal partner, whatever the instant coffee product, brand, or process.

We offer tailored solutions ranging from single pieces of equipment to fully integrated instant coffee lines. Our customers can be confident that no detail will be overlooked, and that every deliverable will achieved on time and to budget.

A resource in every phase

Our skilled project management teams are committed to your installation, and will take your project smoothly from initial design through to final installation and testing, without costly delays. GEA plants are built to promise robust, reproducible and trouble-free processing, right from day one. Choose from a range of comprehensive service and plant upgrade programs and we will support, maintain and optimize the performance of your plant for its complete lifespan, giving you maximum return on your investment.

Preparation stages

The quality and flavor of your final instant coffee product is affected by the quality of your beans and by key processes, such as roasting, but also by other upstream and downstream processes. How thoroughly the green beans are cleaned, for example, can impact on final flavor, stability and shelf life.


FIC Extractor

Coffee beans are an expensive commodity, and every instant coffee manufacturer expects to maximize yield without losing out on flavor, or aroma. We work with our customers to select the most appropriate, sustainable extraction technologies for every process and product, so that you can stay versatile, maximize efficiency and return on investment, and generate the best product for your consumers.

Extract treatment and aroma preservation

Extract treatment is critical to preserving aroma. The first step involves clarification, through which insoluble components are separated from the soluble coffee extract using a system of filters and centrifuges.  We can offer two downstream processing solutions, to match process and customer requirements. Our freeze concentration technology helps to retain all of the flavor components, without the risk of heat-related degradation of key constituents. The aroma recovery system prevent the loss of valuable aroma components during thermal concentration by recapturing volatile components and adding them back into the concentrate prior to the drying process.

Evaporation of coffee extract

Concentration by evaporation is an important step that maximizes the solids content of the extract prior to freeze or spray drying. As the coffee extract is a thermally sensitive product, mild processing conditions throughout the concentration step are essential. GEA evaporation plants are designed to achieve high product quality and energy efficiency with maximum running times. They are equipped with either mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) or thermal vapor recompression (TVR) for this purpose.


Our proven process for microground coffee incorporates wet grinding, operates at a low temperature, and can be adapted to meet your specific requirements. The system captures and preserves the flavor and aroma of the coffee bean, which results in a better tasting end product, and produces a particle size of approximately 30 µm, for an improved mouthfeel.

Freeze drying, spray drying and agglomeration

Freeze Dryers CONRAD plant 1200x675

The freeze drying process locks in the coffee extract flavor and aroma, preserves the color, and ensures consistent density and solubility. Our freeze drying technologies give you absolute control over these crucial quality parameters, while our granulation system ensures production of exactly the right granule size and size distribution, every batch. We also offer a range of economical spray drying and agglomeration systems that are ideally suited to generating free-flowing, agglomerated/granulated instant coffee powders that will match your process and powder property requirements, including moisture content, particle size, and bulk density. 


All processing equipment and its environment must be kept clean, but manual cleaning can be time consuming and add extra expense and down time to production processes. All this ultimately impacts on profitability. To help reduce this impact we offer fully automated cleaning-in-place (CIP) solutions that meet the industry’s hygiene standards for carrying out thorough, fast and efficient cleaning of key equipment. Alternatively, we can supply manual CIP systems that offer efficient, if less high-end solutions, and which still ensure thorough and effective cleaning of all equipment.


Refrigeration is required at the freeze-drying process stage, where precise temperature control helps to ensure that your instant coffee retains all of its key characteristics. We offer a portfolio of world-renowned industrial refrigeration solutions that can be tailored to match your instant coffee processes, plant layout and space availability. Our refrigeration technologies can use the latest, green refrigerants, and all our refrigeration plants are engineered to offer energy-efficient operation. The GEA portfolio of refrigeration solutions encompasses water chillers and cold room refrigeration for any stage in instant coffee processing.

Process control

We understand that continuously monitoring and controlling processing parameters will help to ensure product consistency and quality, and also maximize operating and manufacturing efficiency, capacity and throughput. Our experts configure flexible, user-friendly process control systems that can monitor complete process lines in real time, and instantly adjust key operating parameters to maintain reproducible processing.

Pilot plant for industrial benchmarking

Freeze dried coffee
We understand that customers may also want to try out equipment and processes before investing in industrial-scale plants. As a GEA customer you can make use of our dedicated test facilities, where our process, technology and engineering experts will work with you to evaluate and optimize equipment and solutions, and help you to test out new processes. Whether you are at the early stages of product development or going through the final phases of process refinement, our test center will offer an unparalleled range of equipment and know-how for coffee processes. 

Talk to us at GEA to find out more about instant coffee pilot plants, and test out our equipment for extraction, aroma recovery, freeze concentration, freeze drying, spray drying and agglomeration.