Dubai: Coffee drinkers in the Middle East are opting for instant brands rather than ground or roast coffee, according to a study commissioned by food and beverage company Nestle.

The TNS beverage consumption study said instant coffee's share of throat a term used to measure beverage consumption as a percentage of a consumer's total daily liquid intake excluding potable water has grown five times from what is was in 2000.

According to Nestle, the study found that consumption of its Nescafe brand in the GCC states and the Levant increased to 1.3 billion cups in 2005, a 15 per cent annual growth over the last few years.

"When we formally introduced Nescafe to the region, the consumption of tea and the cardamom-infused 'qahwah' was prevalent," said Assaad Bou-Jawdeh of Nestle Middle East. "But soluble coffee is indeed becoming a hot beverage of choice for the young Middle Eastern generations."