Carbon inverse opals (IOs) were prepared via a facile synthesis approach using a sucrose-based precursor and polystyrene (PS) spheres as a sacrificial template. During IO preparation, polymer spheres are typically removed by dispersion in organic solvents, such as toluene or tetrahydrofuran. In this study, carbon IOs are prepared with and without removal of PS spheres by toluene to determine the influence of template removal prior to high-temperature treatment on the morphology and chemistry of the resulting carbons. Properties of samples are compared through a systematic investigation by electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. We demonstrate that a commonly used processing step - polymer sphere template chemical removal - does not make any significant difference to the IO morphology. A correlation of Raman spectroscopy with SEM imaging and TGA analysis indicates that carbon IOs prepared without the solvent-treatment step are more ordered than samples prepared with this processing step. The key finding of this report is the simplified IO synthesis procedure, which can be adapted to the preparation of IOs of other materials besides carbon.