Yes, you can make instant coffee with cold water. This makes the coffee slightly weaker, but it will still taste great. Instant coffee poured into cold water will eventually dissolve, but it will take minutes instead of being “instant”.
It’s simple science. Colder temperatures do not work as quickly as hot water when it comes to dissolving instant coffee powder (or crystals). Without proper effort, you’ll have a cup of coffee with unwanted clumps of coffee powder floating on top of your cup of joe.
If you like your cold coffee and do experiments regularly, this approach will be able to save you time by eliminating the whole boiling water and then cooling it down step for your cold brews.
So, read on, as the instant coffee and cold water method might be the magic spell for you!
- What Is Instant Coffee?
- Instant Coffee Does Dissolve In Cold Water?
- How To Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water
- The Science Behind Liquefaction Of Instant Coffee
- What's The Taste of Cold Water-Made Instant Coffee?
- Differences Between Instant Coffee And Cold Brew
What Is Instant Coffee?
Instant coffee is made with real coffee. It’s shocking, right? Before becoming instant, the whole beans are roasted, ground, and brewed.
Then all the water is removed from the brewed coffee. This step creates dehydrated crystals of coffee. Just a simple addition of water to it and voila! It’s drinkable once more. Awesome!
Freeze drying is an involved, multi-step process. The coffee is first reduced to an extract, leaving behind the least amount of water through an evaporation process. Then chilled at around 20°F, the coffee becomes a slushy-like substance. The slushy gets chilled in a drum at an even colder temperature (-40°F). It freezes the coffee into slabs of ice and then gets broken into granules. Finally, a drying vacuum process vaporizes the ice and leaves behind the instant coffee crystals.
The spray drying process takes the liquid coffee extract and sprays it into extremely hot and dry air (around 475°F). With the contact of this hot air, the water gets instantly evaporated and leaves small, round crystals.
Instant Coffee Does Dissolve In Cold Water?
Most instant coffee brands do suggest that it’s best when dissolved in hot water. But iced coffee and cold brews are so mainstream now that consumers want instant coffee that will also work with cold water.
Although they’re made to dissolve best in hot water, you can technically make instant coffee using cold water. Simply pour the powder into the cold water, stir well, and wait. Make sure to stir the mix until it’s fully dissolved. Yes, it does take a little more time and effort, but it’ll eventually dissolve, that’s for sure. This also solves the instant coffee-made iced and cold coffee demand.
How To Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water
You can make a great cup of instant coffee with cold water in a matter of seconds. But how? It’s easy, and I’m here to show you how!
- Start with a clean mug. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people try to shortcut this step. If your mug is dirty, your coffee will taste terrible. Trust me on this one
- Add one heaping teaspoon of instant coffee per 8 ounces of water. Again, this is very important. If you add too much coffee, your drink will be bitter and undrinkable. Not enough coffee and you’ll just be drinking water
- Stir vigorously for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will help the coffee dissolve more evenly and result in a tastier final product
- Add more cold water and enjoy! That’s it! You’ve now made a delicious cup of instant coffee using only cold water. See? I told you it was easy!
Tip: For better results, you just need to dissolve the instant coffee granules in a little hot water before adding them to the cold water.
The Science Behind Liquefaction Of Instant Coffee
Generally, instant coffee dissolves much better in hot water compared to cold water.
This is because instant coffee solids become more soluble with the increment in temperature. Hot water creates more molecular movements, causing more collisions between the water and the coffee molecules of the coffee solids. This is why brewing is instant.
With cold water, which has a lower water temperature, the molecular collisions will be way fewer between the water and the coffee molecules. This is why you have to stir it very well and also wait for the coffee to dissolve.
What’s The Taste of Cold Water-Made Instant Coffee?
There is no actual reason for the usual flavor notes of instant coffee to get lost due to the usage of cold water. More so, instant coffee flavors might even feel fresher when made with cold water.
The hot water takes away some of the flavors (due to evaporation) from the instant coffee and makes it milder. In cold water, the instant coffee is simply dispersed throughout when mixed evenly.
If you think that instant coffee tastes bad, it may be because of the Robusta beans in it. A considerable amount of caffeine does get lost in the production phase. To balance it, Robusta is added, which unfortunately may detract from the final flavor notes.
However, in recent years, manufacturers have found better methods to amplify the taste and quality of instant coffee. They can even be available with gourmet, organic, and fair-trade options.
Differences Between Instant Coffee And Cold Brew
There’s no heat involved in the case of cold brew, only extended extraction time. At the end of it, you’ll end up with liquid coffee and used grounds.
Instant coffee, by contrast, only needs water with zero extraction time. Because it comes ready-made, brewed, and then frozen in the factory. Coffee granules get dissolved completely when the water is added and produce no coffee waste.
Cold water-made instant coffee takes 2-4 minutes of stirring and waiting. Traditional cold brew takes 12–18 hours. These are the cold brew-making
- Take your coarse coffee grounds
- Combine the grounds with water. Let it steep overnight, especially around 12–18 hours
- Pour your cold brew over the ice and enjoy!
During the overnight period, the coffee slowly infuses into the water. Thus, cold brew is a strong, concentrated brew.
Making instant coffee this way will take 3–5 minutes. It can also vary, depending on the brand and how fine the powder is. Stirring vigorously is key; otherwise, it’ll be a grainy cup of coffee!
Does Instant Coffee Dissolve In Cold Water?
Yes, it does! Making instant coffee with cold water is just like making instant coffee with hot water. The only issue is that the dissolving process with cold water takes some more time.
What Happens If You Make Coffee With Cold Water?
You’ll simply get a cold coffee. If you’re using instant coffee powder, then you must stir it very well. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a cup of grainy coffee.
Does Cold Instant Coffee Have Caffeine?
Instant coffee contains a little bit less caffeine when compared to regular coffee. The deficit is caused by the multiple manufacturing steps, which cut down the caffeine level of the coffee.
What Is The Difference Between Instant And Regular Coffee?
Regular coffee is made from roasted coffee beans, which are then ground. On the other hand, instant coffee is made by a short brewing process from regular coffee. It gets dehydrated and leaves behind a powdery end result. Regular coffee typically tastes much better than most instant coffee brands.
Why Does Coffee Dissolve Slower In Cold Water?
With cold water, which carries a lower water temperature range, the molecular collisions between the coffee and water are way fewer. This is why coffee dissolves slowly in cold water. To make the coffee mixed with cold water homogenous, you have to stir it very well and wait 2–3 minutes for it to dissolve.
By design, instant coffee is a quick and convenient way to get your caffeine fix. It can also be used to make a wide range of tasty coffee-based drinks and recipes. Most importantly, it allows us to make coffee anywhere where we have access to water, either hot or cold, as we’ve learned from this article. It’s true that instant coffee dissolves faster in hot water, but brands are manufacturing more instant coffee that is cold water-friendly. But it does require a bit more time and effort. In the end, instant coffee is a great option for those who love to enjoy coffee anywhere and anytime.