How To Make Espresso With Instant Coffee: 5 Easy Steps

The aroma and kick of freshly brewed espresso in the morning is just an unmatched feeling. Now imagine you want to switch up from your regular coffee-making practice or you simply don’t have any access to fresh espresso grounds – what should you do in any of these scenarios?

Instant coffee is the hero that will save your day.

Yes, you can make espresso with instant coffee, but it won’t taste as intense and aromatic as a real shot of espresso.

I know what you’re thinking, “But instant coffee has such a bad reputation!” Yes, but does it mean it’s got no chance? Plus, instant coffee is still one of the most popular forms of coffee in the world.

So, keep reading our article to find out every necessary detail behind making espresso with instant coffee!

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a strong coffee drink that originated in Turin, Italy. It’s made from strong and dark-roasted Arabica beans that are finely ground. It also has one of the unique brewing methods as it requires high-pressure steeping.

Now, the word “espresso” has a couple of different applications in the coffee world. Most commonly, the word “espresso” is used to name the drink itself, but then there are espresso blends. Espresso blends are coffee beans that are roasted especially for making fine espresso grounds.

The espresso has a rich, creamy flavor due to the oils being extracted through high-pressured brewing. Espresso making is also the shortest brewing method as it ends only in 1–2 minutes.

What Is Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee is a form of pre-brewed coffee granules. Instant coffee is made in a way that it instantly gets diluted in water. They come in dehydrated jars or in small packages. Due to its nature, instant coffee is very easy to use and carry around.

Like espresso, instant coffee is also one of the most popular forms of coffee, even with its shortcomings.

The caffeine content and flavor profiles of instant coffees can vary from brand to brand. Since instant coffee is a very arduous process, much of its flavor gets lost. Even though leading brands are always trying to improve the quality, to be honest, they’ve come a long way.

Espresso And Instant Coffee: The Differences

The key difference between them is the taste. Espresso has a more robust and intense flavor than instant coffee.

Espresso has different varieties of its own, such as macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, and latte, to name a few. Instant coffee can be used in various forms, but they don’t have their own identities.

Another important distinction is their brewing styles. Espresso needs either an espresso machine, a Moka pot, or an AeroPress. Instant coffee doesn’t require any brewing as the coffee granules are already pre-brewed.

Espresso grounds don’t have a long shelf life. Instant coffee, on the other hand, has a long shelf life.

A regular cup of espresso offers more aroma and taste, whereas a cup of instant coffee offers less of both.

Espresso isn’t ideal for outdoor (camping, hiking) brewing, but instant coffee is.

A cup of espresso costs approximately $5, but a cup of instant coffee is less than $1.

A single shot of 1-ounce (30 ml) espresso contains 64 mg of caffeine. The same amount of instant coffee offers only 7.7 mg of caffeine.

Making Espresso With Instant Coffee

It’s a great way to satisfy your espresso craving without relying on expensive cafés or espresso machines.

Ingredients: instant coffee, a cup of (1 oz.) boiling water, sugar, and milk (optional).

Step-By-Step Procedure

  1. Take 2 teaspoons of your instant coffee granules and place them in your cup
  2. Pour in half an ounce of hot boiling water to bloom the instant coffee granules. Let it bloom for 30 seconds. It will result in a richer cup of coffee
  3. Add the rest of the boiling water now. Stir until the coffee granules fully dissolve
  4. Now you can add sugar and milk if you like
  5. Now you can finally sip on your delicious espresso made out of instant coffee!

Making Iced Espresso With Instant Coffee

Iced espresso is a very popular drink that originated from the Italian bar culture. In Italy, they make the espresso as it is and put it in a shaker with some ice cubes. After giving it a good shake, they pour in the espresso with ice cubes and serve.

At Starbucks, you can get an iced espresso with the choice of additives, such as milk and sugar.

Now that you know how to make espresso with instant coffee, we are confident that you can easily make iced espresso as well!

Tips For Perfecting The Instant Coffee-Made Espresso

  • You can always start by using good-quality dark-roasted instant coffee granules for making espresso.
  • If you have a mortar and pestle, take your instant coffee granules and grind them finer. You can use a grinder too for this.
  • You can figure out an ideal coffee-to-water ratio with a bit of trial and error. This ensures optimum taste and a balance of textures.
  • Feel free to make milk froth at home for your espresso. Alternatively, just add some foam or creamers before serving up.

Following these simple guidelines, anyone will soon be able to enjoy their preferred type of caffeine boost at any time of day or night!

Differences Between Espresso Powder And Instant Coffee

  • Instant coffee is just a dehydrated form of pre-brewed ground coffee.
  • Espresso powder is a dark-roasted coffee that’s been brewed, dried, and then very finely ground.
  • Espresso powder is more concentrated and ideal for baking. Instant coffee, on the other hand, is mixed with hot (or even cold) water to make regular brewed coffee.
  • Most instant coffee brands use Robusta coffee beans. That’s why it tastes bitter. Powdered espresso, just like the real espresso ground, is made from Arabica beans. However, some brands mix both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to enhance flavor and taste.
  • Espresso powder and instant coffee follow the same preparation methodology. However, espresso powder has different flavors and is more concentrated. It’s also stronger, smoother, and often darker than instant coffee. Instant coffee is harsh in comparison.
  • Bakers and pastry chefs use powdered espresso in their baked goods, desserts, and especially the Italian classics.

Some Great Instant Coffee Choices For Making Espresso

  1. Starbucks VIA Colombia Blend Instant Coffee: Balanced and nutty flavored, this instant coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans. It offers 130–140 mg of caffeine per serving
  2. Starbucks Via Ready Brew Decaf Italian Roast: Roasted, sweet, and 100% Arabica-made. It’s the highest-rated decaf coffee
  3. Mount Hagen ORGANIC: A smooth, rich, and 100% organic coffee. It’s processed in Germany and is regarded as one of the best organic and fair-trade instant coffees. A generous 50–60 mg of caffeine is guaranteed per serving
  4. Waka Coffee 100% Arabica Instant Coffee: Smooth and citrusy freeze-dried coffee. The beans are sourced from Columbia and offer 56-84 mg of caffeine per serving
  5. Nescafé Azera Americano Instant Coffee: Smooth, aromatic, and finely ground coffee. Azera is a UK exclusive but can be shipped by Amazon to other parts of the world. It’s a popular instant coffee
  6. Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend: Smooth, well-balanced, 100% Arabica-made blend. A light-medium roasted freeze-dried coffee that offers 65 mg of caffeine per serving
  7. Nescafe Clasico Dark Roast: Rich, bold, and a top seller. Each jar can make 100 cups of coffee. Although economical, it hasn’t compromised on flavor. It has 57–65 mg of caffeine per serving
  8. Douwe Egberts Pure Gold: Medium flavored, well-balanced, and 100% freeze-dried instant coffee. This is a Dutch-made coffee that has superior flavors. It can be a little more expensive than other brands. In terms of caffeine, it has 60 mg per serving
  9. Folgers Classic Roast: A true classic freeze-dried instant coffee. Folgers suggests it offers 71 mg of caffeine per serving
  10. Jacobs Kronung House Blend: Rich, flavorful, and freeze-dried German instant coffee. It’s a mildly flavored and less acidic coffee that offers 60 mg of caffeine per serving


Is Instant Coffee As Strong As Espresso?

Instant coffee is not as strong as espresso, both in terms of flavor and aroma. Espresso is more caffeinated as well.

Is Espresso Powder Ground Coffee Beans?

Espresso is a brewing method. It requires finely ground Arabica coffee beans.

Can You Make Espresso With Regular Coffee Beans?

Yes, of course, you can. Any type of coffee bean is suitable as long as the beans are finely ground.

Which One Has More Caffeine: Instant Or Espresso?

Espresso has 64 mg of caffeine per ounce, whereas instant has only 7.7 mg of caffeine per ounce.

How Do You Make Instant Espresso?

Pour 1 ounce of hot boiling water and 2 teaspoons of dark-roasted instant coffee (finely ground) into a cup. Stir well and serve.


Making espresso with instant coffee is not an appealing solution for your espresso craving. But it does a job nonetheless. Moreover, it can be a great alternative option or an experimental method for you. Espresso made with instant coffee offers less caffeine, making it a good option for those who are trying to cut down on their caffeine count but still want to get the taste of espresso.

To get the best-tasting espresso, in this case, you should use good-quality instant coffee. It’s better to add milk or creamer to it as well.

Lots of coffee lovers around the world can’t get their hands on a good espresso machine and espresso beans. So, this instant coffee-based approach seems like a really good way to make espresso coffee at home for these folks.

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