How To Make Instant Espresso (Using Instant Coffee)

Nothing beats a delicious shot of espresso right when you wake up. However, you might not be a fan of running to a coffee shop every day. That is why an espresso machine is a must-have for all coffee enthusiasts. But, what happens when you run out of espresso but crave the quick caffeine fix?

Instant coffee! This is a common ingredient most of us have in our pantry if not for coffee for baking cakes, etc. Now, you might be wondering how to make instant espresso, and can you even make one with instant coffee? Keep reading to find out.

How Is Espresso Different From Instant Coffee?

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a concentrated dark roast coffee with a rich and creamy texture. While there are some brewing techniques you can try, it is mainly made using an espresso machine. This is because espresso is extracted and not brewed and for the extraction process, you need the machine.

What Is Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee, on the other hand, is a type of brewed coffee that has been dehydrated. To use it you only need to pour hot water over it. It often comes in small packs that are made to provide a single cup each.

Instant Coffee – History

It is worth knowing that instant coffee is not a new thing. It has been around since the ‘40s and is most favored amongst those who simply want a quick cup of coffee that requires no brewing.

Most Common Instant Coffee Beverages

Instant coffee is used to make a variety of beverages, including:

Using Instant Coffee For Dalongha Coffee
The reason why people like it is because it is soluble. You don’t even need boiling water, just hot.

What Are The Main Differences?

There are many differences between these two, the most important being:

  • flavor – espresso is much richer and stronger than instant coffee
  • brewing process – for espresso, you need an espresso machine whereas for instant coffee you only need hot water.
  • price – wheter you buy it in a coffee shop or make one at home, all things considered, instant coffee is much cheaper than espresso.

What Do You Need & How To Make An Instant Espresso?

To make an espresso using instant coffee you only need:

  • 2 tsp of instant coffee
  • 1 oz of water and a kettle or a pan in which you can heat it
  • Sugar, honey, or milk – if you prefer

Key Elements To Brewing Espresso Using Instant Coffee

Now you see why people often opt for instant espresso brew. You won’t get the authentic flavor, but your cup of joe will be ready in an instant.

Step By Step To A Perfect Brew

Here are step-by-step instructions that will help you get the best flavor:

  1. Add water to an electric kettle or a stovetop pot and bring the water to a boil.
  2. At this time, place the content of one instant coffee pack into your favorite coffee cup.
  3. Now, add just a bit of hot water to the instant coffee (just enough to soak it) and let it bloom for about 30 seconds. This step is optional, but it ensures that your coffee is much richer and more flavorful.
  4. Add the rest of the water into your cup and stir the coffee until you see that all coffee has fully dissolved.

Brewing Instant Coffee

That is it. If you followed these steps you should have a delicious cup of coffee in your hands.

Tips You Might Find Useful

Here are some additional tips you might find useful when brewing instant espresso at home:

  • always make sure that your instant coffee is fresh – there is nothing worse than the flavor of stale coffee.
  • use high-quality instant coffee – when it comes to instant coffee there is a huge difference between cheap and quality coffee. Quality coffee will get you a much better flavor.

Can You Substitute Instant Coffee With Espresso Powder?

Yes, you certainly can. The process of making it remains the same. The only difference is, of course, in the flavor itself. Using espresso powder will result in a bit stronger brew. However, the difference is not that overwhelming so someone who is not obsessed with coffee might not even notice the difference.

Instant Coffee Vs. Espresso Powder

What is espresso powder and how is it different from instant coffee? Now, both are made the same way, but espresso powder is much stronger and finer than instant coffee. It is not as popular as instant coffee (especially because it can clog the espresso machine filters) because it is not that available in regular grocery stores, however, you can make it yourself at home (or order online).

DIY: Espresso Powder

As we explained previously, you can make espresso as a DIY project at home. Here are the steps you need to take to do it properly:

DIY Espresso Powder

Avatar photoAuthorPatriciaDifficultyBeginner

Yields1 Serving

 dark roast coffee grounds
 baking sheet
 coffee grinder


Spread your coffee grounds in a thin layer on a baking sheet.


Put your oven on a low heat setting (around 200° F) and let the coffee "bake" for about one hour. Once your coffee is completely dry and is a bit darker, it is done.


Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the coffee cool off. Once it does, grind it up using a coffee grinder into a fine espresso powder.


Store the powder in an airtight container. This is to ensure that it keeps all its flavors and aromas (and that it does not go stale).


 dark roast coffee grounds
 baking sheet
 coffee grinder



Spread your coffee grounds in a thin layer on a baking sheet.


Put your oven on a low heat setting (around 200° F) and let the coffee "bake" for about one hour. Once your coffee is completely dry and is a bit darker, it is done.


Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the coffee cool off. Once it does, grind it up using a coffee grinder into a fine espresso powder.


Store the powder in an airtight container. This is to ensure that it keeps all its flavors and aromas (and that it does not go stale).

DIY Espresso Powder

FAQ: Instant Coffee

Here are some additional facts you might find interesting:

Is Instant Coffee As Strong As Espresso?

No, espresso is brewed using high extraction pressure that captures all the flavors and coffee oils from the coffee beans. For this reason, it is much stronger and richer in flavor than instant coffee. It also has more caffeine around 58-185 mg whereas instant coffee has around 40-108 mg of caffeine.

Which Is A Healthier Option?

Although it does have less caffeine, it has more acrylamides, and about the same amount of antioxidants as regular coffee. Generally, it is healthy, but as is the case with everything, only when consumed in moderation.

How Many Teaspoons Of Instant Coffee Should You Add To Make Espresso?

Generally, for a full cup of coffee, about 2 teaspoons. However, do not take this as a rule. Flavor preferences differ from one person to another so, if you don’t like your coffee too strong, you might want to try adding less instant coffee and vice versa. Make sure to try out different coffee to water ratios. That is the only way you will know what kind of brew works the best for you.

How To Make 1 Shot Of Espresso With Instant Coffee?

The recipe we included above is actually for a single shot of espresso. Here is a short version: mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with about 30 ml or 1 oz of hot water. You can add less coffee if you find the flavor of the brew to be too intense.

How To Make 2 Shots Of Espresso With Instant Coffee?

To make a double shot simply double all the brewing parameters. Combine 2 to 3 teaspoons of instant coffee with 60 ml or 2 oz of hot water. Again, you can adjust these parameters to your taste.

How To Make A Latte With Instant Espresso?

A latte is made using 1/3 espresso, 2/3 of steamed milk, and is topped with a spoon of froth. Now, you can replace the espresso shot with an instant coffee shot. Let us be clear right away that the flavor won’t be the same, however, when out of options…

Since a latte is weaker than regular espresso (due to a large amount of milk) we recommend that you make a double shot of instant coffee. That way your brew will have a much more flavor, no need to worry that it might be too strong.

How To Make An Espresso Martini With Instant Coffee?

The espresso martini is a perfect blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, simple syrup, and espresso. The great thing is that it will taste just as good (not completely the same) if you replace the espresso with an instant coffee brew. The important thing is that you make a strong brew (use a bit more instant coffee than you usually would) to get the best flavor.

Instant Coffee Espresso Martini

How To Make Iced Coffee With Instant Espresso?

Iced coffee is another (if not the most common) beverage you can easily make using instant coffee. To make it simply add instant coffee, iced water, and ice cubes into a shaker and shake well. Pour the mixture over a cup filled with ice and enjoy.

If you want to achieve a bit more flavorful brew, you can replace some water with milk. As a result, you will get a richer flavor and texture. You can also add a bit of granulated sugar as it will enhance the flavor of coffee even more.

Is Filter Coffee Better Than Instant?

This is based solely on your preferences. When it comes to strength, filter coffee sits between an espresso and instant coffee. It is not as flavorful as espresso, but it does have more oils and flavors than instant coffee.

Can You Use Regular Filter Coffee To Make Espresso?

Technically, you can. However, this is not something we recommend. Regular coffee will leave you with an acidic and tart flavor and you won’t be that fond of espresso anymore.

To Wrap It Up

While instant coffee is not the same as espresso and its flavor might need some getting used to, it is an amazing solution for those who don’t live for espresso but rather need a quick caffeine fix without putting in too much effort.

Remember, if you do not find its flavor to be strong enough, you can make espresso powder yourself and replace instant coffee as you prefer. Also, try brewing coffee with smaller and larger amounts of instant coffee to ensure that you find the ratio that works the best for you.

As a former cook and a pastry chef, Patricia knows how to recognize fresh ingredients and appreciates their quality above all else. Her ideal day is spent at a local farmer’s market looking for the fruits, vegetables, and herbs she can combine and use to make meals for her loved ones. She is also a big coffee enthusiast and enjoys trying out different coffee brews while traveling.