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How to Make Espresso Shots With Instant Coffee

Craving that rich espresso flavor but don’t have an expensive machine at home? No worries! The latest TikTok trend shows you can make espresso shots with instant coffee.This is a game changers for travel or when the power is out!

I love my Aeropress for travel but sometimes it just isn’t realistic so I was excited to try this hack and amazed by how good it is!

Instant espresso latte

Whether you’re a fan of the rich flavor of dark roasted espresso beans or the convenience of instant coffee crystals, the world of coffee offers something for everyone.

While a true espresso requires high pressure and finely-ground beans, instant coffee provides a quick, no-fuss alternative with a variety of flavors, from chocolate to robust dark roast.

Not everyone has an expensive espresso machine or a moka pot at home, making instant coffee a popular choice for those seeking a caffeine fix without the steep learning curve of traditional espresso machines.

Instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules offer a convenient shortcut to enjoying a cup of coffee or enhancing the flavor of desserts like chocolate cake and brownies.

jar of instant espresso on a white counter

While they may not replicate the frothy top of an authentic espresso they certainly fill a gap for those in a rush or on a budget. Whether you opt for arabica or robusta beans, the essence of a good coffee experience lies in personal taste and how you blend it into your daily routine.

Making an “espresso” shot with instant coffee is a quick way to mimic the flavor and intensity of a traditional espresso without an espresso machine. Here’s how you can do it:

Supplies:

Kettle

We love our gooseneck kettle with temperature controls for coffee, tea, and baking!

Mini Whisk

These are the absolute best for coffees, hot chocolate, salad dressings, or a small batch of scrambled eggs!

Espresso Cups

These have quickly become our favorite cups! I love the classic and elegant style combined with the durability that is a must in our house.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of high-quality instant coffee or (adjust to taste)
  • 2 ounces (60ml) of hot water (just off the boil)

Instructions:

Heat Water: Boil water and let it sit for 30 seconds so it’s not boiling hot, but still very hot.

Mix Instant Coffee: In a small cup or a coffee mug, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee. The amount of instant coffee depends on how strong you like your espresso shot. For a stronger taste, lean towards 2 teaspoons.

tablespoon of instant espresso

Add Hot Water: Pour 2 ounces (about 60ml) of the hot water over the instant coffee.

Stir Vigorously: Stir the mixture vigorously with a spoon for about 30 seconds to a minute. The goal is to create a small amount of foam on top, similar to the crema you see on traditional espresso shots. This won’t replicate the exact crema but can add a nice texture.

cup of instant espresso with small whisk in the bowl

Optional – Froth Milk: If you enjoy a latte or cappuccino, you can froth some milk and add it to your instant coffee espresso as we did here! While traditional espresso is strong enough to balance with the milk, you may want to adjust the amount of milk to ensure the coffee flavor remains prominent.

Serve Immediately: Enjoy your instant “espresso” shot as is, or use it as a base for other coffee drinks.

Does Instant coffee Coffee Dissolve in Cold Water?

Instant coffee does dissolve in cold water, although it may require a bit more stirring compared to hot water. I like to use a mini whisk for this! This makes it possible to make cold brew-style beverages quickly and easily with instant coffee, offering a convenient alternative to traditional cold brew methods which require hours of brewing.

Can Instant Coffee go Bad?

Instant coffee can go bad, but it takes a very long time. It’s more likely to lose flavor and potency over many months or years, especially if exposed to moisture, air, or light. Keeping it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place can extend its shelf life!

Instant coffee vs Instant espresso

When comparing instant coffee vs instant espresso, the main difference lies in flavor intensity and intended use. Instant espresso is made from darker roasted beans and is processed to be more concentrated, providing a stronger, more robust flavor ideal for recipes that call for espresso. Instant coffee is generally lighter and has a more mellow flavor.

Is Instant Coffee Real Coffee?

Yes, instant coffee is real coffee. It’s made from brewed coffee beans that are then freeze-dried or spray-dried to remove all the water, leaving behind dehydrated crystals that reconstitute when mixed with water. While it may lack some of the depth and aroma of freshly brewed coffee, it’s still coffee.

What is the best instant coffee for Camping and Backpacking?

When we are car camping I swear by our aero press or moka pot but when backpack space is limited Instant coffee is the winner!

When you’re nestled in the great outdoors, strong instant coffee becomes a game-changer for campers. Its lightweight packaging and ease of preparation mean you can enjoy a delicious cup of joe with minimal fuss or equipment.

No need for heavy grinders or elaborate brewing setups—just hot water and your favorite instant blend. It’s the perfect way to savor the wilderness mornings, offering both convenience and quality without compromising the camping experience.

top view of instant coffee beans

Whether you’re watching the sunrise or gearing up for a day of adventure, instant coffee ensures you start your day right, even miles from the nearest coffee shop!

Selecting the best instant coffee for camping involves finding options that offer convenience, flavor, and versatility. Here are the five best instant coffees for camping, each chosen for their unique strengths that make them ideal for outdoor adventures:

Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee

Waka Coffee is renowned for its quality and taste. Made from 100% Arabica beans, it offers a balanced flavor that’s rare in instant coffee. It’s also freeze-dried, which preserves the coffee’s aroma and depth. The packaging is lightweight and compact, making it perfect for backpacking or camping

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

Starbucks VIA offers the familiarity and taste of Starbucks coffee in an instant form. It’s made using a micro-ground method, which includes both instant coffee and fine coffee grounds. Thus providing a richer, more authentic coffee flavor. The individual packets are convenient for portion control and easy packing.

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze-Dried Instant Coffee

This is a great option for those who prefer organic products. Mount Hagen’s instant coffee is made from 100% organic Arabica beans. The freeze-drying process ensures that the coffee’s flavor is preserved. Its eco-conscious packaging and high-quality taste make it a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

Alpine Start Instant Coffee

Designed specifically for outdoor adventures, Alpine Start dissolves instantly in both hot and cold water, making it incredibly versatile for all camping conditions. It’s made from high-quality Arabica coffee beans and offers a smooth, well-balanced flavor that’s perfect for starting your day in the wilderness.

Verve Specialty Instant Coffee

For those who are particular about their coffee, Verve offers specialty-grade instant coffee. Made from a variety of single origins and blends. The company uses a unique freeze-drying process that retains the distinct flavors of the coffee. While on the pricier side, it’s an excellent choice for coffee aficionados looking for the convenience of instant without compromising on taste.

Each of these instant coffees brings something special to the camping experience. Whether it’s the convenience of single-serve packets, the preservation of gourmet flavors, or the commitment to organic and eco-friendly practices.

The best choice depends on your personal taste preferences, environmental values, and specific needs while exploring the great outdoors.

From the comfort of your kitchen to a quick coffee break anywhere. You don’t need a fancy espresso machine or even a coffee shop visit. With just hot water, high-quality instant coffee, and a few simple ingredients. You can enjoy an espresso-style drink that satisfies those espresso cravings.

How Does Instant Coffee Work?

Instant coffee works through a fascinating process that transforms brewed coffee into dry powder or granules. First, coffee beans are roasted, ground, and brewed into concentrated coffee. This coffee is then dried through one of two methods: spray drying or freeze drying.

  1. Spray Drying: In spray drying, the coffee concentrate is sprayed into a hot air chamber. As the droplets fall, the water evaporates, leaving behind fine coffee powder. The high temperature can sometimes affect the coffee’s flavor.
  2. Freeze Drying: Freeze drying is more intricate. The coffee concentrate is frozen to about -40°C, turning it into a solid. It’s then broken into granules and dried under vacuum, where the ice sublimates directly into vapor without turning into liquid. This method better preserves the coffee’s original flavor and aroma.

Once dried, the coffee can be rehydrated with hot water to make a cup of coffee instantly. This process makes instant coffee an incredibly convenient option. Requiring no brewing equipment, with the final product retaining much of the taste and aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

latte with banana bread

How Much Caffeine is in Instant Coffee?

The caffeine content in instant coffee can vary depending on the brand and how the coffee is prepared.

However, on average, a typical 8-ounce cup of instant coffee contains anywhere from 30 to 90 milligrams of caffeine. The exact caffeine content of a freshly brewed shot of espresso varies but the average is 63 milligrams of caffeine

Enjoy!

Whether it’s the robust flavor of Arabica beans or the intense flavor of a dark roast. Mixing the right coffee-to-water ratio can yield a deliciously strong coffee.

Perfect for those mornings when you need a caffeine kick or an afternoon when you crave a sweet treat with a delicious cappuccino.

bowl of latte

Making instant coffee into a cup of espresso is a quick way to enjoy delicious lattes. Or even an espresso martini. So, let’s dive into how to create your perfect cup of instant espresso. Exploring the world of coffee flavors from Latin America to your very own kitchen.

In summary, from the rich, aromatic world of espresso shots pulled from a coffee machine to the quick and easy solution of instant coffee mixed with just a small amount of water or hot milk. Coffee lovers can rejoice in the diversity and accessibility of their beloved drink.

So next time you reach for that instant coffee or espresso cup, remember the wide spectrum of options available to satisfy your espresso cravings or simply to kickstart your day.

steamed milk being poured into a cup of instant espresso
Yield: 1 cup

How to Make Espresso Shots With Instant Coffee

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute

Craving that rich espresso flavor but don't have an expensive machine at home? No worries! The latest TikTok trend shows you can make a single shot of espresso using just instant coffee

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of high-quality instant coffee or (adjust to taste)
  • 2 ounces (60ml) of hot water (just off the boil)

Instructions

  1. Heat Water: Boil water and let it sit for 30 seconds so it's not boiling hot, but still very hot.
  2. Mix Instant Coffee: In a small cup or a coffee mug, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee. The amount of instant coffee depends on how strong you like your espresso shot. For a stronger taste, lean towards 2 teaspoons.
  3. Add Hot Water: Pour 2 ounces (about 60ml) of the hot water over the instant coffee.
  4. Stir Vigorously: Stir the mixture vigorously with a spoon for about 30 seconds to a minute. The goal is to create a small amount of foam on top, similar to the crema you see on traditional espresso shots. This won't replicate the exact crema but can add a nice texture.
  5. Optional - Froth Milk: If you enjoy a latte or cappuccino, you can froth some milk and add it to your instant coffee espresso as we did here! While traditional espresso is strong enough to balance with the milk, you may want to adjust the amount of milk to ensure the coffee flavor remains prominent.
  6. Serve Immediately: Enjoy your instant "espresso" shot as is, or use it as a base for other coffee drinks.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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