Espresso Powder vs Espresso Instant Coffee.

Espresso Powder vs Espresso Instant Coffee

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 14:41

There are many questions asked regarding Espresso Powder and Espresso Instant Coffee. This article is all about Espresso Powder vs Espresso Instant Coffee.

In this article I will detail what espresso powder is, how to make your own, how to make an instant espresso and a good substitute to use when you need to.

Let’s get going and get on with the article.

Espresso Powder Vs Espresso Instant Powder: What Is Espresso Powder?

Espresso powder is an intense colored, dark concentrated instant coffee. It is more than simply espresso beans that have been finely ground. It is coffee crystals that easily and quickly dissolve in a liquid.

Technically, and factually speaking, you can dissolve espresso powder in water to make an instant espresso. It is not ideally used for this purpose or for making any coffee drink as the result will not be as good as you would expect.

Espresso powder is used for all those delicious coffee-flavored treats by bakers in cookies, tiramisu, cakes and as I discovered in Vietnam, burgers.

You can even use espresso powder as an excellent rub for your summer barbecues.

The powder is different from regular instant coffee due to being more concentrated, meaning all that is needed is a teaspoon or so due to the intense flavor.

What Is Espresso Powder
Espresso Powder Is Great For Baking

Read: Does eating espresso beans give you energy?

Is Espresso Powder The Same As Instant Coffee?


Espresso powder is different from instant coffee. Instant coffee is weaker in flavor and is not made from the same coffee bean as an espresso powder, the latter of which is made from an espresso bean.

An espresso bean is a darkly roasted bean that has been roasted for longer and at a slightly higher temperature that gives it a more concentrated, intense, fuller taste.

The beans used in an espresso powder have been roasted, ground, brewed and then dried and ground for a second time to a very fine powder.

 How To Make Espresso Powder At Home

To make espresso powder at home, very little special equipment is needed that you already may not have.

For best results, your own espresso maker is required. Borrowing one from a friend is fine. A coffee grinder with the capability of producing a very fine grind is essential also. That is it for your specialist required equipment.

 How To Make Espresso Powder At Home
The Only Must Have Piece Of Equipment

Making Homemade Espresso Powder

To make your own homemade espresso powder you need…… Espresso Coffee. I don’t mean any regular espresso beans or instant powder. I mean get the best most flavorsome Espresso beans to make the best possible espresso coffee.

And save the content of the portafiller from previously used espresso drinks. This ingredient is a total freebie and gets you more bang for your buck here.

(yes, you are recycling the used or wasted espresso grounds from your machine, nifty and thrifty!).

Use them while they are still fresh and flavorsome.

You can use as many or a few of these “espresso coffee pucks” as you want or need to. This is your super secret ingredient.

The next step is super simple.

Just slowly and carefully break them up into tiny small pieces as you can and place them on a baking tray.

Try to completely fill the baking tray with your broken down “coffee pucks”. There is no need to pre-prepare your baking tray by using any oil, butter or anything else. Just an ordinary baking sheet is needed.

Now spread your broken down “coffee pucks” as evenly and thinly as you can.

You are now ready to bake your previously brewed coffee grounds.

Once you have the used espresso grounds spread thin, as you can get them on your baking sheet and on your baking tray. It is time for the most difficult of kitchen tasks which is placing them in your preheated oven at 175F (80C). Place them in the middle rack for 1 to 3 hours.

Be sure to regularly check up on your finely ground and now baking coffee grounds regularly. How long they take to be ready depends on how large a quantity you are making.

They are ready when you have a nice crunchy feel to them.

Now with your dehydrated ground coffee, your next step is to take these leftover coffee grounds and grind them as finely as you can in your coffee grinder.

This is a task that you may need to do to get the end product super finely ground.

And viola, that is it you have your homemade espresso powder made from the best espresso finely-ground coffee beans that you got your hands on.

Non-Coffee Substitute for Espresso Powder

Looking to replace and switch out that instant coffee or instant espresso powder and use a non-coffee alternative? Then you are in luck as you have a few very interesting substitutes to replace the coffee flavor.

Here are just a few:

1. Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder: This is a double substitute. If you can’t get your hands on natural cocoa powder and don’t want to use instant coffee or instant espresso Dutch Processed Cocoa powder is easily available in Europe and elsewhere.

This has a mellow taste and is less acidic due to being processed with an alkaline salt. Deep in color and deep in taste while being not so harsh and bitter.

2. Natural Cocoa Powder: This is for you to consider as an alternative to coffee if you are looking to duplicate the bitter taste of espresso powder. It is a pretty awesome alternative.

Non-Coffee Substitute for Espresso Powder
Chocolate, A Great Tasting Coffee Alternative

3. Matcha Tea: Essentially, a quality healthy green tea ground into a very fine powder thanks to the drying process. Definitely a healthy alternative that will switch out that bitter coffee flavor.

4. Postum: An alternative to coffee for over a century and better known as a healthier substitute. Also, available in an instant powder.

5. Golden Milk: A liquid replacement for espresso powder. You may need to experiment with vanilla, honey, cardamom or cinnamon to improve the taste and get that flavor that you are looking for.

Can I Substitute Finely Ground Coffee For Espresso Powder?

This is not something that I would advise at all as the result may not be what you expect due to a completely different flavor profile. When using Espresso Powder instead of ground coffee, regardless of how finely it is ground, you will have a more intense flavor to the drink you are making.

Switching the other way around, using ground coffee instead of espresso, you will end up with a much weaker than expected beverage, no matter how much of it you use.

 What Is A Good Substitute For Espresso Powder?

Assuming your objective is to make a quality espresso that you want to savor and enjoy, there is no real alternative that will hit the spot and get the end result that you are seeking.

If your goal is related to culinary delights and baking cakes, cookies etc and looking for a different or alternative flavor profile, give serious consideration to the 5 previously mentioned substitutes in the above section.

How To Make Instant Espresso Without An Espresso Machine

Making an instant espresso from home is super easy and does not require any specialist equipment. All you need is the right ingredients.

1. 2 Teaspoons of Nescafé Instant Espresso Powder.

2. Half a cup of milk.

3. A few drops of milk to premix your ingredients.

4. Instant Cocoa powder.

5. Cinnamon.

6. Sugar as per personal taste.


Put your instant espresso powder and sugar (if required) in your mug. Add a few drops of milk, barely enough to make a thick paste. Stir vigorously until you end up with an off-white paste. Add a dash of cinnamon as desired and stir again.

Boil your milk and let it cool down for a minute or two. Pour your boiled milk into your coffee mug from a height to get that frothy effect.

Sprinkle on a dash of cocoa powder as desired.

Drink and enjoy!

Note: This is about as close as you will get to a homemade espresso without an espresso machine. The result is still good, but not perfect.

How To Make Instant Espresso Without An Espresso Machine!
Without A Machine An Espresso Is A Close Second To The Real Thing

Can You Make Espresso Powder From Instant Coffee?

In a word, yes, you can make espresso powder from instant coffee. All you need to do is to take your instant coffee and grind it down into a much finer powder.

It will not give you that full-bodied rich crema of an authentic espresso though. A different roast will have been used to make the instant coffee powder or granules. When making baked goodies you will need to use a greater amount due to the weaker flavor profile.

Frequently Asked Questions About Espresso Powder Vs Espresso Instant Coffee

Is Espresso Powder The Same As Instant Espresso Coffee?

No, espresso powder and instant coffee are not the same; there are some subtle and distinct differences.

Espresso powder is made from dark roasted coffee beans that have already been ground, brewed with, dried ground again to powder. Espresso powder is more concentrated, and notably so, than instant coffee. When you are making a chocolate recipe, only a single teaspoon is fine.

Instant coffee is less intense than an espresso powder. To use it in your recipes, be it baking or making a cup of coffee, you will need to use 1.5x more instant coffee than espresso powder but, be careful with your baking as to not use too much and make your food taste bitter.

 Espresso powder has a deep espresso taste. It is not quite the same as a shot of espresso but very, very close.

Even though they look like very finely ground coffee, they do the job that they are supposed to do well and dissolve in a liquid easily and get a deep espresso taste.

Yes, instant coffee is a healthy low-calorie coffee beverage as it is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and contains slightly a reduced amount of caffeine than other types of coffee.

Espresso powder will last you at least 6 months while maintaining its flavor. Store it in an airtight container and keep the container in your fridge for best results.

In respect to your health, instant coffee is the same as regular coffee and by definition it is ok to drink every day in moderation while taking care not to go over the recommended daily amount of caffeine per day, which is 400 mg.

Instant coffee is not any better or any worse for you than types of coffee.

Is Instant Espresso Coffee The Same As Instant Espresso Powder?

Instant coffee powder is not the same as espresso powder. Espresso powder is made from a specific different type of coffee, to be exact, dark roasted coffee beans that are ground, brewed, dried and then ground again to a very fine grind size.

Instant espresso coffee and instant espresso powder are similar. Instant espresso powder is what is used to make instant espresso, the drink.

Can I Substitute Instant Coffee For Espresso Powder?

No, instant coffee doesn’t have the same bold and depth of flavor that espresso powder has. Your recipe when using it for baking will lack the depth. You can using more instant coffee, twice as much as you would espresso powder especially if you are using a dark roast instant coffee.

Frappé-ing It All Up – Espresso Powder Vs Espresso Instant Coffee

When it comes down to Espresso Powder Vs Espresso Instant Coffee for making coffee at home you can do it and make a good to very good espresso without a specialist machine, but you won’t get that top quality perfect shot.

Making your own espresso powder from used coffee grounds is very easy – in fact highly recommended, as you can make a better quality end product and manipulate the flavor to your own liking, varying on your own baking skills.

And for your baked goodies you have a number of good substitutes that I mentioned in this article. An espresso is so-called due to the flavor profile and roasting method. It is different from other coffee and can not be replicated with instant coffee. To make espresso powder at home, very little special equipment is needed that you already may not have.

For best results, your own espresso maker is required. Borrowing one from a friend is fine. A coffee grinder with the capability of producing a very fine grind is essential also.

That is it for your specialist equipment needed.

Did you make your own espresso powder for baked goods? Make a coffee with instant coffee powder?

Join our online coffee community and share your coffee creations, images, tips and the great beans you are brewing! Find us on Facebook/Meta! We look forward to hearing from you!

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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