Espresso Powder Vs Ground Espresso - What You Need To Know!

Espresso Powder Vs Ground Espresso – What You Need To Know!

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:20

I get a lot of questions asking about espresso powder Vs ground espresso, which is best and what are the differences between the two.

By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know which of the two is best and how to make your own espresso powder.

Making your own espresso powder, for whatever you may want to use it for, is better, as you can easily make a home-made version that is much better and fuller flavor.

Keep reading to find out all about ground espresso and espresso powder.

What Is Espresso Powder Exactly?

Espresso powder is what it sounds like, is a powder made from dark roasted coffee beans. To be more precise, coffee beans that have been roasted to an espresso roast.

The espresso coffee beans are very finely ground, ground to the finest possible grind size. It is a form of coffee, an instant coffee powder.

There is a slight difference. They are ground brewed, dried, and then they are finely ground into a fine powder. You can’t really make an instant espresso with it as it is watery and weak.

Instant espresso and espresso powder are not the same thing. An instant espresso powder can be used to make an instant espresso and is not made from leftover espresso grounds, which is how espresso powder is made.

More often, this very finely ground coffee is used in baking and cooking and added to a chocolate recipe to give it that coffee taste.

My local burger joint, Fly Burger in Da Nang, Vietnam, uses it for their coffee burger.

What Is Espresso Powder Exactly
Espresso Powder As You know It.

Read: How to brew starbucks espresso roast

What Is Ground Espresso?

Ground espresso is simply the grounds from espresso coffee beans that have been roasted to a dark roast and has a distinctive smoky, deep full-bodied taste, often with hints of chocolate flavors.

It is, in the simplest description, ground espresso beans and usually has an ample amount of caffeine.

What Is Ground Espresso
Ground espresso

What Is The Difference Between Espresso Powder And Ground Espresso?

There is a difference between espresso powder and ground espresso, which is quite notable. Espresso powder is a dark intense, concentrated coffee product that is made from leftover coffee grounds and used in cooking, most commonly in baking and cannot really be used for the brewing of espresso coffee drinks as the result will be as you would expect – a weak watery “second hand” espresso.

Instant espresso powder on the other hand can be used to make an espresso, really an average espresso or a basic form of espresso coffee without the rich crema on top.

Please do pay attention to the presence or lack of presence of the word “instant” on the product labels and the differences, the slight differences between the two products. The instant espresso powder version is actually coffee crystals that can be used to make instant espresso drinks.

Espresso grounds are the resulting grounds of dark roasted coffee that has been ground to a very fine powder using a coffee grinder and can be used for an excellent espresso extraction with an espresso machine.

You cannot use ground espresso directly for the purpose of cooking or baking.

Read: How to dry oily coffee beans

How To Make Espresso Powder

To make your own homemade espresso powder you don’t need any special equipment that you may not already have.

  • Top quality espresso beans – the better the beans, the better and more flavorful your beans will be.
  • A coffee grinder. A conical ceramic burr grinder or hand grinder is best.
  • A baking sheet.
  • An airtight spice container for storage.

Espresso Beans

For the espresso beans that I use for making espresso powder I don’t actually strictly use an espresso roast, I use medium dark roast as these are slightly better and have more of a tasty profile for the purpose of cooking.

This flavor can be brought into whatever it is that you are cooking.

You can, if you so wish, use Starbucks beans, whom I may add have a rather excellent espresso roast.

Since you are using used coffee grounds, you are simply recycling what you have already used. Save it!

Coffee Grinder or Spice Grinder

Obviously, you need a coffee grinder or a spice grinder to grind the end product. Head and shoulders above all and by far the best is a ceramic conical burr grinder. A manual grinder is also good too.

The effect a grinder plays in coffee can effect the over all quality due to the heat produced by the friction to grind them. Naturally, less heat is better.

A Baking Sheet

A baking sheet is required for making your espresso powder. In all probability, you already have a few in your kitchen.

An Airtight Spice Container

The need for this is obvious. You need something to store your powder in. Use an airtight one to keep it as fresh as possible.

The Method

Now getting on to making your homemade espresso powder. Simply start by preheating your oven and then putting your coffee remains on a baking tray on the baking sheet.

Put them in your oven and let them dry out.

Once they are dry, breakdown the coffee remains in your grinder and run them through your coffee grinder for a fine, perfect even grind.

When they are ready, put them in an airtight spice container to keep them fresh.

How To Make Espresso Powder
You Can Get Spicy And Add Chillies To Your End Mixture.

Ground Espresso Vs Espresso Powder Which Is Best?

t all depends on what you want them for. They are two different products, what is clear is you are far better off making your own espresso powder than buying it as you can and will have control over the flavor.

When it comes to cooking, I would not use coffee grounds as they can be a bit gritty and a little too overpowering of a coffee taste in your baking.

When it comes to making a shot of espresso – undoubtedly I’d use ground espresso, every single time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Espresso Powder Vs Ground Espresso

Is Espresso Powder The Same As Ground Espresso?

Espresso powder and ground espresso are not the same. Espresso powder is an intense and dark instant coffee; to be more accurate, coffee crystals that dissolve in a hot or cold liquid.

Espresso powder is not simply coffee espresso beans that have been ground to a very fine powder – these, freshly ground espresso coffee grounds are not soluble but do, infact, form the base of espresso power.

Used espresso coffee grounds are processed, freeze-dried and made into instant coffee crystals which we know as espresso powder.

Can I Use Espresso Instead Of Espresso Powder?

It depends on what you are making in your recipe. It is not a simple or easy one-to-one swap or like for like. Brewed espresso will give the same bitter notes, but it depends on what you are making, and you may need to adjust other ingredients to adapt to the flavor. In many baking and cooking recipes, it is not possible.

Can I Use Ground Coffee Instead Of Espresso Powder?

It depends on what you are making.

An espresso powder is more focused and has a stronger and deeper flavor than ground coffee and thus using ground coffee as an espresso powder substitute may not have same deep flavor that you are seeking.

What’s The Difference Between Espresso Powder And Ground Coffee?

Espresso powder is dark roast coffee that has been ground to a very fine powder, brewed then dried and then ground very finely for a second time. Espresso powder is more concentrated, and used for baking and cooking.

Instant coffee is coffee that has been ground and then dehydrated, usually freeze-dried and then used with hot water to make a cup of coffee.

How Much Espresso Powder Is A Shot Of Espresso?

A well brewed tasty shot of espresso used a coffee to water ratio of 1:1.5. For a 1 ounce (30 ml) shot of espresso, this means 20 grams of finely ground coffee is used.

Is Espresso Powder Just Coffee?

No, espresso powder and regular instant coffee are two different products that are made in different ways. Instant coffee is more processed and dehydrated coffee.

They are also used in different ways.

You can’t get away with using instant coffee powder for baking and cooking, for example.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Espresso Powder Vs Ground Espresso

If you have read this far, you know the difference between espresso powder and ground espresso, and how different the two are. In the battle of Espresso Powder vs Ground Espresso, you know which one wins and when.


You will have learned the difference between Instant Espresso Powder and Espresso powder. You, in my own opinion and experience, should ignore the instant coffee aisle and make your own coffee spice rub and powder that you can use in your baking and cooking.

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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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