Making instant coffee isn’t super complicated. But when you learn how to make instant coffee correctly, you’ll be surprised how much better it tastes. To make it correctly, it takes longer than an instant. But not by much.
This guide is part of our How to Make Coffee series.
How to Make Instant Coffee
- Time to first sip: 1 to 3 minutes
- Type of Coffee: Weaker than fresh ground coffee
- Coffee grind: Freeze-dried instant coffee is recommended
- Gear required: Instant coffee, mug, and kettle
- Difficulty: Fast and easy
Here are a few tips for preparing the best-tasting instant coffee.
- Don’t allow your water to boil or it will make your coffee taste bitter.
- Choose freeze-dried instant coffee.
- Use filtered water that doesn’t contain any chemicals or weird-tasting minerals.
Instant coffee is great to have on hand in case your coffee maker goes on the blink or you’re running late and don’t have time to make it with other methods.
It’s fast and convenient and can also be used to make iced coffee or added to food and drink recipes for a caffeine boost or coffee flavor.
The taste of instant coffee may not equal a cup of coffee that’s been brewed from fresh ground beans, but quality brands in the last few decades have made improvements that bring much more to the table for coffee lovers.
Instant Coffee Recipe
- Heat the water to just before boiling. You don’t want to pour boiling water on your instant coffee because it will overcook it and make it taste bad. If your water gets too hot, just take it off the stove and let it cool for about a minute. (If you enjoy a thick, creamy coffee, use a cup of hot milk instead of water.)
- Add one or two rounded teaspoons of instant coffee per 8 ounces of water (or according to your own preference) to your coffee mug.
- Pour a little hot water into your mug and stir to dissolve the instant coffee grounds completely. Then add the rest of the water and stir.
- Flavor to your taste. Add sugar, cream, milk, honey, cinnamon, or flavor syrups like vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, or caramel.
Choosing the Best Instant Coffee
Exactly what is instant coffee? It’s brewed coffee that’s been dehydrated into crystals or powder that “instantly” dissolve when you add hot or room temperature water.
Two Ways Instant Coffee is Made
The two most common ways of dehydrating instant coffee are spray drying and freeze drying:
- Spray drying uses high temperatures which results in a more bitter taste.
- Freeze drying is a more costly method that doesn’t use high temperatures and results in higher quality, more flavorful instant coffee. So, when shopping for a good instant coffee, you want to look for a brand that uses the freeze-dried method. This should be noted on the label.
How to Make Instant Coffee (Video)
The following video will show how easy it is to make a basic cup of instant coffee.
Iced Coffee with Instant Coffee
For iced coffee, mix a tablespoon of cold or room-temperature filtered water with one or two rounded teaspoons of instant coffee (per cup or glass) to saturate the instant coffee grounds.
Then, pour in about 8 ounces of cold water and give it a good stir until the coffee and water are mixed well. Add ice and any flavorings you prefer.
With a little effort, you can easily make your instant coffee taste better.
Keep learning: Here’s how to make coffee taste good
How did your instant coffee turn out? How do you prefer to drink instant coffee? Join me below!
- About the Author
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Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on EnjoyJava – and is working to make it the best coffee blog in the world.
She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Storyteller Tech. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.