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How to Make Instant Coffee

Want to know how to make instant coffee that’s satisfying and delicious every time? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll cut through the clutter and give you the straightforward steps to a perfect cup. Learn the ins and outs of choosing the right instant coffee, the key to a tasty mix, and quick ways to personalize your brew—all while keeping things quick and easy.

Key Takeaways

  • Opt for high-quality, sustainable coffee brands for better taste and environmental impact, and consider the freeze-drying method over spray-drying for a closer real coffee flavor experience.

  • Making the perfect instant coffee is about the right balance of coffee to water, the water temperature, and your stirring method. Customize your cup further with additions like milk, sweeteners, or flavors to suit your taste.

  • Store instant coffee properly in an airtight container in cool, dry, dark conditions to maintain its freshness for 12–18 months. Avoid freezing to prevent moisture absorption and quality degradation.

The Art of Instant Coffee Making

Instant coffee’s convenience and versatility have made it a staple in many homes. But did you know that this humble beverage has a rich history dating back to the 18th century? The first patent for instant coffee was granted to John Dring in England in 1771. Since then, instant coffee has endured a journey of continuous refinement, leading to the delicious varieties we enjoy today.

Selecting a high-quality coffee brand is key to attaining the optimal flavor. It’s like picking a fine wine; the distinction in flavor between a quality product and a cheap substitute is stark. Just as wine connoisseurs savor the nuances of grape varieties, soil, and climate, coffee lovers appreciate the delicate balance of coffee brand, water, and temperature that brings out the best in their brew. Whether you’re a coffee novice or an aficionado seeking to recreate the aroma and flavor of a freshly brewed whole bean coffee, the secret lies in understanding the art of making instant coffee.

Choosing Quality Sustainable Coffee Beans

For coffee lovers, sustainability carries as much weight as the actual taste. Choosing sustainable coffee brands often results in a tastier cup of coffee, plus you’re doing your bit for the environment. Some sustainable coffee brands to consider are:

  • Kickapoo Coffee

  • Conscious Coffees

  • Cafeology

  • Cafédirect

  • Pura Vida

  • Larry’s Coffee

These brands are known for their sustainable practices and delicious instant coffee.

But it’s not just about the brand; the origin of the ground coffee beans plays a significant role too. The altitude, climate, and soil where the beans grow can have a significant impact on the flavor of your instant coffee. Hence, when you are picking out your next coffee, consider its origin. You’ll not only enjoy a delicious cup but also contribute to a sustainable future.

Understanding Instant Coffee Types

Instant coffee is primarily created using two methods: spray drying and freeze-drying, both vastly different from traditional coffee brewing methods. In the freeze-drying method, roasted coffee beans are mixed with water to create a concentrate. This mixture is then frozen at extremely low temperatures and dried to result in coffee powder. On the other hand, spray drying involves spraying liquid coffee into a hot, dry chamber, where it quickly dries into a fine powder due to the high temperatures.

The method chosen to make instant coffee significantly influences its taste. Freeze-dried instant coffee, also known as soluble coffee, retains more of the real coffee flavor and is generally preferred over spray-dried coffee, which can have a bitter and rubbery taste.

Therefore, the next time you grab that jar of instant coffee, give a thought to the manufacturing process behind it, how it differs from brewed coffee, and how coffee grounds are not involved in its making. It might just change your coffee experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Instant Coffee

Armed with knowledge about the art of instant coffee, it’s time to tackle the practical side – its preparation. While instant coffee is famous for its simplicity, there’s more to it than meets the eye. The right balance of coffee, water, and temperature can make a significant difference in taste. The type of water you use can also affect the flavor of your coffee. So, steer clear of tap water that might alter the delicious flavor of your coffee.

The final step of making instant coffee involves pouring hot water into the instant coffee mix and adjusting the quantity to your liking. But why stop at just water and coffee? Jazz up your cup of instant coffee by adding creamer or sweeteners, or enjoy it as it is if that’s your style. Let’s explore these steps in more detail.

Measuring Instant Coffee

The first step in your quest for the perfect cup of instant coffee is getting your measurements right. Aim for:

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons (2-4 g) of instant coffee per 8 ounces of water for a well-balanced flavor

  • If you prefer a lighter taste with less caffeine, use less coffee

  • If you’re in the mood for a stronger brew that might have more antioxidants (and a bit of acrylamide), feel free to add more.

The amount of coffee you use in relation to water also influences the strength and flavor of your coffee. A higher coffee-to-water ratio results in a more concentrated brew. The ideal water temperature is between 190 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the ratio based on how strong you like your coffee.

Mixing Techniques

Next up is the mixing technique. The temperature of the water you use to mix your coffee can significantly influence its taste. The hotter the water, the more flavor compounds get dissolved from the coffee, making it taste stronger. On the other hand, adding cold water to instant coffee can make the flavor smoother by softening the amylum in the coffee.

Not just the temperature, how fast you stir can also change the taste of instant coffee. Stirring faster results in a bolder flavor due to the extraction of flavor compounds from the coffee granules. On the contrary, stirring slower leads to a milder flavor.

Adding milk or cream before or after water can also alter the taste and texture of your coffee. Experiment with these techniques to find the perfect combination for you.

Customizing Your Cup

One of the best things about instant coffee is its versatility. It’s a blank canvas begging for a splash of creativity. Whether you’re a fan of a classic brew or love to experiment, you can customize your instant coffee to suit your taste.

Add a hint of sweetness with sugar or honey, enrich the flavor with cocoa powder or cinnamon, or transform your instant coffee into a creamy delight with dairy or non-dairy milk. Adding milk to your coffee can reduce its bitterness and add a smooth, creamy texture and a hint of sweetness. So, don’t hesitate to mix and match these add-ins to create your perfect cup of instant coffee.

Storing Instant Coffee the Right Way

Storing instant coffee appropriately is vital in preserving its freshness and taste. An airtight container is your best bet for preserving your coffee’s quality. The material of the container also matters; glass, stainless steel, and ceramic are top choices for storing instant coffee as they keep it fresh without altering the flavor.

The conditions in which you store your coffee play a significant role. Instant coffee should be stored at around 25 °C with humidity levels below 30%—40% to keep it fresh. While freezing might seem like a good idea to preserve your coffee, it can absorb moisture and degrade the quality. Let’s further examine these storage strategies.

Airtight Containers

Keeping your instant coffee in an airtight container helps preserve its freshness by preventing oxidation. If not stored correctly, your coffee can degrade, form clumps, or darken due to exposure to oxygen and moisture.

While stainless steel is a popular choice for airtight containers, you can also opt for plastic, ceramic, or copper based on your preference. You can find good airtight containers from brands like Airscape, Friis, and WeLoc on Amazon. Vacuum sealing can also help keep your coffee fresh by sealing it airtight.

Optimal Storage Conditions

Storing your instant coffee in a cool, dry spot, away from heat or steam, can prevent it from forming clumps and losing its quality due to moisture absorption. Light, especially UVA and UVB light, can also degrade the quality of your instant coffee. Therefore, it’s best to store it away from direct or artificial light.

If stored correctly, an opened jar or tin of instant coffee can stay fresh for about 12 to 18 months. While freezing instant coffee can prolong its shelf life, it’s not recommended as it can absorb moisture and degrade the quality.

Enhancing Instant Coffee Flavour

Having understood how to make and store instant coffee, let’s find out ways to boost its taste. While instant coffee has its unique taste profile, you can add various flavor boosters and try different brewing methods to make it even more enjoyable.

You can add the following taste enhancers to your coffee:

  • Sugar

  • Cocoa powder

  • Cinnamon

  • Salt

  • Herbs

  • Frothed milk

  • Orange juice

  • Whiskey

You can also use coffee in recipes like spaghetti bolognese sauce. Let’s further explore these taste enhancers and brewing techniques.

Flavor Boosters

Spices like:

  • cardamom

  • cinnamon

  • nutmeg

  • ginger

  • vanilla extract

Adding a pinch of warmth and flavor to your instant coffee can transform your regular hot cup of coffee into a gourmet delight, giving you that fresh cup experience.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can add sweeteners like sucralose, stevia, or maple syrup to your coffee. Artificial sweeteners like Equal, Splenda, and Sweet N’ Low are also options.

Dairy alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk add their unique flavors to your coffee. Almond milk adds a nutty taste and reduces acidity, soy milk adds sweetness (but might curdle), and oat milk adds creaminess with a touch of sweetness.

Experimenting with Brewing Methods

Brewing methods can significantly impact the taste of your instant coffee. The temperature at which you brew your coffee can influence its flavor, with the most flavors being tasted between 31-50°C, especially those related to acidity and sweetness.

Using cold water instead of hot water to brew your coffee can result in a milder and smoother flavor, providing a different option from the usual hot brew. Experimenting with different brewing methods can help you discover your preferred taste.

Health Aspects of Instant Coffee

Beyond its delightful taste and ease of preparation, instant coffee also has several health facets that warrant attention. It can potentially:

  • Boost antioxidants

  • Aid in fat burning and weight loss

  • Improve brain function

  • Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease

Let’s further investigate the advantages and potential hazards linked to instant coffee.


Instant coffee is rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage. It has slightly less caffeine than regular coffee, allowing you to adjust your caffeine intake to suit your preferences and sensitivities.

In addition to this, instant coffee can boost your brain function, helping with memory and focus, just like regular coffee. So, your cup of instant coffee not only tastes good but also contributes to your health.


While instant coffee has its benefits, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks. Instant coffee often contains non-food-grade ingredients like:

  • coffee beans

  • vitamin C

  • sodium carbonate

  • sugar

  • coconut oil

  • stabilizers

Always check the label for a full list of ingredients to ensure they’re all food-grade.

Improper storage of instant coffee can lead to the formation of mycotoxins and increased acrylamide, which can be harmful to your health. Therefore, storing your instant coffee properly is crucial to maintain its quality and your health.

Instant Coffee vs. Ground Coffee

While both instant coffee and ground coffee have their own unique characteristics, they differ mainly in taste, convenience, and preparation methods. Instant coffee usually uses lower quality Robusta beans, resulting in a stronger flavor, while ground coffee often uses higher quality Arabica beans for a better flavor profile.

The convenience of instant coffee lies in its simplicity. It’s already brewed, dried, and powdered, so you just mix it with water and you’re good to go. Ground coffee, on the other hand, requires brewing, which can take more time and equipment.

So, whether you prefer instant coffee or ground coffee, it all boils down to your taste preference and how much time you’re willing to spend on your coffee.


In conclusion, the art of making instant coffee extends far beyond stirring a spoonful of coffee powder into hot water. From choosing quality sustainable coffee brands to understanding different types of instant coffee, from perfecting the brewing technique to storing it properly, every step contributes to the taste and quality of your instant coffee. The beauty of instant coffee lies in its versatility, allowing you to customize it to your taste and experiment with different brewing methods. So, the next time you reach for that jar of instant coffee, remember that you’re not just making a beverage, but creating an experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to make instant coffee?

To make instant coffee, boil some water and pre-heat your mug with a little hot water. Then add the instant coffee and pour 200ml of hot water over it, stirring until the granules dissolve. Enjoy your coffee!

Do you just mix instant coffee with water?

Yes, you can just mix instant coffee with hot water to make a quick cup. You can also experiment with adding cold water to create iced coffee.

Why should I choose a sustainable coffee brand?

You should choose a sustainable coffee brand because it leads to a tastier cup of coffee and is good for the environment. Happy sipping!

What is the significance of the water temperature while making instant coffee?

The water temperature affects the taste of instant coffee, with hotter water dissolving more flavor compounds and making the coffee taste stronger.

How should I store my instant coffee to keep it fresh?

Store your instant coffee in a cool, dry spot, away from heat or steam, in an airtight container to keep it fresh and prevent clumping. This will help preserve its flavor and quality.