how to make instant coffee

One of the best parts about drinking instant coffee is that it can be made quickly and easily. While there is an ongoing debate concerning how tasty instant coffee is, instant coffee can be quite delicious when made correctly. This step-by-step guide will teach you how to make instant coffee that tastes good every time.

Essentially, you will have to add hot water to instant coffee grounds and stir. Still, we offer a variety of helpful tips that include proportion and temperature specifications to help ensure you get the most out of your instant coffee. Keep reading to find out what we mean.

Getting Started: Instant Coffee Basics

Can I Use Ground Coffee as Instant Coffee?

Have you ever wondered if it is possible to use coffee beans or ‘real coffee’ to make instant coffee? If so, you are not alone.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Making coffee from coffee beans or regular coffee grounds is very different from making instant coffee which comes in a different form. Instant coffee is essentially a coffee extract that has been dried and possibly chopped into a granule or powder consistency.

What Do You Need to Make Instant Coffee?

A basic instant coffee recipe does not require many ingredients or equipment, thanks to it being so quick and straightforward to make. It should only take a few minutes to make instant coffee if you use a kettle or microwave to heat the water, and only about 4 to 5 minutes if you use a stove. It normally takes less than a minute if you are making iced coffee.

What You’ll Need to Make Instant Coffee:
  • Water
  • Kettle, microwave, teapot, or stove (unless making iced coffee)
  • Teaspoon
  • Mug or cup
  • Instant coffee
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Milk or cream (optional)
  • Any flavours or ice you might want to add (optional)

Making Instant Coffee: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Heat Up Water Until Nearly Boiling

The first step to an instant coffee recipe starts with preparing your water. Most instant coffees are made with hot water, but some brands can also be made using cold water. This can be a great alternative to cold brew coffee which takes a considerable amount of time to brew. If you are making cold coffee or iced coffee, you can skip ahead to the next step.

If you are making hot coffee, which is most common, start by heating some freshly drawn water. Fresh water contains more oxygen and will provide you with the best taste in the end. How much water you need to heat depends on how much coffee you are making and what coffee cup or mug you are making it in. Only heat what you need. If you are trying to figure out the proportions for a specific coffee cup, you can always measure the amount of water it holds using a measuring cup to figure out how much water you need.

You can heat up water using your stove or a teapot, but a kettle or microwave is the fastest way. The water temperature should be hot but not quite boiling. Boiling hot water can scald instant coffee. If you wind up with boiling water, wait a minute while it cools slightly before moving on. However, it is best if you can avoid reaching the boiling point because when you boil water, it also releases oxygen, which we discussed above.

Pro Tip: If the mug you will be drinking from is warm, when you add the water, your coffee will retain its heat for longer. Simply fill the mug with hot water, let it sit, and then dump the water out after about a minute, and it will be nice and warm.

Step 2: Spoon Instant Coffee Granules into the Mug or Cup

Next, spoon instant coffee granules into your coffee cup. Most coffee brands call for a heaped teaspoon or rounded teaspoon per cup of coffee. This translates to about 2 grams of instant coffee per 200ml of water for more precise measurement. While this is the typical recommended amount, you should also check the coffee tin for specific recommendations on the quantity needed to achieve the best taste possible.

Ultimately, how much coffee you add will depend on your own personal taste preference, so feel free to experiment a bit. If you find your coffee too light, you can always add more if needed.

Pro Tip: You can try mixing the instant coffee crystals with about a tablespoon of cold water in the cup before adding the hot water to lessen the shock. Depending on the specific coffee, this could improve the overall flavour.

Step 3: Add Hot Water to the Mug

Now it is time to add your preheated water. Fill your coffee cup with hot water. Make sure there’s enough room to stir the mixture, as well as enough room to add milk or cream if that is how you like your coffee.

If you are making a cold coffee drink, add cold water. In addition to the room for cream and room to stir, you may also want to leave some extra space to add ice.

Step 4: Stir Until the Instant Coffee Is Completely Dissolved

Stir the hot water mixture until the instant coffee granules are completely dissolved into the hot or cold water.

This should not take more than 15 to 30 seconds, but some brands of instant coffee will take up to a minute to achieve a smooth blend. A nice froth will develop with some quality instant coffees if you stir vigorously enough.

At this point, the coffee is complete, and you can feel free to start drinking. If you enjoy drinking your coffee black, you are all done. However, for many people, there is one more step that involves customising the flavour to their liking.

Step 5: Add Milk and Sugar to Taste (Optional)

If you do not enjoy drinking your coffee black, all that is left is to add sugar and milk or cream to taste. Add the sugar first to help it dissolve, and thoroughly blend the sweet flavour before you bring the temperature of the coffee down with your milk. Then, add your milk. This would also be the time to add ice if you are making iced coffee. Finally, serve and enjoy your fresh coffee beverage.

Things to Consider

Instant Coffee Drink Ideas

When learning how to make instant coffee, don’t be disheartened if you’re not excited by a normal cuppa. There are a variety of different coffee drink recipes you can make using your instant coffee base.

Instead of using water, you can also froth or whisk milk for more of a latte style drink, minus the espresso.

You can also add cocoa powder to create a kind of mocha or condensed milk for a sweeter drink flavour.

If you are looking for a rich and delightfully creamy coffee drink, frozen drink or shake, try adding ice cream and blending the mixture. Finish by topping it with whipped cream.

If you search for more instant coffee drink recipes, there are plenty to be found, but the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to making tasty coffee drinks. Feel free to experiment and come up with a recipe of your own if you like.

The Perfect Cup of Instant Coffee Made Easy

Most people drink instant coffee because it is quick and easy to make compared to brewed coffee. Now that you know how to make instant coffee correctly, you can start enjoying it to its fullest potential every time you make a cup. 

Remember not to use boiling water. Leave enough space for stirring, milk, and possibly ice, and stir until you see the granules completely dissolved to achieve the best results. 

If you used this guide to make instant coffee, let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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