How to Make Espresso with Instant Coffee [Recipe & Guide]

Espresso is a popular type of coffee loved by coffee lovers around the world. It’s typically made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans to create a thick, concentrated brew.

Not everyone, however, has access to an espresso machine or the time to grind coffee beans. This difficulty may be solved by instant coffee. It is simple and can provide high-quality espresso testing.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make espresso with instant coffee. I will share every little step along with the advantages and disadvantages of using instant coffee. So, keep your eyes here!

But before diving in, I must inform you that instant coffee isn’t the ideal method for making espresso, as the flavor and texture will not be the same as using freshly ground coffee beans. 

Understanding Espresso & Instant Coffee

Espresso with Instant Coffee
Espresso with Instant Coffee

Espresso is a type of coffee that’s known for its bold flavor, high caffeine content, and unique crema layer [3]. It’s popular in cafes and restaurants around the world and is often served as a shot.

Instant coffee is a pre-brewed and dehydrated version of coffee, providing a convenient option for when you want to create your own cup of coffee with hot water.

Espresso’s popularity can be attributed to its unique flavor, quick preparation time, and versatility. It can be enjoyed on its own or used as the foundation for various coffee-based drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos.

Its bold flavor and concentrated nature also make it a popular choice for coffee lovers who prefer a strong cup of coffee.

It might not usually be considered high-quality as freshly brewed coffee. But instant coffee is a great option for those on the go or without access to a coffee machine.

Espresso from a Machine
Espresso from DeLonghi’s automatic coffee machines

What You’ll Need to Make Espresso with Instant Coffee?

To make instant coffee espresso, you’ll need a few key pieces of equipment and ingredients:

  • High-quality instant coffee
  • Boiling water
  • Milk (Optional)
  • Espresso cup

Why is high-quality instant coffee important?

It’s important to use high-quality instant coffee for the best flavor. High-quality instant coffee is made from high-quality coffee beans.

It has been carefully selected and roasted to perfection. According to a study, so many antioxidants are there in instant coffee [2]. To ensure it’s healthy, using good beans is important.

Due to some concentration during the extraction procedure, some varieties of instant coffee may contain greater amounts of antioxidants than roasted coffee.

Making Good Testing Espresso with Instant Coffee:

If you don’t want to read through all the steps below, watch this video for a quick start to making your espresso.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making espresso with instant coffee.

The best temperature for instant NESCAFÉ is 80ºC – if the water’s any hotter it scorches the coffee and spoils that lovely aroma. Plus a cooler cup means less waiting around before you get to enjoy it.
  • Step 1- Preparation: Manage all necessary things. Make sure you have instant coffee and boiling water.
  • Step 2- Boiling water: Heat the water to boiling point on the stove. Make sure to use filtered water for the best taste. The temperature can be around 200-205°F. Although NESCAFÉ suggests the best temperature for instant coffee is 176°F or 80°C [1]. You can also try making coffee at that temperature.
  • Step 3- Mixing instant coffee with boiling water: In a separate cup, mix three teaspoons of instant coffee and a small amount of boiling water to create a thick, paste-like consistency. 
  • Step 4- Wait for 30 seconds: Add the coffee paste to the water. As the water heats up, it will mix with the coffee paste and create a thick, creamy layer of crema on top. Now wait for 30 seconds, that will help to bloom your coffee. 
  • Step-4: Prepare Milk: Prepare the milk if you prefer a latte or cappuccino, heat, and froth milk using a frother or microwave. If you want to make Americano, skip this step. 
  • Step 5- Pour into an espresso cup: Now add 60 ml of hot water to the cup, and stir. Now you’re ready to go. Add milk (optional) if you want to make Latter or cappuccino. 

One thing is certain: Homemade instant coffee does not have the same creamy coating as cafeteria coffee. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to use a proper espresso machine or a Moka pot with fresh coffee grounds, I highly recommend it. 

More resources:

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Espresso

There are some tips you may follow to make your instant coffee perfect. Following these tips may be beneficial for you. These may include crema layer, resetting the espresso strength, heating the water to the right temperature, etc. Let’s have a look at all of the potential tips.

Adjust the espresso strength

The strength of espresso will depend on the amount of instant coffee you use. Adjust the amount to your liking. If it’s already intense, use water to dilute it as per your preferences. 

Crema Layer

Crema is the thin layer of foam that sits on top of an espresso. It’s created by the oils and flavors in the coffee beans and is a sign of a good quality espresso. It is also an important thing to consider when you are making espresso.

To achieve a crema layer stir vigorously with a spoon after adding water. But, indeed it’s not possible to create a crema layer with instant coffee similar to espresso. A bit of a foamy layer appears but that’s not the typical cream layer that we’re used to with an espresso machine. 

Eyes on Water temperature

Water temperature is crucial for making good espresso. Boiling water at a perfect temperature will also give you the best shot of the day. Please keep in mind that your temperature is around 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, if you prefer your espresso with milk, you can heat it separately and add it to your coffee. It depends on you completely whether You will add sugar or other sweeteners to taste good.

Is There Any Difference in Taste, Flavor & Strength Making Espresso Using Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee doesn’t have the same depth of flavor as freshly brewed coffee. However, it can still create a good-tasting espresso. The strength and flavor of the espresso will depend on the quality of the instant coffee used, the amount of coffee, and the water temperature.

Compared to freshly brewed coffee, instant coffee has a slightly different taste and flavor. It lacks some of the complexity and depth of flavor that you may expect from freshly ground coffee beans.

However, with the right techniques and high-quality instant coffee, you can still create a delicious and satisfying espresso.

More resources: How to make espresso without a machine [A few unique techniques]

Best Cheap Alternatives of Instant Coffee for Making Espresso

Portable Espresso Maker


  • Delivers quality espresso in no time
  • Portable
  • Easy to operate

Moka Pot


  • One of the best for espresso.
  • Very simple operation.
  • Provide rich aroma



  • Super cool brewing
  • Ensures optimum extraction
  • Portable


It is possible to make espresso with instant coffee. But the taste, flavor, and strength may differ from traditional espresso. It is important to use high-quality instant coffee to achieve the best possible results. And following the steps above can help ensure a good-tasting espresso.

For a perfect espresso, you need to understand the essentiality of crema, adjust espresso strength, and use the right water temperature.

Instant coffee may not have the same depth of flavor as freshly brewed coffee, remind it.

Finally, it is recommended to experiment with different recipes and techniques to find what works best for your preferences. With the right tools and a bit of practice, making instant coffee espresso can be a satisfying and delicious experience.


Sujit Modak

Leave a Comment