Instant coffee usually comes in the form of small coffee grounds that are dissolved in hot water or in fine powder form that you can add to cold water to produce an iced coffee-like drink.
Instant coffee has existed for a long time, but people are always trying to make it better and more efficient.
We’ve taken the best tips and techniques from around the world and compiled them here into one complete guide to making instant coffee.
Whether you’re looking to brew it in the comfort of your own home or take it with you on the go, we have you covered with information on how to make instant coffee, giving some tips on instant coffee recipes, their flavours, and more. Be ready for your perfect coffee cup!
How to Make Instant Coffee – The Perfect Cup
What You Need
- Instant coffee powder
- Hot water
- Milk / Cream
- Sugar/ Sweetener
You’ll Also Need:
- A cup/mug
- A rounded teaspoon
Step 1: Preheat the Coffee Mug
But before you do anything, you need to preheat your mug. A preheated mug keeps your coffee hotter for longer compared to cold or room temperature mugs. To preheat your cup, stick it in the microwave for a few seconds or run it under hot water.
Step 2: Boiling Water
The amount of fresh tap water you want is highly dependent on how much regular coffee you want and the type of instant coffee you have at your disposal. Most instant coffee brands available on the market have a set of instructions on how much water you need.
If you are to go with a popular opinion basis, the rule of thumb is to use 2 grams of small coffee granules for 200ml of water.
It is best to boil the water in a saucepan or a kettle which will allow the water to get to a rolling boil, unlike if you use the microwave.
Step 3: Add Instant Coffee
Once your water hits boiling point, it is time to start assembling your cup of coffee. To the preheated cup, add the correct amount of instant coffee. Keep in mind that the amount of coffee you add will determine how strong your coffee is.
Step 4: Add Hot Water and Gently Stir
With the coffee in the preheated mug, add the hot water you had boiled in step two and stir. If you have followed all steps so far, this step should go without a hitch. Stir the coffee until all the instant coffee granules have dissolved.
If you get a gritty drink, that is an indication that you used too much coffee. Make sure to get your water to coffee ratio balanced to achieve your desired taste.
Step 5: Add Milk and Sugar
If you like your coffee white, you can add milk or cream. If you are also interested in sweetening your coffee, you can add a heaped teaspoon of sugar cubes to your coffee. Alternatively, you can use a sweetener.
How to Make Instant Coffee: The Microwave Bag Method
No kettle? No problem! This method might not be ideal for all the coffee snobs out there, but it will solve your caffeine fix if you find yourself without a kettle. Place three cups of water in a microwave-safe bowl and add four tablespoons of instant coffee. Seal in a heat-proof plastic bag, poke a few holes, and microwave for two minutes on high power. Take it out and let it sit for one minute (or longer if you’re patient). Shake well before serving.
The microwave method is a great way to make instant coffee when you’re in a hurry. It takes less than five minutes from start to finish, which means you can have coffee ready in no time. You need some water and coffee grounds.
This is perfect if you want your coffee black but don’t want it as strong as drip or French press makes it.
Be sure to use plastic bags rather than ordinary grocery store bags since they’re more robust and less likely to leak chemicals into your drink.
If you like things sweet, try adding one tablespoon of sugar per coffee cup before cooking it with water. Make sure to measure how much instant coffee per cup you need.
Cold Instant Coffee
Many coffee shops are now serving their brewed coffee over ice. In addition, many baristas will sell you a cup of brewed coffee with the option that’s been cooled down so you can either reheat it or add ice to it.
You can do the same with instant coffee. When you think of instant-style coffee, most people assume it’s coffee granules added to hot water. For a cold alternative, let your cup of java cool down and add a couple of ice cubes.
How To Make Instant Coffee Taste Better
Delicious coffee beans or high-quality ground coffee surely taste better, but we all agree that instant coffee is pretty handy to have around if you don’t have time to brew your perfect cup in hectic moments.
There are many ways to make your instant coffee is more palatable. Make your next cup of instant coffee more delicious by trying one of these methods when you’re desperate for some coffee fix.
Use High-Quality Instant Coffee
While instant coffee is handy, good-tasting instant coffee is hard to find. You’ll see that some instant coffee brands use the spray-drying method, while others use freeze-drying. Both methods have their pros and cons, but the latter is considered of a higher quality as it allows the coffee to retain its smell and taste.
While instant coffee can make a decent cuppa, it might taste pretty bad without a splash of milk. Most people add cow’s milk to their instant coffee but feel free to go with skim milk or use a lighter alternative like almond milk or coconut milk instead of whole milk if you’re worried about calories. What’s more, non-dairy kinds of milk like soy and almond are becoming popular alternatives. While your coffee might not be quite as creamy, it will still have that delicious warm feel you would get from a regular one.
Some people find that whole milk works best when making an Americano but that low-fat and skim should be used for latte art.
Pouring cream into instant coffee does a great job of masking any bitter flavours. If that’s too rich for you, try out half-and-half. It can boost the creaminess but is less rich than regular creamer.
Make It Sweet
Adding sugar is your best bet when it comes to improving instant coffee’s flavour. It’s an obvious solution, but a lot of people don’t think about it. A packet of sugar (or half a packet if you like your coffee a little more bitter) can make your morning cup more palatable.
Take caution when adding artificial sweeteners. Unless you are used to how it tastes, adding it might not actually improve the flavour and make your coffee taste differently.
If you need even more help getting rid of that nasty powdered-coffee taste, try brewing in hot water with an open bag of vanilla extract for five minutes or so.
Cocoa powder is one of those ingredients that you can use to transform your coffee from good to great. It’s sweet and slightly chocolaty, which balances out your cup and makes it taste better. If you aren’t an enthusiast of bitter coffee, add a dash or two of cocoa to make it richer and smoother. Additionally, cocoa can also give your coffee an antioxidant boost.
A little bit of cinnamon added to your cup of instant coffee can also make a huge difference in terms of taste. You’ll surely be amazed by how much more flavorful instant coffee becomes after adding a few dashes of cinnamon.
Cinnamon has long been known for its amazing health benefits like lowering blood pressure and boosting brain function, which is why adding some to your next cup of instant coffee is such a great idea. For best results, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon on top right before drinking. It will wake up your taste buds!
But if you don’t like the flavours already mentioned, you can try adding another spice to your cup. Nutmeg will still give you a little extra flavour without being overpowering. What’s more, it is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, to name a few.
Making Coffee in a Second
And there you have it, how to make instant coffee taste better. If you ever find yourself running out of your favourite ground coffee brand, get that tin of instant coffee hiding in your cupboard out and follow our guide to effortlessly making a quick cup of instant coffee.
Whether you prefer having a morning eye-opener or preparing a pick me up during a busy afternoon, instant coffee is your go-to option to quickly have your caffeine fix.
Tom is a former chef turned full-time food blogger. He has always been passionate about food, and loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen and sharing his recipes with others. Tom’s blog is one of the most popular food blogs on the internet, and he has won numerous awards for his cooking. When he’s not blogging or cooking, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.