Espresso Powder vs. Instant Coffee: Is There a Difference in Taste and Use?

In this guide, we'll compare these two in detail and the best ways to use each.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 11, 2021
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Powdered coffee is one of the best things that ever happened to coffee drinkers because it allows them to make a quick cup of coffee when they’re on the go. The packets can be taken anywhere else with you, and if you like to bake, you can also use them to make tasty treats.

But this doesn’t mean that espresso powder and instant coffee are both the same. Even if they are both made the same way and are delicious to those who like them, these two types of coffee powders have some distinct differences that you need to keep in mind.

In this guide, we would be comparing espresso powder vs instant coffee closely, and after you finish reading, you can figure out which one is best for you.

What is Instant Coffee?

Espresso Powder vs. Instant Coffee: Is There a Difference in Taste and Use?Instant coffee is very common, made with dehydrated ground coffee. The manufacturer would brew ground coffee, then drain out the water through a freeze or spray drying so that all that is left is the powder. It usually comes in these slim packets, and you can just pour it right into your cup of hot water and drink it. It’s very easy to make and is usually used in offices when traveling or camping and in on-the-go situations.

Instant coffee is usually made from either Arabica beans or Robusta beans, although the former has a softer taste than the latter. When looking for the best instant coffee to drink, you can check the beans it is made with.

Below is the process of making instant coffee.

Taste

Instant coffee is usually said to have a bitter and fake taste, making it very different from when you have a freshly brewed cup of coffee. It’s not surprising that the taste is different, since instant coffee is processed while normal coffee beans are given to you straight out of the pot. The process of drying out the coffee takes away the freshness, leaving you with bitter coffee, but enough caffeine to keep you moving.

Uses

Instant coffee is used when you want to drink coffee, but apart from this, it has some other interesting uses. You can add instant coffee to your smoothie bowl, chocolate desserts, breakfast oatmeal, dry rubs, and marinades. You can also use instant coffee to make baked foods, ice pops, or granola. If you enjoy baking, there are many coffee-based treats that you can use your instant coffee packet to make.

What is Espresso Powder?

Espresso Powder vs. Instant Coffee: Is There a Difference in Taste and Use?Most people know that they can order a cup of espresso at the café in their neighborhood, but they don’t know that they can also make a cup of espresso at home with a packet of espresso powder. It is made the same way instant coffee is made, but it is more concentrated because of how espresso usually is. You can get a shot or two of espressos without going through the entire coffee-making process, and with the best espresso powder, you’ll get something close to the real thing.

Espresso powder is made with Arabica blends and many other top-quality beans, with a caffeine level of averagely 58mg. Although it can be used to make coffee drinks, it is mostly used by pastry chefs and bakers when making chocolate and coffee-based foods. Although it’s not popular, you can easily order espresso powder online. To drink it, simply add the espresso powder to your cup of hot water and drink it.

Taste

Coffee made with the best espresso powder is smoother and stronger than instant coffee. But, don’t expect it to taste like your usual, delicious cup of espresso. It might be strong, but it doesn’t taste as good as a real cup of espresso, and you might have to take two cups or three before you get the espresso feeling that you’re looking for.

Uses

Although espresso powder is made primarily for drinking, you will find yourself in a whole new world when you realize all the things that you can do with it in the kitchen. It is usually used to give chocolate-based goods a more intense and richer flavor. It can also be used in baking cakes, cookies, or added to spices to create different kinds of tastes. Almost every baker and cook own espresso powder.

Instant Coffee vs. Espresso Powder: Side-by-Side Comparison

When comparing instant coffee to espresso power, the main topics are how much caffeine it has, the kind of beans used to make it, and how you can use it to drink or cook. They sound very similar in many aspects, but you would discover that there are some clear differences between them too.

Types of Beans Used for Production

Espresso Powder vs. Instant Coffee: Is There a Difference in Taste and Use?The first thing to look at is the beans used to make instant coffee or espresso powder. You can make espresso powder at home too, as long as you have the beans that you need.

Instant coffee can be made with either Arabica or Robusta beans, with the latter having twice as much caffeine content as the former. Arabica beans make sweet and soft coffee, with aromas of berries, sugar, and fruits. But Robusta has a peanut-like aftertaste, but they are more bitter, harsher, and stronger.

Espresso powder contains the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso and is made from already ground beans. It is usually made from Arabica blends, which is more expensive than Robusta.

Caffeine Amount: Which Is Stronger?

The amount of caffeine in your espresso powder or instant coffee depends on the coffee beans that were used to make it. Instant coffee has a lower caffeine amount than espresso powder, which is up to 90mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce drink. This value still depends on the type of coffee that you buy, and it can be considerably lower, so you can check the details before buying instant coffee online.

Since the espresso powder was made with already brewed ground coffee, it has the same amount of caffeine as a normal shot of espresso, and this is 63mg in about 1.75 ounces. This is already way more than what you get in instant coffee. The caffeine content might also depend on how much you drink, so do your calculations if you don’t want to overconsume caffeine Trusted Source 9 Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine Caffeine can have impressive health benefits, but high doses can also lead to unpleasant side effects. Here are 9 side effects of too much caffeine. www.healthline.com .

Ways to Drink or Cook with Each

Espresso Powder vs. Instant Coffee: Is There a Difference in Taste and Use?When drinking either instant coffee or espresso powder, you make them the same way. You get a cup of hot water, open the packet, pour it in, and drink. Instant coffee is drunk more than espresso powder, while the latter usually finds itself in bakeries and the kitchens of pastry chefs.

Espresso powder is used to add flavor to spices and baked foods. People even use spent espresso powder Trusted Source Use spent espresso grounds in this brownie recipe | Food | The Guardian Instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, use them in these brownies with a caffeine kick www.theguardian.com to make brownies and other foods in their homes. Instant coffee can be used too, but not as popular as espresso powder.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the differences between espresso powder vs instant coffee, the next thing to think of is which one is right for you. While they would both be a handy companion when you’re on the move and need an instant caffeine fix, they taste differently and have different amounts of caffeine.

The one you choose depends on your preferences. If you like stronger coffee and you need something strong to help you through the day, then you’ll prefer an espresso powder. But if you prefer your coffee to be soft and mild, then instant coffee would be the perfect choice for you.

References

1.
9 Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine can have impressive health benefits, but high doses can also lead to unpleasant side effects. Here are 9 side effects of too much caffeine.
2.
Use spent espresso grounds in this brownie recipe | Food | The Guardian
Instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, use them in these brownies with a caffeine kick
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