how to make instant coffee

Quick Guide: How to Make Instant Coffee Taste Like a Barista’s Brew

Quick Guide: How to Make Instant Coffee Taste Like a Barista’s Brew

Are you tired of settling for mediocre instant coffee? Dream of a cup that rivals your favorite coffee shop’s creation.

Imagine transforming your everyday instant coffee into a rich, flavorful, and satisfying brew in the comfort of your home.

With our expert guide, you’ll discover the secrets to enhancing your coffee’s taste, from selecting the right blend to mastering the perfect water-to-coffee ratio.

Keep reading to unlock the simple yet effective steps to elevate your instant coffee experience, making every sip a delight to look forward to.


  • Choose freeze-dried coffee and check the roast level.

  • Adjust coffee-to-water ratio; use quality water.

  • Store in airtight containers; enhance with add-ins.

  • Present creatively for a barista-like experience.

How to Make Instant Coffee

Have you ever heard the saying, “The magic is in the details”?

Choosing a good-quality instant coffee is a fundamental detail that can significantly transform your coffee experience.

If you’re looking for a better instant brew, you might want to consider freeze-dried instant coffee like Starbucks VIA.

Its quality and right water balance can significantly enhance your coffee-drinking experience.

But selecting the proper coffee is just the first step.

Understanding various types of instant coffee, their roast levels, and how freshness affects brew depth and richness will help you better appreciate its quality.

Types of Instant Coffee

Did you know that not all instant coffees are created equal?

You’re probably familiar with the fine powder or small granules from spray drying, which involves rapidly drying coffee extract with hot air.

But have you tried freeze-dried coffee?

Freeze-drying involves freezing the coffee extract and then reducing pressure to remove moisture, which results in larger granules.

The freeze-drying process preserves more of the coffee bean’s natural flavor and aroma, leading to a smoother cup.

On the other hand, spray-dried coffee can taste bitter due to the high temperature and rapid moisture removal associated with the process.

So, freeze-dried coffee is the way to go for a more robust taste with better rehydration properties.

Understanding Roast Levels

Just like a sommelier appreciates the subtle differences in wines, a true coffee connoisseur knows that roast levels significantly influence the flavor profile of coffee.

Here are some general characteristics of different roast levels:

  • Lighter roasts usually have a more acidic flavor profile with bright, fruity notes.

  • Medium roasts have a balanced flavor, with a slightly sweeter taste and more body.

  • Darker roasts can impart a bitter taste with smoky or chocolate notes and have a fuller body.

The roast level of coffee beans directly affects the taste of your instant coffee.

Here are the different roast levels and their characteristics:

  1. Light roast: Offers more complexity and acidity with a lighter flavor profile.

  2. Medium roast: Balances acidity and flavor with a slightly sweeter taste.

  3. Medium-dark roast: Has a richer flavor and hints of chocolate or caramel notes.

  4. Dark roast: Provides a bolder, more intense flavor with smoky or burnt undertones.

These characteristics result from the coffee bean’s organic composition and the caramelization of sugars during roasting.

The Importance of Freshness

You might wonder, “How can freshness matter when dealing with instant coffee?” Well, it’s all about the beans!

Freshly roasted coffee beans are essential for maintaining a strong and pleasant aroma, a key component in instant coffee’s perceived quality and enjoyment.

The beans used in instant coffee production, including ground coffee beans, are also roasted, and if they’re fresh, you’ll get a truer, more authentic coffee flavor.

This is because they are rich in aromatic substances from the roasting process.

So, to avoid a flat and stale-tasting brew, always look for brands that emphasize the freshness of their coffee.

The Perfect Ratio

With your high-quality instant coffee ready, it’s time to determine the ideal coffee and water ratio.

This is a crucial step in making a delicious cup of coffee, and it’s simpler than you might think!

The ideal ratio for most instant coffees is 1-2 teaspoons per 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of water.

For flavored instant coffee, a good starting point is 2g of instant coffee granules per 200 ml of hot water.

But remember, these are just guidelines.

Your personal taste preferences should guide the final ratio, so feel free to experiment until you find your perfect balance.

Measuring Techniques

You know the suggested ratios, but how can you confirm their accuracy? Well, measuring your coffee accurately is key to a consistent flavor.

If you’re using a standard UK mug, which ranges between 240 and 350 milliliters, one heaped teaspoon of instant coffee granules is recommended for every 200 ml of water.

Of course, these are just starting points.

You should begin with the coffee-to-water ratio suggested by the package instructions and then adjust the amount of coffee granules up or down to suit your own taste preferences.

A handy tip is to use a standard instant coffee packet containing 4.0 grams of coffee as a helpful measurement for achieving consistent flavor.

Adjusting to Taste

Though the package instructions are a good baseline, your coffee’s final taste should always satisfy your palate.

So, don’t be afraid to adjust the ratios based on your individual taste preferences.

For a more potent brew, consider adding an extra teaspoon of coffee. If your coffee tastes too strong, you can add more hot water to dilute it.

Remember, making coffee is both a science and an art. Finding your perfect cup might take some experimentation, but hey, isn’t that part of the fun?

Water Quality Matters

One aspect you might have overlooked is how the quality of your water can drastically impact the taste of your instant coffee.

If you live in an area with hard or unpleasant tap water, filtering the water first can improve the flavor of your coffee.

While water temperature is crucial for brewing traditional coffee, it’s much less important for instant coffee.

Despite this, hot water is generally the best choice for effectively dissolving instant coffee granules.

Hot vs. Cold Water

So, what’s the better choice for instant coffee, hot or cold water?

While it might be tempting to use cold water for convenience, hot water is more effective at dissolving instant coffee granules, ensuring the complete flavor profile of the coffee is released.

The ideal temperature range for water to extract instant coffee flavors optimally is between 195°F and 205°F.

But don’t worry—you don’t need to carry a thermometer around. Remember that hot water brings out the best in your instant coffee.

Filtering Techniques

The quality of your water can significantly impact the taste of your coffee.

If you’re using tap water, you might notice a difference in taste after filtering it. But how do you improve tap water quality at home?

Easy! You can use a water filter pitcher, faucet-mounted filter, or filtered water dispenser from your refrigerator.

These in-home water filters can improve the taste of coffee by removing unwanted minerals.

Bottled spring water can be a suitable alternative if you’re in an area with extremely hard water that cannot be adequately filtered at home.

Enhancing Flavor Without Fancy Equipment

Now, we arrive at the exciting part: boosting your coffee’s flavor.

And the good news? You don’t need any fancy equipment for this!

Making instant coffee can be as simple as ensuring coffee granules dissolve completely in cold water, alleviating the gritty texture often associated with it.

To conceal any unpleasant taste, try using cream instead of milk.

Also, employing a wire shaker ball to mix the instant coffee ensures no undissolved granules are left, leading to a smoother coffee drink.

And if you have a blender at home, blending your instant coffee can significantly improve the texture and taste.

Creative Add-Ins

Want to jazz up your instant coffee? Try customizing it with additives such as:

  • milk

  • creamer

  • honey

  • cinnamon

  • chocolate syrup

  • cocoa powder

Adding these ingredients to your ground coffee can offer a unique and richer coffee experience.

You can also experiment with layering flavors.

For example, using chocolate to intensify taste without adding sweetness effectively enhances your coffee.

Remember, according to your preference, the cocoa, sugar, and milk concentration can be adjusted to achieve the perfect creaminess and sweetness.

Milk Matters

Milk can drastically transform your liquid coffee experience.

For a latte-like taste, try creating a paste of instant coffee with a small amount of cold water, then add hot milk.

Don’t limit yourself to just dairy milk.

Different types of milk, including almond and rice milk, can significantly change your coffee’s consistency and flavor profile.

So, experiment with various kinds of milk and discover your favorite combo!

Making Instant Iced Coffee

Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of iced coffee on a hot day. And yes, you can make a great iced coffee with instant coffee, too! Here’s how:

  1. Combine instant coffee granules with hot water to fully dissolve them.

  2. Add cold water and ice to chill the coffee once you’ve mixed the coffee with hot water.

  3. For an improved texture, froth the coffee and water mixture before adding any ice or cold milk.

  4. Finally, customize your instant iced coffee with milk, creamer, or sweeteners such as simple syrup.

Ice Cube Impact

You are looking to maintain the strength of your iced coffee even as it melts? Try using coffee ice cubes.

Unlike regular ice, which waters down the flavor, coffee ice cubes retain the strength of your iced coffee as they melt.

You can easily make coffee ice cubes at home by:

  1. Freezing coffee in an ice cube tray.

  2. This way, you’ll ensure a consistently strong coffee flavor as the coffee melts.

  3. It’s an easy trick that makes a big difference!

Cold Brew Technique

For a unique twist, why not try a cold brew technique with your instant coffee?

Start by mixing a small amount of cold water with the instant coffee granules until they’re fully dissolved.

This technique helps eliminate the chalky mouthfeel sometimes associated with instant coffee.

Stirring the coffee granules vigorously with only cold water can achieve an effect similar to cold brew coffee.

This provides a simple and quick solution for those seeking to enjoy a barista-level cold coffee experience at home.

Storage Solutions for Instant Coffee

To preserve its fine consistency and optimum taste, store instant coffee in a sealed container in a dry setting, away from moisture and humidity.

Non-reactive materials such as glass, ceramic, or stainless steel are preferred for instant coffee storage containers to prevent oxygen and moisture from compromising the taste.

The size of the airtight container also matters.

Selecting a storage container that closely matches the amount of instant coffee minimizes exposure to air that could degrade the coffee’s quality.

And if you’re really serious about maintaining freshness, consider vacuum sealing your coffee.

Crafting the Ultimate Cup

Equipped with all the necessary knowledge and your trusty coffee maker, you’re now ready to make instant coffee and prepare the ultimate cup.

A superior cup is characterized by a smooth and balanced flavor, lacking bitterness, and presenting a pleasant aroma akin to freshly brewed coffee.

When crafting your perfect cup, focus on enhancing the flavor of your coffee and appreciate the value of convenience and speed in its preparation. But don’t stop there.

To truly emulate coffee shop quality, consider layering flavors and focusing on presentation.

Layering Flavors

By layering flavors, you can add complexity to your coffee in a simple yet impactful way.

Adding sweeteners like honey or maple syrup can complement the coffee’s natural bitterness and create a more rounded flavor profile.

Flavor enhancers such as vanilla or hazelnut extracts can introduce aromatic qualities and reduce perceived bitterness.

And spices aren’t just for baking! Here are some ways you can use spices to enhance your cooking:

  • Cinnamon can impart a warm, spicy note and offer nuanced complexity.

  • Cardamom provides an exotic, aromatic dimension.

  • A pinch of cayenne pepper can add a surprising hint of heat and depth.

Finally, cream or half-and-half offers a rich, velvety texture that can soften the intensity of instant coffee.

Presentation Tips

Lastly, never overlook the importance of presentation.

The way coffee is presented, including the choice of coffee mug and the drink’s visual appeal, can enhance its perceived value.

Garnishing your instant coffee with a sprinkling of coffee granules can enhance its visual appeal and rich flavor.

So, next time you make a cup of instant coffee, take a moment to present it beautifully—you might find it tastes even better!


So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to making your instant coffee taste like a barista’s brew.

From choosing high-quality coffee, understanding roast levels, and maintaining freshness to finding the perfect ratio, considering water quality, and enhancing flavor without fancy equipment, you now know how to craft the ultimate cup of instant coffee.

So why wait? Go ahead and brew a delicious cup of instant coffee that you can truly savor!

Did You know

According to Yahoo Finance the global instant coffee marker is valued at $32.926 million.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct way to make instant coffee?

Add one rounded teaspoon of instant coffee to your mug, followed by 6 ounces of hot water or milk. Stir until the instant coffee completely dissolves, then customize it to your liking before enjoying your drink.

How do you make instant coffee with regular coffee?

To make instant coffee with regular coffee, grind the coffee beans into a superfine grind, strain the grounds, add hot water, and stir. Wait a few seconds before adding sugar, creamer, or milk to taste.

Do you just put instant coffee in water?

Yep, making instant coffee is easy. Just mix a teaspoon or two of the coffee powder with a cup of hot water and stir. Cheers!

How can I enhance the flavor of my instant coffee?

To enhance the flavor of your instant coffee, try using high-quality coffee, adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio to your liking, using fresh, filtered water, and adding flavor enhancers such as milk, creamer, honey, or spices. Enjoy!

Does the type of water I use affect the taste of my instant coffee?

Absolutely the type of water you use can definitely impact the flavor of your instant coffee. For the best taste, go for fresh, filtered water when preparing your coffee.

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