• You are here:
  • Home »
  • Coffee Beans »
Instant coffee vs espresso

Instant Coffee vs Espresso. Which One Is Best For You? (All Differences Explained)

SoloEspresso is supported by its readers. We may earn a commission when you buy through the links on our site at no additional cost for you.

You may wonder how instant coffee vs espresso compare, especially when looking into an easier way of getting your caffeine dose in the morning. Even though, personally speaking, nothing beats having a fresh cup of coffee. Having a coffee machine can look aesthetically pleasing and when used the right way produces a good cup of coffee, and gives better control over the brew. However, most people don’t have time to grind their favorite coffee beans and then go through the process of making a cup of coffee which is when instant coffee can become your best friend.

The overall hassle of making a fresh cup of coffee can be a bit off-putting, and not everyone can afford a coffee machine. Today, it helps to have the option of instant coffee or espresso, depending on your tastes.

You may already know that instant coffee isn’t the same as freshly ground coffee nor is espresso the same as instant espresso, but you may not know which one is better. Which one should you go for when it comes to getting your caffeine kick?

Maybe you’re new to coffee and don’t know the difference or you just want to know which type of coffee is better for your taste. Well, continue reading to find out.

Instant coffee

Instant Coffee vs Espresso – What is Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee, also known as soluble coffee, is different from regular coffee. It’s an already brewed cup of coffee that gets processed and preserved. This happens before it’s put into its packaging whereas coffee beans are just washed and roasted. It’s packaged and sold to those who use a coffee grinder or coffee machine.

Personally, nothing tastes better than a drip cup of coffee made with freshly ground coffee beans or even just pre-ground coffee that you brew for a few minutes. However, instant coffee is quicker and easier to make, making it more convenient for everyone. It’s a lot more affordable too because it doesn’t involve a coffee machine and minimal coffee products. .

Most people already own a kettle as a basic electrical appliance. This makes instant coffee that much more convenient for the bulk of consumers these days. There are no other pieces of equipment needed whereas coffee machines are a little more complicated and not on hand in every household.

The format of the coffee also matters. Instant coffee is a powder or crystal that can be dissolved in hot water without needing to grind or brew roasted coffee beans first. There is no need to make your life harder in the mornings when using instant coffee.

Instant coffee is a great substitute for those who need to make coffee on the go because the coffee powder can be placed into a thermos with hot water as well as milk and sugar to taste. It can also be taken with you in sachets in case you need coffee while you’re in the office. Maybe the coffee tin is empty or the coffee machine is broken. Have no fear, instant coffee to the rescue!

Is Instant Coffee Strong?

Besides the difference in look and taste, instant coffee has a lot less caffeine when compared to brewed coffee, making it not as strong as the coffee from a machine or the cup you order at the restaurant. Of course, it will still give you as much caffeine intake you’re looking for but if you prefer a stronger dose, instant coffee won’t do it for you.

Although each cup of brewed coffee or instant coffee is different based on the coffee beans that are used, typically instant coffee is weaker. In part, this is because the production process changes the integrity of the beans.

A teaspoon of instant coffee contains around 30-90mgs of caffeine depending on what brand of instant coffee you use, while brewed coffee has around 70-140mgs of caffeine.

What is Instant Espresso Coffee? Is It Like an Espresso?

Although instant espresso can be classified as instant coffee, it’s actually not the same at all. Similar to the regular one, it is stronger than normal coffee due to the ratio of water to coffee.

While the making of instant coffee and instant espresso is rather similar, instant espresso is made with a darker bean. This makes the overall taste of the espresso stronger and more concentrated once it’s gone through the process of being dried into an instant coffee powder.

Can You Drink Instant Espresso Instead of Your Espresso?

Instant espresso can be a replacement for espresso beans but it’s not advised to use it for your morning cup. It is extremely strong and has a bitter taste.

It can offer you the caffeine fix you’re looking for but overall, instant espresso is most commonly used in baking. Due to its strong taste, espresso powder can be added to chocolate desserts to help intensify the chocolate taste.

Baking with Instant Espresso Coffee Powder

Baking cakes with instant espresso powder is one of the most highly suggested things to do with instant espresso. Don’t go through the hassle of making yourself an espresso with instant espresso powder. Rather add it to a chocolate dessert to make the flavor that much more intense.

You can mix instant espresso with hot water for a classic tiramisu recipe or you can add a pinch to your brownie recipes to truly get that chocolatey flavor you’re looking for.

tiramisu cake

Is Instant Coffee the Same as Instant Espresso?

As stated above, instant coffee is not the same as instant espresso, nor is coffee the same as espresso. Espresso is stronger than coffee, making instant espresso still stronger than instant coffee, although instant coffee is more easily enjoyed.

Usually, espresso is enjoyed straight with maybe added sugar depending on your taste preference, while coffee has cream or milk with sugar to your liking. Instant coffee can be used as a replacement for home brewed coffee, while instant espresso may not be what you’re looking for.

Another frequently asked question is if espresso is just strong coffee? You may think logically, as I once did, that a shot of espresso should be stronger than a regular cup of brewed coffee but you’d then be mistaken. Regular coffee is actually higher in its caffeine content than a shot of espresso.

Instant Coffee vs Instant Espresso

Although both coffee drinks are made with coffee beans and have similar processes, instant coffee is supposed to be enjoyed as a replacement for ground coffee beans. In contrast, it’s suggested that instant espresso be used solely for baking.

If you manage to find a good instant espresso, something that can just hit the spot, it can be used as your espresso replacement. Just know, you may not enjoy it as much as just using instant coffee or your regular espresso shot.

Is Instant Coffee for You?

You may be thinking, knowing everything about instant coffee and instant espresso compared to regular coffee and regular espresso is all good and well but what does it mean for you? How does it help you? Is instant better because you can make it on the go or is regular better because you have time to use a coffee machine in the mornings?

Coffee machines can grind the coffee grounds to the required fine powder for espresso while proceeding to make the coffee while you go about your morning routine but could making instant coffee save you a bit of time? It just may as instant coffee is just that, instant.

The coffee is ready in no time, meaning you can drink it while getting ready instead of swallowing quickly before leaving the house, not even enjoying the moment. We’re all looking for the quickest way to do things these days and instant coffee and even instant espresso are making that possible.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to coffee, nothing can really beat a freshly brewed cup of coffee but with everything being so fast-paced these days, it is nice to have options available. Faster coffee options, especially for passionate coffee drinkers, are therefore extremely important. Knowing that you can get your coffee fix no matter how much time you have, really does help.

Make sure you give yourself some time to try out different instant coffee brands when you first get into instant coffee. There are so many on the market that you’re bound to find something different in every brand, whether it be the bean or the roasting process. Eventually, you’ll find the right one for you.

Coffee is different for everyone. Some people drink it just for the caffeine while others drink it because they genuinely love the taste. Either way, there is nothing stopping you from getting the right coffee for you and your lifestyle.