Having a good cup of coffee in the modern day is a swift experience for a lot of people. They do not prefer slow brewing methods but simple (and quick) solutions like instant coffee or espresso powder. One can’t help but wonder, what’s the difference between these two?
Espresso Powder vs Instant Coffee. Espresso powder and instant coffee, though readymade powders, are made through different methods. Espresso powder is dehydrated espresso while instant coffee is dehydrated regular coffee. You will find more caffeine content in espresso powder but you can get more flavor from instant coffee.
Espresso Powder – What is it?
Espresso powder is a great way to make a shot of espresso without the need for an espresso machine.
The process of making instant espresso powder is straightforward. It is very similar to how instant coffee is made.
You take finely ground coffee bean and brew them into an espresso. Then you dry the espresso and the dehydration of the espresso is what yields us the espresso powder granules.
The powder is a bit darker than instant coffee and is also finer in texture.
The best thing about instant espresso powder is that you don’t have to own an espresso machine or tamp the powder to get a shot of espresso. Just mix the powder with hot water to a shot or two of fine espresso.
In addition to making readymade espresso, you can also use this powder in baked goods and desserts. It can impart a strong coffee flavor, and if you love coffee, you’ll like this improvisation.
Espresso powders are not a common sight in grocery stores. You can, however, order them online without any issues.
Instant Coffee – What is it?
Instant coffee is a quick way to make coffee without wasting any time.
Powdered instant coffee is just a dehydrated form of regular ground coffee. First, regular coffee is brewed and the coffee extract is dried up by removing the water content out of it.
Instant coffee is made either by Spray-drying or Freeze-drying method. Thanks to its simplicity, instant coffee is a great choice when you’re on the move. Think camping or simply taking a stroll in your city.
Instant coffee can be easily found in supermarkets and grocery stores. They are usually sold in glass jars or airtight packets. Once you open them up, it is important to make sure not to let air into the glass jar used for storage.
Also Read: Does Instant Coffee Dissolve in Cold Water?
Espresso Powder vs Instant Coffee: What’s The Difference?
In this section, we’ll discuss the aspects of both espresso powder and instant coffee that display the most difference.
There is a big difference in caffeine content between the two coffee powders.
Let’s talk about instant coffee first.
When you make 8 ounces of coffee with instant coffee powder, you will get anywhere from 27 mg to 170 mg of caffeine in your cup. The amount of caffeine depends on the type of beans used and certain other factors.
When you compare this caffeine level with regular brewed coffee, it will be less as the average caffeine content in brewed coffee is around 115 mg. Most instant coffee will be in the lower range, hence the conclusion.
Time to shift our attention to espresso powder.
When you make a shot of instant espresso coffee using espresso powder, you will between 55 mg and 65 mg of caffeine. Keep in mind that espresso shots will be just 1 to 1.75 ounces.
The caffeine per ounce score is high with powdered espresso coffee granules. However, you are not going to have more than a couple of shots at a time meaning you will get less caffeine when compared to instant coffee.
With instant coffee, you can increase the caffeine amount by simply adding more powder. That can’t be the case with espresso instant powder.
Taste and Flavor
When it comes to taste and flavor, we would give a slight edge to instant coffee.
Instant coffee has more flavor and you can also get more caffeine kick out of it. Most instant coffee is made from Robusta beans that are harsh, but if you can find instant coffee made from Arabica beans, then you’ll a more flavorsome cup of joe.
Espresso made from espresso powder can be stronger than instant coffee. It comes with a richer flavor which might be everyone’s cup of… coffee. The caffeine content is also a bit low, but the rich flavor prevents you from gulping more in one go.
If you’re looking for smooth coffee, espresso powder is your choice. But if you’re looking for a more flavorsome coffee that also allows you to drink more at a time, then instant coffee is your answer.
When it comes to instant coffee, you can find both Arabica and Robusta beans used in the making of instant coffee.
Arabica is of better quality but is more expensive. For this reason, you will find that most instant coffee offerings are made from Robusta beans.
Robusta beans come with more caffeine and have a harsher flavor when compared to their Arabica counterpart. The taste is also a bit bitter and intense which most of us prefer. After all, you want coffee to stimulate the sunlight out of you.
In the case of espresso powder, Arabica coffee beans are preferred over Robusta beans as they can deliver a better overall flavor. The powder comes with citrus and berry flavors which makes it different from instant coffee.
Robusta beans are also used in making espresso powder, and just like in instant coffee, you will find them to be intense in flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Espresso Powder The Same as Instant Coffee?
No, espresso powder and instant coffee powder are different from each other. Espresso powder is made from the dehydration of espresso while instant coffee is made from the dehydration of regular brewed coffee.
Can I Use Instant Coffee in place of Espresso Powder?
You can use instant coffee in place of espresso powder if you’re looking for more caffeine. By replacing espresso powder with instant coffee, the resulting cup will have more flavor and will allow you to drink more amount of coffee as well.
Is Espresso Healthier than Instant Coffee?
Both espresso powder and instant coffee are made from the same type of beans, i.e. Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. The only difference is the process and also the caffeine amount. For the same amount of the drink (in oz) espresso will have more caffeine.
But in terms of health benefits, none is better than the other in any way.
Espresso Powder vs Instant Coffee – Wrap Up
We’ve seen about both these instant powders, so what’s your choice?
The easiest way to decide between the two is to know what you want. If you’re looking to get more caffeine, you should go for instant coffee as you can drink more coffee and get more caffeine in the process.
If you’re looking for a quickfire bolt of caffeine without having to consume a full cup of coffee, then instant espresso powder will make you the best drink.
When the flavor of your coffee drink is everything, you will enjoy instant fresh coffee more. Go with espresso if you’re looking for a more bitter and harsh flavor (some of us like that).