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Is espresso powder just instant coffee?

Is espresso powder just instant coffee?

Is Espresso Powder Just Instant Coffee?

With the burgeoning UK coffee scene, the difference between various types of coffee products can sometimes seem blurred. Among the myriad options, espresso powder and instant coffee often come under scrutiny. So, is espresso powder just a fancy term for instant coffee? The short answer is no. While both espresso powder and instant coffee are derived from coffee beans and offer quick solutions, they are fundamentally different in their processing, flavour profiles, and applications. Let’s dive deeper to understand these differences.

What is Espresso Powder?

Espresso powder is essentially crystalized espresso. It is made by brewing a shot of espresso, allowing it to dry, and then grinding it into a fine powder. This product is specially created to dissolve quickly, making it a convenient option for recipes requiring a coffee flavour.

Espresso powder is known for its intense and concentrated coffee flavour, commonly used in baking and cooking.

What is Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee, on the other hand, is made from regular coffee beans that are brewed, dried, and then freeze-dried or spray-dried. It’s designed to be an instant brew, simply requiring hot water to prepare a cup of coffee.

Instant coffee aims to replicate the coffee experience in the most convenient way possible, without requiring any brewing equipment.

Is Espresso Blend Instant Coffee?

Some people may see the term “espresso blend” on coffee packages and wonder if it’s synonymous with instant coffee. It is important to note that an espresso blend is a mix of coffee beans formulated to create a rich, bold shot of espresso. It is not an instant product and requires an espresso machine for brewing.

Differences Between Espresso Powder and Instant Coffee


  • Espresso Powder: Brewed from espresso beans, dried, and finely ground.
  • Instant Coffee: Brewed from regular coffee beans, freeze-dried or spray-dried.

Flavour Profile

  • Espresso Powder: Concentrated, robust, and often used in recipes.
  • Instant Coffee: Lighter, quick, but lacks the depth of flavour compared to freshly brewed coffee.


  1. Espresso Powder: Baking, cooking, and sometimes drinks.
  2. Instant Coffee: Primarily for making a quick cup of coffee.

Comparison Table

AspectEspresso PowderInstant Coffee
ProcessingBrewed from espresso, dried, and finely groundBrewed, freeze-dried or spray-dried
Flavour ProfileConcentrated and robustLighter and quicker
ApplicationsBaking, cooking, sometimes drinksQuick cup of coffee

Final Thoughts

In summary, espresso powder and instant coffee may appear similar but are distinctly different. Espresso powder provides an intense, concentrated flavour ideal for cooking and baking, while instant coffee offers a quick and convenient way to enjoy a cup of coffee. Knowing their differences allows you to make an informed decision about what to use for your specific needs.