Can You Use Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker? A Common Mistake You Should Avoid

Sometimes, you might hesitate when thinking about getting ground coffee, whether you’re so used to instant coffee or simply into the mess-free caffeine when using freeze-dried powder.

Suppose you have an espresso machine. So, can you use instant coffee in a coffee maker? You should never do that since soluble coffee isn’t compatible with a coffee machine. It could damage your equipment.

In the below sections, Top Reviews will dive into the analysis for this answer.

Let’s read on to discover!

Can You Use Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker?

We advise against using instant coffee in a brewer, though it's actually doable and offers some minor advantages. The problem, however, is that it will seriously damage your coffee machine.

To understand why so, we’ll walk you through the upsides and downsides of doing so. After the detailed analysis below, you will have the correct answer.


It doesn't taste as good as the fresh brew

In essence, instant grounds are dried, pre-brewed power. All you need to do is add some hot water, and there you are with a hotly delicious cup of java.

The thing is, this dried powder will entirely dissolve when exposed to hot water. Meanwhile, espresso makers are specifically designed to brew ground beans.

When slowly running through the dried powder, the hot water can’t mix well with all the grains, thus leaving some in the paper filter or mesh.

The pre-brewed powder in the middle will then dissolve and let the remaining water drip through the filter without brewing.

When brewing soluble coffees, you sometimes have to stir around to completely dissolve all the grains. But you can’t do so with an espresso brewer. That’s why it’s always the best idea to use newly-ground beans in your machine.

If you use an espresso maker to brew instant ground beans, it won’t taste better. Indeed, it tastes worse.

The Workaround

Quick and convenient

The quick and brief process of brewing instant products is too great a temptation. Thus, many of you want to cut it short with this convenient option.

Of course, freshly-brewed espresso is always better than pre-brewed powder, but soluble coffees are way more convenient.

If so, you should add your dried powder at the later stage, which means you will brew it with but not in your brewer.

This workaround provides you with the entire control over the amount of powder you’ll add to your glass and allows using the equipment to heat the water.

The taste is, after all, still makes the difference. If you intend to use pre-ground beans, the sad news is that you’ll never get the same flavor and taste as newly-ground ones.

This workaround is of no use if there’s a microwave oven or kettle in your kitchen. The final result will be equal to microwaving a glass of water for 1,5 minutes and adding your regular instant coffees.

All in all, it’s never a brilliant idea to use instant coffees in an espresso brewer. The idea may pop in your mind, yet what happens next isn’t worth it.

Is Instant Coffee the Same as Brewed Coffee?

Flavor, caffeine, and composition make a difference

As discussed, one of the reasons for not using soluble coffees in your espresso machine is due to the differences between them and brewed coffees.

Caffeine  content, composition, and flavor are the primary differences.


You can find regular brewed powder with tons of flavors and variations, like intensely dark and bitter, light, blonde roast with a unique fragrance, mocha, and vanilla flavoring. There are always beans for everyone.

Your drink can deliver a richer or lighter flavor, depending on the preparation time and the soil.

Meanwhile, instant powder without additives or additional flavors is relatively consistent. You’ll rarely see a soluble “medium-dark” or “blonde roast.” Instead, this convenient option relies largely on consistency.


A cup of freeze-dried powder contains 60 to 80 mg of caffeine. Meanwhile, brewed or ground beans contain about 60-120 mg of caffeine a cup. In essence, you’ll get a bit more caffeine with freshly-brewed powder.

It’s not always necessarily better to have high caffeine content, yet how it matters depends on each individual.

Controversially, many drinkers suppose that deeper, darker coffees consist of more caffeine, but actually not.

Since people cook the beans for longer, some antioxidants , minerals, and caffeine are lost during the process. So, should you want something high in caffeine, go for lighter roasts or espresso.


The ground powder you add to your espresso machine is simply coffee beans, so you can even grind your own at home.

People have picked, roasted, and dried these beans for you. Unless the brand offers flavor additives, you’re buying original beans, just in another form.

When making a cup of freeze-dried powder, you’re actually pouring water into a cup of pre-brewed grounds. The brewing phase has already happened.

Apart from that, other dissimilarities are pretty negligible. Nevertheless, the drying and brewing process eliminates a scanty amount of some nutritional elements like antioxidants and caffeine.

Soluble Coffee Brewed Coffee
Focus on consistency instead of additives Come with lots of variations and flavors
60-80 mg of caffeine per cu 60-120 mg of caffeine per cup
Background: Pre-brewed grounds Background: Coffee beans

How To Make Instant Coffee Without A Coffee Maker?

For those who believe soluble powder will taste better in an espresso maker, we’ll show you how to make it delicious without a machine. 

  • First thing first, boil freshly drawn, previously uncooked water.

A little-known tip is that pure water gives a fresher, better taste than previously boiled water. That is because pure water consists of more oxygen.

  • Next, measure the amount of coffee and water you want to brew.

If you get a giant-sized cup, adjust the correct ratio according to your taste. For instance, for 200ml of water, we prefer to put in instant powder of 2g - about one spoonful.

  • Then, pour the hot water over your soluble ground beans.

You shouldn’t pour the water right away after it’s done boiling or reaches 100 degrees C because the boiling water might cause the dried powder to burn.

We recommend using water of 94 degrees C, the point right before it boils. Once you notice the water starts to bubble, turn off the kettle, and the water is ready.

  • Lastly, combine the grounds and water.

Feel free to add whipped cream, sugar, milk, or any toppings you like. Then, enjoy your hot cup of joe.

Check this guide video out to learn more about soluble drink tricks:

Source Youtube : Creatively Bambi

Can You Make Cold Brew With Instant Coffee?

Many people have a misconception that cold brew requires special ground beans only. Though you can buy a cold brew blend outside, there’s no need to do so.

Plus, your coffee maker can’t produce cold brew, no matter what type of ground you use. The secret behind a delicious cold brew is time and patience.

The process of steeping grounds with cold water takes much longer than hot brew, about 20 hours. But the beauty is that your stomach will feel pleased with the cold brew.

To make a deep cold brew, you can combine milk or cold water with a spoonful of soluble ground beans.

However, we suggest you prepare a cold brew without the use of ice because melted ice will make your beverage too watery.

What Coffees Work Best In A Coffee Maker?

So, you will steer clear of using instant products in your espresso brewer. Then, what coffees work best in your machine?

The roast, ground beans’ flavoring, and brand come first regarding a personal choice, but your unit cares only about the added grind other than anything.

Remember that a standard pot is meant to handle medium or coarse grinds. Ensure to use a slightly large grind for such regular units.

For an espresso brewer, which utilizes hot water to force a super-rich scanty caffeine shot out quickly at extreme pressure, it’s best to use ultra-fine ground beans.

Filters, particularly those with metal screened disposable style, do not apply to espresso filtering.

Should you grind the beans into powder, you’ll get sludge at the pot’s bottom. It’s gross, and the bean sediments also cause your beverage to taste bitter when it over-steps.


Can you use instant coffee in a coffee maker? Indeed, the value of a brewing machine is in the ability to produce tasty shots of espresso.

Ground coffee and instant coffee are completely different. You should not add instant coffee to your coffee machine as it may damage your machine.

In a word, drinkers can enjoy the functionality and benefits of either freeze-dried crystals or a coffee machine, but better not simultaneously.

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