Whether you like instant coffee hot, cold, black, or with whipped cream, we've got you covered! Here are a few ways you can elevate your morning cup of instant coffee.
Instant coffee, soluble coffee, coffee powder, or however you'd like to call it is a drink derived from real brewed coffee beans. It is made by brewing coffee into a thick liquid and then converting it into powder/granules via either freeze-drying or spray-drying the concentrated brewed coffee.
Did you know that according to the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, the first instant coffee was invented by John Dring in England in 1771 and patented by the British Government as "coffee compound?" Probably not... unless you read our instant coffee history post, of course.
How to make your instant coffee
Hot vs. Cold
People often swear by only having their coffee hot. However, it doesn’t hurt to try adding in ice to change things up a little. It requires no effort but can still make a big difference. A nice iced coffee can be refreshing and maybe even wake you up more.
Another way to drink your coffee cold is by blending it with ice to make a frozen coffee drink. This does require more time and equipment, but it could be worth trying!
A typical cup of coffee is made from coffee beans, water, and milk. The varying types of coffee are based on the type of coffee you’re using, and the ratio at which you use the three ingredients. For example, an Americano is 50% ground coffee 50% water, whereas a Latte is 30% ground coffee and 70% milk. Making the perfect instant coffee will only require 1-2 tsp of coffee grounds and 8-10 fl oz of water, which is about one cup of coffee.
If you’re not a total coffee connoisseur and make your own coffee at home, you probably make black instant coffee and add in your sweetener. You can experiment with your ratios of water, creamer, sweetener, and coffee to see what fits you best. If you add more tsp of instant coffee, your drink will become stronger and vice versa.
Froth or Whip
This method is newer and a little more advanced, but still easy to do. Frothing your milk is when you stir, whip, or mix your milk enough that it turns into a foam texture. Doing this doesn’t actually change the flavor, but it adds dimension and contrast to your coffee because it is so light and airy (It also just looks really fancy).
There are multiple ways you can froth, but the easiest way is to either hand mix or use a milk frother. If you don’t have all the time in the world, especially during your morning, we recommend using one of these tools.
A new trend that has arisen recently is the dalgona coffee method, where you whip the coffee itself using instant coffee, water, and sugar and compliment it with milk of your choice. Although the coffee is virtually the same flavor, the change in texture and consistency makes it enjoyable and fun to drink!
How to upgrade your instant coffee:
1. Make it Jelly
Instant coffee jelly is usually enjoyed with milk and milk tea. It can also be a great addition to other desserts such as shaved ice, ice cream, or even enjoyed by itself with whipped cream. You can also add it to your iced coffee to add dimension, texture, and flavor!
2. Add an egg
Crack an egg into a small bowl and beat it until thoroughly blended. Then mix the egg into your instant coffee or coffee grounds. Place the mixture into a stove-top coffee pot and bring to a boil. Once it it's boiling, turn the heat off and leave it for a few minutes and only then serve. It you made it with coffee ground, make sure to avoid pouring them into your mug. Read more about it here.
3. Mix with syrups
Syrups are a great sweetener to add if you’re looking to significantly change up the flavor of your instant coffee. Flavored syrups add complexity and boldness to your instant coffee with little to no effort! Cafes use them often, but you can easily find them in your local grocery store. If you want an earthy and nutty flavor to complement your coffee, hazelnut is a good choice. Vanilla and caramel syrups are also great to make your coffee sweet because of its strong sweetness.
4. Use honey
Simply put, honey is a healthier alternative to sweeten your coffee, as opposed to artificial sweeteners. It’s a common kitchen ingredient that can be put to good use for your instant coffee!
5. Add salt
As bitter as salt may seem, it is actually makes the perfect addition to your morning pick-me-up. It makes the flavors come to life, giving you that much needed taste.
The salt particles are filled with an ample supply of sodium ions that alter the natural bitterness of the coffee. The ions change the bitterness, giving the coffee a sweeter taste.
Milk and Milk Alternatives
Adding milk to your instant coffee drastically changes your coffee experience. Milk, milk alternatives, and creamers are the most popular compliments to add to your coffee. There are different ways you can prepare your milk as well. In cafes, they often steam milk for lattes and cappuccinos.
Milk alternatives have grown in popularity over the years. Popular milk alternatives include almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and the infamous oat milk.
Creamers can be found in local grocery stores and even come in powdered form. They get the job done if you want different flavors and even have non-dairy options. The variety in brands and flavors can make it easy to try something new each time and change up your coffee every now and then. Bear in mind that adding creamers and or milk will change the nutritional values of your cup of joe, this is why we love drinking our instant coffee as black coffee.
It’s not that common, but toppings can make a big difference to your cup of instant joe. Here are some toppings that you might already have in your kitchen that you can add to your coffee.
Whipped Cream - Great for both hot and cold instant coffees if you want a more
Spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg) - Adds an entire new element to your instant coffee
because of its bold flavor.
Cocoa Powder - Great if you’re going for a more mocha flavored coffee.
Salt - Enhances the flavor of the quality instant coffee, and you get a good contrast between bitter, sweet, and salty.
Mint - It’s like a mint mojito, but with coffee (better if iced)!
More ideas could be: chocolate shavings, caramel syrup, chocolate chips, white sprinkles, colorful sprinkles, and marshmallows.
Whatever your usual preference is for your instant coffee, we encourage you to try something new.