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Can you Use Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker? Expert Guide

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    Many people enjoy the versatility and convenience of instant coffee, but can you put instant coffee in a coffee maker? A standard coffee machine may treat you to a great cup of joe, but what about when instant is all that’s available at home? Will it be too weak and watery or nasty-tasting? You might experiment by trying all these, but is it really a good idea to use instant coffee in any coffee machine?

    0. instant coffee in a coffee maker

    A short and quick answer will be never using instant coffee in any of your coffee makers. The reason is, being an instant coffee, it dissolves as well as brews quickly. Moreover, some coffee makers, especially the drip ones are incompatible with most instant coffee. So, putting an instant coffee into a machine could cause permanent damage (and who wants their favorite brewer broken for good?).

    Still, if you are trying to use instant coffee in a coffee maker, keep on reading this detailed guide.

    What is Instant Coffee?

    Instant coffee is a more convenient way of brewing the perfect cup every time. Instant Coffee beans are ground, brewed frozen, and dried before you add hot water which dissolves them to give you an instant regular drink – usually, not a bitter one.

    1. what is instant coffee

    Thus instant coffee is an ideal choice if you want to prepare a fresh cup of coffee quickly without spending a hefty amount of time in preparation and cleaning. However, as compared to ground coffee (especially freshly ground beans), the taste is not so exceptional. The reason is different processes (such as the addition of artificial ingredients to avoid staleness), which make this coffee an instant one, actually, ruin the natural taste. But, due to its ease of usage and quick preparation, instant coffee is still a favorite choice of tons of coffee addicts.

    Types of Instant Coffee

    Though all instant coffees may look completely similar, however, it is quite astonishing to know that there are two different methods regarding the drying process of instant coffee. These are spray-dried and freeze-dried. Both these methods are quite beneficial, however, each method has some downsides as well.

    In spray-drying, the coffee is transformed into a fine-textured powder, using steam in a cylinder. However, too much heat kills the actual aroma as well as decreases the overall strength of coffee. On contrary, as the name suggests, in freeze-drying, the coffee is frozen up to -40 degrees Celsius. This coffee has an improved aroma and shelf life, however, due to slow drying, it takes quite a considerable amount of time.

    Therefore, based on the texture, coffee can be classified into two main types; powdered instant coffee and crystallized instant coffee. Powdered coffee is the one that you will get after the spray-drying process, whereas crystallized instant coffee is prepared using a freeze-drying process.

    Can you Use Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker?

    Before getting into a discussion of using instant coffee in a coffee machine, one must understand, how a coffee maker works. So, when you switch on the machine and start it, water immediately begins to heat up at an optimal brewing temperature of around 93-96 degrees Celsius. This is important because if coffee brews at temperatures that are much lower than this optimum value then not only will the taste be affected but also there may be no release of aromatic oils in your cup.

    Using instant coffee instead of ground can be a risky move. The reason is all instant coffee gets dissolved in water, which results in more coffee mixing than normal. This can lead to a very strong cup of coffee that is much more bitter than expected. The taste and smell both are quite odd as compared to the ground coffee beans. Similarly, instant coffee hardens once it dries, so this may cause clogging of your coffee machine. It won’t only make a mess when it comes to cleaning, but it can also destroy your favorite coffee maker.

    Recommended for You: How to Clean any Coffee Maker 

    Therefore, once it comes to any coffee maker, it is always recommended to use ground coffee and avoid instant coffee.

    What Type of Coffee is Used in a Coffee Maker?

    It is often considered that ground coffee beans give the best results when it comes to brewing. The coffee makers are designed to brew ground coffee by slowly dripping the hot water. That is why in coffee machines, ground coffee dissolves properly in an optimal manner.

    Ground coffee is undried and unprocessed, so it retains the optimum natural taste you love in your cup. The aroma also remains preserved because these beans weren’t subjected to drying or freezing like instant coffee. So, especially in terms of a coffee maker, it is always recommended to use ground coffee (or freshly ground beans).

    Best Methods to Make Instant Coffee without a Coffee Maker

    2. best methods to make instant coffee

    So after all this discussion, is instant coffee really bad? The answer is NOT at all. It is not recommended to use instant coffee in a coffee maker, however, there are several different methods, where you can enjoy a tasteful cup of instant coffee.

    Using French Press for Instant Coffee

    As with French Press, again for an optimum taste, it is always good to go for ground coffee. But as compared to drip coffee makers, instant coffee taste quite good using French Press.

    What you need are your French Press coffee maker and some hot boiling water.  First, take some instant coffee in a bowl and mix it with boiled water. Make sure that the mixture is not too thick or thin. Then, pour this solution into your French Press container and put it on its cover properly to keep air out of it. Next, lower the top of the press and pour the coffee out. You can also stir it consistently if required.

    Cold Brew Method for Instant Coffee

    Cold-brew is a slower, however, more convenient alternative to traditional coffee. All that’s required for this method are grounds, water, a container large enough so they will fit in it comfortably. Then put this container inside a fridge overnight, and once you wake up, the cold brew is ready.

    As a replacement for coffee grounds, you can use instant coffee, which tastes equally good using this method.

    Using Coffee Maker’s Boiled Water

    Some coffee lovers still have the question, can we brew instant coffee using a coffee maker? For direct usage, as explained above it is not recommended to prepare instant coffee in a coffee maker. However, you can always use an indirect approach.

    We know that instant coffee is prepared by adding instant coffee to hot water. So, what you can do is boil water in a coffee maker, and once it is ready, you can pour over the hot water and add your instant coffee. Thus, using the boiling water from a coffee maker you can kill the desire of making instant coffee using a coffee machine.

    Using Instant Coffee Makers

    If you are one of the instant coffee addicts and do not want to go through the process of boiling water, then adding instant coffee and then stirring, etc. then you can always opt for some instant coffee makers.

    Given below are some of the most recommended instant coffee makers that will serve the purpose.

    OXO Brew Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker
    OXO Brew Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker
    Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker
    Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker
    Cafe Du Chateau Cold Brew Coffee Maker
    Cafe Du Chateau Cold Brew Coffee Maker

    Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker – FAQs

    Some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the usage of instant coffee in coffee machines are answered below.

    Can we use espresso coffee in a coffee maker?

    Yes, you can use espresso coffee in a coffee maker. But similar to instant coffee, espresso coffee is very fine as compared to ground coffee. So, the taste and aroma will not be the same.

    Is it ok to use instant coffee in a coffee maker?

    Yes, you can use instant coffee or any other form of caffeinated drinks like tea and espresso too. But the taste may not be the same as that produced by grounded beans used for making fresh brews.

    Can you use instant coffee in a French press?

    As compared to drip coffee makers, as an alternative, you can always use instant coffee in a French Press. Again, the taste will not be the same as that with the ground coffee, however, it is worth a try.

    Can you Brew Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker? – Conclusion

    After a detailed discussion, one can certainly decide whether one can use instant coffee in a coffee maker or not. It is advised to avoid using instant coffee in a coffee machine, as the taste is ruined and the clogging of the machine makes it worse in terms of cleaning and maintenance.

    If you have tried using instant coffee in a coffee maker, share your experience in the comments.

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