Espresso powders are commonly misused as a synonym for fine grinded beans for espresso.
However, these two are totally different. In this article, you will know more about espresso powders, how it is made, and how to make your own at home. You will also be familiarized with the features to look for when buying one. We also collated a list of product recommendations for you to guide you in your purchase.
Best espresso powder
Based on the features to consider mentioned above, here are the top ten best espresso powders you can consider buying.
Illy classico ground espresso powder
- Freshly brewed perfection: finely ground to provide optimal extraction with Espresso machines that take ground, tamped coffee.
- Illy Coffee is packed in an air-free, pressurized can that enhances and seals in aromas and oils, for perfect coffee.
This is one of the leading espresso powders in the market nowadays. With its airtight container, its freshness is not an issue. This finely-ground espresso is best for a rich in flavor medium roast, with a caramel and chocolate aroma.
- Made of 100% Arabica beans
- Comes in two flavors: caramel and chocolate
- Texture not a great suit for baking
Lavazza caffe espresso ground coffee
- 4 8-ounce cans of Lavazza caffe espresso Italian ground coffee
- Rich-bodied dark roast with delicious, fragrant flavor and aromatic notes
- Non-GMO, 100% Arabica
- Blended and roasted in Italy
- Best used for espresso but also suitable in any coffee maker
If your priority is cost, quality and quantity, the Lavazza caffe espresso ground coffee is best suited for you. Despite its affordable cost given its quantity, its quality is not compromised. It has the Italian tradition in flavor and aroma with a cocoa-like taste. It is also rich in flavor and can be used both for regular coffee pots and espresso making.
- Rich aroma and flavor
- Offers value for money
- Accessible and versatile blend
- Ground consistency not ideal for baking
- Best suited for high-end coffee makers, otherwise, may taste just like a normal drip-brew
Café la rica gourmet espresso
- PREMIUM COFFEE, SUPERIOR TASTE- Café La Rica espresso is a unique blend of the finest coffees, creating a captivating aroma and bold flavor that is true to the authentic Cuban coffee traditions. A rich espresso that will leave you craving more.
- 100% ARABICA BEANS- We want nothing but the best in our espresso, which is why we use 100% Arabica Beans in our blends. Arabica beans provide a rich and full bodied flavor that you’ll want to make apart of your morning or afternoon routine.
- RESPONSIBLY PRODUCED-We are Fair Trade Certified, Certified Organic, OU Kosher, Safe Quality Food, and Swiss Water Processed. We are also proud to be a part of the Colombian Federation, Fair Trade International, and the Rainforest Alliance.
- FARM TO CUP- Our coffee beans come from the Nicaraguan Rainforest in the mountainous region of Matagalpa. We bring our super premium coffee from this fertile, lush landscape directly to your cup in a single serving.
- COMPARE WITH: Eight O'clock, Vitascope, illy, Folgers, Organic Coffee Co., Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Koffee Kult, Copper Moon, Kauai Coffee, Kicking Horse Coffee, Ethical Bean Coffee, Don Tomas Coffee, Caza Trail Coffee, Hygge Coffee Co.
If you are looking for an espresso powder which gives value for your money, this ten-ounce Café La Rica Gourmet is the best choice for you. Aside from its edge in terms of value, this is also a great fit for people who love a Cuban blend, dark roast, and flavor-rich drink. It is manufactured by a company which values an environmentally sustainable approach and fair compensation towards its workers.
- Value for money
- Beans harvested through environmentally sustainable approach
- Not an instant espresso powder
- Grounds too coarse for baking and cooking
Anthony’s organic baking espresso powder
- USDA Organic Espresso Baking Powder
- Batch Tested and Verified Gluten Free
- Just a pinch of this fine powder will enhance chocolate flavor in your favorite recipes!
- Made from micro ground organic coffee beans, no fillers or additives - Readily dissolves for easy mixing
- Great for plant based, gluten free, vegan, and organic recipes!
If you are looking for an espresso powder with no chemical additives, this organic, natural and gluten-free powder is an excellent option for you. However, this cannot be used for drinking, only for baking. When used in baking, it carries a rich chocolate flavor may it be in sauces or icings.
- Natural and organic
- Does not contain chemical additives and gluten
- Expensive for only 5 ounces
- Cannot be used for drinking
Medaglia D’Oro espresso instant coffee
- Contains 12- 2 ounce jars of instant espresso coffee
- A blend of imported espresso coffees, double-roasted for that traditional espresso coffee flavor
- Specially prepared for that traditional espresso flavor, it’s so easy to make—just add hot boiling water. Presto
- Medaglia d’Oro coffee starts with the finest quality coffee beans. These beans are roasted and ground for a rich aroma and robust espresso flavor
- Fluently sipped since 1924, Medaglia d’Oro coffee continues the tradition of fine Italian espresso coffees. La tradizione continua
With its ease of use, the Medaglia D’Oro espresso instant coffee is a real instant coffee. It can be mixed with water in just a matter of seconds for instant preparation and drinking, but on the expense of sophistication. Though it has a rich flavor, it can feel watery and unsatisfying compared to a real espresso.
- Not expensive
- Offers ease-of-use
- Fit for instant drinking
- Flavor can be watery and unsatisfying
Café bustelo espresso style instant decaf coffee
- Keep your day moving with this dark roast instant coffee blend that prepares instantly with hot water or milk and a stir
- Dark Roast espresso-style coffee features a full-bodied, bold yet nuanced flavor
- Crafted with passion to deliver consistent flavor in an easy-to-store jar for lasting freshness
- Bold sabor Latino that stands out, with or without cream or sugar
- Contains 12- 3.5 Ounce jars of Cafe Bustelo decaffeinated espresso-style dark roast instant coffee
If you like instant coffee but do not like caffeine, this decaffeinated Café Bustelo Espresso style is best suited for your coffee needs. You can even save more with this if you buy it in bulk, for instance in packs of twelve. However, it is only to be used for drinking and not for baking.
- Offers more value for money if you buy in bulk
- Not that rich in flavor
- Can only be used for drinking, not for baking
Hoosier hill farm pure espresso powder
- 8 oz jar of aromatic espresso powder
- Deep Rich aromatic coffee flavor
- Use in Desserts, baking, ice cream, icing, cookies, brownies. Brings out the chocolate flavor in recipes!
- Add 2 to 3 teaspoons to frosting recipes. Add 1 teaspoon of the Espresso Powder dissolved in 1 cup water to substitute for coffee
- Hoosier Hill Farm Brand...Satisfaction is guaranteed
The Hoosier Hill Farm Pure Espresso Powder is made with 100% Brazilian coffee. For its price, you get a large quantity, and you can save a lot because you can simply use less than 1 tablespoon to achieve a chocolatey flavor. If you like a more aromatic coffee flavor, you may use a little more than 1 tablespoon.
- Can be bought in large portions
- Quick and great mixing capability
- Compact and best for constant travelers
- Can be used for drinking, baking and cooking
- Flavor not as strong and concentrated as an espresso shot
Java and co. espresso powder
- Use as an Espresso Rub.
- Perfect for Making Chocolate Desserts.
- Handcrafted in the U.S.A.
- Natural Baking Ingredient. Pure. No Fillers. No Sodium. No MSG. No Sugar.
- Fresh Small Batch Roasted Espresso Powder.
Java and Co. Espresso Powder can make your truffles, zucchini muffins, cookies and chocolate cakes extra mouth-watering. Using just a small amount, you can definitely amp the fragrance and flavor of your recipe with this. It is completely safe to use in cooking as this is purely natural and does not contain harmful chemicals.
- Small size and very portable
- Does not have anti-caking agents
- Does not contain preservatives and fillers
- Placed in a wire bale glass jar for flavor and freshness preservation
- Pricey for its quantity
- Not ideal for drinking, made only for baking as this does not dissolve well when mixed with coffee
- PASTRY CHEFS FAVORITE Perfect for Baking, Enhancing Chocolate, Smoothies, Cookies, Cakes & Brownies
- EASY TO USE IN RECIPES Non-GMO & Allergen Free, very soluble dissolves easily & adds amazing flavor
- FLAPPER CAP Spoon or Sift in just the right amount for Cappuccinos, Truffles & Tiramisu
- GREAT GARNISH Sprinkle on your favorite Gourmet Coffee Drinks, Protein Shakes, Cocktails & Mocktails
- HIGHEST QUALITY Made from Ground Colombian Premium Coffee Beans for smooth coffee rich flavors
This instant espresso powder is made from Colombian beans of high quality which will surely make your cookies, smoothies, chocolate cakes and brownies even more rich in flavor and aromatic. It is 100% Arabica, and is free from toxic substances and various kinds of allergens. Aside from its versatility in baking use, it can also be sprinkled in your gourmet coffee.
- Non- GMO
- 100% Arabica and made from Colombian beans
- Comes in a “flapper cap” bottle for getting the appropriate amount of powder
- Quickly hardens
King Arthur flour espresso powder
- Add a teaspoon or two of espresso powder to your favorite brownie, chocolate chip cookie, devil's food cake, or other chocolate recipe, and taste what a difference it makes – your chocolate will sing
- This baking ingredient is ground, brewed, then dried from specially selected coffee beans. This espresso powder readily dissolves for easy mixing
- King Arthur Espresso Powder is Certified Kosher
- King Arthur Baking Company is a 100% Employee-Owned Company and a founding B Corporation
- We are King Arthur Baking Company. Our name and logo reflect who we've always been and always will be: bakers who are committed to spreading the simple joy of baking
Since this review is about espresso powder, I wanted to provide a different kind of powder.
The King Arthur flour espresso powder is a great choice for baking enthusiasts. This product is manufactured by King Arthur, a company with strong ethical operations and value for fair compensation. However, when it comes to versatility, this powder cannot be used for both drinking and baking, only for the latter.
- Best suited for baking
- Pricey for only three ounces
- Purely for baking, not for drinking
What is “instant espresso powder”?
Instant espresso powder, also known as espresso powder, is a form of instant coffee, albeit darker and more concentrated. This powder can be used in drinking as well as baking and cooking to enhance the flavor of your recipes. Espresso powder and instant coffee have the same manufacturing process—finely grinded and dried beans, and then crushed for a finer texture. Hence, “espresso” is not a kind of bean. Espresso refers to a type of powder that is made from a dark Italian roast and is more concentrated than the coffee powder.
Can an espresso powder be made through grinding coffee beans?
Although you may grind your coffee beans into very fine sizes, you won’t get the result of an espresso powder. One characteristic of an espresso powder is that it easily dissolves in water, unlike grinded coffee beans which will just brew and end up undissolved in the bottom of the cup. Your beans and espresso powder do not have the same characteristics and properties.
The reason why espresso powder easily dissolves in water is because it is made from coffee that was already brewed once and then dried. After drying this brewed coffee, these are then finely grinded.
Can espresso powder be used as a substitute for instant coffee and vice versa?
Espresso powder is a more versatile option than instant coffee. An espresso powder can be used as a substitute for instant coffee especially for drinking, but it will result in a stronger and heavier taste.
However, doing the opposite, using instant coffee instead of espresso powder for recipes is not advisable. You’ll be compromising the taste of your goods because coffee has a harsher, more pungent and less rich flavor. Aside from that, unlike espresso powder which can easily be mixed with the ingredients, coffee needs to be dissolved in water first so putting it in your recipe will affect your water proportion.
Should you buy an espresso powder?
If you are a cooking enthusiast, espresso powder is a must on your shelf. Espresso powder can be a good taste enhancer for a variety of recipes not only for cookies and chocolate cakes but also for sauces, steaks and chilies.
Reasons why you should buy an espresso powder
Aside from having your stock of ground coffee, it is essential to have an espresso powder because it acts differently from the former in terms of taste, flavor and color. Here are some uses and reasons why you need to have an espresso powder in your kitchen:
It is multi-purpose.
Espresso powder has a wide array of uses ranging from garnishing in cooking to baking to adding to your drinks. You can substitute it for instant coffee and you may also use it for grilled meat; its uses are endless.
It is a great flavor enhancer.
Espresso powder underwent brewing, drying, and grinding in order to arrive at its rich flavor and aroma. This certain kind of texture and flavor is essential in enhancing the taste of famous recipes such as pies, cakes and various dessert and chocolate delicacies.
It can be brewed quickly for a caffeine fix.
Having an espresso powder at home is a great solution for your caffeine needs. Brewing homemade coffee drinks can be time-consuming while buying in cafes can also be very expensive. Using espresso powder is a win-win approach in terms of time and budget. Its only drawback is that you won’t get the rich flavor you’ll have from café espressos since espresso powders are primarily for baking and cooking.
It has lower acidity than instant coffee.
Espresso powder is better for your stomach than instant coffee since it has lower acidity, easier to digest, and less sour. It is best to avoid instant coffee and drink espresso powder instead if you have an upset stomach.
What to consider when buying an espresso powder
There are several features to consider before you buy an espresso powder. Among these are the quantity, the content, and your purpose for buying it.
Before buying an espresso powder, you must know what and where you will use it. What kind of recipes will you prepare? Are you using it primarily for drinking? If you like recipes like Tiramisu, you should look for mild roast instead of dark roasted ones. The opposite is true if you are planning to prepare chili sauces. As a tip, pick a blend that is versatile enough to complement recipes you are planning to make.
Weight and servings per container
If you love travelling, weight is one of the factors you should consider when buying an espresso powder. Its weight is directly proportional to the container that comes with it. If you are a fan of trips such as camping, opt for the lightweight options. Aside from this, you can also use the servings per container as an indicator on the number of containers you are going to require. If the brand does not include servings per container such as the Organic Espresso Powder by Homemade Baking and Flour Espresso Powder for Baking by Old Chicago Coffee, you can approximate it using its weight.
Not all espresso powders are created equal. Each blend and flavor complement a particular recipe. Check for the flavor, color and texture that best fits your needs.
Natural vs. with additives
As much as possible, stay away from brands that contain additives and preservatives. It is ideal to go for an all-natural 100% coffee blend such as the Civilized Coffee Grande Espresso Coffee Powder.
Know your caffeine tolerance and preferences. Check your lifestyle, your needs and the recipes you always make to see what caffeine content level is best,
The nutrient content in an espresso also depends from one lifestyle to another. If you are on a healthy diet, it is best to look for an espresso powder with no calorie content and with a lot of vitamins and herbal extracts. Some espresso powders contain cholesterol in the 3-20 range, and may vary from fat-containing to fat-free.
Recipes you can try using espresso powder
Now that you have chosen your espresso powder, it is time to level up your culinary skills. Here are some delicacies you can try creating using an espresso powder.
For the sweet tooth
Baked chocolate goods
Putting espresso powder in your baked chocolate goods can bring out the bitter notes, balancing the intense sweetness of your delicacy. Aside from that, it will amp the chocolatey flavor of your goods. Nothing could go wrong in matching chocolate and coffee as proven by the Bean Box with their chocolate covered coffee.
For sweet drinks
If you are a fan of hot cocoa, cocktails, and smoothies, why not try putting espresso powders in these? Doing so can improve your drink’s flavor without changing the water level of your drink.
For those who love savory stuff
Chili, braises, and stew
Adding an espresso powder to your broth, braise, chili or stew can significantly improve its taste and texture’s complexity, richness and depth. Adding liquid based coffee or chocolate to these recipes have long been practiced.
Putting espresso powder to your dry rubs could add extra depth to your steak and improve its smoky flavor and rich texture. Aside from its contribution in taste, it can also make the steak’s color extra dark-brown in color, giving it a more appetizing appearance.
Sauces and dressings
For savory sauces, adding espresso to it can enhance its smoky rich flavor. On the other hand, for dressings, espresso powders give it a savory texture and a pop of flavor, depending on the quantity and the quality you utilize.
Seasoning or finishing touch
Rather than using the normal cinnamon touches, utilizing espresso powder instead could give the extra taste you might be looking for. The espresso can be prominent and could lead to an unusual yet satisfying flavor. You could sprinkle it like how you normally use sea salt, or use a pinch-size to garnish it on top of your desserts or salads. Espresso powder also works extremely well when paired with nutty flavor.
Do-it-yourself espresso powder
If you do not want to buy commercial espresso powders, you can make your own homemade version. It just takes time and effort but it is not an impossible task. Making your own espresso powder is a good option if you are concerned about the beans’ origins and its manufacturers ethical and environmental standards.
Materials/Ingredients you will need
- Baking sheet
- An airtight container
- Mortar and pestle (or a coffee grinder capable of grinding it in very fine pieces)
- Medium or dark roast leftover coffee grounds, preferably fresh and not over a week old
- Preheat oven to the lowest available setting or 170F
- Using a spatula, spread the coffee grounds over the baking sheet
- Once the oven is hot, place the grounds.
- Set the timer to 1 hour. You can double check by looking at the texture of the grounds. It should be dry and crunchy.
- Remove the coffee grounds from the oven.
- Let them cool.
- Using your mortal and pestle (or coffee grinder, whichever is available and preferable), grind the coffee grounds into very fine sizes.
- Make sure that your grinds are uniform and consistent.
- Use an airtight container to store your powder, or you can use it right away.
- Discard the powder if it has not been used after a year.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can espresso powder be brewed?
Yes, but it depends on the product. Some manufacturers such as Java & Co and King Arthur Flour state that their products are not ideal for brewing. However, some brands also like the Pilon and Ferrara’s can be brewed just like how you would a hot powdered chocolate. You simply need to add it in a heated milk or water and then stir.
Moreover, doing so will lead to a weak coffee and is not advisable because of impracticality. If you use only small quantities, that would be fine, but brewing large amounts of it can be pretty expensive. Better buy actual coffee beans or grounds or instant coffee instead.
Are espresso powders and fine grounds used for espresso the same?
Unfortunately no, although many are still confused by the two. Espresso powders underwent brewing, drying, and crushing into fine particles that is why it easily dissolves in water unlike the fine grounds for espresso. Fine grounds for espresso do not easily dissolve in water and have a grainy texture because it does not undergo the same process as that of espresso powders.
Can instant coffee be used in a similar manner of using espresso powder?
Definitely, yes. However, espresso powder is best suited for cooking and baking, while instant coffee is for drinking. In the case you run out of espresso powder, you can use instant coffee instead, but just use 50% more than what is originally stated in the recipe, or whichever suits your taste. Just take note that instant coffee has a harsher and more sour notes than espresso powders,and this difference becomes more noticeable when large quantities are used.
Is it possible to make my own espresso powder?
Yes, espresso powders are DIYable, however it can be time and energy consuming. Check the section above for the complete steps on how to make your own espresso powder at home.
Is espresso powder safe?
When buying an espresso powder, it is best to purchase from reputable brands to ensure that what you see in the ingredients list are what are actually in it. Make sure to examine the ingredient list to check if there are really no additives and preservatives, and if you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Also consider using your espresso powder in moderation. Lastly, give importance to its storage. Make sure that it is in an airtight container to maintain freshness and that it is free from all sorts of contamination.
Is it okay to put espresso powder in kids’ desserts?
One of the ingredients in espresso is the stimulant, caffeine. This is the reason why some parents and caregivers are wary when it comes to espresso powders as some kids can have adverse reactions to it. It is best to just avoid using espresso powder in kid’s desserts to be safe. However, in the case that you do not have other options other than using espresso powder, be sure to use only very little amounts.
What can I use if I do not have espresso powder?
In the absence of an espresso powder, you can use instant coffee powder or granules instead as a substitute.
How long does an espresso powder last?
The answer depends on what kind of powder you have. To lengthen your espresso powder’s freshness, be sure to store it in an airtight container. After that, store it in a freezer to minimize oxidation and for it to maintain its quality.
Espresso powders are a good addition to your kitchen. It has a wide array of uses ranging from baking to cooking to drinking. You can make your own espresso powder or you can also purchase. When buying, make sure to consider what you will use it for. As a guide, you may refer to the product recommendations above to make your espresso powder shopping a hassle-free experience.
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