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Substitutes for instant espresso powder

Updated February 21, 2017

Espresso powder producers create their products by roasting, grinding, brewing and dehydrating espresso beans. Instant espresso powder flavours traditional coffee-infused desserts such as tiramisu, cakes and chocolate mousses. If you are caught in the middle of making a favourite recipe and realise you are out of instant espresso powder, substitute with strong coffee or instant coffee granules.

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Strong Coffee

Substitute strong coffee for instant espresso powder. Brew a pot of coffee using a half to a fourth of the amount of liquid you normally use. Adjust the liquid in your recipe to accommodate the extra liquid from the strong coffee.

Instant Coffee

If you are caught without your favourite espresso powder, substitute with instant coffee granules. Use the same amount called for in the recipe. For instance, use 1 tbsp instant coffee if your recipe calls for 1 tbsp of espresso powder. If you have the option, select dark roast instant coffee over regular. The flavour of darker roasts will be more like the strength of the espresso powder.

Finely Ground Coffee or Espresso

If you only have ground espresso in your pantry, you can substitute it for espresso powder by using a smaller amount. Because the ground coffee or espresso will not have been brewed, the flavour will be stronger. Try adding half of the amount called for in your recipe. For instance, if your recipe calls for 1 tbsp espresso powder, substitute with ½ tbsp ground coffee or espresso. For best results, grind the coffee or espresso in a coffee grinder or in a food processor before use. The finely ground coffee will distribute better in the recipe.

Make Your Own

You can make your own espresso powder at home if you are willing to spend the time and effort. Select a rich, dark roast coffee or espresso bean. Grind the beans to a normal grind size in a coffee grinder or food processor. Brew the coffee grounds. Dry the coffee grinds on a paper-lined baking tray. Grind the beans to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or food processor.

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About the Author

Alyson Akers has worked in print journalism since 1993. During her years at the "Hattiesburg American," the "Vicksburg Post" and the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette," she worked as an editor, writer and page designer. Akers earned her degrees in journalism and English at Auburn University.

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