The Best Espresso Powders (2021 Reviews & Buying Guide)

Best Overall
Medaglia D'Oro Espresso Instant Coffee, 2 Oz (2 Pack)
King Arthur, Espresso Powder, Certified Kosher, Reusable Plastic Jar, 3 Ounces
Espresso Powder by JAVA & Co.
Our Score
9.6
9.4
9.1
MSRP
$13.99
$10.49
Price not available
Roast
Double roasted
Double roasted
Fresh Small Batch Roasted
Weight
2 oz
3 oz
0.75 oz
Best Overall
Medaglia D'Oro Espresso Instant Coffee, 2 Oz (2 Pack)
Our Score
9.6
MSRP
$13.99
Roast
Double roasted
Weight
2 oz
More Information
King Arthur, Espresso Powder, Certified Kosher, Reusable Plastic Jar, 3 Ounces
Our Score
9.4
MSRP
$10.49
Roast
Double roasted
Weight
3 oz
More Information
Espresso Powder by JAVA & Co.
Our Score
9.1
MSRP
Price not available
Roast
Fresh Small Batch Roasted
Weight
0.75 oz
More Information

Did you know that espresso powder can be used for baking and cooking? The best espresso powders are not just for preparing delicious dark coffee at home. Their use in the kitchen is becoming more and more common these days.

And why wouldn’t this be the case when espresso powder has a somewhat bitter yet incredibly rich coffee flavor? The kind that adds a delightful taste to your savory dishes and highlights the taste of chocolate.

Espresso powder doesn’t taste like instant coffee, mind you. Its flavor is much more concentrated, richer, and stronger. At the same time, it’s not as harsh and sour as instant coffee.

If you have to use instant coffee instead of espresso powder, then you might end up adding 50% more of the former to get the exact flavor of the latter. That’s the difference between the two.

Okay, let’s get to the top espresso powder reviews.

The 10 Top-Rated Espresso Powders ​

Top Choice: Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee

Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee

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If you’ve been looking for a rich, delicious, and aromatic instant espresso coffee powder, then here it is. The Medaglia D’Oro is double-roasted and very easy to prepare — no two ways about it.

No more going through the tedious process of brewing coffee just to enjoy a rich and smooth cup. And that’s not even the best part! The most enticing aspect is that the espresso here doesn’t bother the tummy due to its low acidity.

That means you can use it in your dessert recipes as much as you like to boost the rich, complex chocolate flavor. It’s a super-convenient way of preparing espresso at home to energize your senses without feeling jittery.

The powder dissolves instantly and gives a great, freshly-brewed flavor. An ideal option for those who don’t want to give up drinking dark coffee even when they’re camping, hiking, or traveling.

PROS

  • Double-roasted and unusually rich and aromatic
  • Minimal acidity, thus easy on the stomach
  • Perfect for baking and outdoor adventurers

CONS

  • Some find its taste underwhelming

Runner-Up Choice: King Arthur Espresso Powder

King Arthur Flour Espresso Powder

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You’ve found the perfect secret ingredient for all your chocolate recipes. This espresso powder is made from the highest-quality coffee beans. Just a pinch is enough to make the chocolate taste more intense and richer. And just so you know, it doesn’t add any amount of coffee flavor by itself.

With an espresso powder like this, your baking recipes are certainly going to taste better. The thing is ground, brewed, and then dried from only specially selected premium coffee beans.

All you need to do is add between one and two teaspoons for enhancing the sumptuous flavor of chocolate. To make things healthier, the product is non-GMO, meaning free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

Let me make it very clear, though, that this is not an espresso substitute. It’s specifically designed for enhancing the flavor of chocolate. And it does the job pretty well, without any complaints. Even the container mouth is wide enough for making way for your measuring spoon.

PROS

  • Made from carefully selected, high-quality coffee beans
  • No stand-out coffee flavor
  • Perfect for chocolate desserts and recipes

CONS

  • Comes in a plastic jar

Budget-Friendly Choice: Espresso Powder by Java & Co.

JAVA Co Espresso Power

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When pure Arabica beans are freshly roasted, you can expect a deep and rich flavor. That’s exactly the kind of espresso experience you’d be getting with this espresso powder. It’s perfect for frostings, brownies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and more.

This delicious baking ingredient lends a rich and deep flavor to just about anything you add it to. No preservatives, fillers, and anti-caking agents are used. This option is 100% natural and fresh. But it’s not instant espresso, keep that in mind.

You need just a bit of this powder to enhance the deeper flavors of chocolate. So it’s not such a bad thing that this product comes in a tiny bottle. The jar is small because you don’t require more than just a pinch for any recipe. And it has a pretty tight seal for preserving all the delicious freshness, aroma, and flavors.

PROS

  • Made from freshly roasted Arabica beans
  • Perfect for preparing chocolatey treats
  • Has a very strong coffee taste

CONS

  • A bit pricey

Best Instant Espresso Powder: Nescafe Espresso Instant Coffee

Nescafe Espresso Instant Coffee

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Flavorful and strong espresso blessed with the perfect crema — this is the most appropriate way to describe Nescafe Espresso. Made from 100% Arabica beans, packed with antioxidants, low in calories, and with the ideal caffeine content to help you stay focused and alert.

At Koobies, Nescafe Espresso has a reputation of tasting richer than most instant options out there. The crema is much like the one you get with barista-quality espresso drinks. You no longer need a fancy espresso machine to enjoy rich, dark coffee at home.

The powder blends very easily with hot water. My advice is: don’t even think of drinking a full cup of this unless you’re planning on climbing a mountain. That’s how strong it is!

This product should be your answer to: “Can I find espresso powder in grocery stores?”

PROS

  • Instant espresso made from Arabica beans
  • Barista-like, strong, and flavorful with rich cream
  • High-caffeine kick without a burnt or bitter aftertaste

CONS

  • Fragile packaging

Best Espresso Powder for Baking: DeLallo Baking Powder Espresso

Delallo Baking Powder Espresso

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What is a good substitute for espresso powder? The most straightforward answer to this is DeLallo. What you’re looking at here is rich espresso baking powder that has that perfect flavor of roasted coffee minus the bitterness.

This baking ingredient is indispensable as it heightens the intrinsically rich flavor of chocolate. And chocolate, as you already know, is a very big part of baking, isn’t it? You don’t have to worry about this espresso option leaving any distinct coffee taste.

The product is gluten-free, which means good for your digestive health, cholesterol numbers, and energy levels. The rich coffee flavor it adds to homemade caffeine-infused recipes is another very positive quality.

It’s mainly used for baking purposes no matter what you’re preparing in your kitchen.

PROS

  • Rich coffee taste with zero bitterness
  • Allergy-friendly and gluten-free
  • Dissolves very easily

CONS

  • Fragile packaging

Old Chicago Coffee Flour Espresso Powder

Flour Espresso Powder

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Your espresso recipes are going to get an upgrade with this option right here. The grinds are a bit heavier and larger in comparison with coffee powder. You’re free to use this flour espresso to enhance the chocolate flavor in your desserts.

Regular instant coffee powder isn’t pre-brewed. But this espresso option certainly is, which explains why it has a reduced coffee flavor. It’s brewed and dried before packing. It’s the perfect ingredient to have at your disposal to be able to bake delicious desserts.

PROS

  • Best for preparing chocolate cake and frosting
  • Very rich flavor and aroma
  • No preservatives and additives

CONS

  • Doesn’t dissolve easily

Lavazza Caffe Espresso Ground Coffee​

Lavazza Caffe Espresso

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The Lavazza Espresso Ground Coffee is made from 100% high-quality Arabica beans. These beans have been selected very carefully and roasted evenly for providing that tempting aroma and smooth flavor.

The flavor is way better in comparison with just about any grocery-bought brand. When used with espresso coffee makers, this Italian ground coffee solves the common issue of inconsistency. It’s also, without any doubt, the best espresso option for lattes and cappuccinos.

PROS

  • Medium-roast black coffee
  • Smooth flavor and tempting aroma
  • Great price

CONS

  • Some reviews say it’s stale

Civilized Coffee Espresso Coffee Powder

Civilized Coffee Espresso Coffee Powder

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If you have a baker or cook living inside you, they might want you to befriend Civilized Coffee. The rich espresso coffee powder doesn’t contain any non-caking chemicals. Only the best Colombian coffee is used here.

You can add this to your gourmet coffee drinks, smoothies, power shakes, and desserts. It enhances the richness and depth of chocolate, even dark chocolate, and vanilla flavors. Needless to say, it adds a bold character but without any bitterness.

PROS

  • High-quality Colombian coffee
  • Allergen-free and non-GMO
  • Easy to dissolve

CONS

  • Poor packaging (powder can condense)

Ferrera Instant Espresso Coffee

Ferrara Instant Espresso Coffee

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First and foremost, don’t expect this instant espresso coffee to be as tasty or satisfying as original espresso. However, expect it to bring out all the goodness and all that’s delicious and flavorful in your baking and cooking recipes.

This espresso option is great for chocolate cakes and puddings. Just a pinch is enough to add an extra dimension to a dish, be it a dessert, roast pork chops, beef, or something else.

The rich, deep flavor is the reason why I highly recommend this instant espresso coffee.

PROS

  • Aromatic and flavorful
  • Not excessively dark-roast nor weak and acidic
  • Great for baking and camping

CONS

  • Some people recommend it only for cooking

Homemade Baking Organic Espresso Powder​

Homemade Baking Organic Espresso

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To support your organic lifestyle, here’s an organic version of baking espresso powder. You can enhance the delicious flavors of your favorite chocolate desserts organically now.

Just add anywhere between half and two teaspoons and your recipe will be good to go. The grounds are ultra-fine to dissolve easily in both cold and hot water. This means you can make this secret ingredient a part of smoothies and beverages too.

PROS

  • 100% organic Arabica beans used
  • Packed in a resealable container
  • Ideal for camping, road trips, travel, etc.

CONS

  • A bit pricey

Frequently Asked Questions

Brewed Coffee

Espresso Powder: What Is It Really?

(Instant) espresso powder is a more concentrated, darker version of instant coffee. You don’t necessarily use it to prepare espresso or brew coffee at home. Because if you do, the result is inevitably going to be weak-tasting coffee.

The process of making espresso powder is much like the process of making regular instant coffee. Coffee beans used for brewing espresso are ground into a fine size, brewed, and then dried. These dried grounds are further crushed to create a finer powder.

Finally, this finer powder serves as a very delicious ingredient for baked goods.

What Recipes Can You Use Espresso Powder For?

Let me begin with the best of the best.

Baked Chocolate Recipes

If you are a chocolate or coffee lover, then I don’t need to tell you that coffee and chocolate are BFFs. In case you didn’t know, that’s Best Friends Forever. I mean haven’t you ever come across coffee brands that sell chocolate bars? Or brands that have chocolate-flavored coffee?

That said, adding delicious, dark espresso powder to your favorite chocolate-laden desserts (mine is chocolate tiramisu) may not be a new idea, but it certainly is a brilliant one. It balances out chocolate’s intense sweetness by infusing bitter notes.

A pinch of this powder goes a long way when it comes to balancing the deep, intense flavors of chocolate.

Cocktails and Smoothies

Not as conventional as baking, using espresso powder here means adding a delicious coffee flavor to your smoothie or cocktail.

It’s an invaluable tip for making your refreshing beverage more flavorful without increasing the water content as in the case of adding a typical brew. Also, you don’t have to deal with the strong intensity of a whole espresso shot.

Sauces and Dressings

If you are into making homemade steak or barbecue sauces, then it’s time you introduce some espresso powder to your recipes. This is a great addition to salad dressings like vinaigrettes.

The espresso coffee flavor adds a savory tone, no doubt. And when the recipe itself is delicious, espresso creates an additional depth.

Chili, Stews, and Braises

Just the idea of braising your favorite meat using a coffee-based liquid sounds extremely delightful. The whole concept here is to create complexity. Your dish is bound to have more richness and depth.

And since espresso powder has a minimal coffee flavor, you don’t have to worry about your recipe tasting oddly.

Steak Recipes

How about using espresso powder as one of the dry rubs for your steaks? It may sound strange but, believe me, this particular secret ingredient adds just the right kind of smoky, rich flavor you demand from your steak dish.

Pair it with cayenne and let them produce that irresistible, rich dark-brown color. And if you think your steak is going to taste like coffee, then you definitely haven’t tried it yet.

Seasoning

It’s time to get carried away a bit; there’s no harm in using espresso powder as the finishing touch. Just keep in mind that it complements recipes with more nutty flavors. So how about using espresso powder instead of cinnamon for a change?

Instant Espresso or Instant Coffee?

For those who want to know the differences between the two, here are the key ones.

Caffeine Level

Instant coffee has around 47 milligrams of caffeine per 6 ounces. Now, this is lower than the caffeine content present in a single shot of espresso, which is 64 milligrams per ounce. That means preparing coffee with instant espresso gives you a more caffeinated cup.

Taste

Instant espresso has a much stronger and richer taste than instant coffee granules. However, espresso powder isn’t as flavorful as your regular espresso shot.

The taste also varies depending on the type of coffee beans and processes used. For example, 100% Arabica coffee, when freeze-dried instead of spray-dried, offers a sweeter tone with no bitter aftertaste.

Freeze-drying also helps in retaining the original flavors of the beans.

Instant Espresso or Cacao Powder?

Espresso and cacao powder may share the same concentrated flavor quality. Both are used for baking purposes. However, that doesn’t make them interchangeable, even though both are packed with antioxidants and offer many health benefits.

When you press unroasted, raw cacao beans, you get cacao powder (cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made of roasted beans). The process eliminates all the butter and fat present in the beans, thus leaving behind nutrients and fibers. Cacao powder has a rich chocolate flavor accompanied by bitterness.

On the other hand, espresso is more coffee-based. The coffee flavor is reduced because espresso powder is pre-brewed. That means minimal to no bitterness. And more importantly, you can use it to prepare coffee beverages.

Can I Use Espresso Powder for Brewing Coffee?

Yes, you can, but you should know that most espresso powders are created specifically for baking and cooking. But there are a few you can use to prepare a dark, strong brew at home.

As for how to brew, the method is the same as in the case of regular instant coffee or powdered hot chocolate. You heat milk or water, add the powder, and then stir.

However, remember that, more often than not, the result when using espresso powder is weak-tasting coffee. If what you want is instant coffee, then make sure to buy a product that’s labeled so instead of espresso powder.

Is Espresso Powder the Same as Espresso Fine Grounds?

The answer to this frequently asked question is NO.

Espresso powder is easily soluble, which means it behaves very much like any regular spice. Brewed coffee is ground and then crushed to create espresso powder. That’s where it gets the finer texture and completely dissolvable qualities from.

Espresso grounds, on the other hand, do not fully dissolve. You may be able to achieve the desired flavor profile, but the unpleasant grainy texture remains.

Can I Use Instant Coffee Instead of Espresso Powder for Cooking, Baking, Etc.?

The technical answer is yes, but the logical one is no. Instant coffee is created for drinking purposes only. As for instant espresso or espresso powder, it’s specially crafted for cooking.

But let’s say you don’t have espresso powder for your recipe. In that case, it’s no big deal to use instant coffee instead. Just make sure to add 50% more than instant espresso to get the same flavor punch.

Can I Make My Own Espresso Powder?

I won’t say no, but I definitely will call the process tedious and time-consuming. However, many coffee lovers wish to make their own version of espresso powder. Mainly because they’re concerned about where the coffee beans come from, how they’re grown, etc.

Nevertheless, getting access to this kind of information is a lot more convenient, quicker, and easier than actually making your espresso powder at home. But here are the instructions anyway.

What You Need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Oven
  • Leftover espresso/coffee grounds (medium or dark roast, fine grind size)
  • Mortar and pestle or coffee grinder 
  • Spatula
  • Airtight container

Instructions:

  • Make sure the grounds you’re using are comparatively fresher. You don’t want staleness to translate into your delicious homemade version of espresso powder.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit or the lowest setting available.
  • In the meantime, spread the grounds, using a spatula, over a flat, thin baking sheet layer.
    More grounds used means a larger quantity of espresso powder. The shelf life you’re looking at here is maximum 1 year, so do not go overboard.
  • Once your oven is ready, place this baking sheet inside. Set the timer for 1 hour.
    Keep checking the grounds until they become dry and start to look crunchy and toasty.
  • Then remove them from the oven and let them cool.
  • Now it’s time to throw them into your coffee grinder. Choose the fine grind setting.
    Or when using a mortar and pestle, make sure to crush or grind the grounds into a fine and uniform powder
  • Then store the powder in an airtight container. Don’t forget to write down the date. And that’s about it!

Bottom Line

What’s the difference between a good recipe and an outstanding one? It’s that one particular ingredient that makes the most important ingredient of the dish stand out. So, in the case of chocolate-infused desserts, that one special ingredient is espresso powder.

This is intensely concentrated and dark instant coffee. The coffee crystals dissolve easily and quickly. But espresso powder is not created for brewing and drinking. Primarily used for cooking and baking, instant espresso offers a darker flavor than regular instant coffee.

Just a dash of it can enhance the rich, deep, and intense flavors of chocolate like no other ingredient out there. Not even cinnamon. And all this without having to worry about your baked treat tasting like your morning cup of coffee. No bitterness either.

It’s not easy to stumble upon espresso powders at local grocery stores. So, buying them on Amazon is a smarter decision.

More Coffee Reviews:

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