Can you use Instant Coffee in a Coffee Maker?

We all have those days that we wake up on the wrong side of bed and start the day off wrong. These are the days that we need instant coffee just to get our fix with no frills. Don’t get me wrong instant coffee is great, but isn’t always the most gourmet choice.

You may think it might be a good idea to but instant coffee in your coffee maker to improve the flavor a bit but you should definitely not do that.

Instant coffee and ground coffee are completely different and you should not add instant coffee to your coffee maker. Putting instant coffee in your coffee machine will gunk up your machine and cause issues when you actually need to brew ground coffee.

Why you do not need to put instant coffee in a coffee maker

Instant coffee is usually already brewed and all you have to do is add water. Instant coffee is just dried coffee and by adding hot water you should have a perfectly good cup of joe.

Quality wise fresh coffee will always be better than coffee but instant coffee is much more convenient.

Because instant coffee is just dried coffee it will completely dissolve when hot water is added. Coffee makers are designed to brew ground coffee so by slowly dripping the hot water through the instant coffee it won’t mix with all the instant coffee grains and may leave some in your mesh or paper filter. The instant coffee in the middle dissolves and lets the rest of the water run through your filter without “brewing”.

  • Instant coffee is made with either freeze drying or spray drying
  • Spray dried instant coffee is made by coffee being sprayed into hot air at 480 degrees Fahrenheit which dries it immediately turning it into instant coffee crystals.
  • Freeze dried instant coffee is regular coffee that is cooked into an extract which is then chilled to freezing, then dried in a vacuum turning into instant coffee powder.

Sometimes when brewing instant coffee you will need to stir it around and you cannot do this in a coffee brewer.

When using a coffee maker it is always best to use freshly ground coffee beans. By using a coffee machine to brew your instant coffee you will not get any better tasting coffee and it may in fact actually taste worse.

The best way to make instant coffee without a coffee maker

This should be self explanatory but for those of us who think its a good idea to put instant coffee in a coffee maker I’ll walk through the best way to make instant coffee.

First boil a kettle of freshly drawn water and not already boiled water. A little known fact is freshly drawn water tastes better than already boiled water. This is because there is more oxygen in the fresh water.

Next, portion out the water and coffee ratio that you want to use. If you have a larger cup you can change this ratio based on what makes sense for you. I like using 2g which equates to roughly one heaping teaspoon for every 200 ml of water, see the image below for a 200ml water glass.

Then, pour the water onto your instant coffee. One thing to note is you don’t want to use water that is at a rolling boil. This is because the water can actually be too hot and can burn the instant coffee. Ideally you would want the water to be at 94 degrees Celsius which is right before it boils. Just turn off your stove when the water starts bubbling a little.

Lastly, mix the water and the instant coffee. Add any milk, sugar, whipped cream, or any toppings you want. Voila, that’s how you make instant coffee!

Why you should not put instant coffee in a french press

You could technically put instant coffee in a french press, but it wouldn’t make any sense. French presses are made for ground coffee. When using the french press with instant coffee, the powder would dissolve making the mesh filter useless.

If you are planning on making multiple cups of instant coffee it would just be easier to use a coffee pot and using the measurements above to make a larger pot of coffee. You can even leave it on your coffee machine’s heating element, shhhh, nobody has to know! This is the only time you should “make” instant coffee with a coffee machine.

However, if you have some ground coffee at home, check out this article to learn how to make the perfect french press coffee.

Why you should not use instant coffee in a Keurig

Keurig coffee maker

So because Keurig coffee makers brew coffee so quickly and on-demand, people think that the K-cups are made of instant coffee. This is actually not the case.

Inside a K-cup is actually ground coffee which is sealed within the container. So if you have a reusable K-cup pod and are wondering if its okay to put in instant coffee, it is not. It would not be able to dissolve the instant coffee inside the reusable K-cup pod and you would be left with a watery mess.

If you are looking for great K-cup flavors, we have an article going over my 30 top K-cup flavors. Please go check it out if you have a Keurig, some of the choices may surprise you!


Instant coffee is a great option for when we don’t want to put in the effort to make a cup of coffee with beans. However, you don’t need to over think it. Just adding the instant coffee to water will do the trick. You will NOT need to put your instant coffee into any kind of coffee maker to improve the flavor!


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