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Can You Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water?

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Instant coffee is very popular amongst coffee lovers who want an easy and cheaper alternative to regular coffee. If you’ve ever wondered why people prefer to make their coffee with hot water, you may also question: can you make instant coffee with cold water?

Hot water is ideal for instant coffee because it allows the coffee powder or granules to dissolve quicker. With that said, it is completely possible for you to make instant coffee with cold water, you just have to wait a little longer to enjoy your cup.

Let’s take a look at what instant coffee is and different ways you can make instant coffee with cold water.

What Is Instant Coffee?

instant coffee

Instant coffee is the most popular way for coffee lovers to enjoy their cup of coffee without having to spend time brewing it.

The biggest difference between instant coffee and regular coffee is that instant coffee is actually not coffee grounds. Instead, the fine powder or granules that make up instant coffee is coffee extract left over from the brewing process.

Instant coffee is usually made by adding the desired amount of coffee granules or powder to hot water. Due to the way instant coffee is made, the coffee powder or granules are soluble and dissolve almost instantly, hence the name.

How Is Instant Coffee Made?

Spray-drying and freeze-drying are the two main methods used to create instant coffee. Both of these methods involve the regular method of harvesting and roasting coffee beans and then brewing them. 

During the spray-drying process, the coffee extract that is left over after brewed coffee grounds are sprayed with hot air to dry the extract. Once the coffee extract has been completely dried, it turns into very fine pieces or powder. 

Freeze-drying is the process in which coffee extract is cooled down to below-freezing temperatures and broken up into small pieces. The coffee extract goes through another drying stage before it is ready to be packaged and shipped.

Rather than turning into a fine powder like the spray-drying method, freeze-drying turns the coffee extract into tiny granules or crystals.

How to Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water

instant coffee with cold water

Even though instant coffee is made to be easily soluble in hot water, it is possible to make instant coffee with cold water.

The most important step in making instant coffee is making sure all of the coffee powder or crystals have dissolved in the water. 

Making instant coffee in cold water will take longer than if you were making it in hot water. Despite instant coffee’s ability to dissolve fairly quickly, hot water helps to speed up the process.

Instant coffee with hot water generally takes no more than three minutes to fully dissolve when stirred properly. 

Instant coffee with cold water can take up to five minutes or more to completely dissolve. To make instant coffee with cold water, check the directions on your instant coffee packaging or follow the steps below:

  • Pour cold water into a cup or mug
  • Add the desired or recommended amount of instant coffee to the cold water
  • Slowly stir the instant coffee until it has fully dissolved

The process of making instant coffee with cold water is no different than hot coffee, besides the time it takes.

If you want to enjoy a cool cup of instant coffee but want to speed up the process a little, you can warm a spoon with hot water to mix in the instant coffee. This will help the coffee dissolve quicker without making your coffee too warm.

Can You Leave Instant Coffee to Sit Overnight?

To skip the time it may take for your instant coffee to dissolve in cold water, you may be wondering if you can leave instant coffee overnight to dissolve. The short answer is yes, but there are some disadvantages to this. 

You can stir instant coffee in with cold water and leave it in a covered container in the fridge overnight. This will help you save some time by skipping the preparation step in the morning and it’ll be ready to go whenever you want to enjoy a cup. However, the flavor might be affected.

When coffee is left in the fridge overnight, it loses some of its bold flavors. Depending on if the instant coffee was spray or freeze-dried, it may already have a more mild taste than regular coffee.

Coffee crystals or granules from the freeze-drying process typically don’t lose as much of the flavors or aroma than the spray-drying method.

The key to storing coffee overnight is to keep it covered. If left uncovered, the coffee could absorb other aromas in your fridge and ultimately affect the taste.

Adding an extra teaspoon of instant coffee to the cold water may also help keep the flavor stronger.

Overview: Can You Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water?

You can make instant coffee with cold water in the same way you make it in hot water. The most important thing to remember is that instant coffee will take a bit longer to dissolve in cold water.

Stir in the coffee powder or granules thoroughly before you take that first sip to ensure you get the best out of your cold instant coffee.

Remember these tips when making instant coffee with cold water:

  • Stir instant coffee in with cold water thoroughly until the powder or granules fully dissolve
  • Heat a spoon with hot water to mix in the instant coffee to speed up the time it takes to dissolve
  • If you let instant coffee sit in the fridge overnight, add an extra teaspoon and keep the container covered to avoid loss of flavor

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About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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