While it is primarily used as a beverage, espresso powder has shown to be an incredibly versatile ingredient. You can use it as a dessert for chocolates and chocolate-based treats.
Of course, no ingredient is without substitutes, and some people have looked for some other options that can stand in for espresso powder.
What is the best substitute for espresso powder? The ideal substitute for espresso powder is instant coffee, which works primarily because it has the same taste as espresso powder and it is made very similar. Try to find a stronger coffee to replicate the rich taste of espresso.
Keep in mind that there are some other differences that we will point out below.
An Overview of Espresso Powder
Espresso powder is essentially brewed espresso that has been properly dehydrated. Along with being a lovely beverage, espresso powder also works as an attractive ingredient for chocolate-based treats and meals. Whether it’s pies, cakes, brownies, or more, espresso powder is an ideal solution for topping.
You can easily find espresso powder in some stores around you. If you can’t, then you could make it at home.
The process of making your espresso powder is pretty time-consuming. It is a simple process, but it just takes a lot of time. You begin by brewing regular coffee, then drying the grounds out. You can do that in a low oven or on a baking sheet.
When you’re done with the drying process, you need to grind them to ensure a fine texture. This step is certainly more time consuming.
Why Replace Espresso Powder?
- The Bitter Taste: Some people don’t like the bitter taste of espresso powder. For these people, it would simply be better to get a substitute.
- No Powder Available: If you don’t find any espresso powder in your vicinity or at a grocery store close to you, then it’s time to get an alternative around. This is especially true since making espresso powder at home can be a bit of a chore. If you look hard enough, you can definitely find one.
- A Change of Taste: Sometimes, you could just want to get something else even though you like how espresso powder tastes. This is normal, and you can easily find any of the substitutes you require.
Options for Espresso Powder Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Espresso Powder: Instant Coffee
As explained earlier, instant coffee is the ideal substitute for espresso powder because of their similarities in taste.
Asides from the taste similarities, both are also made pretty much the same way. So, they essentially provide the same results when applied. Note that instant coffee is quite different from espresso powder. When added to liquid, it dissolves pretty quickly. So, if you’re looking to make a beverage, instant coffee is the perfect choice for you.
Instant coffee might not provide the same chalky taste that you’ll get when you make a drink with espresso powder, but its use also extends beyond drinks. Instant coffee is an excellent fixture in chocolate-based desserts. Since it doesn’t have quite the same strong taste as espresso powder, you might need to throw in more quantities of the instant coffee if you want to get that same rich taste.
So, if your recipe ideally requires just two tablespoons of espresso powder, you might need three tablespoons of instant coffee to achieve the same flavor.
You could also dissolve the instant coffee first if you want to add something like cookie dough. Remember that instant coffee won’t mix right the same way as espresso powder. Lastly, for the best similarities, look out for dark roast instant coffee as the ideal match.
Best Substitute for Espresso Powder when Seasoning Chocolate-Based Meals: Natural Cocoa Powder
The bitter taste of espresso powder is naturally one of its most attractive features. If you’re looking to achieve the same taste, then you might want to check out the natural cocoa powder.
In some processing mills, natural cocoa powder goes through an alkalinization process that brings out the cocoa beans’ quick fruitfulness. If you’re trying to make a wide variety of dishes, this will be an incredible asset.
Natural cocoa powder will work best in chocolate-based recipes as a means of intensifying that chocolatey taste. Even better is the fact that you can use it along with espresso powder.
So, if your recipe already has a natural cocoa powder requirement, you could add some of it to act as a replacement for the espresso powder and see how best to combine them. Just let your creativity drive you, and you’ll see how well you can work.
Best Substitute for Espresso Powder in Liquid Recipes: Brewed Coffee
For recipes with liquid components, brewed coffee can act as the ideal replacement for espresso powder. Make sure to find the darkest roast available and use it in the recipe for the best results.
However, note that you will need to find a very strong coffee variant to act as a substitute for espresso powder. Remember that espresso powder has a strong taste on its own. So, you need something strong as well to work. To get this done, you might need to use less water in your recipe.
Best Substitute for Espresso Powder in Desserts: Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
This powder has been alkalized. So, dutch-processed cocoa powder doesn’t have that bitter taste that espresso powder will give you. That flavoring is delicious for use in sweet desserts.
However, it still has some of that intensity and flavor depth that you might like. Plus, since it doesn’t have a bitter taste, you might actually like it better if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth.
Viable Substitute for Espresso Powder: Ground Espresso
You could also get some work done with the regular ground espresso. However, you will need to be pretty careful with this one. Regular ground espresso has a much stronger taste than espresso powder since it hasn’t font through the brewing process. So, if you will use it, make sure to control the quantity you apply.
Also, ground espresso still has grains. To keep them from affecting your result, you might want to grind the grains again to get a much finer texture.