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9 Best Espresso Powders for Baking & Drinking

You may have tried to make a quick espresso only to find it turned out too weak or tried to bake with coffee only end up with a mouth full of coffee grounds later.

Something I’ve learned the hard way is not all coffee roasts, espresso powders, or coffee grounds are made equal.

Different roasts and grinds are best suited to different things, so I’ve compiled a list of the best espresso powder on the market to help make it easier.

9 Best Espresso Powders You Should Know

1. King Arthur Espresso Powder – Best for Baking

King Arthur Espresso Powder is arguably the best espresso powder for baking.

The company specializes in baking, so they know how to perfect the art of using espresso powder for good. The powder is finely ground from the finest espresso beans. This means it will seamlessly blend into your batter when baking.

It adds a robust flavor to your baked goods. If you’re baking with chocolate, it can make the cocoa even richer. If you nab this product, check out the best chocolate cake recipe with espresso powder [1].

Pros

  • Is perfect for baking
  • Is Kosher

Cons

  • Not the best choice for drinking

2. Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso – Best for Dark Roast Coffee

Medaglia’ D’Oro provides the best instant espresso powder for those who love dark roast coffee. In fact, it’s highly rated by its customers.

This espresso powder is made from double-roasted coffee beans to provide a rich flavor, smooth crema, and a heavenly aroma.  

While it can be used for baking, it’s easy to make an espresso or use it to create espresso-based drinks like lattes.

This espresso powder is not for those who like lighter roasts.

Pros

  • Can brew coffee instantly
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The glass packaging could shatter if dropped

3. Big Train Ice Coffee Mix – Best for Iced Coffee

Big Train iced coffee mix is ideal for those not keen on baking or hot coffee, but still need a pick-me-up. This is the best instant espresso powder for making iced coffees [2] and frappes at home; you’ll save money by skipping Starbucks every morning.

The powder easily dissolves into your milk, so there are no clumps or odd textures in your drink. It also saves you from having to sweeten and flavor your drink too.

If you don’t like sweet or flavored coffee, this is not the espresso powder for you. Nor is it suited for people watching their calories or sugar intake.

Pros

  • More affordable than going to a cafe
  • Easy to make drinks with
  • Is already flavored

Cons

  • Higher in calories than other instant espresso powders
  • Is not suitable for vegans or anyone intolerant to dairy

4. Nescafe Gold – Best for Milder Coffee

Nescafe is one of the most renowned coffee brands, so it’s no surprise they created one of the best espresso powders for drinking blends.

Their Nescafe Gold instant espresso powder is made from pure Arabica beans. Arabica beans are considered the best beans in the world as they taste less bitter than their Robusta counterpart.

This blend is great for those who find dark roast too strong.

Pros

  • Highly rated flavor

Cons

  • Glass packaging could be fragile
  • Might not have enough caffeine for some customers
  • Some customers have been sent the wrong product

5. Cafe Gavina Finely Ground Espresso Powder – Best for Espresso Machine

Cafe Gavina offers the best espresso powder for espresso machines.

Cafe Gavina’s fine ground coffee is made from quality Arabica beans. This blend is not suited for baking but creates delicious espresso shots for drinking as is or making lattes, cappuccinos, or mochas.

They perfected a strong blend without too much bitterness and is of a similar standard to coffee you would be served in a cafe.

It is also Kosher. Those who are eco-conscious will appreciate their products are manufactured at a Zero-Waste-To-Landfill facility.

Pros

  • Brews quality espresso shots
  • Kosher friendly
  • The brand is sustainable

Cons

  • Is not instant; requires a coffee machine
  • Not always accessible on Amazon

6. DeLallo Instant Espresso Powder

DeLallo instant espresso powder is suited for baking and drinking. Although this is also a dark roast, it does not seem to taste as robust as Medaglia D’Oro, so this drink is great for those who prefer weaker coffee.

It was made by drying ground, brewed coffee. This process is to ensure it dissolves when baking.

Pros

  • Is versatile
  • Best for those who prefer lighter coffee

Cons

  • Glass packaging needs to be handled with care
  • It can be pricey

7. Lavazza Prontissimo Espresso

Lavazza is another well-known coffee brand and even supplies its beans to cafes.

To bring that cafe feeling home with you, try their Lavazza Prontissimo Espresso Premium Instant Coffee. It brews an intense espresso, almost identical to a Lavazza espresso shot you would be served in a cafe. It’s made from finely ground espresso powder to provide this stellar taste.

Pros

  • Comes from a highly-rated Italian coffee brand

Cons

  • It can be pricey
  • Is not suitable if you do not like bitter coffee

8. Civilized Coffee

Civilized Coffee is one of the best instant espresso powders for baking products.

Their coffee is pure Columbian coffee, which is beloved for having a sweet, smoother flavor profile than regular Arabica or Robusta. It dissolves effectively into baked goods, smoothies, and milkshakes.

The small packaging option is suited for those who do not make or use espresso powder often.

Pros

  • Ideal for fans of Columbian coffee
  • Is versatile
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The cap on the packaging is not secure
  • The packaging is small

9. Percol

Percol instant espresso powder is another great choice for people who are eco-conscious as it supports Fairtrade Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, and Soil Association. It is also believed to be carbon neutral.

This dark roast espresso powder is smooth with delicious crema while still hitting you with a lot of caffeine.

Percol ranks its products by strength; for example, 6 means the blend is strong. Some customers find this ranking system confusing as they cannot determine if it refers to taste or caffeine content. For reference, the number refers to the taste.

Pros

  • Is an eco-conscious brand
  • Is high in caffeine
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The strength of the coffee is not clear enough for many customers
  • The coffee tastes too weak for some customers
  • Many people do not like Robusta coffee

How to Choose the Right Espresso Powder for You

The Beans

The best roast for espresso is medium to dark roasts, and they need to be very finely ground.

A coarse blonde roast, will technically make espresso, but the quality and taste will not be the same.

Coffee Machine Maintenance

You will also need to consider how you make coffee before buying espresso powder.

Instant espresso powder is convenient because it brews quickly, and the only thing you need to clean is your spoon and mug.

If you’re opting for espresso powder for espresso machines, then you need to take good care of it. Dark roasts tend to be quite oily. This residue can build up on your machine, negatively impacting the flavor of your drink, and potentially even damaging your espresso machine down the line.

Purpose

If you’re baking you will need to choose an espresso powder fine enough to seemingly blend into your dough – which is why instant espresso powder is the best choice. 

If the espresso grounds are too thick, not only will the coffee flavor not infuse through your baked goods evenly, but chewing on ground coffee will not be pleasant either.

Caffeine Content

If you’re baking with espresso powder, you might not be particularly concerned with the caffeine content of your espresso powder, but those drinking it will be.

Some blends, even instant coffee, have more caffeine than others. So, whether you need a major wake-up or are sensitive to caffeine, the caffeine content will impact which espresso powder you choose.

The Final Words

  • If you love baking, King Arthur Espresso Powder is your best choice.
  • Whereas the best instant espresso powder for drinking is Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso for dark-roast fans. 
  • Nescafe Gold for those who prefer milder coffee.
  • The best espresso powder for espresso machine is Cafe Gavina’s.

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I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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