Is It OK to Put Instant Coffee in a Coffee Machine?

If you have a standard coffee machine, but only drink instant coffee, you may be curious about using them together. You may also be curious about what will happen if you do. But before you put instant coffee in a coffee machine, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into. 

Instant coffee should never be put in a coffee machine. It’s made to dissolve and brew quickly. Also, you could experience issues because instant coffee is incompatible with a coffee machine, and could permanently ruin the machine itself. 

So, before you put a tablespoon of instant coffee in your coffee machine, continue reading to learn why it isn’t recommended.   

large grounds instant coffee

Is it OK to Put Instant Coffee in a Coffee Machine?

It is not OK to put instant coffee in a coffee machine.

The idea might cross your mind, but what happens afterward is not worth it. You can make a perfectly good cup of coffee without doing this, even without a coffee machine.

Instant coffee is made from whole coffee beans. Roasting, grounding, and brewing is all required to prepare the beans to be dried. However, it does contain artificial ingredients to extend its shelf life and to avoid staleness. 

There are two methods used where instant coffee is dried to make it marketable and suitable to drink:

  • Spray-Dried
  • Freeze-Dried

Both methods are beneficial to instant coffee because they’re convenient and timesaving. But two different preparations have two different results. The entire process is simple but has to be done carefully. It affects the quality, appearance, and taste of the coffee. 

The ‘Dried’ Process

To dry instant coffee that is already brewed is to remove its excess liquid. Intense heat is used because it helps the liquid separate from the brew. 

It prevents issues such as lumps or a ‘gooey’ consistency. Also, this process is why the coffee is so easy to make without the preparation needed to make it from scratch.


The purpose of spray-drying instant coffee is to transform it into a powder that has a fine texture. The coffee is steamed in a cylinder tower for consumers to market particles that are a suitable size. If the particles are too small or too delicate, they aren’t sufficient enough to be used.

The downside is that intense heat can cause the aroma of instant coffee to disappear. It has to be mixed with pre-ground coffee to compensate for the amount of aroma that is stripped. 

Another downside is that spray-drying kills the quality of the coffee. It loses its strength and could leave an unpleasant aftertaste. 


The purpose of freeze-drying instant coffee is to increase its shelf life. A temperature of – 40 degrees Celsius freezes the excess liquid. The result is hardened coffee that can be cut.

The downside to this method is the slow drying process. It preserves the coffee’s flavor and aroma, but the length of time it requires to freeze is long. The method is also expensive and is more complicated to improve its quality.

Two Types of Instant Coffee

The texture and taste of instant coffee depend on which type you chose. They’re made differently, although both only require hot water or milk. One has what the other lacks, and vice versa, but can be combined. 

Powdered Instant Coffee

Powdered instant coffee is the result of spray-drying. Its fine yet small particles dry quickly, with intense heat, and produce the coffee as a powder. 

The brew is usually milky and sweet enough to go without adding sugar. Sometimes powdered cream is included to create a milky consistency.

Crystalized Instant Coffee

Crystalized instant coffee is the result of freeze-drying. Water is separated from the concentrate of the coffee beans. The water is then removed from the concentrate to freeze, and crystals form as a result.

Although the brew is instant, it resembles the brew of whole coffee beans. It still has the same bitter taste and has to be flavored if not preferred black. 

What Happens if You Put Instant Coffee in a Coffee Machine?

If you put instant coffee in a coffee machine, the result will be mushy with an odd smell. The taste will also be intolerable, and there will be a mess that is difficult to clean. 

A clogged machine could be an issue because instant coffee hardens as it dries. The only effective way you can remove it is to dig (or scrape) it out using a dull knife or a spoon.

You know what is likely to happen if you use this method. A coffee machine won’t work for instant coffee during a random moment because it can’t. There are no shortcuts nor any other way it will make an exception. 

Making Instant Coffee without Ruining Your Coffee Machine

Instant coffee is great because it’s fast. It doesn’t taste quite like a freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee, but it sure does try. If you like the idea of flavorful coffee in instant coffee time, you can still get the effect without ruining your coffee machine. And, you can use instant coffee.

French Press

This method is so simple, but the French Press name makes it sound not very easy. You can use instant coffee, although the fresh ground is better. But again, if you’re trying to get the coffee in your system fast, this is a great way to go.

You’ll need a French Press and boiling water. Add instant coffee to the press, pour the boiling water over the top and wait about five minutes. Lower the top of the press and pour it out. It’s just that easy. 

Cold Brew

Cold-brew does take a long time to prep, but once it’s done, you can have as much as you want on hand ready to drink. All you do here is soak coffee grounds overnight then strain the coffee from the grounds. Pour the coffee in a pitcher, keep it in the fridge, and have it ready whenever you need it.

Instant Coffee Makers

Not for use with instant coffee instead of coffee in an instant. Single serving coffee makers are everywhere these days, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. If you’re a coffee lover that likes hot coffee done right, without the wait, then you might want to look into purchasing an instant coffee maker. 

Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker

The Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker is small in size but is durable and can brew at a high-quality level. 

Included with the maker are a K-cup for the coffee pods, a filter basket with a lid, and a stainless-steel tumbler. Ingredients such as milk and cream can be added to the K-cup after the brewing process.

The coffee maker is considered ‘smart’ because it shuts itself off when idle for a while. The cleaning process is easy by rinsing the filter basket while its mesh remains secured. 

Chefman InstaCoffee Single Serve Coffee Maker

The Chefman InstaCoffee Single Serve Coffee Maker completes the brewing process in 30 seconds. A tumbler is included, but the maker is also compatible with a K-cup. The filter holds fresh coffee beans and is durable for long-lasting use.

The coffee maker is narrow and can be stored anywhere. Its compact features are suitable for college dorms, break rooms, and office cubicles.   

Veken French Press Coffee Maker

The Veken French Press Coffee Maker is made from thick borosilicate glass encased in stainless steel bars. The bars protect the glass from breaking due to intense heat. A double mesh filtering system is under the lid and ensures high-quality brewing. Also, it doesn’t leave a residue that is difficult to clean.

Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker

The Café Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker is made from thick borosilicate glass wrapped with stainless steel. Its metal handle is thin and remains cool to the touch through intense heat. The lid strainer is made from plastic and is resistant to melting. With a 4-level filter system, you’ll get a coffee that tastes like it was brewed by a professional.


Putting instant coffee in a coffee machine might sound like an easy way to get a cup of coffee, but its not. It will more than likely ruin your coffee machine, and the cup of coffee won’t be all that great. Using an alternative prep method or a coffee machine made to make coffee quickly is your best bet. 


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