Instant coffee has always been the quickest way to get your caffeine fix. After all, making instant coffee is, well, instant, not to mention they’re accessible in almost all stores. On the contrary, it generally requires no brewing, roasting, or grinding to make instant coffee, meaning you’d have no control over the variables that affect the coffee’s strength. So, how can you make a strong instant coffee?
Generally, there are three ways to do it: adding more teaspoons of coffee powder, reducing the milk or cream you put into the cup or choosing a stronger coffee product.
The point is, while there are indeed limitations, it’s still possible to make a stronger instant coffee without having to bother brewing, roasting, or grinding the coffee beans. Let’s take a closer look at each method.
3 Things You Can Do To Make Instant Coffee Stronger
There may be fewer variables involved in making instant coffee as opposed to brewed coffee, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are still variables. These variables include:
- The amount of coffee powder you use,
- The amount of cream or milk you add, and
- The brand of your instant coffee.
And yes, you can play with these three variables to create a stronger instant coffee. For example, you can choose to use more coffee granules to increase the caffeine strength of your instant coffee drastically.
1. Add A Few More Teaspoon Of Coffee Powder
Generally, when making instant coffee, you use one to two teaspoons of coffee powder in your mug.
If you want to make stronger coffee, an excellent way to go about it would be to add a few more teaspoons, perhaps one or two more. This effectively makes instant coffee up to twice as strong.
Of course, keep in mind that you must not add more milk or cream along with the added coffee powder.
But of course, when adding more teaspoons of coffee powder, you must make sure you don’t exceed your daily caffeine limit. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the average joe should be able to handle up to 400 milligrams of caffeine. But of course, this may vary from one person to another.
Pregnant women, in particular, can only handle half that amount (200 mg), while children under age 12 should not drink coffee at all or any food or beverage that contains caffeine, for that matter.
2. Minimize The Amount Of Milk You Add
Often, people add milk or cream to their instant coffee for many reasons. Some do it to lower the beverage’s temperature a little for safe consumption, while others add milk or cream because that’s what they’ve gotten used to. However, if you want a strong instant coffee, consider minimizing the milk you add into your cup. In fact, it might be better if you entirely refrain from adding milk.
By doing so, you’re maximizing the strength of instant coffee. Now you might be wondering, “How does adding milk reduce the caffeine content of instant coffee, or any coffee variety, for that matter?”
To start with, when you add milk to your cup of joe, you’re effectively increasing its volume. This would then reduce the caffeine percentage of the beverage, drastically minimizing its effective strength.
For your reference, the milk content of a medium-strength instant coffee is generally one-fifth of its total volume. That means if the cup is ten ounces, there would be two ounces of milk.
3. Look For Robusta Instant Coffee Brands
If you’ve ever talked with a coffee expert, so to speak, you might’ve heard of several terms, some of which include Robusta and Arabica. For your information, these are the two most popular among the over 100 types of coffee beans in existence. Arabica is the most common and is perhaps where your instant coffee comes from. It’s smooth, fruity, and has a higher sugar content and concentration.
On the other hand, Robusta beans create a much bitter, earthy, harsher, and more caffeinated coffee. This is the type of coffee bean you’d want to use if you intend to make a stronger instant coffee.
This is because Robusta beans, in general, have more caffeine content than Arabica beans.
To clarify, Arabica beans have a caffeine percentage per bean of 1.35%, while Robusta beans have a caffeine percentage of 2.45%, almost double the other type. Besides, since Robusta beans are much easier to grow due to their inherent protective qualities, you can get Robusta instant coffee for cheaper.
That’s pretty much all the things you can do to make a stronger instant coffee.
Yes, three is not a lot, but at least it’s better than nothing. But wait, don’t instant coffee products come in light and dark roast varieties? Won’t one type of roast be stronger than the other?
Light Roast Vs. Dark Roast
One of the most common myths among coffee drinks is that dark roast coffee contains more caffeine and is, therefore, stronger than light roast coffee. The reasoning behind this is that the longer you roast coffee beans, the more caffeine you get from them. Other people also argue that light roasts are stronger than dark roasts since some caffeine is lost during the roasting process. Unfortunately, these are not true.
This is because for there to be any changes in caffeine content, the temperature when roasting must exceed 600°F. Since roasting beans would rarely require you to exceed 470°F, that’s not possible.
Hence, experts have come to the conclusion that a bean’s caffeine content remains constant across different roast levels, unless, of course, you attempt the unreasonable and roast it well over 600°F.
So, what does this tell us?
This just shows that choosing either light roast or dark roast instant coffee won’t do you any good if your goal is to make a stronger instant coffee. There are, however, some brands that are stronger than others.
6 Strong Instant Coffee Brands You Should Try
For your reference, one cup of instant coffee generally contains 60 mg of caffeine. Of course, some exceed this number by a mile, while others may have much lower than 60 mg caffeine per serving.
Naturally, to make strong instant coffee, you’d want to buy products that have relatively high caffeine content compared to other brands. With that said, here are six instant coffee brands you should try:
1. Waka Columbian
Waka Columbian is an instant coffee brand marketed to taste similar to freshly brewed coffee. While you may be inclined to think that’s not the case, a lot of its consumers have already testified to the authenticity of such claims. The product is made using freeze-drying technology and is 100% Arabica beans, and consumers also describe it to have a bit of a citrusy undertone.
Caffeine content: 70 mg (moderate)
2. Waka Indian
Waka Indian is yet another instant coffee product from Waka Coffee. It’s made with 100% Arabica coffee beans like the previous product. But what makes it unique is the fact that it’s a light roast, which is quite rare for instant coffee since most are either medium or dark. It has a relatively smooth consistency and is very easy to drink, making it a perfect coffee for sipping.
It has the same caffeine strength as Waka Columbian, which further proves that roast levels do not determine the strength of coffee, seeing as how Waka Columbian is a medium roast.
Caffeine content: 70 mg (moderate)
3. Taster’s Choice
Taster’s Choice is one of the most popular brands of instant coffee, especially since it’s made by none other than Nescafe. This product is also known as Nescafe Gold in many parts of the world.
It comes in several varieties, including:
- House Blend
- French Roast
- Single Serve Packs
- Flavored Single Serve Packs
House Blend comes in light and medium roast levels, while French Roast is medium or dark roasted.
Apart from the Decaf and Flavored Single Serve Pack, the different Taster’s Choice varieties have pretty much the same caffeine strength, which should be around 90 to 100 mg per 1.5 teaspoons of the powder.
Caffeine content: 95 mg (moderate)
4. Alpine Start
Alpine Start is a premium instant coffee and is among the strongest instant Arabica Coffee on the market. It is made by Alpine Start Foods and comes in three blends, namely:
- Original Blend: The original blend is the regular version of Alpine Start instant coffee. It was made from medium roasted Arabica coffee beans and is fairly easy to drink.
- Coconut Creamer Latte: This blend is pretty much regular coffee, except coconut is used as its creamer. This is the perfect product for vegans as it contains no dairy items.
- Dirty Chai Latte: The Dirty Chai Latte is essentially a combination of instant coffee and black tea. It also consists of soy milk, but has zero added sugar. Overall, it’s a solid coffee blend.
Caffeine content: 120 mg (high)
5. Starbucks Via Ready Brew
Starbucks Via Ready Brew is essentially Starbucks’ take on instant coffee, though it’s not like any other products since it doesn’t make use of freeze-dried coffee, but rather finely-ground beans.
It comes in seven different varieties. Unfortunately, there is no information pertaining to its roast level.
Nevertheless, it has a relatively high caffeine strength of 135 mg per sachet, even more so with the Iced Via variety, which has double its regular caffeine strength in one sachet (260 to 280 mg of caffeine)
Caffeine content: 135 mg (high)
6. Death Wish Instant Coffee
Death Wish is undoubtedly one of the strongest instant coffee on the market, with around 300 mg of caffeine per packet. The product combines Arabica and Robusta, which would explain the incredibly high caffeine content. It’s also dark roasted, making it ideal for those who like their coffee black.
Caffeine content: 300 mg (super high)
|Waka Columbian||70 mg per packet||Medium Roast|
|Waka Indian||70 mg per packet||Light Roast|
|Taster’s Choice||95 mg per 1.5 teaspoons||Light/Medium/Dark Roast|
|Alpine Start||120 mg per packet||Medium Roast|
|Starbucks Via Ready Brew||130 mg per packet||Unspecified|
|Death Wish Instant Coffee||300 mg per packet||Dark Roast|
Instant coffee is convenient in that you don’t need a coffee maker or a lot of time to make it. You just open a packet, pour it into your mug, add hot water, and stir. It’s basically the fastest way to get your caffeine fix as quickly as possible. But of course, it comes with a downside—instant coffee is not as strong as regular or brewed coffee. Fortunately, you can always make it stronger with the right steps, and this article should have what you need to do just that.