Can instant coffee dissolve in cold water? There has always been that unspoken rule when making instant coffee, iced or hot, and that is to dissolve the formula in hot water first. However, is this “rule” actually a rule or more of a tip? In this article, we’ll find out if instant coffee dissolves in cold water.
Instant coffee dissolves in either hot or cold water. The difference mainly arises when it comes to the duration. Since hot water is a better solvent than cold water, instant coffee dissolves better in hot water.
In this article, I’ll tackle the science behind this phenomenon and let us settle the water temperature debate once and for all.
The Science Behind It All: Can Instant Coffee Dissolve In Cold Water?
The debate on whether to serve your instant coffee, especially when it comes to instant iced coffee, is that you should either prepare it initially with hot or cold water. However, this debate roots with the coffee enthusiasts and traces back to the science community in general.
Let’s start first by defining solvents. A solvent is any material (most often a liquid) capable of dissolving other materials (which in this case is the instant coffee powder). An excellent example of a solvent is water, which is heralded as the universal solvent.
Many things affect how a solvent (water) can effectively dissolve a solute (instant coffee). It can be because of the size of the coffee particles, the materials inside, and more. However, the easiest to spot determining factor must be the temperature.
The temperature of your water directly dictates the speed of how fast the instant coffee dissolves. The hotter the water, the easier it is to dissolve, and the reason? Hot water contains a lot more energy compared to a cup of cold water.
Hot water contains so much energy that the water molecules move so much faster than cold water. Because of this faster movement, the coffee granules hit each other a lot more, resulting in many chipping within the granules, thus effectively reducing their size.
However, science has never stated that cold water cannot dissolve instant coffee. Coldwater can dissolve instant coffee, only just with the limitations of it being significantly slower. That is why most coffee manufacturers advise you to dissolve the formula in hot water.
Serving Your Instant Coffee
There is no “right” way to serve your instant coffee. The dehydration process involving instant coffee allows it to be dissolved with either hot or cold water. However, we do have tips to make it easier to serve great-tasting instant coffee.
Using a food processor
People made instant coffee to be easy to prepare. However, this does not mean that you can’t be meticulous about it. Instant coffee, especially when prepared with cold water and other variating ingredients, is better served with a food processor.
A food processor allows you to serve your instant coffee faster, especially when handling such large bulks during events such as book clubs, meetings, and more. With a food processor, you can also insert sugar to boot, allowing you to not only easily dissolve the instant coffee powder but also with sugar (and other possible ingredients like creamers) as well.
When using a food processor, be sure to use COLD water instead of HOT water. Most food processors are not made to handle hot temperatures and may be damaged. Additionally, when not preparing in huge bulks, the food processor is a less than ideal and a more tedious method of preparing instant coffee.
Make it fancy, serve it with add-ons
Instant coffee does not just have to be cheap and quick. It can also be fancy and highly desirable. With a few ingredients, some wit, and a whisk of magic, you can make your instant coffee drinking experience a much better one.
The most obvious step is to add on additional flavors. If you have chocolate, you can turn your regular instant coffee into something like mocha. Additionally, having milk on your instant coffee makes your regular instant coffee into a latte.
Adding steamed milk or milk froth using a milk frother is also another way to turn your instant coffee into something that looks like it is fresh from a cafe. Additionally, putting it on fancy mugs or transparent cups can also help enhance the experience.
A great idea to add an oriental twist to your instant coffee is to add boba or tapioca pearls to your instant coffee. Not only does this help you achieve a more milk-tea-like product, but it also gives you a fun time, chewing all those tapioca pearls away.
Adding syrup (melted sugar) to the sides of your coffee cup can make your instant coffee cup feel fancier than it is. Either way, the experience of creating instant coffee is a fun and creative process, and only if you make it so.
Does Instant Coffee Dissolve In Milk?
There are many reasons why you might want to add milk to your instant coffee. The reasons don’t matter, but we do need the answers. Does instant coffee dissolve in milk?
Instant coffee can dissolve with either hot or cold milk. However, having too much milk can directly affect the way the resulting instant coffee tastes. Additionally, having too much ratio of milk to instant coffee can make the dissolving time be too long than it needs to be.
Below, we have prepared a list showcasing how to prepare instant coffee with milk. With this recipe, your instant coffee will taste as rich as coffee with the cream of milk.
Prepare the ingredients
First, we will need to prepare the ingredients. In this method, we’ll be using instant coffee, sugar (optional), cinnamon (optional), water, food processor (optional), and milk.
Have the correct ratios
To achieve the appropriate taste, make sure that you have the correct ratios of milk and water. Some people suggest a 50:50 ratio between milk and water. Some, however, like ⅓ milk and ⅔ water.
Mix them up
For food processors, add cold water, milk, instant coffee, and the optional ingredients together. Blend for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Serve.
For the stirring method, add all the ingredients together. It will take 30 seconds for the formula to be thoroughly mixed for hot servings. For cold servings, have an allowance of 2-5 minutes for stirring alone.
Instantly Answering Three Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Coffee
Does stirring speed affect the dissolving time?
Absolutely! Since stirring can add a bit of heat and makes molecules hit each other more frequently, the instant coffee formula will dissolve faster when stirring is involved.
Is instant coffee “real” coffee?
If what you mean by real is made of coffee beans, then the answer is yes! Instant coffee is more similar to ground coffee than you think.
Like ground coffee, it is brewed. However, unlike ground coffee served after brewing, instant coffee is freeze-dried and then packed into containers for future use.
Are the beans used in instant coffee different from brewed coffee?
Most often, yes. Instant coffee is made of the more robust, more aggressive Robusta beans, while ground coffee is made of richer and smoother Arabica beans. However, some companies like Nestle now create specialty instant coffee made of Arabica beans with a heftier price tag than regular instant coffee.