Best Espresso Powder: Top 3 Choices for Rich Flavor

best espresso powder

If you’re a coffee lover or an avid baker, you might have come across the term “espresso powder.” But what exactly is espresso powder? In simple terms, it is a highly concentrated form of coffee that is ground into a fine powder. However, its applications go far beyond your morning cup of Joe. In this article, we’ll explore the world of espresso powder, its benefits, how to choose the best one, and various ways to incorporate it into your cooking and baking adventures.

What is Espresso Powder

Espresso powder is a concentrated form of coffee made from finely ground, roasted coffee beans. I typically use it to enhance the flavor of coffee-based recipes, such as cakes, cookies, and brownies. The strong, rich taste adds depth to both sweet and savory dishes, making it a versatile and popular ingredient in many kitchens.

To create espresso powder, coffee beans are first roasted to develop their signature dark, bold flavor. They are then ground to a fine consistency, allowing them to dissolve easily in liquids. Following this, the grounds are brewed to create espresso, which is dehydrated and further processed into a dry, powdery form.

Some common uses for espresso powder include:

1. Chocolate Desserts and Treats

Espresso powder and chocolate are a dream team when it comes to desserts. Use it to intensify the chocolate flavor in cakes, brownies, truffles, or even homemade chocolate ice cream. The addition of espresso powder brings out the depth and complexity of chocolate, resulting in a more satisfying and indulgent treat.

espresso powder used in desserts

2. Meat and Savory Dishes

Don’t limit espresso powder to sweet dishes; it can also add a delightful twist to savory recipes. Sprinkle a small amount into your spice rubs for grilled meats or mix it into marinades for a subtle hint of coffee. The earthy and robust undertones of espresso powder complement the savory flavors, elevating the overall taste of the dish.

3. Drinks and Beverages

Take your beverages to the next level by incorporating espresso powder. Add a teaspoon of it to your morning smoothie for an extra kick of caffeine or mix it into your hot chocolate for a mocha-inspired treat. For a refreshing twist, blend it with milk and ice for a homemade iced coffee or create a signature espresso-infused cocktail.

espresso powder used in drinks

4. Frostings and Icings

Give your frostings and icings a gourmet touch with espresso powder. Whether you’re preparing a classic buttercream or a cream cheese frosting, adding a teaspoon of espresso powder will impart a subtle coffee flavor and enhance the overall richness of the topping. It’s a surefire way to impress guests with your baking skills.

5. Unique Uses in Recipes

Think outside the box and experiment with espresso powder in unexpected recipes. Sprinkle a pinch onto roasted nuts for a delightful coffee-infused snack or incorporate it into a homemade barbecue sauce for a touch of complexity. The possibilities are endless, so let your creativity guide you.

Espresso powder can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or purchased online, and it is sold in small, airtight containers to maintain freshness. When storing espresso powder, keep it in a cool, dry place away from heat and moisture, as exposure to these elements can cause the powder to lose its potency and flavor.

Even though I refer to it as espresso powder, it is important to note that it is not the same as instant coffee, which has a lighter aroma and contains more additives. Espresso powder boasts a more intense flavor, making it ideal for both culinary and coffee-making purposes.

While using espresso powder in recipes, I suggest starting with a small amount and adjusting to taste. Generally, 1 to 2 teaspoons is sufficient in most recipes, but personal preferences may vary. Feel free to experiment and find the perfect balance of espresso powder for your favorite dishes.

Best Espresso Powders

I’ve researched and compiled a list of the best espresso powders available on Amazon to enhance your recipes and satisfy your coffee cravings.

King Arthur Espresso Powder

King Arthur Espresso Powder

King Arthur’s Espresso Powder is a must-have for enhancing your chocolate-based recipes with a rich, deep flavor.


  • Enhances chocolate flavor in recipes
  • Dissolves quickly
  • Certified kosher and comes in a reusable plastic jar


  • Contains some branch-like pieces that may not dissolve well
  • Pricey compared to other espresso powders
  • The packaging is plastic rather than glass

I recently used the King Arthur Espresso Powder to spice up a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I must say, it genuinely made a noticeable difference. The added depth of flavor in the cookies brought out the richness of the chocolate without adding any prominent coffee taste. One thing that caught my attention was how easily the espresso powder mixed in the dough.

In conclusion, the King Arthur Espresso Powder is a fantastic addition to your baking arsenal, especially when working with chocolate recipes. Despite some minor drawbacks, its ability to elevate chocolate flavors is worth considering if you’re looking for a high-quality espresso powder.

Hoosier Hill Farm Espresso Powder

Hoosier Hill Farm espresso powder offers the best bang for your buck and comes in an 8 oz container rather than the typical 1-2 oz. If use espresso powder regularly, this is the best choice for you.


  • Enhances flavor in iced coffee, ice cream and cookie recipes
  • Large 8 oz container, most affordable
  • Great alternative to other corporate options like Nescafe


  • Flavor doesn’t match up to more gourmet brands
  • Definitely do not recommend to use this as instant coffee or instant espresso
  • The packaging is plastic rather than glass

My husband and I recently acquired a smoker when moving to a new apartment, so I tried out this espresso powder from Hoosier Hill Farm in a dry rub on ribs and it turned out so well! Because it comes in a larger container, I didn’t feel like I was ‘wasting’ it in a larger recipe.

I heeded others’ warnings about not trying to make this the main ingredient in drinks but would recommend using this in recipes for cooking and baking.

Civilized Coffee Espresso Powder

Civilized Coffee has been awarded the Best Espresso Powder by America’s Test Kitchen and is the best choice for baking and topping treats like cappuccinos, truffles & tiramisu.


  • Improved cap to get the perfect amount on cappuccinos and desserts
  • Non-GMO, extra fine powder dissolves quickly
  • Free from additives and non-caking chemicals


  • No non-caking chemicals, while great, means you need to store this extra carefully to prevent clumping and hardening
  • Small amount, small container
  • Again, due to no additives, this seems to have a shorter expiration date than most other powders – which is a pro and a con I suppose!

I recently tested out this espresso powder from Civilized Coffee Co on top of my morning coffee at home, after frothing it up a bit. It’s such a small addition but packs in extra flavor and makes me feel extra fancy at home. I haven’t had it for too long so can’t speak to how it lasts over time.

Overall I’d use this again and would recommend it to top off drinks or desserts that need a little extra pinch of something.

Buying Guide

When shopping for the best espresso powder, there are several key factors I consider to ensure I’m making the right choice. In this buying guide, I will share the most important aspects I look for when choosing the best product.

Product Versatility

I first look for versatility in the espresso powder, which means it can be used for a variety of applications. It should dissolve quickly to make rich espressos and work well as an ingredient in baked goods, desserts, or even in savory dishes. This gives me a wide range of options when it comes to using the powder.

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile plays a significant role in my choice of espresso powder. I prefer a product with a distinctive taste that enriches my recipes without being overpowering. Look for an espresso powder that offers a rich, robust, and full-bodied flavor without bitterness.

Granule Size

Granule size is another important aspect I pay attention to. Finely ground espresso powder is more desirable, as it dissolves quickly and easily to produce a smooth, robust espresso. Moreover, it blends seamlessly into recipes without leaving any gritty residue.


Good packaging is essential to preserve the powder’s quality. I look for espresso powder that comes in airtight, resealable containers or bags. This ensures that the product stays fresh for an extended period, maintaining its flavor and aroma.


Lastly, I consider the price of the espresso powder. Higher-priced products may offer a superior flavor, but it’s essential to find a balance between quality and affordability. Consider what works best for your budget and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use espresso powder in recipes that don’t require coffee flavor? Yes, espresso powder can be used in recipes that don’t necessarily call for a coffee flavor. It can add depth and complexity to chocolate-based desserts, savory dishes, and even frostings and icings.
  2. Is espresso powder the same as instant espresso? Yes, espresso powder and instant espresso are often used interchangeably. Both are made from finely ground espresso beans and can be dissolved in hot water to create a concentrated coffee flavor.
  3. Can I make my own espresso powder at home? While it is possible to make your own espresso powder at home by grinding and dehydrating espresso beans, it can be a time-consuming process. It is often more convenient to purchase pre-made espresso powder from specialty stores or online.
  4. Can I use espresso powder in my coffee maker? Espresso powder is not recommended for use in coffee makers or espresso machines. It is specifically designed for culinary purposes and may not produce desirable results if used in coffee brewing equipment.
  5. Where can I find and purchase espresso powder? Espresso powder is available in specialty food stores, gourmet markets, and online retailers. You can also check your local coffee shops or bakeries, as they may carry espresso powder for sale.

In the world of culinary delights, espresso powder stands as a versatile and flavorful ingredient. Whether you want to elevate the taste of chocolate desserts, add depth to savory dishes, or create coffee-infused beverages, espresso powder proves to be a worthy companion in the kitchen. By selecting high-quality powder, employing proper techniques, and exploring various recipe possibilities, you can unlock a world of rich and complex flavors that will impress and delight your taste buds.

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