Can You Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water? (Yay Or Nay)

Instant coffee gives us a quick hit of caffeine, but did you know you can make cold instant coffee too? 

However, cold instant coffee isn't quite as simple as regular hot coffee so it's easier to get it wrong. But don't worry, because in this guide we'll explain why it's possible, how to do it, and give you some useful tip on making the best instant coffee with cold water. 

Yes, you can make instant coffee with cold water. To explain how this works we have to look at the process and the ingredients. 

First, it's important to understand the difference between instant coffee and the coffee grounds used for regular coffee. 

Coffee grounds are simply ground coffee beans which haven't been through any process. When you make and drink coffee with these grounds you're pouring water through them to extract the flavor. 

Instant coffee is very different to coffee grounds. When you mix instant coffee with any liquid it will dissolve because the instant coffee granules themselves are made out of freeze-dried liquid. This is how the coffee flavor and caffeine gets into your cup of instant coffee. 

The key factor here is that instant coffee will dissolve in cold water, so you don't need hot water for instant coffee. 

Benefits Of Using Cold Water For Instant Coffee

You're probably used to using hot water to help the cup of coffee extract the flavor, so why would you switch to using cold water? Well, there are a couple of key benefits:

  • More Flavor 

Some people argue that using cold water lets your instant coffee extract more flavor. The higher oxygen level in the cold water can give an enhanced taste and flavor experience. 

  • Less Evaporation

An instant coffee made with cold water can feel fresher than a hot brew. The hot water and resulting evaporation can result in some of the flavor being taken away, and the hot water can even burn the granules if poured on too quickly. 

  • Convenient 

Using cold water removes any reliance on a kettle or heat source. This makes cold water instant coffee really appealing when you're on the go or away from home. 

Drawbacks Of Using Cold Water For Instant Coffee

There's one key disadvantage of using cold water for instant coffee is that it takes a lot longer

Instant coffee granules will dissolve in any liquid, but their solubility is temperature dependent. That means that the hotter the liquid, the quicker you can make the instant coffee brew.

Basically, it stops being an 'instant' coffee if you use cold water because it takes so long. If you're a coffee lover who wants a coffee fast then you're better off using hot water to stir instant coffee into.

Can You Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water? (Yay Or Nay)

How Can You Make Instant Coffee Dissolve Faster In Cold Water? 

Making instant coffee with cold water is a lot slower than making regular coffee.

This is primarily because the instant coffee powder or granules dissolve much faster in hot coffee because the heat makes the molecules move around much faster than in cold water. This helps the coffee granules to move around faster, too, causing them to dissolve.  

Unfortunately, the molecules in the cold water will be much slower, which will make it harder to get the granules to dissolve in cold water unless you leave it for much longer.

However, there are a few options to help you make instant coffee with cold water more easily:

1. Use Some Hot Water

Add a few tablespoons of hot water to the instant coffee powder and then mix until dissolved. Add the cold water to the coffee from there, along with some ice cubes, and the coffee will be tasty without wasting too much of your time.  

2. Use A Blender

Some coffee-lovers will use a blender to help them dissolve the coffee. Use a good quality instant coffee and pour the granules/coffee powder into the blender. Check the instant coffee packaging for measurements, and add in water. Once it's blended you can pour it into a cup and add in some milk and sugar if you would prefer.

A traditional blender or an immersion blender will both work.  

3. Combine Rapidly With A Spoon

If you do not have some of these tools available, mixing the coffee and water with a spoon, going as quickly as possible, will be the best option. This will help dissolve the coffee faster because some of the molecules will go at a faster rate again too.  

instant coffee with cold water

How To Make Cold Brew Using Instant Coffee? 

Now, it's time for the hard-hitting questions when it comes to the instant coffee extravaganza. Can we make a cold brew coffee using instant coffee? The short answer is yes, they will both make a 'cold brewed' coffee - however, the end product will be very different. 

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for up to 24 hours. The grounds are then filtered out. 

Instant coffee is made by dissolving the grounds in cold water, with no need for it to be filtered. 

Both are 'cold brews', but cold brew coffee is a lot stronger than instant coffee. 

Here are the ingredients you need to make cold brew using instant coffee: 

  • A mug or a glass 
  • The amount of coffee that you want to use (look at the instructions from the manufacturer) 
  • Milk and sugar if you want to use it 
  • Cold water, six ounces should work 
  • Ice cubes if you want to turn it into a proper cold brew iced coffee.  

Using ice to make an instant iced coffee or cold brew seems logical, but it can actually be really bad for the granules and lead to curdling. Instead, we have a better method.

  1. Add the coffee granules to the mug or glass that you want to use. 
  2. Add your preferred amount of sugar to the glass. 
  3. Pour in just a bit of water at a time as you let the coffee dissolve in cold water. A tablespoon or so is plenty. 
  4. Mix the coffee with the water until you notice that the granules are dissolved. Once that happens, you can add the rest of the water to the glass. 
  5. Lastly, add the milk and a few ice cubes at this time or turn it into iced coffee by pouring the whole thing on top of the ice.  

How To Make An Iced Coffee With Instant Coffee?   

It might sound ridiculous, but making instant iced coffee actually works really well.

This 'cold brewed' instant iced coffee is fairly simple, but first, you will need to choose whether to use hot or cold water. We suggest using hot water first so that it will dissolve the coffee granules faster, and then you can add ice afterward-- though it won't be as cold as using just plain cold water. 

Here's the method to follow:

  1. Put the water in the mug or glass and pour the instant coffee into it. You may need to make the coffee a little stronger than normal or use less water because you'll be adding ice.
  2. Once the instant coffee is dissolved (hint: spoons help), it is time to make the iced coffee. Take the coffee and pour it over some ice or just dump a few cubes in the glass itself. 
  3. If the water is really warm, you may need to let it sit a bit and then add some more ice to keep it cool.
  4. You may need to experiment with the strength of your instant iced coffee so it isn't too watery.
Two Iced Coffees With Instant Coffee

Can Instant Coffee Dissolve In Cold Milk? 

Yes, you can dissolve instant coffee in cold milk. 

Instant coffee will dissolve in cold water, milk, or any liquid - but it's important you consider the volume of the milk you're using. 

It is often best to do a good ratio between the milk and the water. For most, a 1 to 3 ratio will be a good choice to let the coffee extract the flavor. This means that you should do 1 part milk to three parts water.  

The process of making instant coffee with cold milk is the same as regular coffee with instant granules:

  1. Add the instant coffee of your choice to a cup.
  2. Add in some cold milk, and then add in the cold water.
  3. Stir the mixture to make the instant coffee dissolve into the milk and water.  
instant coffee powder

Cold Water Instant Coffee FAQs

What makes instant coffee instant? 

Instant coffee is made by roasting whole coffee beans, and then those beans are ground up. Once the beans are properly ground, the coffee will go through a dehydration process. Manufacturers can choose to blow hot air through the coffee grinds, or they can use a freeze-drying method. This process will provide water-soluble granules that will dissolve well in hot water.  

How much caffeine is there in instant coffee with cold water? 

Each brand of instant coffee will be a little different in the amount of caffeine that is found inside of them. However, there is an average of 28.3 milligrams of caffeine found in a teaspoon of instant coffee. The usual serving size for instant coffee will be 2 teaspoons, so you will get around 60mg per serving. 

Why does instant coffee dissolve faster in hot water? 

Hot water is going to have a higher level of molecular energy. This helps the instant coffee dissolve faster in the water when warmer. The water at a higher temperature will turn into a solvent for the instant coffee particles.  

What is the best water temperature for making instant coffee? 

When making instant coffee, the best temperature for the water will be between 190 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible to make it with colder or warmer water if you choose, but this temperature range tends to be the best for keeping it warm without turning the water scalding.  


So there we have it…coffee rocks, and we all know it. Whether you're looking for a cold-brewed coffee with ice or just a regular cold water coffee, instant coffee might just be the solution for you. Now it’s time to take your instant coffee-making knowledge and pour up a glass of some of that aromatic instant coffee you love so much over ice. 

Kayla Stavridis

Head of Marketing

Kayla Stavridis
Kayla Stavridis is a coffee enthusiast and Head of Marketing for Barista HQ. She blends her professional insights and experience with a deep passion for all things coffee. Kayla offers a unique, hands-on perspective on coffee culture and trends. You can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... Cold Brew

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