If I need to substitute 2tbsp of instant coffee for brewed black coffee, how much should I put in/ how much of the other liquids should I take out to compensate?

  • I suspect that you have a recipe which calls for instant, and you want to use real coffee instead, and that's why you refer to taking out other liquids. Correct?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


Why not just prepare it based on the instructions on the package (add water, mix), and then use it exactly like you would the normal coffee?


You mention in the comments that you actually need it the other way around (replace instant coffee with brewed). I was at the store recently so I took a look at instant coffee and all of them recommended between 1 and 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to 6 oz. of water (3/4 cup). So for 2 tbsp of instant coffee you'd need 4 1/2 to 9 cups of coffee to replace it (depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor to be).

If there's not that much water in the recipe already, it's probably why it uses the powdered version and I'm not sure there's anything you can do.

  • This is usually the best way to handle substitutions of this nature.
    – daniel
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 21:47
  • 1
    Given the fact that the OP asked about "taking out other liquids to compensate", I think they phrased their question backwards - they're asking how to substitute brewed coffee for instant. So the actual answer is to look at a package and see how much water it takes to use 2 Tbsp of instant, and then remove that much liquid from the recipe before using real coffee instead - but given that the OP doesn't have instant coffee to use, they probably don't have a package to look at. Do you happen to?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 23:23
  • Oh I guess I got this backwards. I don't have any instant coffee :( Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 23:53
  • Exactly, I have no instant coffee, so I need to use regular brewed. Commented May 1, 2011 at 1:24
  • 2
    Or if you just object to buying crappy instant coffee just for a recipe, there's quite a few GOOD instant coffees (yeah, I know, right?) that are worth having around. I'm a fan of Douwe Egberts, and King Arthur Flour sells an espresso powder specifically for baking purposes (it's a fine powder and comes in quantities useful for baking rather than for a daily caffeine binge).
    – fluffy
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 18:19

It is 2 tsp instant coffe for every 8 oz of water. To brew correctly you should use 1 tbs of ground coffee for every cup of water. All you need to do is brew the coffee directly into the liquid in the recipe( way easy with a French press, or put a funnel into a container, line funnel with coffee filter and pour hot liquid over) and use above numbers to figure out how much coffee you need to use.

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