DIY Espresso Powder

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If you bake a lot, chances are you’ve come across a recipe that uses espresso powder. While you can buy this powder at the store, it’s actually really easy to make it yourself. All you need is leftover espresso grounds, an oven, and a coffee grinder. Since espresso powder goes a long way, a little bit of time will give you enough of this special ingredient to last quite a while. You can go crazy with espresso powder to add extra appeal to baked goods.

5.0 from 10 reviews
DIY Espresso Powder
 
Ingredients
  • leftover espresso grounds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature.
  2. Use the back of a spatula to spread espresso grounds out flat on an unlined baking sheet. You can use as much grounds as you'd like; the more you use the more espresso powder you'll end up with.
  3. Place baking sheet with grounds in the oven for about an hour, or until grounds seem toasted and a bit crunchier.
  4. Using a coffee grinder, further grind the grounds to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.
  5. Voila! You have espresso powder!

Recipe Source: Baking with Mark 

Need an idea for using your new espresso powder? What about…

Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread

Java Chip Ice Cream

{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah May 11, 2013

Thanks for the tip! What temperature should we roast the grounds at?

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alexandra May 16, 2013

You’re welcome! Go with the lowest temperature you can do on your oven; mine will go as low as 175ºF.

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steve June 18, 2013

Are you using “used” grounds?

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alexandra June 18, 2013

Yes :)

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kayla August 21, 2013

I bought espresso at a coffee shop and they ground it wayyy too fine. Too fine for an espresso machine; clogs it up. It’s pretty much powder. Could I just use this instead of toasted used grounds?

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alexandra August 21, 2013

It should still work, although you might need to use a slightly different amount in your recipe since the beans have never been brewed. Once you try it once you should be able to gauge whether a 1:1 substitute works best, or whether you should change the ratio a bit.

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ed February 3, 2014

can you use regular coffee grounds instead?

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alexandra February 6, 2014

Well, I would think that if you make sure the grounds dry out enough, coffee grounds would be fine. The espresso grounds I used come out of the machine in a disc shape and they aren’t very wet. You also might need to use more of the powder in recipes to get the same flavor, but that would be something you can test out once you make the powder.

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Doloris August 6, 2014

Hi,
I really do not drink espresso, where can I buy espresso powder from. I’ve been looking everywhere and cannot seem to find it.

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alexandra August 9, 2014

Usually you can find it at specialty stores like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma. Amazon has a lot of choices too, like this one.

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Mike York September 25, 2014

Thanks for the great tip. I’d normally put the used beans to trash but thanks to this, I could use it further.
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Alyse November 6, 2014

Dear Alexandra,
I have a store-bought jar of espresso powder which has turned to a solid mass, I would assume by humidity absorption. Do you have any ideas for reconstituting it?

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alexandra November 11, 2014

I’ve never had this happen to me, so I’m really not sure what the best way would be to deal with this. Based on a quick google search I just did, you might try grating off the amount you need as you go or processing/grinding the hunk to break it up again. Would love to hear if you find a solution!

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Jeannie November 25, 2014

If I have instant espresso, do I have to brew it first? Could I just grind it ?

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alexandra December 2, 2014

If you have instant espresso, you can just use it directly in a recipe calling for espresso powder. They’re essentially the same thing. ;)

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Schoolbaker November 26, 2014

When I bake bread or cake and I use espresso (instant or powder) I can not taste it in the final product…I have even doubled it in the recipe..and still can not taste it… what can I do to taste it?

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alexandra December 2, 2014

Hmm… from my experience, the espresso powder in a recipe isn’t usually extremely obvious in the taste of the finished product, but it still serves the purpose of enhancing another flavor in the recipe (like chocolate, for example). I think if you really want to taste the espresso flavor you could potentially try using actual coffee/espresso in your recipe in place of some of the liquid called for, but whether that will substitute well really depends on the recipe.

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Ashley December 8, 2014

Might be a silly question but do you brew your espresso in a coffee maker? Or can I just buy the beans and grind them. I have a coffee maker and a grinder already but I’ve never made espresso. Is the machine different?

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alexandra December 8, 2014

I have a machine that can actually make espresso, and you end up with round discs of compacted grinds, which is what you use to make the espresso powder. If you know someone who has a machine capable of doing this, you might ask them for their grounds! I’ve also heard that Starbucks gives away their grounds if you ask.

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Krista February 11, 2015

Hi there!
Do you know how long it keeps for?

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alexandra February 11, 2015

I’ve kept mine for at least a year at a time without an issue – probably more. I would say shelf life isn’t much of an issue here. :)

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Julia October 19, 2015

I never thought about using my leftover espresso grounds for baking! Wow, that’s something I’ll definitely consider next time I’m using a recipe that calls for them. Thanks for the helpful tip!! :)

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alexandra October 19, 2015

Yeah! Glad it sparked a new idea for you! :)

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Nerida March 11, 2015

Hi Alexandra – have you ever given children something with espresso powder in it? How do they go on the caffeine? Mine are 4 and 6 years. Thanks

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alexandra March 16, 2015

Hi Nerida, I would say this is probably a matter of personal preference. I wouldn’t see it as much of an issue since I would think the amount of caffeine contributed by the espresso powder would be fairly insignificant; espresso powder usually isn’t used in large doses. You could always make your espresso powder with decaf beans, though, if you’re concerned.

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tim April 9, 2015

So if you can grind the beans to a powder then you can skip brewing coffee and drying them out and grinding those. Asking

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alexandra April 9, 2015

No… if you don’t brew the coffee first you end up it doesn’t work the same way. This should explain it: “Instant espresso powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated” (From Bon Appetit)

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Katy | Her Cup of Joy April 22, 2015

What a great tip! I never even thought that I could re-use coffee ground, this recipe is next on my list. I want to make those coffee scones!
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alexandra April 22, 2015

Do it! Haha so worth it!

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Justin October 18, 2015

Thanks for this great post! I tried making espresso powder and then added it to a smoothie recipe. The espresso powder didn’t fully dissolve in the smoothie (most of it did, but there were some bits that remained in powder form). Do you know what the issue is? Any suggestions? Note: the powder was dry and even finer than a store bought brand, which did dissolve fully.

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alexandra October 19, 2015

Hmmm, not sure! I’m surprised really; I would think in a smoothie especially you wouldn’t have that issue. I’m assuming there was nothing else in the smoothie that you could be mistaking the espresso powder for? (Probably a silly question, but I’m at a loss here).

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Tony Nguyen October 20, 2015

This is great tip. Thanks for sharing :))

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Samantha November 11, 2015

me and my husband drink espresso from an actual espresso pot, I dont want to buy the instant stuff for a recipe because we won’t drink that. If the recipe calls for 1tsp of the instant powder how much of the regular brewed espresso could i subsitute it for?

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alexandra November 22, 2015

Well, are you referring to the espresso before you actually brew it in your pot? (As opposed to the espresso grounds after brewing, which is what this method uses).

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Samantha November 22, 2015

After brewed espresso

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Suzanne February 2, 2016

Thanks so much. I am baking a chocolate cake that asks for espresso powder, which I didn’t have on hand. Your tip saved me! My husband drinks copious amounts of espresso daily and now I will ask him to save the grounds. This is fabulous!!! I am baking the grounds as I type this. 👍

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alexandra February 15, 2016

Awesome! Hope you get lots of use out of it! :)

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Margo February 17, 2016

Do you think you could use a mortar & pestle to further grind the grounds to a fine powder? I’m looking forward to trying the recipe.

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alexandra February 19, 2016

I have done this on occasion because I don’t own a coffee grinder anymore. It doesn’t work as well, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

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Tiffany February 17, 2016

Hey there, I am curious.. I was looking for espresso powder for a recipe and I accidentally bought Ground Espresso.
I love this idea of making your own espresso powder with the left over beans, but I do not have an espresso maker, so the espresso grounds I have are dry, can I still do this?

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alexandra February 19, 2016

Did you buy ground espresso that is meant to be brewed? Like ground coffee? If so, it wouldn’t be the same because the recipe is meant to use espresso grounds that have already been brewed. Hope that makes sense!

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mion February 22, 2016

Hi is this instant or do i need to filter? Can it be used in making for recipes that calls for instant espresso powder?

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alexandra February 29, 2016

Hi, I’m not sure what you mean by your first question. You can use it in recipes that call for espresso powder, but if the recipe is using the powder to make espresso (by combining with water), you’ll want to use instant espresso.

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Robert March 5, 2016

It seems that you are taking coffee grounds, which have already had the flavor brewed out of them to make coffee, to make coffee grounds powder rather than espresso powder. Would it be better to start with unused coffee beans?

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alexandra March 9, 2016

No, you actually do want to use the grounds post-brewing. As Bon Appetit mentions on their website, “Instant espresso powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated.”

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Robert March 10, 2016

Exactly. Espresso powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated, not the used grounds that have been dried and ground up. “Brewed espresso” is the liquid from the espresso brewing process. They throw the grounds away. Or better, compost them.

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Rich November 20, 2016

It seems to me that Robert is right: Isn’t this the exact opposite of commercial espresso powder? Commercial espresso powder you could mix with water and get espresso you could drink. This DIY recipe, if mixed with water, would give you something grainy from which much of the coffee flavor had been extracted. Isn’t that right?

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alexandra November 21, 2016

Maybe I should clarify, this isn’t intended to be used to actually make fresh espresso, but for baking purposes, it does the trick.

Rebecca Leahy April 16, 2016

I don’t have a coffee grinder, do you think putting the grinds into a food processor when they get out of the oven will be enough?

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alexandra April 18, 2016

Yup, that should work!

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Jack B. June 3, 2016

This is great tip. Thanks for sharing :))

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Tomas June 9, 2016

Thanks for the tip, but how long it keeps for?
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alexandra June 14, 2016

Quite a long time, just like your typical spices. I’ve had batches around for a year + with no issues.

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meredith @ Wired for Coffee July 5, 2016

I’d guess you can use brewed espresso and subtract it’s liquid amount from the overall liquids being used, couldn’t you?

Alexandra, do you keep the grounds in the fridge or does it matter?
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alexandra July 11, 2016

I have done that in recipes before and typically it works (assuming you’re using a recipe that has some sort of liquid in it), but I would say the overall effect is slightly different, just as it’s different adding vanilla extract to a recipe vs vanilla bean. I keep the espresso powder in my cabinet (room temp).

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Jeanine July 17, 2016

I used this recipe for Espresso Powder to make Tiramisu for by daughter’s 21st birthday.
Absolutely amazing!

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k55 February 3, 2017

Can i use coffee ground which is be brewed?
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alexandra February 14, 2017

No, regular brewed coffee grounds are different than the “pucks” of dried espresso grounds you get from an espresso machine. Your best bet if you don’t have access to espresso grounds is to just buy espresso powder.

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Kitchen Gadget July 18, 2016

Perfect! I’m definitely trying this! I’m lucky I came across this website. Thanks!
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patricia mcmanes August 29, 2016

You keep saying “brewed espresso”
Is this the same as “brewed coffee” ?

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alexandra August 30, 2016

Technically, no. There are coffee machines that brew espresso, and there are also espresso beans. What you want for this DIY espresso powder is the grounds that come from brewing espresso specifically – with a machine that does this, you wind up with a dry block of grounds rather than the wet stuff you get from brewing coffee normally.

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Brenda December 24, 2016

Hi Alexandra my name is Brenda I was just wondering I went to the store and by accident did not pick up espresso powder I pick the ground espresso instead of using the espresso at all in the recipe can I just double the cocoa powder?

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alexandra January 2, 2017

Hi Brenda,

Not sure what recipe you’re referring to. If you let me know I’d be happy to help. :)

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Alex December 25, 2016

This is amazing, where I live espresso powder is always way more expensive than coffee beans. Now I can save some money by using this tip. Thanks for sharing.

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Cherie January 3, 2017

I am literally here to compliment you on your ability to show such amazing patience. The questions repeated X 10 and you calmly just answer again. Very impressive and inspiring in many ways…Thank you. I will be trying your diy method.

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alexandra January 4, 2017

Aww, thank you so much! I really appreciate the sentiment :)

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Janet Zarpie January 23, 2017

I don’t have an espresso machine or access to someone who does. The best deal right now on amazon is ‘Old Chicago Coffee’ brand espresso powder for cooking, and it says it’s the pre-brewed kind. It’s almost ten dollars for 2.5 ounces, seems like a lot even though others are more. Do you know of another that costs less? I would think this would be more like 3 dollars for just a few ounces. You mention the Medaglia brand in an earlier comment but that one is nine dollars for just 2 ounces. On a budget, hope you can help!

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alexandra February 1, 2017

I’m really not sure since I never buy espresso powder myself (that’s why I do the DIY version – it’s much cheaper and works just as well for baking purposes). That being said, espresso powder is pretty strong stuff, so you don’t need to use a ton for any one recipe.

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Janet Zarpie February 1, 2017

Thank you for your help, I actually made some chocolate and ended up with the Old Chicago espresso powder, it worked out great. I don’t have a machine so I’m stuck buying it, but like you said, doesn’t take much. I actually used about 1/2 teaspoon and still have lots left, so a couple ounces goes a long way!

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Erin February 8, 2017

If you brew the beans first, then wouldn’t the resulting powder be relatively caffeine free? Also, would this be different than instant espresso powder that you actually make espresso with since that probably wouldn’t be brewed first?

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alexandra February 14, 2017

I’m really not sure what the caffeine content would be, but this isn’t meant to be a substitute for instant espresso to actually MAKE espresso, but rather to just be used for baking purposes where you want the strong espresso flavor without adding actual liquid espresso to a recipe.

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Silver Hensley March 22, 2017

Alexandra, I have kona coffee beans and want to make esspresso powder with them, how should I proceed?

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Silver Hensley March 22, 2017

It’s for making chocolate esspresso moose

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Opal March 22, 2017

Came across this recipe on accident, but I think you just saved me a ton of money! Gonna stop buying instant espresso for recipes now and see if the used espresso grounds from my Moka Pot will do.
It doesn’t put nearly as much pressure on the grinds as an electric machine, but I’m hoping it’ll work just as well. Read through all the comments to see if anyone’s mentioned this and I second Cherie’s comment, you have a lot of patience lol
Thanks!

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alexandra March 24, 2017

Would love to hear how it works out for you! :)

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Opal April 6, 2017

Finally got around to making espresso today and did it! Worked out really well, just had to put in the oven for about 30 minutes longer to get the grinds completely dry. Thanks again! :)

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Silver Hensley March 22, 2017

Ok, so I want to use kona coffee for home made esspresso powder used for baking…i have a grinder and coffee brewer….do I bake the beans for an hour then grind to a powder, or do I need to brew the coffee, or ground finer coffee then brew, then bake and grind again? I’m kinda confused….why are sombre saying to brew the grinds first?

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alexandra March 24, 2017

A typical coffee maker won’t treat the grounds the same way as an espresso maker; you’ll have wet, loose grounds versus dry, compact grounds, so this technique probably won’t work well for you, unfortunately. The idea is to brew the grounds first and then bake them, but with the grounds from a coffee maker, it’s not the same effect.

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