In a world where artisanal cold brews and gourmet single-origin roasts reign supreme, instant coffee often gets a bad rap. But if you ask me, instant coffee’s less-than-stellar reputation isn’t warranted. There are so many different instant coffee hacks out there that even if you don’t like the taste of it, you can still find a way to make your life better with instant coffee. Even if you can’t stomach instant coffee on its own, there are ways to prepare it to taste richer, and if already you’re down for coffee-flavored everything, then it might behoove you to give instant coffee a shot since it’s basically coffee distilled to the most soluble form.
To be fair, sometimes there’s no need to mess with a classic. Instant coffee, used as directed on the packaging, can sometimes be exactly what you need, whether you’re in the midst of a rushed morning in need a quick hit of caffeine or in the middle of the woods when you’re on a camping trip with friends or family. But if you have some extra time to make something a little fancy, or want to do something creative, try out these instant coffee hacks that’ll make your life better almost as quickly as it takes to make a cup of, well, instant coffee.
Make Iced Coffee
You can use instant coffee to make surprisingly rich iced coffee in two minutes. All you have to do is mix together some hot water with a couple tablespoons of instant coffee, then add ice cubes and the milk of your choice.
Use It to Exfoliate
Make your own coffee face scrub to gently exfoliate your skin using ingredients you probably have lying around your kitchen. This DIY scrub is a mix of coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, sugar, and, of course, instant coffee. Not only will your skin feel smooth, but the caffeine in the instant coffee can help reduce swelling and puffiness.
Make Coffee Liqueur
Combine equal parts of sugar, water, and vodka with some instant coffee and a dash of vanilla extract, and you’ll get homemade coffee liqueur that will up your White Russian game in an instant.
Stain Raw Wood
It’s no secret that coffee is the enemy of white t-shirts everywhere, but coffee’s staining power can be harnessed for good, especially when you’re trying to actually stain something, like wood. You can dye wood with instant coffee for a natural alternative to otherwise chemical-laden stains.
Make Coffee Syrup
This homemade coffee syrup can be drizzled over ice cream or pancakes, into sodas or a glass of milk, really anytime you’re looking for a little kick of coffee. It’s also super easy to make. All you need is a pot of water, some sugar and spices, instant coffee, and a little bit of time to let it all simmer down.