3 Easy Ways to Substitute Coffee Extract

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Making a recipe calling for coffee extract and don’t have any on hand? Don’t worry– there are several easy and convienent ways to get a coffee extract substitute. All you need is some ground coffee or whole beans and you can impart a rich coffee flavor on any culinary creation. If you’re short on time, there’s even easier and faster ways to get coffee “essence,” which may not be technically extract, but it’s pretty close.

What is Coffee Extract?

Coffee extract is a concentrated liquid made out of coffee beans and usually alcohol that impart an intense coffee flavor on food and drinks. It may be hard to find on store shelves, but luckily, it’s fairly easy to make at home, it just requires some planning. If you don’t have the time, there are two easy and fast ways to get a coffee extract substitute. These methods produce more of an “essence” than extract but they have the same function, and it should not alter your food or drink. Read below on the two methods for coffee extract subsitutes.

Fast Coffee Extract Subsitute

Method 1:

  1. Pour a freshly brewed cup of coffee into a pot on medium high heat
  2. Add 12 tablespoons sugar and stir until dissolved
  3. Bring to a boil and let boil until it has thickened and reduced
  4. Take off heat and let your extract cool down

Method 2: Even Faster!

  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons instant espresso into 1 tablespoon boiling water.

How to Make Coffee Extract:

Easy Coffee Extract

Recipe by LilyDifficulty: Easy
Prep time





  • Crush 1/4 cup of coffee beans with a mortar and pestle or rolling pin.
  • Put the crushed coffee beans in a glass container with an airtight lid– like a mason jar
  • Pour 1 cup of any vodka of your choice into your jar. Ensure the beans are saturated in the alcohol. Note: You can use another alcohol in place of vodka, such as bourbon or gin, but they will add a flavor that vodka won’t. You also may use food-grade liquid glycerin instead of alcohol.
  • Place the jar somewhere where it can sit at room temperature in a dark place. It should be left there for about 1 week. You should swirl the mixture gently every day. At the end of the week, your mixture should be dark brown in color.
  • Strain the mixture, and you’re left with coffee extract!

If you don’t want to wait, you can buy coffee extract or espresso powder for baking. King Arthur makes a nice espresso powder. To make decaf coffee extract, check out Does Coffee Extract have Caffeine?

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