12 Best Instant Coffee in 2020 [Buying Guide]

12 Best Instant Coffee in 2020 [Buying Guide]


Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee

Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee

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starbucks via decaf italian roast instant coffee

Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Roast Instant Coffee

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folgers classic roast instant coffee

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee

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Jordan Carter

Who doesn’t love to start their day with a steaming, freshly aromatic cup of coffee known by many as their daily Joe? Plenty of you probably fancy yourselves as a bit of a home Barista and might have perfected just the perfect brew. No doubt imagining yourself as a bit of a coffee aficionado. You might prefer the French press, the Aeropress or have a fancy automatic coffee machine or maybe you just like it nice and simple. A good old instant coffee with nothing more than hot water from your regular old kettle! If that sounds controversial to you, tantamount to heresy no less, then you’ve not been sampling the best of the recent flurry of solidly dependable instant coffee’s making their way onto our shelves. Just like a fine wine, with a good blend of coffee, you can pick up subtle or intense bouquets of flavors and aromas. There are even instant coffee’s good enough to tempt even the most discriminating and self-proclaimed coffee snobs among you so let’s take a look at the Best Instant Coffee in today’s rocket-fuelled review.

The Best Instant Coffee

1

Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee

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This well and finely grounded coffee bean is retrieved from the mountains of Latin America, and manufactured in the USA for coffee lovers all over the world to enjoy, whenever the opportunity may rises. Arabica beans, which this instant coffee is made of, are known to produce a strong, rich aroma, and delicious taste while still doing their part in waking you up and keeping you alert. Although also one of the pricer products on this list, we have chosen this coffee as our best choice product due to its top-quality ingredients and preparations.

Once mixed with hot water, Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee dissolves quickly and perfectly thanks to its micro-ground nature, so that it is instantly ready to drink. What’s more, this product contains all the great features you’d expect from a fine cup of coffee; what’s more, it tastes and smells great, is gluten-free, organic and serves as a great antioxidant. This coffee pack is also pure and simple enough that it can serve as an ingredient in many other foods such as cakes and brownies.

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Key Features:

14oz per package

Made with organic Arabica beans

Ultra Fine micro-ground

Gluten-free

Specification:

2

Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence Instant Coffee

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The brand Douwe Egberts promises a cup of rich-tasting, aromatic, coffee which is made from a selection of well-grounded, brewed and finely roasted beans. The company behind this product has been in the business for over a century and has therefore put years and years of expertise into your everyday drink. Douwe Egberts is trusted by many coffee lovers and customers who remain loyal to them for decades. Packaged in a well-sealed jar, all 7.05oz of this coffee is dark roast and of full strength. This single jar will make about 200 cups of coffee, which depending on your intake, should last at least a couple of months.

We love this product due to its consistent great taste. Although preferences differ, especially when it comes to coffee, most can agree that this delivers its promise of a delicious aroma and rich taste. What’s more, it is not too bitter as many others might be, but strong enough to break through creamers and leave a rich coffee on your tongue. No doubt, the Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence Instant Coffee stands out in taste, aroma, and quality.

Key Features:

7.05oz

Dark Roast

Full Strength

Freeze-dried instant coffee

Specification:

3

NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee

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From the household brand nestle comes the NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee. This product is made from a specially selected mixture of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, which are specially selected and sourced from all over the world. For the environmentally and production conscious, Nestle ensures that while working with farmers, special care is taken for sustainable and responsible production, which will go a long way in guaranteeing the future of coffee.

With just a teaspoon worth of the mildly grounded blend, coffee drinkers can enjoy a thick, rich, smooth and well-rounded coffee in general. Nestle ensures that the high quality in preparation comes through in every sip from your mug. It is no surprise that this product comes as the highest-rated and recommended instant coffee blend on this list. Not only is Nestle a trusted, reliable, house-hold brand, but this particular product also comes through in every way that you’d expect from a cup of coffee. Whether stirred into cold or hot water, the CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee dissolves into your cup well enough to mix with other ingredients and ultimately complement them. Even seasoned coffee drinkers who are used to their own home ground coffee can attest to this product living up to expectations. For the more financial conscious, the best thing about this product is that it is by far the most affordable instant coffee on this list, which is another reason other customers have enjoyed making the purchase.

Key Features:

7 ounces per purchase

Real dark roasted coffee beans

Strong, bold taste

Respectfully grown coffee beans

Specification:

4

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Instant Coffee Mix

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This isn’t your usual cup of Joe that much is for sure! But we figured what the hell, it’s definitely worth a try and it’s not certainly a creative brew. It’s actually one of the best-selling instant coffee ’s, so it just goes to show that sometimes you really do need to do your homework in order to discover new and innovative brands. The Four Sigmatic coffee is still produced using 100% organic, Arabica style coffee beans but it also just so happens to be blended with two functional mushrooms. The Lions Mane and the Chaga. We’re intrigued, and it certainly sounds like it good be a potent brew! The addition of these two naturally organic mushroom products isn’t quite hallucinogenic, but it certainly will have your feeling bright eyed, bushy tailed and fit as a fiddle too! And before you say, yuk, I don’t fancy a coffee that tastes like old fungi, it doesn’t. It’s actually surprisingly tasty and very well rounded, and it might just change your opinion about instant coffee entirely. Be sure to also check out our list of the best coffee percolators for more great items like this.

Key Features:

10 0.09oz packets per box

Organic

Provides half the caffeine of a regular coffee drink

Finely ground powder

Specification:

5

Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee

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We’re starting our Best Instant Coffee with a classic choice from the world-renowned brand, Nescafe. What is it that they say? Start your day the Nescafe way! We couldn’t agree more, and the sales just go to prove how perennially popular this blend is. It’s a well refined and balanced coffee made from a distinctive and premium blend of Arabica coffee beans and is easy to enjoy at home.

Key Features:

Mild, elegant and well-balanced flavor

Presented in a glass jar which locks in flavor and aroma

Sourced from 100% premium responsible coffee beans

Well-crafted and easy to prepare a delicious cup at home

Each jar contains up to 150 x 6 fluid ounce cups

Specification:

6

Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Roast Instant Coffee

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Our premium choice today comes from none other than Starbucks. Their VIA Italian blend is a seriously good high-quality instant coffee made with the finest Arabica beans. It delivers a dark roast with a richly intense and robust flavor that packs a deep and flavorsome caffeine punch and contains the subtle notes of sweet caramelized sugar. VIA comes in a box that contains 50 individually wrapped servings which help to keep the coffee super fresh and aromatic. All you need to do to achieve a Barista style brew at home is simply add hot water, wait 10 seconds then stir and enjoy. Our handy guide to the best pod coffee machines features more great products like this.

Key Features:

Rich, dark Italian roast with smooth aroma and flavor

Presented in individual sachets with 50 packets included

Sourced from 100% Arabica coffee which has been ethically sourced

Easy to prepare at home for a barista style blend – simply add water

Naturally Decaffeinated

Specification:

7

Mount Hagen Organic Fairtrade Instant Coffee

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Mount Hagen is a long-standing and popular instant coffee that makes a good choice. It’s made from organically grown beans that have been specifically sourced only from Fairtrade plantations. It comes packed in a glass jar with a good tight seal which means the coffee granules stay naturally fresher for longer and more flavorsome too. Love coffee? Check out our review of the best cafetieres for our top picks.

Key Features:

Sourced from 100% Organic Fairtrade coffee beans

Presented in a glass jar which locks in flavor and aroma

Well-crafted and easy to prepare a delicious cup at home

Each jar contains approximately 60 individual servings

Specification:

8

G7 Instant Premium Vietnamese Instant Coffee

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The secret behind our next instant coffee is apparently a patented dry roasting process which is different from many of the other brands we’ve reviewed who go for the usual freeze drying or spray drying techniques so commonly used in creating quality instant coffee granules. It’s a popular seller so we would say that the secret is working out well for them! Trung Nguyen is a flavorful coffee that already contains creamer and sugar, so it’s perfect for traveling or taking to work as you only need to add your own hot water to enjoy. No good though if you like your coffee black. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best cold brew coffee makers

Key Features:

Gourmet premium taste never brewed, freeze-dried on concentrated

Created using a patented process

Sourced and grown in the Buon Me Thuot highlands of SE Asia

Well-crafted and easy to prepare a delicious cup at home or on the go

Each bags contains approximately 100 individual servings

Specification:

9

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee

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Next up on our review of the Best Instant coffee for home consumption is a well-known and much loved American brand, Folgers, who have been brewing their coffee grains since 1850.  They clearly must be doing something right to still be around after all those years in such a competitive space. Their classic instant style roast is made from specially grown mountain beans and prepared in New Orleans, Louisiana, for a truly distinctive and delicious pure and rich, full-bodied taste. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best decaf coffee.

Key Features:

100% pure, sustainable coffee roasted in New Orleans Louisiana for a distinctive taste

Traditional coffee brewing family since 1850

Simply add hot water or add to recipes and sauced requiring a rich coffee taste

Easy open flip top lid seals in aroma and freshness

Coffee crystals in a classic rounded roasted blend

Specification:

10

Jacob’s Coffee Kronung Instant Coffee

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From a good quality and reputable German brand, this is a no frills but certainly very tasty instant ground coffee that’s made from a blend of 100% premium, responsibly sourced coffee beans. The glass jar presentation helps to seal in that rich coffee flavor and intensity while also keeping the coffee fresh. Jacob’s Coffee Kronung Instant Coffee delivers a rich and robust, quick and tasty cup of Joe which is just perfect for counteracting that dreaded mid-afternoon slump. You may also like to check our coffee grinders reviews for more great coffee related products.

Key Features:

Superior rich and well-balanced flavor

Presented in a glass jar which locks in flavor and aroma

Sourced from 100% premium responsible coffee beans

Well-crafted and easy to prepare a delicious cup at home

Imported from Germany, comes in a pack of 2 x 7.05-ounce jars

Specification:

11

Café Altura Fair Trade Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee

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Café Altura is an organically farmed and sourced blend of 100% Arabica coffee beans stemming from across three different continents. It’s especially freeze-dried using an exclusive certified process to maintain that real coffee taste and distinctive aroma. All the coffee which comes from Indonesian, South American and African is grown sustainably by farmers and growers indigenous to the areas where they are based. Just 1-2 teaspoons per cup with hot water is all that’s needed to deliver a steaming hot cup of fresh and tasty organic coffee that is 100% USDA certified organic and verified Non-GMO. For coffee that’s ethical and delicious Café Altura is an excellent choice. This is a perfect gift for coffee lovers.

Key Features:

Sourced from 100% Organic Fairtrade coffee beans

Presented in a glass jar which locks in flavor and aroma

Well-crafted and easy to prepare a delicious cup at home

Beans sourced from across 3 continents all grown sustainably by local farmers

Indonesian, South American and African blend

Specification:

12

Maxwell House Original Blend Instant Coffee

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Maxwell House has been serving up coffee since 1892 and no matter what mood you are in they most certainly will have the perfect brew for you. All great days start with a good cup of coffee, and this Maxwell House Original Blend will have you well on your way to having a fantastic day with its rich and classic, well-balanced flavor. They custom roast every batch to ensure they get just the right blend between strength and character for a caffeine beverage that you will truly savor. A great instant coffee choice for home drinking. And perfect to prepare and carry along in your coffee thermos.

Key Features:

Rich and classic, medium roast delivering well-balanced flavor

Presented in an easy open, resealable jar to lock in flavor and aroma and stay fresh

Sourced from 100% premium responsible coffee beans

Well-crafted and easy to prepare a delicious cup at home

Each jar will make up to 120 cups of delicious instant coffee

Specification:

13

Medaglia D’Oro Italian Roast Espresso Instant Coffee

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Next, up in our Best Instant Coffee, we have an award winner no less, this is one seriously smooth and delicious tasting instant coffee that is a real game changer. It’s a heady espresso mix that is blended from double-roasted coffee to produce a bold and distinctive brew but one which is rich and creamy too. It manages to be well-balanced and smooth and makes the perfect base coffee to use for those favorite other caffeinated beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. Medaglia D’Oro definitely delivers an authentic, Italian, Barista style brew. Make sure you also check our guide to the best camping coffee makers.

Key Features:

Rich, dark Italian roast with smooth aroma and flavor

Gold medal award winning Italian coffee

Presented in a 10-ounce tin with a close tight resealable lid

Sourced from 100% Arabica coffee which has been ethically sourced

Easy to prepare at home for a barista style blend – simply add water

Specification:

14

Kava Acid Neutralized Instant Coffee

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This is a real stand out from the crowd instant coffee on account of the fact that it is 90% acid neutralized. So many people do suffer from unwanted digestive issues drinking caffeine and that in no short part is down to the high level of acidity present. With this Kava blend, you apparently get half the acid of other leading blends and up to 15 times less acidity. That means it’s a brew which is much easier to tolerate for those sensitive types. Not to fear though, it does also still deliver a rich and full-bodied taste, full of natural coffee aromas and is made only from premium sourced beans to provide a quality end product.

Key Features:

Rich and full bodied premium coffee beans

90% acid neutralized for a smooth taste without any bitterness

15 times less acidic than other leading brands

Presented in an easy open, resealable jar to lock in flavor and aroma and stay fresh

4-ounce jar of coffee with three packs included in this special offer

Specification:

15

Vincafe 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Mix

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For those among you who perhaps have a sweeter tooth or are frequent travelers and always want to have access to a great cup of coffee, this 3-in-1 blend from Vincafe could tick all your boxes. It’s a unique and easy to make blend that is perfect to satisfy both a caffeine and a sugar fix as it contains coffee, creamer and sugar. All you need to do is add hot water and delicious cup of Asian style Vietnamese premium coffee is at your fingertips ready to enjoy.

Key Features:

Premium quality Vietnamese coffee beans

3 in 1 instant coffee formula includes coffee, creamer and sugar all pre-mixed

Great option for frequent travelers as all you need to do is just add water

40 sachets in total each with a 20 gram serving of coffee

2 packs of 40 sachets are available in this offer

Specification:

Instant Coffee Buying Guide & FAQs

How We Chose Our Selection of Instant Coffee

Before putting pen to paper to prepare our guides, we always consult respected publications in the field as well as extensively reviewing all the available reviews and feedback we can find. That’s before a sip of coffee has even passed our lips! It’s essential that we present a range of brands and that combine ease of use and convenience and not just taste great. We’re reviewing instant coffees, after all, so all the products should be able to be prepared, quite literally, in an instant. No fuss, no filters, no fancy machines, just a spoon, and some hot water! It’s also important to pull together a recommended list that can be easily and cost-effectively purchased by everyone reading this review regardless of their locality or their available budget.  That’s why you will see some of the big brands sat alongside new entrants and Organic as well as Fairtrade coffees making it onto the list.

man drinking coffee

Features To Look For In Instant Coffee

Below are some of the key elements to look out for when selecting your favorite instant coffee.

Beans – There are two main types of coffee beans to look out for. They are known as Coffee Arabica and Coffee Robusta. Many companies will use a blend of both although a more gourmet blend will have a greater concentration of or might be exclusively made up from Arabica beans. Arabica bushes which produce these beans can be found globally. The Robusta bean, however, tends to be planted and cultivated mostly in Asia and is known to have a more acidic and bitter overall taste. It will come down to your personal taste and the intensity of flavor that you enjoy at the end of the day.

Roast – You might also see coffee referred to by its roast. Roasting is the process of bringing out the flavor and aroma from the beans which start out green in color but which end up various stages of intense brown. Roasting produces the coffee oil from the bean, and as moisture and oil are drawn out of the bean, it goes from a spongy green into the crunchier and dark bean you are more familiar with seeing being ground and made into coffee powder. You can find light roasts, medium ones, Medium Dark roasts and the most intense being a Dark Roast. A medium roast is associated with an American coffee whereas a dark roast is typified by a French or Italian blend.  They all have their own unique taste and texture, so it’s entirely a case of personal preference as to the flavor you prefer.

Caffeine – Generally speaking, a regular 8-ounce serving of instant coffee will contain anywhere from 27 to 173 mg of caffeine with the majority sitting at around the 65 to 90 mg mark. You can of course also go for decaf instant too which will have about 2 to 12 mg of caffeine. So choose your poison carefully as there is quite literally a world of difference in both the intensity of flavor and the possible side effects too of drinking a 40 gm serving of coffee versus a 170 gm one! We’re talking rocket fuel!

Convenience – The single most significant advantage of instant coffee is its total convenience. Typically stored in a glass jar with an airtight sealed lid, all you need is a spoon and some hot water, and you can quite literally enjoy a hot cup of delicious tasting instant coffee wherever you are. The whole beauty of instant coffee is that it is very much designed to be convenient.

a cup of coffee

Types of Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is basically just regular brewed coffee that has had pretty must most of its water content removed. That means that it is still pure coffee and as such, it can be Sustainably farmed and Organically produced just like most things can these days. If drinking Fairtrade coffee is vital to you ethically, then you can certainly purchase high-quality instant coffee that has very much been made with integrity. Other than that, the types of instant coffee that you will generally find are going to be either a fine powder, soluble or more of a crystallized, granular texture.

Spray Drying Instant Coffee

The spray drying technique is an almost instantaneous process. Liquid coffee is quickly turned into instant coffee in no longer than 30 seconds. Concentrated coffee is sprayed into a hot air chamber where it begins to evaporate and form tiny droplets which then dry to form coffee crystals.

Freeze Drying Instant Coffee

This is a better method for preserving more of the full coffee flavor of the beans and will usually be reflected in a pricier and more premium end product. Coffee concentrate is frozen and placed inside a vacuum filled, heated drying chamber. The coffee warms up and goes through a process known as sublimination and which is left behind is highly intense and flavorsome grains of dry coffee.

instant coffee

Instant Coffee FAQs

Q: What is an Instant Coffee?

A: Instant coffee which is also known as soluble coffee is still made from coffee beans that have been roasted and then ground. However, the coffee beans are then put through a further process where they are extracted with hot water to recover the full coffee flavor and aroma. In this respect, it’s not dissimilar to using a percolator at home however on an industrial size. Following that, the remaining coffee is dried in two distinct ways and packaged into either a glass jar or sachet ready for domestic sale. Those two processes are detailed below.

Q: How Is Instant Coffee Made?

A: One the coffee extract has been prepared it then needs to go through a further drying process to create the granular, soluble texture of coffee that is characterized as being instant coffee. One technique is known as Spray-drying, and the other is Freeze-drying.

Spray-drying – With spray drying the coffee extract is sprayed directly into a stream of hot air inside a cylindrical style tall standing tower. As the droplets fall, they become a dry, fine powder. In some instances, that powder is then texturized into the familiar granular consistency that is quickly dissolved with hot water. Thanks to the fast drying technique of spray-drying, the quality of both the flavor and aroma are maintained which is what makes this such a popular process adopting by many of the big instant coffee manufacturers.

Freeze-Drying – With this technique known as freeze-drying, the coffee extract is taken and physically frozen at a temperature of about -40 degrees Celsius. It is then literally cut into granules, and those granules are further dried and vacuumed. The more gentle drying conditions and low temperatures protect the quality, taste, flavour, and aroma of the instant coffee produce created.

Q: How Do I make an Instant coffee taste better?

A: This is a serious tried and tested hack that really works and instantly improves the taste of instant coffee. There’s also some scientific support to back this up too, and it’s no doubt help the rise in popularity of cold brewed coffee which seems to be popping up more regularly at coffee shops. First, grab a teaspoon full of your favorite granulated instant coffee and mix that in a coffee cup first with 1 spoon of cold water to create a paste. Then pour over your freshly boiled hot water until the paste from the coffee granules and the cold water has dissolved entirely. This significantly increases the aroma and flavor of your coffee and delivers an altogether better cup of Joe! Add milk and sugar according to your preferences or just savor the taste as mother nature intended! Try – we swear you’ll notice the difference.

a cup of instant coffee

Q: Can too much caffeine be dangerous?

A: Caffeine has a tonne of beneficial properties which is why its loved by so many and on the whole, it does have incredibly positive health benefits. As with anything, excessive consumption does come with side effects and having too much caffeine can be unpleasant. Starting with the benefits though, caffeine is great for boosting your mood, metabolism and delivering a boost to your mental and physical performance. That’s why so many people have a cup when they wake up or just before they work out too.

Unfortunately, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others and may even have an intolerance to is. Here are some of the symptoms you might suffer from if you have more than a moderate dose of caffeine daily by which we mean 5 cups or more. Side effects aren’t all necessary dangerous as such, but they are certainly unpleasant ranging from anxiety and bouts of insomnia to digestive issues or even an addiction! Too much caffeine can also adversely affect your blood pressure and general nervous system, cause an accelerated and more rapid heartbeat which in itself can be alarming and conversely lead to fatigue as you crash and burn.

Q: When is the best time to consume caffeine?

A: Following on from the previous point about whether caffeine can be dangerous, it’s not just the amount of caffeine that you consume but also when you drink it that can be important, especially related to the point of insomnia. Investigations into the correlation between caffeine and interrupted sleep patterns concluded that even at six hours before bedtime but even more so at three hours and immediately before, the ability to fall asleep and to stay asleep was definitely impacted. The general conclusion was that for a good night’s sleep, limit your last intake of caffeine to mid-afternoon, around the 4pm mark to be sure of a sound night’s sleep.

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