Convenience In A Cup: We Compare And Contrast A Dozen Of The Best Instant Coffees

by | Dec 10, 2019

Your name for it might be instant coffee, soluble coffee, coffee crystals or coffee powder. Whatever you call it, even the most die-hard coffee aficionado usually has a jar or tin of this essential pantry standby somewhere at the back of a cupboard.

But with such a bewildering array of instant coffee brands to choose from on the grocery store shelves, how do you make sure you’re choosing the best instant coffee for you? Fear not. Help is at hand.

 

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Best Tasting Instant Coffees Of 2020

We’re about to investigate twelve of the best. Whether your tastes tend towards organic instant coffee, decaffeinated, or coffee shop favorites like Starbucks instant coffee, you’ll find one to suit you in the list below.

 

Which Instant Coffee Is The Best?

Our Winner: Mount Hagen Organic (5/5)

Let’s get straight to the point. The Mount Hagen instant coffee  came top of the class in our round-up. This organic, Kosher certified coffee is made from 100% Arabica coffee beans.

You’ll get around 60 generously sized cups from one jar of this certified organic coffee: it’s the first freeze-dried coffee in the world to be certified organic. In case you’re wondering, it’s the EcoCert, which meets the organic standards of the United States Department of Agriculture.

 

Mount Hagen Organic 

The coffee is grown on highland slopes for a fresh taste. It’s packed in Germany, so you can pretty much be assured of precision, quality, and attention to detail. There are no fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides or pesticides used in the growing of this coffee, and you can be equally reassured that it’s free of additives and preservatives too.

It’s pleasing and palatable, great to enjoy at any time of day. One teaspoon of coffee per cup will give a very mild tasting brew, while two teaspoonfuls will give a stronger tasting beverage.

It’s low in acidity and typically comes packed in boxes of six jars. We love it in the morning, we love it if you’ve gone camping or roaming about in your motorhome. It’s a great standby for work or on the go.

 

Café Tastle

Staying with the freeze-dried instant coffees available, we also enjoyed the super-sized Café Tastle.  It comes in a 17.85 ounce BPA-free plastic container. Not only that, it can be reused. This jumbo jar of coffee makes a whopping 270 cups of coffee, assuming you use one teaspoonful per cup.

Mild-flavored raw green Arabica beans form the base for this coffee. After roasting and grinding, the coffee is brewed at the optimum temperature of 180 Degrees Celsius with pure spring water. After grinding, the coffee is carefully brewed through not one but several sterilized percolating apparatus.

 

Café Tastle 

Cafe Tastle Gold Freeze Dried Instant Coffee, 17.85 Ounce
278 Reviews
Cafe Tastle Gold Freeze Dried Instant Coffee, 17.85 Ounce
  • Freeze Dried
  • This provides a much finer higher quality instant that dissolves much more efficiently
  • In a unique super-sized 17.85 ounce "jumbo" container
  • Makes 270 cups
  • BPA-free reusable plastic container

This OU Kosher coffee is then freeze-dried to ensure it’s preserved to perfection. All you need to do is add water, sugar, and cream to taste for a perfect, instantaneous cup of joe. So dig out your favorite travel mug, unearth your best bone china cup and saucer from the back of the cupboard, stick the kettle on, and make yourself a brew.

 

Waka Coffee

This premium instant coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans. The coffee is freeze-dried to preserve the gorgeous mellow flavor and original aroma of the beans. This is a smooth-bodied coffee, well-balanced, with hints of citrus in there. It’s a medium roast and very easy on the palate. There are no additives in this coffee, which is packed in California.

If you didn’t know better, you’d think this was a fresh brew – but no, it’s instant. It comes packed in an easy-to-use bag which keeps your instant coffee super fresh. There’s even a zipper for extra security and convenience. You can literally take Waka coffee anywhere. 

 

Waka Coffee 

Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee, Colombian, Medium Roast | 100% Arabica, Freeze Dried, 35 Servings in a 3.5 oz Resealable Bag
297 Reviews
Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee, Colombian, Medium Roast | 100% Arabica, Freeze Dried, 35 Servings in a 3.5 oz Resealable Bag
  • BEST COFFEE BEANS: Made of 100% high quality Arabica beans instant coffee.
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Freeze dried to preserve aroma and original flavor of the beans.
  • DELICIOUS FLAVOR: Medium roast, well balanced, smooth bodied with notes of citrus. Rated best instant coffee by professional reviewers. Perfect for making whipped instant coffee (Dalgona Coffee).
  • FAST TO MAKE: Tastes like a fresh brew, fast like instant. No wait, no lines, no machines - pure coffee - no additives at all!
  • SAVES WELL: Our premium instant coffee is packaged in a convenient to use bag with a resealable zipper to save your instant coffee when stored. Includes about 35 servings of our recommended amount of...

If you use the recommended amount of this instant freeze-dried coffee for a cup of joe you’ll get around 25 servings. We’re assuming you’re using around 1-2 teaspoons of coffee to 6 ounces to 8 fluid ounces of almost boiling water.

 

Jacobs Kronung Decaf – The Best Instant Decaf Coffee

And now we’re moving on to some of the decaffeinated options. When you want the taste of coffee, but you’re trying to keep your caffeine intake down, a decaf is an ideal option. Jacobs Kronung Decaf 

is an ideal standby to have in the cupboard.

This exceptionally pleasant-tasting coffee is from the Jacobs stable, a household name synonymous with quality and tradition. It typically ships in 2 glass jars, 100 grams each. Just look for the golden crown and the coffee bean on the label.

 

Jacobs Kronung Decaf Instant Coffee 

Jacobs Kronung Decaf Instant Coffee 100 Gram / 3.52 Ounce (Pack of 2)
14 Reviews
Jacobs Kronung Decaf Instant Coffee 100 Gram / 3.52 Ounce (Pack of 2)
  • Decaf Coffee
  • 2 class jars of 100 grams each
  • Delicious Jacobs coffee

Decaf isn’t devoid of caffeine, but it is considerably lower in caffeine than an average cup of coffee. In case you’re wondering about the caffeine content of an average cup of coffee, it’s about 100mg per 8 fluid ounces. An equivalent cup of instant decaf usually has between 56 and 76mg of caffeine.

 

Starbucks Instant Coffee

Well, you’d expect coffee from one of the world’s favorite coffee shops to taste pretty good, even if it is instant, and you won’t be disappointed. Made with Arabic coffee beans, the flavor of this Italian Roast Coffee from Starbucks VIA Instant  is sweet, intense and full. There’s an undercurrent of caramelized sugar and a deep, rich flavor.

 

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee 

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Dark Roast Packets — Italian Roast — 1 box (50 packets)
2,563 Reviews
Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Dark Roast Packets — Italian Roast — 1 box (50 packets)
  • Made only with high-quality arabica coffee beans
  • Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Coffee is roasty and sweet with a rich, deep flavor and notes of caramelized sugar
  • Just tear open a packet of Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Coffee, add hot water, wait 10 seconds and stir. No coffee machine or grinder needed
  • Create great-tasting beverages with these single-serve, ready-to-brew packets. Enjoy them anytime, anywhere--in an instant
  • Includes 1 box of 50 packets

This has to be one of the most convenient ways possible to get that Starbucks taste you’re craving. You don’t need a grinder or a coffee machine to enjoy this blend. Add 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls of the glorious dark mixture to a cup or mug, add hot water, wait around 10 seconds, stir, add milk, sugar or syrup to taste, and enjoy.

Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Coffee comes packaged in single-serve instant coffee packets, ready-to-brew in a trice. Each box contains 50 packets, making it super simple to slip a sachet or two into your work bag or take on vacation with you.

 

G7 3-in-1 Vietnamese Coffee

You might not necessarily associate coffee with Vietnam, but, like French pastries, it’s astonishingly popular and astonishingly good. So it won’t surprise you to learn that this dry roast coffee tastes fabulous.

G7 3-in-1 Vietnamese Coffee  is the most popular instant coffee in South East Asia, and each sachet will make a delicious 6-ounce cup of joe for you to enjoy. Each bag contains 100 servings.

 

G7 3-in-1 Vietnamese Coffee 

Trung Nguyen - G7 3 In 1 Instant Coffee - 100 Packets | Roasted Ground Coffee Blend with Creamer and Sugar, Suitable for Most Coffee Brewing Methods, (16gr/stick)
1,067 Reviews
Trung Nguyen - G7 3 In 1 Instant Coffee - 100 Packets | Roasted Ground Coffee Blend with Creamer and Sugar, Suitable for Most Coffee Brewing Methods, (16gr/stick)
  • INSTANT 3 IN 1 BLEND: Each sachet is filled with a blend of coffee powder, nondairy creamer, and sugar that allows you to instantly blend a flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee in seconds
  • FLAVORFUL & AROMATIC: The coffee powder is made using a combination of beans from Jamaica, Brazil, Ethiopia and Vietnam to create a delicious, fragrant and smooth cup of coffee that you’ll love
  • QUICK & EASY TO BREW: This strong instant coffee blend can quickly and effortlessly be made by mixing with 75ml of hot water anytime you want to instantly enjoy coffee
  • ENJOY ON THE GO: Our 3 in 1 instant coffee packets are perfect for use at home and when traveling giving you the freedom to enjoy full-bodied coffee anytime and anywhere you want
  • MAKE LIFE SIMPLE: With these instant coffee packs, you’ll never have to worry about brewing coffee again! Make flavorful and aromatic coffee without any hassle with Trung Nguyen coffee sachet and...

It’s not concentrated; it’s not freeze-dried; it’s not pre-brewed. The dry roast process has been patented, and the coffee itself developed at a multi-million dollar plant in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the Buon Me Thuot area.

These sachets contain sugar, creamer, and coffee in three-in-one convenient servings. They’re ideal if you’re on the move, and make a great pick-me-up at home too.

 

Nescafe Instant Coffee

If you’re looking for the perfect coffee to make a Greek-style frappe, you’ll love this Nescafe instant coffee.  (And we all know Nescafe is almost synonymous with instant coffee.) This robust and keenly-priced coffee comes in a 7-ounce tin. Even at 2 teaspoons per serving, you should still get well over 20 cups of coffee from a tin.

 

Nescafe Classic 

Nescafe Classic Instant Greek Coffee, 7.08 Ounce
540 Reviews
Nescafe Classic Instant Greek Coffee, 7.08 Ounce
  • Product of Greece
  • The package length of the product is 6 inches
  • The package width of the product is 5 inches
  • The package height of the product is 4 inches
  • 7 Ounce cans^Product of Greece

And while instant coffee isn’t quite as low in caffeine as the decaffeinated choices out there, it’s still lower than a cup of filter coffee. A 6 ounce serving of instant coffee usually contains around 57mg of caffeine.

The Nescafe Classic is a medium to dark roast instant coffee. Despite its strength, it doesn’t taste bitter: there’s a slight hint of chocolate in the flavor profile. This instant coffee, a product of Greece, dissolves extremely well. This was the lowest cost of the twelve instant coffees we compared.

 

Folgers Instant Coffee

This classic Folgers instant coffee  comes in the form of crystals. The roast has all the full-bodied taste and mellow flavor you’d expect from this medium roast from this expert coffee company. The longer you steep the bag, the stronger the result will be.

You will get around 114 8 ounce servings from this package. If you want the convenience and speed of a teabag, combined with the delicious flavor of authentic coffee, this will really tickle your taste buds.

 

Folgers 

Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals, Classic Roast, 16 Ounce
269 Reviews
Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals, Classic Roast, 16 Ounce
  • Instant Coffee
  • Only Folgers has the aroma seal canister to lock in the specially ground, rich taste
  • rich taste
  • Allergen Information: Abalone Free

If you’re making multiple cups of coffee, however, just be aware you will need to allow extra time, as it’s one bag per cup. And unlike most instant coffee, you’ll get the best results from this option if you use boiling water.

 

Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee

We’re sticking with organic for our next choice. Not only is the Anthony's Organic instant coffee  batch-tested, but it’s also verified gluten-free. It’s a micro-ground coffee, so it dissolves in water almost instantly. This makes it an ideal ingredient if you love nothing more than making a bunch of brownies, whipping up a cake or two, or even beating up a batch of butter.

 

Anthony's Organic Coffee 

Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee,14oz, Ultra Fine Microground, Gluten Free, Arabica, Non GMO
832 Reviews
Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee,14oz, Ultra Fine Microground, Gluten Free, Arabica, Non GMO
  • Anthony's Premium Organic Instant Coffee Batch Tested and Verified Gluten Free
  • Instant Microground Coffee - easily dissolves when added to water!
  • Made with Organic High Aroma Arabica Beans - Provides Plant Based Energy
  • USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten Free
  • Product of Latin America, Packed in California

Produced in Latin America, this non-GMO, USA organic instant coffee from Anthony’s is packed in California. The high-quality Arabica beans used to make this coffee are delightfully aromatic.

 

Kava Acid Neutralized

You might not think instant coffee can be special, but this Kava Acid Neutralized instant coffee  is here to prove you wrong. The manufacturers use potassium hydroxide to reduce the acidity, meaning that Kava has at least 50% less acid than many other market leaders in the instant coffee market.

If you’re interested in the process, the acidity is not removed from the coffee. Rather, potassium is added to the coffee; think of it as having an antacid tablet added to every cup.

 

Kava Instant Coffee 

This means you can still enjoy a robust, full-bodied aroma and flavor, but with a minimum of bitterness. It’s also perfect if you like iced coffee drinks. Be warned though – it’s pretty energizing, so we’d mainly recommend it as a morning drink.

It’s on the pricey side for an instant coffee, but we’d argue it’s worth it. This product typically ships in packs of three. This is another product from the J.M. Smucker Company stable.

 

Vinacafe

We’re back with the delicious sweet and creamy Vietnamese coffee for this special one called Vinacafe.  Whether you call it Cà phê hòa tan or ca phe hoa tan, this lovely instant coffee comes ready mixed with sugar and cream. It tastes not unlike a latte.

There’s no malty aftertaste as is sometimes the case with instant coffees. The convenient packaging of this instant coffee makes it ideal if you’re on the move, camping, short on space, or just like the idea of a tasty pick-me-up at work.

 

Vinacafe 

Vinacafe Instant Coffee Mix, 1-Pounds (Pack of 5)
259 Reviews
Vinacafe Instant Coffee Mix, 1-Pounds (Pack of 5)
  • Buy Local Market
  • Brought to you by your local merchant
  • Thank you for supporting your local economy

You can also brew a pretty delicious instant coffee brew with Vinacafe if you only have access to a microwave. Just heat your water in the microwave and then add the coffee powder, stir well, add milk and sugar to taste, and enjoy.

 

Bustelo Instant Coffee

And our final choice in this instant coffee delectable dozen is Bustelo.  This gorgeously rich Cuban coffee that will have you wondering if you really bought filter coffee rather than instant. It has a rich, full taste, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just been percolated.

 

Bustelo 

Bustelo Instant Coffee. Large 7.05 oz glass jar. Pack of 2
318 Reviews
Bustelo Instant Coffee. Large 7.05 oz glass jar. Pack of 2
  • Great Cuban coffee in just minutes.
  • Rich and aromatic like fresh percolated.
  • Will stay fresh, buy this 2 Pack and save.
  • Add to hot milk for a delicious Cafe con Leche or cappuccino.
  • Economical, goes a long way.

The Café Bustelo coffee company brand originated in New York in 1928 and was especially popular with Cuban exiles. The brand now comes under the umbrella of the J.M. Smucker Company. This robust instant coffee works especially well as a base for a classic cappuccino or a chic café con leche.

 

FAQ

What Is Instant Coffee?

Instant coffee is brewed coffee with the water extracted. It starts life as the seeds of the cherry of the coffee plant. The cherries are harvested, dried, roasted and ground.

It’s a convenient, readily available, portable way of making sure you always have coffee on hand. That applies whether you just need a refreshing beverage at home, or you need to keep your eyes open through those essential business meetings.

 

How Is Instant Coffee Made?

Instant coffee is made in one of two ways. In the first, the coffee essence is sprayed into hot air. The droplets dry quickly and turn into small pieces or fine powder. The second method involves freeze-drying.

In the freeze-drying method, the coffee extract is frozen and then cut into small pieces. These are then dried in a vacuum at very low temperatures.

 

How To Make Instant Coffee

One major advantage of instant coffee is that it’s super-simple to make. You just boil a kettle of fresh, clean water and let it cool slightly. If you’re a stickler for detail, you can use a cooking thermometer to make sure the temperature is below boiling.

Add a teaspoon or two of instant coffee to a clean mug, pour on almost boiling water and, voila, your coffee is made. Add cream, milk, sugar or syrup to taste, relax, and enjoy. To make the brew stronger, just add more teaspoonfuls of coffee or use less water.

 

How To Choose The Best Instant Coffee Brands

First of all, think about your needs – what will be the best option for you? If you’re planning on adding coffee flavor to your cooking, instant coffee powder might be the most appropriate choice.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move and convenience is important, a 3-in-1 sachet might be better. Check the expiry date; if you can, see how fresh the coffee smells. Make sure the seals are intact.

 

Does Instant Coffee Have Caffeine?

All coffee, even decaffeinated variants, contain caffeine. Instant coffee, however, has considerably less caffeine than filter coffee, or espresso, or even a latte. An 8-ounce cup of instant coffee usually contains around 76 mg of caffeine.

This does, however, depend on how many teaspoonfuls of coffee you’ve used and how much water. With instant coffee, if you want a stronger brew, you just add more coffee, or less liquid.

 

Is Instant Coffee Bad For You?

If you’re concerned that instant coffee might be bad for you, you can rest assured, that instant coffee is no worse than any other coffee with an average amount of caffeine. Need further clarification?

There’s plenty of evidence to show that, in moderation, coffee is good for you. This includes instant coffee.

 

The Health Benefits Of Instant Coffee

Coffee originates from the cherry seeds of a plant. You might be surprised to learn that, in our modern diet, coffee is the single biggest source of antioxidants.It’s packed with small but significant amounts of vitamin B3 (niacin), magnesium, and potassium.

Coffee has also been shown to help with some chronic health conditions. It’s thought to help cognitive function, for instance.

 

Instant Coffee Tips

A lot of the tips that apply to making filter coffee or espresso are equally important when it comes to instant coffee. Make sure you store your instant coffee in a cool, dark, dry location. Make sure the seal is as tight as it can be.

Use one to two teaspoons of coffee per cup, depending on how strong you like your coffee. Add water: but make sure it’s not boiling (unless you’re using a coffee bag).

Add sugar, syrup, stevia or honey to taste. If you’re not a huge fan of dairy products, then give rice milk, or oat milk, or almond or soy milk a try. You’ll find they all change the taste subtly.

 

Conclusion: What Is The Best Instant Coffee?

Our Winner: Mount Hagen Organic (5/5)

When it’s convenience and speed you need, instant coffee is just the ticket. And Mount Hagen Organic  ticks all the boxes. It’s freeze-dried for freshness and tastes fabulous.

Mount Hagen Organic has no additives or preservatives, and it’s grown without herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers. So after all that, it just remains to boil up the kettle, stir up a brew, add sugar to taste, kick your shoes off, put your feet up, and enjoy.

 

Mount Hagen Instant Coffee 

  Last update on 2020-07-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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