11 Best Instant Coffee In 2020: Reviews & Buyers Guide

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best instant coffeeLooking for the best instant coffee?

Great! And we won’ t judge you!

Even though instant coffees are far more inferior than those we painstakingly brew from freshly ground beans, we can’t help that sometimes, we still need a quick caffeine fix. It is especially true for our friends who love caffeine (or just the coffee, if you are hunt for instant decaf coffee) but can’t afford to make time brewing freshly ground coffee.

But worry not, our dear friends, because you don’t have to always deal with an average cup of Joe. In the past years, the instant coffee game has changed, and they may not be as delicious as the good old brewed coffee. Still definitely, instant coffee improved a lot when it comes to taste.

So, if you’re looking for the best instant coffee brands, then you are in right place. Let’s get to it!


11 Best Instant Coffee

Highground Organic Instant Decaf Coffee

Highground Organic Instant Decaf Coffee

Key Features

  • Sourced from organic Arabica beans
  • Fairtrade certified
  • Medium roast
  • USDA organic certified
  • Decaffeinated
  • Freeze-dried instant coffee
  • 3.53 oz (100g)

The Highground Organic Instant Decaf Coffee is sourced from organic Arabica beans and has multiple certifications. It’s USDA and Fairtrade certified, ensuring that you get a legitimate quality product.

If you don’t like the caffeine kick, this freeze-dried instant coffee is perfect as it’s decaffeinated. It’s a medium roast, so it gives you an enticingly well-balanced flavor that’s smooth to the palate.

It’s great for making Dalgona coffee, other whipped coffee recipes, and is also excellent when iced. It’s not too bitter, but leaves you just a smooth coffee finish.

Pros:

  • Multi-certified
  • Chemical-free
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Well-balanced flavor profile
  • Great for whipped coffee recipes

Cons:

  • Not ideal for people who needs to keep awake

 

Final Verdict

Iced or hot, this Highground Organic Decaf Instant Coffee would be your ideal quick fix, and it’s great for whipped coffee too.


Café Bustelo Coffee Espresso Style Instant Coffee

Café Bustelo Coffee Espresso Style Instant Coffee

Key Features

  • Cuban-style instant coffee
  • Medium-dark roast
  • Caffeinated
  • 7.05 oz (200 g)

The Cafe Bustelo Coffee Espresso Style Instant Coffee is definitely a delicious coffee with its Cuban-style blend. The medium-dark roast gives you that virtually espresso taste.

This instant coffee is caffeinated, so its kick will keep you awake, which makes it ideal if you need an extra boost of energy required for work. It’s strong but not bitter, and it also tastes great with milk.

Pros:

  • Has a virtually espresso taste
  • Strong taste but not bitter
  • Smooth finish
  • Tastes great with milk

Cons:

  • Not ideal for coffee lovers who don’t want caffeine

 

Final Verdict

This Cafe Bustelo instant coffee is your quick fix if you can’t prepare espresso the customary way.


Maxwell House International French Vanilla Café Instant Coffee

Maxwell House International French Vanilla Café Instant Coffee

Key Features

  • French vanilla flavored instant coffee
  • Kosher
  • Contains milk
  • 8.4 oz (239 g)

The Maxwell House International French Vanilla Cafe Instant Coffee is great for coffee lovers who keep a Kosher diet. This coffee will brighten up your morning with its sweet and creamy French vanilla taste.

This instant coffee contains milk, so you don’t have to add creamer. If you love cafe-style coffee, this Maxwell House instant coffee is a cheaper solution.

Pros:

  • Deliciously sweet and creamy
  • No need to add creamer or milk
  • Cheaper alternative for cafe coffee
  • Ideal for those in Kosher diet

Cons:

  • Not ideal for those who want plain black coffee

 

Final Verdict

If you want a more affordable alternative for cafe-style coffee, the Maxwell House French Vanilla instant coffee is a must-try.


Davidoff Café Espresso 57 Instant Coffee

Davidoff Café Espresso 57 Instant Coffee

Key Features

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Dark roast instant coffee
  • Caffeinated
  • Espresso blend
  • Intense aroma
  • 3.53 oz (100 g)

The Davidoff Cafe Espresso 57 Instant Coffee is made from 100% freeze-dried Arabica beans roasted at high temperature to deliver a delicious dark roast blend. This instant coffee is somewhere near a pulled espresso shot.

The intense aroma instantly spreads around once the hot water touches the coffee granules. Like its aroma, the taste is intense with an enticingly mellow finish.

Pros:

  • Aromatic coffee
  • Deliciously mellow finish
  • Has a good caffeine kick
  • Intense taste

Cons:

  • Not for the coffee lovers who want milder cups of Joe

 

Final Verdict

The Davidoff Cafe Espresso 57 instant coffee is an excellent alternative for a black coffee blend from your favorite coffee house.


NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee

NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee

Key Features

  • Dark roast
  • Sourced from 100% real coffee (Arabica and Robusta)
  • Caffeinated
  • Spray-dried
  • 7 oz (200 g)

The Nescafe Clasico Dark Roast Instant Coffee is made from both Arabica and Robusta coffee. The Nescafe Clasico is a dark roast coffee blend for that strong yet smooth taste.

This spray-dried instant coffee is caffeinated, so you’ll stay awake during late-night overtime work. And best of all, the Nescafe Clasico Dark Roast instant coffee is an affordable alternative to canned iced-coffee.

The coffee granules dissolves well in cold water, add ice, some cream, and sweetener. The result is a delicious, instant iced coffee.

Pros:

  • Great tasting dark roast coffee
  • Strong but smooth finish
  • Delicious alternative to canned iced-coffee
  • Easy to prepare

Cons:

  • Not ideal for people with heart conditions

 

Final Verdict

Whether you want your coffee iced or hot, the Nescafe Clasico will instantly provide the pleasure you need from a cup of Joe.


Folgers Classic Decaf Decaffeinated Instant Coffee Crystals

Folgers Classic Decaf Decaffeinated Instant Coffee Crystals

Key Features

  • Decaffeinated (99.7%)
  • 100% blend from Arabica and Robusta coffee
  • Medium roast
  • UTZ certified
  • 8 oz (226 g)

The Folgers Classic Decaf Instant Coffee Crystals will allow you to wake up to an instant cup of delicious coffee. It’s 100% blended from selected Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties that are sourced sustainably.

This Folgers instant coffee is 99.7% less caffeine, so you can still enjoy great-tasting coffee without worrying about pumped-up adrenaline. It has a full-bodied coffee flavor if you want your cup of Joe rich and strong.

The Folgers Classic Decaf Instant Coffee is also great for making whipped coffee, desserts, and cooking. You can visit the Folgers website for various coffee recipes you would surely enjoy.

Pros:

  • Strong, rich taste
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Delicious and affordable substitute to cafe coffee
  • Ideal for people who don’t want caffeine

Cons:

  • Quite acidic for some
  • Not ideal when you need to stay awake

 

Final Verdict

The Folgers Decaf Instant Coffee is recommended for coffee lovers who love to experiment with various coffee recipes.


Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix

Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix

Key Features

  • Product of Korea
  • Mocha flavored instant coffee
  • 100 x sticks/box
  • 3-in-1 coffee (coffee, sugar, and non-dairy creamer)
  • 100 x 12 g (1.2 kg)

The Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix is an in-demand Korean coffee product for those who love the taste of mocha. Unlike the other 3-in-1 coffee mixes, the Maxim Mocha Gold Mild contains non-dairy creamer.

This instant coffee product comes in a box and contains 100 sticks of delectable coffee. It’s easy to prepare as you don’t need to measure it with teaspoons, add one stick to a cup of hot water, and you’re ready to enjoy a great-tasting instant mocha coffee.

What’s great about this coffee product is that you can easily grab some sticks and bring it to your workplace to enjoy later. It’s excellent for on-the-go people or those who frequently travel.

Pros:

  • Easy to prepare
  • Affordable
  • Great for traveling
  • Easy-open perforated pack
  • Mild taste

Cons:

  • Not really for those who love a strong coffee taste

 

Final Verdict

The Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix is an excellent choice for those who love an instant mocha on-the-go coffee.


Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee

Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee

Key Features

  • Double-roasted
  • Espresso flavor
  • Caffeinated
  • Kosher
  • 2 oz (57 g)/jar

The Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee carries the expertise in preparing the traditional fine Italian espresso coffee. That’s why when you start to pour in hot water over the coffee powder, you’ll be amazed at how crema is formed.

As you start to stir the coffee mix, the strong aroma will start to wake up your senses. The Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso coffee is double-roasted to give you that virtually espresso flavor, just like the real one.

It’s also ideal for those maintaining Kosher diet. Finally, the Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee is also great in adding to various coffee, baking, and cooking recipes.

Pros:

  • Taste like real espresso
  • Forms a thin crema
  • Excellent in various coffee and food recipes
  • Low on acid

Cons:

  • Sold in jars that’s too small

 

Final Verdict

The Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee could be the next best thing to a perfectly pulled shot of Italian espresso.


Taster’s Choice Nescafe House Blend Instant Coffee

Taster's Choice Nescafe House Blend Instant Coffee

Key Features

  • In-between light and medium roast
  • Flash freeze
  • 7 oz (198 g)
  • Caffeinated (65mg caffeine/ cup)

The Taster’s Choice Nescafe House Blend Instant Coffee has a milder taste that you can easily make a bit stronger by adding more granules to your cup. It’s a blend in-between light and medium roast, so you can easily adjust the flavor strength according to your liking.

It’s what makes it an ideal coffee to serve to guests who have varying coffee strength preferences. The instant coffee is also great with a dash of cream.

The Taster’s Choice Nescafe House Blend Instant Coffee is sold in a jar with a freshness seal to keep your coffee at its best for longer. The jar can also be reused to keep teabags fresh.

Pros:

  • The new jar design keeps coffee fresh for longer
  • Taste can easily be adjusted from mild to strong
  • Perfect for iced or whipped cream coffee
  • Reusable jar

Cons:

  • Might be too light for some coffee drinkers

 

Final Verdict

The Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee is an excellent choice for those who love the mild coffee taste with a caffeine kick.


Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee

Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee

Key Features

  • Made from 100% Arabica coffee beans
  • Medium roast
  • 8x 3.3 g packets/box
  • Notes of cocoa and toasted nuts

The Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee is another delicious coffee product from Starbucks. If you love cafe-style coffee, this Pike Place Roast instant coffee is highly recommended.

This Starbucks instant coffee product is travel-friendly as it comes in single packs. It might be pricey, but the taste will definitely bring delight to any palate.

A cup of the VIA Pike Place brings to you notes of delicious cocoa and toasted nuts with a perfectly smooth finish.

Pros:

  • Delicious and smooth finish
  • Perfect for hot and cold mix
  • Excellent for camping and frequent travels
  • Cafe-style coffee in your pocket

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

 

Final Verdict

Having this Pike Place Roast is like bringing Starbucks into your home, and it’s also a great quick fix to enjoy cafe-style coffee anywhere and anytime.


Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals

Key Features

  • Medium roast
  • Caffeinated
  • 100% pure coffee
  • Comes in easy open flip-top cap

The Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals is another excellent product that will make you wake up for something to crave, which is great-tasting coffee. It’s a medium roast for a milder, smoother finish but still has that caffeine kick to give you a boost on a lazy cold morning.

Just like the other Folgers coffee products, the Classic Roast is also great for various coffee recipes. And if you love cooking, you can also find the Folgers Classic Roast useful to numerous recipes for baking and cooking.

Pros:

  • Mild delicious coffee
  • Ideal for hot and cold coffee mixes
  • Great for cooking and baking
  • Dissolves instantly

Cons:

  • Not for decaf coffee lovers

 

Final Verdict

Whether you love black or gourmet coffee, the Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee will definitely fit your coffee cravings all the time.


Buyers Guide for the Best Instant Coffee

As much as possible, as coffee enthusiasts, we would love to have our coffee freshly brewed from newly ground coffee beans. But there are times we need a quick coffee fix, and the solution is to turn to instant coffee.

Just because it’s instant, it doesn’t mean you have to deal with inferior cups of Joe. In choosing the best instant coffee, we have taken into account some important factors.

Is Brand that Important?

Of course, big brands have established a good name and are popular in making great-tasting instant coffees. But it doesn’t mean unpopular brands are second-grade.

Several independent brands make quality, great-tasting coffee.

 

Caffeinated or Decaffeinated?

Just like brewed coffee, instant coffee also comes in caffeinated or decaf products. Of course, caffeinated coffee is the choice of coffee lovers who loves a cup of Joe with a kick.

On the other hand, some coffee lovers might have some health conditions that might need to cut down on caffeine. So, decaffeinated coffee is the only option, but it doesn’t mean decaf is an inferior choice.

 

Type of Roast

Because instant coffees are also made from real coffee beans, you might also want to consider the type of roast.

Light – light roast coffee has brighter flavors and slightly more caffeine content than the medium and dark roast. It is also the most acidic roast.

Medium – the medium roast is more of a sweet caramel flavor. Contrary to what most people believe, the medium roast has milder acidity than the light roast. Medium roast is typically more of an American coffee.

Dark – dark roast has a darker flavor that reveals chocolatey, nutty, and caramel flavors. It also has the mildest acidity. Dark roast is mostly associated with French or Italian espresso coffee blends.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which instant coffee tastes best?

Various instant coffees have excellent taste. Based on our review, we would like to recommend Cafe Bustelo and Medaglia D’Oro if you love espresso coffee’s dark flavor.

However, if you want a milder espresso taste, you can go for the Davidoff Cafe Espresso 57 instant coffee.

If you have a liking for a more American coffee, you can try the Nescafe Taster’s Choice, Nescafe Clasico, and Folgers Classic Roast. These instant coffee blends will deliver a delicious black coffee flavor to your craving palate.

But if you love cafe-style flavored coffee blends, you can always try the Korean coffee Maxim Mocha Gold, Maxwell House International French Vanilla, and the Starbucks VIA Pike Place coffee.

Finally, if you’re not into caffeinated coffee, you can always go for the Folgers Classic Decaf. And if you want organic coffee, there’s the Highground Instant Decaf coffee.

 

Which is healthier instant coffee or brewed?

There is a lot of debate about which is a healthier option between instant or brewed coffee. If we talk about the Chlorogenic Acids or CGAs (a potent antioxidant found in coffee), both instant coffee and brewed coffee contain the substance.

However, processing may remove some CGAs in instant coffee. Therefore, brewed coffee contains more of the CGAs.

Overall, the difference of CGA content between instant and brewed coffee is very minimal to feel its effect.

 

Does all instant coffee have acrylamide?

Acrylamide is formed due to high-temperature cooking like that when roasting coffee. Therefore, all coffee, whether ground or instant, contains acrylamide.

Acrylamide is associated with cancer, though the FDA does not stop people from drinking coffee. What the FDA suggests, however, is to follow a healthy diet plan.

 

Is all instant coffee freeze dried?

No. Instant coffee is either freeze-dried or spray-dried.

Freeze-dried instant coffee

Freeze-dried coffee is the better or higher-quality instant coffee. It is frozen and broken into small granules.

It is then dried in a mid-temperature vacuum using the sublimation process.

Spray-dried instant coffee

It is a more cost-effective way of making instant coffee. The coffee extract solution is atomized inside an enclosure with scorching air.

The hot air instantly dries up the coffee solution turning into powder as it drops to the enclosure’s bottom. The process, however, results in a loss of much of the coffee flavor.

 

Should you refrigerate instant coffee?

Instant coffee will retain its freshness by storing it in an airtight and opaque container. However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it in a refrigerator as long as it’s properly sealed to protect it from moisture, odor, and taste from other food products. Learn more about correct way to store coffee.

 

Happy caffeinatineg!

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