We are part of a coffee elitism era – where traditional methods of brewing have ruled the world for decades. However, even with those hard-to-please coffee beans taste buds that we have developed – you still have to know everything about the best instant coffee brands available out there.
Many of us have a preconceived notion about the taste of instant coffee being inferior to those roasted ground beans that we all love – well, this is something that has been around for a while so there must be something about it.
To be precise, the first of its kind dates back to the American Civil War during the 1800s.
Best Instant Coffee Brands of 2020
Here are the best instant coffee brands that you can get from your nearby store or order online right away.
- Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee
- Trung Nguyen – G7 3 In 1 Instant Coffee
- Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee
- Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee
- Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
- Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee
- Nescafé 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Sticks
- Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals
- Laird Superfood Instafuel Instant Coffee
- Starbucks Colombian Instant Coffee
- Jiva Instant Coffee Packets
- Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix
- Mount Hagen Organic Instant Decaffeinated Coffee
- Folgers Classic Decaf Decaffeinated Instant Coffee
- Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets
- Organic Ganoderma Black Coffee
- Nescafe Espresso 100% Arabica
- Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee
Our Top Choices – By Instant Coffee Type
To keep it more simple and logical while selecting the best instant coffee brands, we have further classified our top picks by their sub-categories:
Best Instant Espresso
If you wish to have an espresso that tastes almost the same, if not exact or better, as your favorite coffee shop – we recommend the Nescafe Espresso 100% Arabica or Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee. Once you try these, you will be amazed how instant espresso can taste so good in comparison with regular espresso.
Best Instant Decaf Coffee
There are a lot of coffee lovers out there who want to reduce their caffeine consumption but still go for instant coffee. For them, we suggest the Folgers Classic Decaffeinated Instant Coffee.
Click here to read about our best instant decaf coffee buying guide if you are a decaf fan.
Best Organic Instant Coffee
If you love your coffee cup brewed from 100% organic coffee beans, you should go with the Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee. This is an Organic and Kosher certified coffee brand that maintains its fine aroma and flavor.
Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee
Made with 100% premium quality Arabica coffee beans, the Waka Instant Freeze Dried Coffee is one of the loved brands by millions of instant coffee lovers out there.
Packed in a perfect vaccuum-sealed recyclable pouch that is easy to carry, this freeze dried instant coffee maintains its classic flavor and coffee aroma that it is known for. Each box contains 8 single-serve packets of 0.1 oz each.
Your pure and quick cup of instant coffee will be a delightful experience with this brand.
- Made from pure 100% Arabica coffee beans
- Has a rich flavor
- Freeze Dried
- Good for hot or cold coffee and even for baking purposes
- Slightly higher in price than its rival products
Trung Nguyen – 3 In 1 Instant Coffee
Made from some of the best beans from Brazil, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Jamaica – the Trung Nguyen 3 in 1 Instant Coffee certainly is somewhere on the top when you are talking about the best gourmet instant coffee brands out there.
3 in 1 means that it is a fine blend of instant coffee powder, sugar and creamer. All you have to do is add hot water, stir and enjoy your instant coffee cup in seconds.
With no bitterness or aftertaste whatsoever, this coffee uses a secret patented roasting methodology instead of the traditional spray or freeze drying techniques. Whatever they do, they do it quite well!
- 3 in 1 means it is a quick cup made in seconds
- Compact packet size for portability
- Each pack contains 16 g powder – perfect for single-serve
- Maintains good flavor through patented roasting technique
- Slightly costlier than other similar products
Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee
Nescafe Taster’s Choice is one of the better options that you can find within a decent price range. Widely known for its refined and aromatic flavor, this brand will certainly satisfy your taste buds if you are someone who does not want to compromise on his or her coffee delight.
Made from mildly roasted coffee beans, each jar makes up to 105 cups (6 fl.) that will give you the perfect start to the day if consumed early, or maintain your freshness at work if consumed mid-day. The best part is that its mild flavor will not cause any sleep-deprivation or anxiety even if consumed before you doze off.
- Mild and balanced flavor
- Comes in pack of 2 jars
- 100% premium coffee
- 1 jar makes 105 cups of 6 fl each
- Not recommended for those who like their instant coffee strong or black
Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee
The Douwe Egberts Instant Coffee is another renowned brand that is made from the finest, roasted coffee beans to maintain that perfect taste that you need.
This Freeze-dried coffee will take care of your coffee cravings – regardless of what time of day it is. Yes, we all want to save time when it comes to instant coffee, but at the same time we need good flavor too. The Douwe Egberts coffee experts know how to serve both.
- Medium flavor, can be consumed throughout a day with minimal negative impacts
- There are no coffee making instructions mentioned
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
One of the most creative coffee makers in the business today, the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee is a perfect innovation in the modern nutrient-rich coffee mix.
A brand that has its roots in Finland, this mushroom mix organic instant coffee is a healthy, refreshing beverage for a perfect start to your day.
Organic Lion’s Mane
This coffee contains 250 mg of pure organic lion’s mane mushroom extract. The product is 100% free from fillers or carriers due to the fact that only the fruiting bodies of fungi are extracted.
In addition to the lion’s mane, each coffee contains around 250 mg of Siberian Chaga mushroom. This is also made from wood-grown fruiting bodies which means it is organic, free from any sort of fillers or carriers.
- Gives a great energy boost due to its Lion’s Mane mushroom ingredient
- The organic Chaga mushroom is believed to support immune system
- Due to its natural organic ingredients, it is a good choice for vegans, keto or dairy-free people
- This is an expensive product
- Some might argue that the percentage of mushroom essence is too low
Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee
In the coffee business since 1986, the Mount Hagen Fair Trade Instant Coffee is one of the best choices instant blends that you can find in the market today.
It maintains the rich and classic aroma that comes due to the fact that it is made from original Arabica coffee beans.
- One jar makes 60 cups
- Has Organic and Kosher certification
- Brewed from 100% premium Arabica coffee beans
- For strong instant coffee lovers, this might be on the lighter side
Nescafé 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Sticks
With large volume of sales worldwide and not just the North American region, the Nescafe 3 in 1 is an instant coffee delight and very easy and quick to make.
Whether you are getting late for work or don’t have time for a coffee brew – this instant coffee will come in quite handy. You do not need any sugar, creamer or milk. Just mix the ingredients with hot water and your coffee cup is ready!
- 3 in 1 means no sugar, creamer or milk required
- Easy and quick to make
- Serves both coffee types – hot or cold
- Packets are easy to carry around
- Not recommended for those who like separate creamer or sugar taste
Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals
With a background of coffee making that dates back to the 1850s, Folgers certainly know what it takes as far as maintaining that fine, traditional aroma is concerned.
With an easy-to-use flip-top jar, the Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals will give you the rich an classic coffee flavor that you are looking forward to.
Apart from the regular hot coffee that you drink everyday, you can even mix it up a little by using the same product for your creamy iced coffee. Just add milk, coffee crystals, shake it well in your blender, pour it over ice and serve!
- Jar is quite easy to use
- Good reputation and acceptance in the coffee market
- Can be used for both hot or iced coffee
- For some, the taste might be too mild if compared with other brands in the same category
Laird Superfood Instafuel Instant Coffee
Well, you might be wondering what does Instafuel even mean? – This basically means that it is an instant boost to your body since you do not need to do much to make your cup using this instant coffee.
This is a soy-free and dairy-free product with no artificial ingredients used whatsoever. Moreover, since it is a fair trade organic product, the farmers are given the best value for growing the best quality coffee that required immense effort.
- Quick and easy to make
- Low-acid, slow-roasted coffee beans grown with no pesticides involved
- Fair-trade organic coffee
- 1 lb pack makes 42 cups of 6 oz size
- Not recommended for people who do like some dairy in their instant coffee
Starbucks Colombian Instant Coffee
The Starbucks Colombian VIA is a good option when it comes to both taste and price factor. The single serve pack does come in quite handy as well.
With a bold and balance Italian roast flavor in each cup, the 100% Columbian Arabica coffee beans aroma will indeed make you a fan of this coffee brand.
With a smart coffee grind process, it maintains the natural oils and coffee aroma that is necessary for an instant coffee cup.
- Easy and quick – just mix with hot water, brew and stir.
- 100% original Colombian Arabica aroma
- Gives you a full-bodied and bold cup of coffee
- Some might argue that it has a bitter or mild coffee taste
Jiva Instant Coffee Packets
The Jiva medium-roast, low-acidity and smooth instant coffee will give you pure 100% Colombian Arabica coffee taste and aroma in each cup you make.
It almost tastes like a freshly-brewed, regular coffee that you are consuming right when you need it the most!
Lightweight packets of 3.5 grams are easy to carry around, especially if you are taking a camping or any other outdoor trip.
- Medium roast – nothing too strong and nothing too mild
- Tastes like brewed fresh
- Portable packing is easy to carry around
- Bit too pricey as compared to relevant rival products
Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix
You might have not heard a lot about this Korean-made instant coffee brand. With very minimal marketing and advertising in the North American region, this instant coffee is a big thing in its native country.
A well-balanced, medium roast flavor, this instant coffee is undoubtedly good value for money if you like to keep things nice and simple to your cup of Joe.
- Nice, overall balanced coffee taste
- Packets are portable and easy to carry around
- Not recommended for those who like to stir things up in their instant coffee
Mount Hagen Organic Instant Decaffeinated Coffee
Being the first to achieve the 100% organic certification from EcoCert that adheres to the US Dept. of Agriculture regulations, the Mount Hagen decaf coffee certainly cares about compliance guidelines.
Original 100% Arabica coffee beans are organically harvested without the use of any artificial substances, additives or preservatives.
The Patented Decaf Process
This organic coffee is made from the best harvesting spots around the world and it uses a patented CR3 Natural Liquid CO2 Coffee Decaf process. The compounds that give the rich, classic taste and flavor are left intact in this process, while any other unwanted chemicals are gotten rid of – making it a perfect 99.99% caffeine-free instant coffee.
- 100% Organic Decaf
- 99.99% Caffeine-free
- Organic Element Certified by EcoCert
- Patented Decaf Methodology
- Highly Decaf-free might not give you the same delight as the one made from medium-roasted beans
Folgers Classic Decaf Decaffeinated Instant Coffee
Folgers have been one of the pioneers in the coffee industry. Since 1850s, this brand has been harvesting coffee beans of premium quality that gives you the ultimate delightful coffee aroma and rich taste.
Rich Coffee Crystals
This instant coffee maintains the original classic flavor, while making it a perfect decaf choice at the same time. The coffee crystals will dissolve easily and quickly without adding any other liquids.
Keeping It Green
Since decades, Folgers has been widely acknowledged for their green coffee purchasing tradition. They implement all the environmental-friendly practices and only work with those vendors that have the same business practices, too.
- Flip-top jar is easy to use and store
- Maintains classic coffee aroma and flavor
- One jar makes up to to 120 cups of 6 fl oz cups
- Medium taste might be too light for some
Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets
A New York-based coffee brand that focuses largely on the perfect coffee decaffeination and brewing processes, this delicious blend will give you the taste of a well-crafted and roasted coffee cup.
Joe Coffee uses a Swiss Water decaf method that is 100% chemical-free. This is perfect blend of 80% washed process 20% natural process coffee.
- Convenient single-serve packing
- One box contains 6 5g packets
- Signature decaf blend with flavors of almond, molasses and cola to some extent
- A bit acidic in nature
Organic Ganoderma Black Coffee
The USDA Organic certified Ganoderma black coffee is one of the better options who love their coffee black. This is a dairy-free low-acid coffee with no fillers at all.
Certainly a great choice if you are a vegan and do not like any sort of dairy to your coffee cup. The Ganoderma, also known as lingzhi or reishi, is believed to have positive effects on both physical and mental health. It has been used by the pharma companies since a long time.
- Ganoderma has positive health effects
- Good for vegans
- USDA organic certification
- For a 31 stick-box, this is slightly on the higher side when it comes to black coffee pricing
Nescafe Espresso 100% Arabica
Nescafe is known for making versatile and balanced instant coffee for some time now. Although not too popular in the North American region, this brand certainly has its market share in Asian markets.
With a very balanced taste, this espresso coffee will suit your need if you do not want anything too sour or bitter. If it doesn’t excite you, adding a little creamer might work.
Balanced creamy smooth taste – nothing too sour or bitter
No bitter aftertaste
- Slightly overpriced
Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee
If you are having those instant Espresso coffee cravings – Medaglia D’Oro might be a good choice for you.
Again, this a brand that you won’t see much in your local stores. Using imported espresso coffee, it is double-roasted to maintain that fine espresso touch to your cup of coffee.
- Double roasted
- Maintains a rich, aromatic flavor
- Uses imported espresso coffee
- For a brand that is not too well-known, it is a bit expensive
What is Instant Coffee?
Instant coffee (also known as coffee powder or coffee crystals) is a type of coffee that is made from dried coffee extract. In other words, it is a drink made out of coffee beans that allows you to simply add hot water or milk and have your cup of Joe ready in a few minutes.
There are two universally acknowledged ways to make instant coffee:
- By spray-drying – extract from coffee beans is sprayed with hot air that allows the droplets to dry and converts them into powder form or extremely small pieces
- By freeze-drying – extract from coffee beans is frozen at a certain temperature and cut into small pieces. Those fragments are then allowed to dry under a vacuumed environment and at low temperatures.
Both of the aforementioned techniques are globally accepted and have been carried out by numerous coffee brands since decades. The perfect way to make your instant coffee is to add a single teaspoon of coffee powder in your hot water cup, stir and enjoy!
How to Make Instant Coffee – A Brief Step-by-Step Guide
In this section, we will have a look at how you can make that delicious instant coffee cup at home without much of a hassle.
Instant coffee can be consumed in four different ways:
- Instant Hot Coffee
- Instant Iced Coffee
- Whipped Instant Latte
- Instant Coffee Shake
Instant Hot Coffee
For a perfect cup of instant hot coffee, just follow these easy steps:
- Heat a cup of water using a microwave, pot or a kettle. Take it off as soon as the water starts to boil.
- In a separate coffee mug that you will consume, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of instant coffee –depending on the strength of coffee you prefer.
- Mix your coffee compound with 1 tablespoon of water at room temperature. This method will give a better flavor to your coffee as compared to pouring hot water for mixing.
- Add the hot water cup into the mug. If you are not a black coffee lover, leave some room for milk or creamer.
- Add sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon or cardamom or any other coffee spices as per your preferences.
- Add milk or creamer if you like to add dairy to your instant coffee.
- Stir your coffee mug and enjoy!
Instant Iced Coffee
If you are a fan of instant iced coffee, you can make your perfect cup by following the below steps:
- Pour two teaspoons of your favorite instant coffee into an empty cup.
- Add hot water to the cup until its half full.
- As per your preferences, add sugar or coffee spices.
- Add half cup of cold water or milk and mix it for a few seconds.
- In a separate empty tall glass, pour some ice cubes.
- Now slowly pour the cold coffee over the glass that has ice cubes.
- Serve the iced instant coffee immediately before the ice melts and makes it watery.
Whipped Instant Latte
Some like whipping up an instant latte. How do you do that with instant coffee? Here is how:
- Mix two teaspoons of your instant coffee with one-fourth cup of hot water.
- Add sugar or coffee spices, depending upon your preferences.
- Pour around half cup (120 ml) milk in a microwave-proof jar and seal its lid.
- Shake the jar for around 60 seconds to create the perfect froth for your latte.
- Remove the jar’s lid and microwave it for 30 seconds until the foam rises at the top.
- Add the frothy milk into your coffee cup that you mixed earlier (step 2) and stir.
- Add milk foam or whipped cream for extra flavor.
- Sprinkle some more coffee spices.
- Serve the latte immediately while it still frothy and enjoy!
Instant Coffee Shake
- Set up your blender machine and make sure it has a tight lid.
- Add ice cubes, vanilla extract, milk, instant coffee and sugar to the blender.
- Run the blender machine on high mode for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the coffee shake into a glass.
- As per your preferences, you can add whipped cream or chocolate syrup.
- Serve your coffee shake immediately before it melts.
- Is Instant Coffee Bad For You? – The Myth Explained
This is something that you might have heard or read about a lot when it comes to instant coffee. The fact is – there is no conclusive evidence to prove that instant coffee has any health hazards – as long as you are not over-consuming it.
On the contrary, since instant coffee contains the same levels of antioxidants and nutrients as regular coffee does, it is believed to have most of the same positive health effects – with slightly lesser caffeine.
Few of the observed positive effects of instant coffee are:
- Improve brain functionality – the amount of caffeine in instant coffee can actually improve your brain function.
- Enhance metabolism – Increases metabolism to a greater effect.
- Reduced disease risk – Coffee is believed to reduce neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Reduced diabetes risk – Coffee helps reduce developing diabetes.
- Good for liver – Believed to reduce liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis or liver cancer
- Good for mental health – Coffee is widely believed to reduce the risk of depression or suicide
- Increase life expectancy – Coffee is linked to life longevity.
Having said that, please note that these studies are based on numerous observations and occurrences of these factors.
This is inconclusive data to prove that instant coffee will directly reduce the risk of a disease – it’s just that individuals who regularly consume coffee or instant coffee are less likely to develop these diseases.
Caffeine in Instant Coffee
Globally, caffeine is the most consumed stimulant and coffee is the biggest source of its consumption. Although instant coffee has slightly less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee, those who are trying to cut down on caffeine consumption should go for decaffeinated coffee.
Instant Regular: A regular instant coffee cup will have lesser amount of caffeine – one teaspoon might contain around 30–90 mg of caffeine in it as compared to a regular coffee cup that has 70-140 mg of caffeine.
Instant Decaf: Instant decaf coffee is not entirely caffeine-free. According to a study, decaf coffee cup contains 0-7 mg of caffeine for every 180 ml of coffee serving.
Too much caffeine consumption is linked with anxiety, disrupted sleep, restlessness, sleep-deprivation, tremors and heart palpitations.
How to Choose The Best Instant Coffee?
Two teaspoons of instant coffee – hot water – stir – and there you go. To some extent yes, that’s how quick and easy instant coffee is meant to be. However, the fine aroma and flavor will largely depend on what product are you consuming it and the way you make your coffee cup.
Apart from the instant coffee itself, other additives such as sugar, milk, cream, cardamom, cinnamon, etc., will give the final touch to your cup of instant coffee. Remember, we all have different taste of how are coffee should look, smell or taste like.
In addition, before making a purchase, do make sure that you conduct your thorough research for the coffee beans roast, level of caffeine, packaging and price as well.
If one coffee brand or method doesn’t work, try out a different one before you give up on your instant coffee consumption.
What was the first instant coffee?
The first American instant coffee was created in 1851. It was used during the Civil War and experimental “cakes” of instant coffee were shared in rations to soldiers. David Strang of Invercargill, New Zealand invented and patented instant or soluble coffee in 1890.
How long is instant coffee good for?
If stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place, ground coffee can be used for a few months past its expiration date, the whole bean for up to nine months, and instant coffee for up to twenty years.
Which coffee is good for weight loss?
Black coffee may promote a healthy weight. Black coffee — without any additional ingredients — is very low in calories and may help you achieve a healthy weight.
Can you put spices in coffee?
Yes, you can. Add spices directly to your coffee grounds such as cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. These can be sprinkled directly over the fresh grounds in your brewer.
Why is regular coffee more healthy?
It can improve energy levels because it contains a stimulant called caffeine.
Is coffee good for skin?
The antioxidants, stimulants, and chlorogenic acids in coffee may make it an effective acne-fighting facial scrub. Scrubbing the face with coffee grounds can help to clear away dead skin cells and unclog the pores.
Our Final Thoughts On Instant Coffee
Lastly, let us emphasize on the fact again that instant coffee is supposed to taste different than your regular coffee beans. It would be a good idea not to compare or have unrealistic expectations.
Regardless of what you might have heard about instant coffee, let us not forget that it was a $28 billion industry in 2016. By the end of 2020, it is expected to reach $36.3 billion worldwide.
There surely is something about an instant coffee cup that amounts to such a huge market size. The best way to find out is to get your favorite instant coffee today and enjoy your cup of Joe!