It’s completely understandable to want to enjoy a nice cup of coffee without going through the hassle of brewing it at home or spending an outrageous $5 at a café. In most cases, there also isn’t someone at home who’s willing to go through the trouble of brewing the coffee for you to satisfy your caffeine satisfaction. It’s times like this that can call for instant coffee.
However, instant coffee has a terrible reputation of tasting, well, terrible! In most cases, brewed coffee almost always tastes a lot better than any instant coffee. Nonetheless, this is no longer true, and we’re going to tell you why.
Firstly, it’s essential to understand that a whole bean or ground coffee that’s seen as a low-quality bag is generally either too mild or flavorless. On the other hand, instant coffees have a comprehensive quality range. The bottom of this range is reserved for super bitter and acidic tasting instant coffees. However, the top of this quality ranking is where you can find instant coffees rich, smooth, and flavorful.
In addition to this, we have the perfect method to use the next time you whip up a cup of instant coffee that tastes as good as brewed coffee. As mentioned above, we understand the quality of the product plays a massive role in the overall taste of any instant coffees. For this very reason, we have also provided you with the ten best instant coffees that can be considered top-tier quality instant coffee.
Continue reading to find out how you can have the best freeze-dried instant coffee experience, as well as the best instant coffee brands that you should add to your shopping list.
What Is Instant Coffee?
It’s a pretty accurate assumption to state that instant coffee is just a variation of the standard ground or whole bean Arabica coffee that’s ultimately used to make a drinkable beverage, commonly known as coffee. Coffee comes in various forms, and from a simple glance, ground and instant coffee can appear strikingly similar, but instant coffee and brewed coffee certainly don’t share the same functionality. (More about what is instant coffee)
Instant coffee is typically developed from two different methods. The first involves instant coffee made with brewed coffee. The brewed coffee mixture is then sprayed with apparatus that creates a fine mist with the inclusion of extremely dry and hot air. When these droplets of coffee eventually land, these flakes resemble the typical appearance we associate instant coffee with having.
The second method of creating instant coffee is why freeze-drying it. The main benefit that comes with freeze-drying foods and drinks is that these are the easiest to re-animate. All that’s required during this process of making coffee with freeze-dried coffee is water. Yes, this does mean that your instant freeze-dried coffee is actually made from zombie coffee beans.
Many benefits come with using instant coffee. However, the most prevalent is the shelf life that comes with this instant coffee. Compared to arabica coffee beans, instant coffee is known to last a few months longer than arabica coffee beans. When this freeze-dried instant coffee is placed in a well-concealed container, it’s known to last for years. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get the best tasting freeze-dried instant coffee if you do use this few years’ old freeze-dried coffee.
How Can You Make Instant Coffee Taste Better?
Like everything else that has been reconstituted, instant coffee isn’t going to require the same complexity as arabica coffee beans and ground coffee when it comes to making a hot coffee. You don’t need a single-serve machine or French press coffee maker when making instant coffee. Before we list the instant coffee brands you should use in this process, we’re going to walk you through the process of actually making a cup of instant coffee.
Much like most things in the 21st century, there are various hacks available that you can use when making the best tasting instant coffee. However, we have one of the most straightforward and effortless methods that work to enhance your instant coffee flavor. This first starts by placing one or two teaspoons of cold water in your coffee. You’re then going to want to mix your instant coffee in with the water very well. (More about how to make instant coffee)
After doing this, you can go ahead and add your hot water, as you usually would when making coffee. This process of mixing up your instant coffee with a little cold water helps these instant coffee granules brew in a gentler manner, ultimately resulting in a pretty tasty instant coffee.
What Is the Best Instant Coffee?
Alright, so you’ve decided that instant coffee would be a great addition to your household, but you also understand the risks in quality that come with purchasing instant coffee. It’s for this reason that you’re looking for the best instant coffee brands to add to your pantry. However, you’re met with so many options to choose from that your purchase decisions have become a little tricky. You don’t need to fear!
We understand that the market is filled with many different instant coffee brands and even more instant coffee products. The choices are truly endless. Although this wide variety does really give you ‘the pick of the litter,’ your number of instant coffee brands you can choose from and the products offered from these brands can be entirely overwhelming.
It’s for this reason that we designed this list of the top 10 best instant coffee options. All of these products are organic. However, these instant coffee brands range from budget-friendly and straightforward to more ‘specialty’ choices. With that being said, all of these instant coffee brands are exceptionally well-liked and well-rated on many online platforms, like Amazon.
#1 Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee
The Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee actually consists of coffee crystals that make your mornings a whole lot more glamorous. When purchasing this instant coffee, you know that you’re buying from a well-established and reputable instant coffee brand that’s been making coffee since 1850. Folgers is committed to producing instant coffee in a sustainable way. Not to mention, this instant coffee from Folgers is organic and one of the most popular types of freeze-dried coffee on the market.
The reason behind this popularity is that it’s inexpensive but still provides customers with a full body and well-balanced flavor without any bitterness. In addition to this, these instant coffee crystals dissolve rapidly and don’t require boiling water to get the job done. Hot water works just fine. These Folgers instant coffee crystals are made from pure Arabica coffee beans that are single-origin, and the jar-size these coffee crystals come in provides you with 45 cups wen using six ounces for each cup. However, you are able to fiddle with the strength of your coffee, as this instant organic coffee comes in a large container rather than single-serve packets.
#2 Vinacafe 3-in-1 Instant Coffee Mix
The Vinacafe 3-in-1 Instant Coffee Mix is made from 100 percent Arabica beans that offer a classic roast. Something unique from other instant coffee brands is that Vinacafe is a Vietnamese instant coffee brand. This product is equipped to provide exceptional convenience that’s unmatched when it comes to making your morning cup of coffee. This 3-in-1 instant coffee mixture doesn’t just provide you with a well balanced instant coffee. It also includes non-dairy creamer and sugar.
This means that you don’t need to add anything else when it comes to making your coffee other than some water, preferably hot but cold water would do if you’re looking to have an iced-coffee. This Vinacafe medium roast instant coffee mix might not be the best option for those who want black java. However, it’s an excellent option for those who like milk and sugar in their organic brew, as you aren’t required to keep these add-ons around because this mix has got all you’re going to need. With this Vinacafe instant coffee mix, all you need to do is grab a packet of this product and some water, and you’re good to go!
#3 Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
In order to fully comprehend this Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix, you need to entirely suspend your current understanding of what coffee is for a moment. No, this coffee doesn’t taste like mushrooms, and if it did, it certainly wouldn’t be on this list. You may have heard about this infamous brand, Four Sigmatic, that’s a Los Angeles-based business specializing in mushroom-based drinks. This Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix is lined with celebrity endorsements and is rapidly gaining popularity with both health-conscious caffeinated beverage drinkers and coffee lovers.
Due to the elements making up this instant coffee mix, many ‘coffee purists’ might not find this product for them. However, something that’s excellent about this instant coffee product is that it provides an epic flavor that makes you believe this to be normal, everyday instant coffee. This well balanced ‘classic roast’ coffee mixture comes in 10 individual packs and is much better than the name suggests. We definitely see this instant coffee product converting even the most avid coffee drinkers into less caffeinated human beings while still satisfying that infamous caffeine craving with a more natural and healthier source of energy.
We aren’t finished. This intriguing combination is something we simply had to mention in this article. This Mushroom Coffee Mix is made from a unique blend of 100 percent Arabica beans, Chaga Mushrooms, Lion’s Man Mushrooms, and Rhodiola (commonly known as the golden root that’s wild-harvested in the mountains of Tibet). Yes, this definitely doesn’t sound like an alarm combination, but there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to this instant coffee mixture.
When looking at this combination, the addition of mushrooms actually provides the coffee with a smoother texture and a mild flavor that works to remove any bitter or offensive notes commonly found in the majority of instant coffees. In addition to this, this blend is made to be fairly-prices while offering organic and quality ingredients.
#4 Nescafé 3-in-1 Original Coffee Sticks
The Nescafé 3-in-1 Original Coffee Sticks is another all-in-1 option on this list for all those who aren’t looking to drink a black java coffee. This is another product that offers one of the best selling prices while incorporating organic and quality ingredients in its coffee that’s fair trade. This instant coffee made from coffee directly from Malaysia is HALAL certified while taking as little as 30 seconds to make. The convenience offered by this product is something that not many other freeze-dried instant coffee products provide.
This quality dark roast coffee is available in stick form, which is excellent for those who want a no-measuring and no-nonsense instant coffee product. However, one downfall with this dark roast option is that these sticks only provide a six-ounce coffee beverage, which means that you can quickly burn through the product’s 28 coffee sticks. Nonetheless, a fantastic feature surrounding this instant coffee is the nifty cold brew coffee directions added on the packaging allowing you to make a coffee-based beverage that’s ideal for hot and sunny summer days.
#5 Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee
The Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee is an excellent option that allows you to feel good about what you’re putting in your body. The Mount Hagen instant coffee made from medium roast arabica beans is processed in Germany and only uses arabica beans that are 100 percent organic and fair trade.
The medium roast of this Mount Hagen coffee makes it the best instant coffee for those who enjoy more mild coffee with a well-balanced house blend flavor. It’s a single-origin arabica coffee known to be relatively smooth while not including any bitter or acidic taste to the overall flavor, unlike most instant coffee found at the same price point. With that being said, this isn’t one of the best instant coffee options for those who enjoy a strong flavor of coffee.
This instant arabica coffee is available in a glass jar to offer enhanced freshness. However, this jar can be seen as being relatively small. It makes 60 cups of six-ounce coffee. Per serving of this single origin instant coffee contains between 50 and 60 mg of caffeine, so you’re bound to receive a well-caffeinated beverage with this Mount Hagen instant coffee. Not to mention, these Mount Hagen organic coffee granules dissolve quickly and only require a few stirs in hot water.
#6 Jacob Kronung’s Instant Coffee
The rich and intense flavor from Jacob’s Kronung’s Instant Coffee makes it one of the best instant coffees ever to grace your kitchen’s pantry. This freeze-dried instant coffee offers a medium roast brew that is known to provide excellent flavor. The instant coffee made in Germany consists of 100 percent medium roast single-origin ground coffee that’s taste is entirely untainted by sugar or milk.
The glass jar that this instant coffee is packed in contains seven ounces, which means that the coffee you receive from this purchase is plentiful. The flavor of Jacob’s Kronung is known for having a mild and smooth flavor that doesn’t have an acidic taste to it. This is the type of caffeine that can beat any afternoon slump, which makes it a brilliant option to take with you to the office.
Both Mount Hagen and Jacob’s Kronung hail from Germany and, although Hagen takes the overall best choice out of the two brands, Jacob’s Kronung is a fantastic alternative for those who are looking for a quality brew that’s less expensive and still offers an exceptional taste.
#7 Waka Coffee Instant Coffee
Waka Coffee Instant Coffee is seen as the new kid in town. However, its 100 percent freeze-dried single origin house blend Colombian coffee is making considerable waves in the coffee world. One box of this Waka Instant Coffee is equipped with eight individual packets that contain five grams of instant coffee granules. It’s recommended to use eight to 10 ounces of hot water when using one of these Waka Coffee packets. When doing this, you’re bound to find that the authentic flavor of the Waka Coffee is something spectacular.
Most instant coffee offers a ‘chalky’ taste. However, Waka Coffee has shown that instant coffee can actually provide the high-quality taste commonly associated with Italian roast ground coffee. When tasting this Waka Coffee, you’re going to taste beautiful and flavorful tones that are smooth, sweet, and caramel-like. Not to mention, the finishing notes are somewhat fruity
#8 G7 3-in-1 Instant Premium Vietnamese Coffee
We’ve included the G7 3-in-1 Instant Premium Vietnamese Coffee because we understand that sometimes you have a coffee craving and a sweet tooth, and you need these both satisfied. This G7 instant coffee product works to kill two birds with one stone, as it can quickly satisfy your caffeine need while ensuring that your sweet tooth is provided for.
The G7 is known as one of the most popular instant coffee brands in Southeast Asia. Something incredibly unique about this instant coffee is that it isn’t made through the sprayed or freeze-dried methods we have previously discussed. This Vietnamese coffee instant coffee is made using a patent dry coating process that’s as secretive as the Coca-Cola recipe.
This unique brew has a wide array of excellent reviews under its belt, and besides its incredible taste, it only has an impressive 71 calories per serving for a relatively sweet beverage. The G7 instant coffee is yet another 3-in-one blend on this list, which means that all the sugar, creamer, and coffee needed to make your beverage is already mixed together. This makes it one convenient option if you’re a frequent traveler. Another incredible feature about this brand’s instant coffee is that you can either make a purchase for the larger bagger individual packets.
#9 Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee
The Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee comes as a medium roast and is one of the brands that have a rating of five stars, which is undoubtedly impressive. This fair quality coffee offers a consistent taste and flavor that’s been around for more than 250 years. The Dutch brand is committed to providing a smooth and slightly nutty-tasting coffee that’s freeze-dried and available in a glass jar for added freshness.
There are many other options to choose from, such as the brand’s infamous dark roast coffee. However, we felt that this Pure Gold product was worthwhile and a blend that can make your morning. However, it’s on the slightly pricier end of the spectrum, but you’re guaranteed a first-rate product for your money. In addition to this, when purchasing this instant coffee, you can rest easy knowing that this is one of the brands that’s committed to sustainability, which means that a lot of care goes into this coffee and the farms that the blend is harvested from.
#10 Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Decaf Italian Roast Instant Coffee
The Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Decaf Italian Roast Instant Coffee is possibly known as being one of the most popular and best decaf coffee options available. The Starbucks VIA product is equipped with many well-liked components that make it something to appreciate. The Starbucks VIA house blend of Italian roast coffee offers fantastic flavor, and you can barely taste that its decaf.
The product is presented with per serving packets that are filed with ethically-sourced instant arabica coffee. This Starbucks VIA is then micro-ground to ensure that the coffee granules dissolve quickly in hot water with only a few stirs. In addition to this, the Starbucks VIA offers a strong aroma with its dark roast that effortlessly complements its bold and rich flavor.
With all that being said, Starbucks VIA is still a decaf coffee, which can turn many customers away. It’s no secret that decaf coffee has a bad reputation for being flavorless. However, the Starbucks VIA completely goes against this stigma, as it offers a powerful punch of flavor that takes like any regular coffee that you can get from Starbucks.
The Bottom Line
All of the options on this list are excellent choices. You may have tried several instant coffee brands and not found your perfect match just yet. If this is the case, shake things up and try out one of the best instant coffee brands that are offering instant coffee with a twist, Coffee Mushroom Mix.
If you have an intense coffee craving and want the cream and sugar add-ons, we would highly recommend one of the best 3-in-1 options on the market, the high-quality Vinacafe 3-in-1 Instant Coffee Mixture. This is one of the best instant coffee options as it provides convenience with easy single-serve packets that are ideal for making a coffee in a rush. There’s no extra pouring, mixing, or dumping needed.
With that being said, if you enjoy drinking your coffee black, the Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee and Waka Coffee are great options that offer a rich flavor without any bitter aftertaste. Nonetheless, all of the instant coffee brands mentioned on this list are worthwhile. Thus, you can pick your poison and satisfy your caffeine craving.