10 Best Instant Coffee in 2021

Best Instant Coffee – Is It Better Than Fresh Coffee?

If you’re here then you’ve probably searched for the best instant coffee brands on a trusty search engine. I am really glad that you did because I have some great stuff to discuss with you. While the best instant coffee is great on its own, there are multitudes of ways you can enhance your coffee experiences and that too almost instantly.

Back when I was a humble student, I used to thoroughly love instant coffee. It saved me time, it tasted good, and it wasn’t a hassle to make it all, so I was a big fan of it. At the time I really thought that the expensive ones were the best kind and turns out, just like everything else, that isn’t the case most of the time. Of course, with time I started experimenting with the drinks I’ve made and consumed, sure enough, I came to the conclusion that no matter what kind of instant coffee brands I buy, it will not hold a candle out to freshly made coffee.

Of course, not everyone can grind their own beans, and make freshly brewed coffee. Some of us need the best instant coffee to get us through our day and that is perfectly fine. I keep Nescafé instant coffee in my cupboard for the times when I just don’t want to go through all the hassle of making a fresh cup of coffee. Even though I own several machines that can do an instant job of making great coffee, sometimes, I want to revisit the nostalgia of drinking cheaper coffee in college. Some of my fondest memories are associated with a cup of instant coffee and no matter how many machines I own, the nostalgia alone compels me to keep a whole tin of instant coffee in my kitchen.

 

The Difference Between Instant Coffee and Speciality Coffee

The difference between instant coffee and speciality coffee is similar to a pizza you buy from a cookie-cutter restaurant chain or from an artisan pizza shop. For the tech-oriented, it’s the difference between Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL. Or if you’re into phones, it’s the difference between simple iPhone and the iPhone Pro Max versions, I think you know what I mean.

Best Instant Coffee Banner Image

Instant coffee or commonly known as commodity coffee is all about the price. It is bought in bulk, roasted in bulk, and sold in bulk as well. There are providing coffee for the sake of coffee and trying to keep the cost low, so everyone can enjoy it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with commodity coffee because it is filling a market gap and that is always a good thing. For me this is the “Gateway” coffee, it introduces a lot of people to the world of coffee drinking and many of them graduate to something a bit more specific to their tastes. This was certainly the case with not only me but a lot of my friends as well, we started off by getting instant coffee or buying it in bulk from supermarkets and then trying out new stuff to find what suits our tastes.

Speciality coffee on the other hand is all about the taste irrespective of the price point. There are several coffee roasters across the world that deal in speciality coffee, and they all have a certain flavour. Speciality coffee is not only grown differently but also roasted in different manners, it is also freshly brewed coffee and usually not found in “instant packages”. Of course, it is a bit expensive than regular coffee because it is made in small batches by speciality coffee roasters. There are several companies that are making speciality coffees among those are Barn roasters in Germany and Voila.

Now that I’ve given you a proper introduction to instant coffee and speciality coffees, let’s check out the Best Instant Coffee brands you can get right now. After all, you are here for instant coffee and not expensive speciality ones. However, I couldn’t simply recommend instant coffee knowing that there are a lot of people like me who would’ve loved the chance to explore speciality coffee a lot earlier. This was more for me and my conscience than anything else.

 

Best Instant Coffee

Almost all the best instant coffee brands are at a very similar price point. Apart from a couple of pounds difference, all of them are almost exactly at the same price. Of course, we will be categorizing them as premium, best, and budget coffees but in all honesty, you can get either of those without worrying about the price too much. As instant coffees are all about taste, ranking them is trickier because what I like you may not like as much. I highly recommend that you check out all of the list before narrowing down a couple of instant coffees you’d love to try. I also suggest that you order the smallest package available so even if you don’t like a particular brand of instant coffee, you can easily switch to another one.

Product

Details

Kenco Smooth Coffee Instant Sachets
Rating 9.5
Kenco Smooth Coffee Instant Sachets
  • Brand:​​ Kenco
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Smooth
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: Ukraine
  • Storage: Ambient
  • Package: Box
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 12 x 25 cm
  • Weight: 360 g
De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Coffee Machine
Rating 9.3
Nescafé Azera Americano Instant Coffee
  • Brand:​​ Nescafé
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Americano
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Tin
  • Dimensions: 0.21 x 0.14 x 0.11 cm
  • Weight: 723 g
Cafedirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Instant Coffee
Rating 9.5
Cafedirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Instant Coffee
  • Brand:​ Cafedirect
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: Poland
  • Storage: Cool dry place, no refrigeration
  • Package: Jar
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 17.9 x 15.1 cm
  • Weight: 600 g
  • Brand:​ Cafedirect
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: Poland
  • Storage: Cool dry place, no refrigeration
  • Package: Jar
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 17.9 x 15.1 cm
  • Weight: 600 g

The Cafedirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Instant Coffee is one of the best instant coffee brands that you can easily buy from a supermarket or order on Amazon. The reason why I am ranking it the premium pick of the list is that it is 100% Arabica. Many of the instant coffees you can get are a mixture between Arabica and Robusta, which in turn lowers the price of the overall product. However, Cafedirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Instant Coffee is offering complete Arabica that too at an affordable price. A lot of people love espresso and those are more on the Robusta side, however, instant coffee is not espresso, so I personally appreciate them moving towards Arabica. If I wanted to drink espresso, I would drink espresso and not use an instant coffee.

Another reason why Cafedirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Instant Coffee is one of the best instant coffee brands is that it is sourced from a single location; Peru. The company is not disclosing exactly where in Peru they are getting their coffee from, but it is still more than what others are telling. Cafedirect also puts half of their profit back into the communities where the coffee is grown. This is always a good thing to say because many of the manufacturers were using slave labour and dirty methods to source coffee. If you want a good quality instant coffee that is 100% Arabica and doesn’t cost a lot then the Cafedirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu Instant Coffee is simply the best option.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • Comes in decaf, Machu Picchu, and smooch roast options
  • It is climate pledge friendly
  • All the beans are sourced from one location

Reason to Shun

  • Some people don’t like the Arabica flavour
  • Brand:​ Kenco
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Smooth
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: Ukraine
  • Storage: Ambient
  • Package: Box
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 12 x 25 cm
  • Weight: 360 g

The Kenco Smooth Coffee Instant Sachets is a pack of instant coffee packets which can be useful in a public setting or an office. You wouldn’t want a lot of people to use a singular coffee jar, especially in a work environment. So instant sessions are a great way to ensure people only take what is necessary as well as keep the rest of the batch clean and sealed. Instant sessions also provide excellent sealing and insulation, keeping the coffee fresh for a longer period of time. The only downside is the extra waste that is generated by the instant coffee packets.

The Kenco Smooth Coffee Instant Sachets is also 100% Arabica coffee. This isn’t mentioned on the packaging itself and that is a tad bit odd but during my testing I found that to be accurate. It is a freeze-dried instant coffee and the company says it is medium roasted. One company’s medium roast is another company’s dark roast, so I would put it somewhere between light roast and medium roast. Overall, the quality of the freeze-dried instant coffee that Kenco Smooth Coffee Instant Sachets provides is excellent. They are listed at a very reasonable price, and you’ll be getting 200 instant coffee packets in one single package.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • Individual sachets preserve freshness
  • It is 100% Arabica
  • Produces smooth full-bodied flavour

Reasons to Shun

  • Sachets will produce a lot of waste
  • Brand:​ Nescafé
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Americano
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Tin
  • Dimensions: 0.21 x 0.14 x 0.11 cm
  • Weight: 723 g

The Nescafé Azera Americano Instant Coffee is one of the best-selling instant coffee in the last few years and there are several reasons why it has been so widely praised. The coffee uses a blend of instant coffee and finely ground coffee beans which produce faux crema. It is commonly called the Barista style coffee and is beloved by a lot of people across the globe.

I’m only calling it a budget pick because it is slightly lower than other offerings but when you compare it with other Nescafé instant coffees, it is slightly more expensive. After tasting the instant coffee myself, I found out that the blend has Arabica more than Robusta. Robusta is usually strong and sharp, but it is also cheaper, so companies usually mix it with Arabica to lower the price of their products. The Nescafé Azera Americano Instant Coffee is not 100% Robusta, but I suspect it is a 60 40 mix between those 2 different types of coffee.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • The packaging is superb
  • Is capable of producing some crema
  • The metal tin container is completely recyclable

Reasons to Shun

  • The tin pack is a bit hard to open
  • Brand:​ L’OR
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Classique
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Jar
  • Dimensions: 24.4 x 20.2 x 15.2 cm
  • Weight: 100 g

At first glance the L’OR Classique Instant Coffee looks like a shampoo container, even the text is styled like one of those fancy shampoos, however inside is an Arabica and Robusta blend. There are no artificial flavours or preservatives inside this instant coffee, and it is low in fat and sugar which is to be expected. It has a rich taste, but it is not 100% Robusta not that I mind that at all. I also like the aromatic properties of this instant coffee. The coffee is also freeze-dried and medium roasted, so just add hot water to it. The blend is based on post-World War II French recipe when there was a need for rationing, this is a little fun fact I found out.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • Smells really nice
  • The packaging is of good quality
  • Good value for your money

Reasons to Shun

  • Might be a bit too bitter for some
  • Brand:​ Kenco
  • Format: Ground
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: Ukraine
  • Storage: Ambient
  • Package: Tin
  • Dimensions: 15.6 x 15.6 x 12.6 cm
  • Weight: 500 g

The Kenco Millicano Americano Original is also a barista-styled instant coffee which means it is instant coffee that is blended with grounded coffee beans. According to my tasting, it is a Robusta and Arabica blend that has finally ground coffee beans. This allows the instant coffee to give you the illusion of crema, and it does look great. It doesn’t matter whether it’s real crema are not in my books as long as the coffee tastes good and is made instantly.

One of the biggest reasons why I am listing the Kenco Millicano Americano Original on the best instant coffee list is because it is sourced entirely from Rain Forest Alliance Certified Farms. It comes in tin packaging with 500 g of coffee inside. There is also a professional label on the tin which surely means something to the company because I certainly couldn’t make out what is professional about instant coffee. The company has been around since 1923, and they have perfected the blend for their instant coffee. Just add hot water and it will result in a full-bodied taste as well as a good aroma and for the price they are asking, this is more than enough.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • Simple and easy to use packaging
  • It is whole being instant coffee
  • Is capable of producing crema

Reasons to Shun

  • Why is there a professional label?
  • Brand:​ Nescafé Gold
  • Format: Ground
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Tin
  • Dimensions: 24.8 x 20.8 x 10.6 cm
  • Weight: 1.33 Kg

Nescafé has been around for quite some time, and they are making great instant coffees that are available across the globe. The Nescafe Gold Blend Instant Coffee has been one of the best-selling products for quite some time and is a good blend of Arabica and Robusta. Nescafé has been around since 1929, and they’ve made a name for themselves by being affordable and having a good quality taste.

The Nescafé Gold Blend Instant Coffee has been in my home for quite some time and I love the taste. Many lonely study nights have been spent drinking Nescafé Gold Blend Instant Coffee, and it holds a special place in my heart for being not only affordable but also tasting quite nice. Of course, it won’t compare up to super expensive speciality coffees but for what they are offering, it is wonderful. It comes in a premium-looking tin box and is available in 1 kg packaging.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • The gold-colored tin pack is beautiful
  • Comes with a hinged lid
  • 10 times finer Arabica grounds

Reasons to Shun

  • The lid is not airtight
  • Brand:​ Nescafé
  • Format: Ground
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Tin
  • Dimensions: 24.7 x 20.7 x 10.1 cm
  • Weight: 1.33 Kg

If your office has instant coffee chances are it’s going to be this one. The Nescafé Original Instant Coffee Granules has been around for decades now, and it has a very sharp flavour. I actually enjoy the bold flavour of this Nescafé instant coffee a lot because for a long while I was living on this. It is inexpensive, has a sharp flavour to it, and can be made almost instantly. Personally, I think the blend has a lot of Robusta and that gives it the iconic bold flavour, but this is just my taste buds telling me what the composition is, not something the company has openly disclosed.

This instant coffee is produced with 100% coffee beans and nothing else, this is what the marketing blurb says, and I believe it. I also like the shape of the tin, it is boxy so placing it inside a kitchen cabinet is not a hassle. The only downside is the hinged lid which comes with the click-to-close technology, but in my experience, securing it is sometimes ineffective. I recommend that you keep the coffee inside an airtight jar if the seal is going weak on the box.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • Comes in a sturdy tin box
  • Has a very punchy and strong flavour to it
  • Relatively inexpensive to buy in bulk

Reasons to Shun

  • I wish Nescafé improves the seal of the box
  • Brand:​ Nescafé Gold
  • Format: Instant Cappuccino
  • Flavour: Dark roast
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Box
  • Dimensions: 25 x 19 x 14.2 cm
  • Weight: 950 g

The Nescafé Gold Cappuccino Unsweetened provides an easier way to make somewhat decent cappuccino without a lot of effort, all we need is just some hot water and sachet of the Nescafé Gold Cappuccino Unsweetened, and you’re good to go. In all honesty, if you love cappuccinos and want some real stuff, this will not cut it at all but if you’re in a pinch and need a quick cup of cappuccino, it will do you just fine. This version is unsweetened as the name suggests, so you can easily add sugar if required.

The taste of this dark roast instant coffee is adequate and the process of making a cappuccino is significantly shortened when using this instant coffee. Of course, a real commission setup will be significantly more expensive than an instant coffee sachet. One good thing about the Nescafé Gold Cappuccino Unsweetened is that it’s available in 4 different options, so you can easily choose the one that suits your needs the best. We selected the sachet option, but it is also available in tins if you are thinking of getting it in bulk.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • Simple and easy to make
  • It is made with high-quality coffees
  • Fresh milk is from British dairy farmers

Reasons to Shun

  • You won’t get the chocolate sprinkles shown in the photo
  • Brand:​ Carte Noire
  • Format: Instant
  • Flavour: Dark Roast
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: Italy
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Jar
  • Dimensions: 25.8 x 18 x 18 cm
  • Weight: 100 g

The Carte Noire Intense Instant Coffee is a good mix of Arabica and Robusta which brings dark roast instant coffee to the table. It is available in 3 different options and I tried the smallest packaging because it was the first time I was testing it out. I had no expectations before going in but suffice to say I came out impressed. The instant coffee tasted rich and full when I made a cup of coffee with it and had good aromatic qualities. All you need to do is simply add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the coffee in a cup and pour in hot water.

The roast level is dark, and I reckon it is very accurate, many other brands when they say dark roasted actually mean medium roasted, but this one is a bit more towards dark. Overall, the Carte Noire Intense Instant Coffee is an affordable instant coffee that comes in nice-looking packaging. If you’re after something that is aromatic and has strong character along with lingering aftertaste, the Carte Noire Intense Instant Coffee is going to serve you well.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • The packaging is pleasant to work with
  • Has good aromatic properties
  • Coffee has a rich aftertaste

Reasons to Shun

  • It’s more on the Robusta side than Arabica
  • Brand:​ Mount Hagen
  • Format: Ground
  • Flavour: Coffee
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Storage: Cool, dry place
  • Package: Jar
  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 19.4 x 8.8 cm
  • Weight: 100 g

The Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee is a German brand that makes organic fair trade instant coffee. It is one of the most expensive instant coffees you can buy, but it has higher quality and is 100% Arabica. The coffee is sourced from the high-altitude regions in Papua New Guinea which explains its high price. The Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee is only available in a 100 g package which is basically a glass jar that contains coffee. The packaging is airtight, so you won’t lose out on the freshness even after you remove the seals. The company claims that a single jar would yield 60 generous cups of coffee which is about the same in my testing. Overall, if you’re looking for an organic fair trade instant coffee that is 100% Arabica and are willing to pay a premium price, the Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee is not a bad option at all.

 

Reasons to Buy

  • The glass jar is elegant and easy to use
  • 100% Arabica from Papua New Guinea
  • Can make 60 cups of coffee per jar

Reasons to Shun

  • The price is a bit high

FAQs

What Is the Best Burr Coffee Grinder to Buy?

That depends on your budget and your needs however, I highly recommend that you check out the Sage Smart Grinder Pro as it is one of the best Coffee grinders available these days.

 

What Is the Best Coffee Grinder for Home Use?

This also depends on what you require, are you into drinking more espressos rather than French press? If you have the budget I say go with the Sage Dose Control Burr Grinder.

 

Is a Burr Grinder Really Worth It?

Absolutely, not only it is worth getting but also if you’re into good quality coffee, it is an almost essential component.

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