Best Instant Coffee
Waking up early in the morning, I always have this heavy, groggy feeling like I want to be productive but at the same time, I just want to laze around all day. Luckily, coffee’s there to save me. However, at this time and age, most of us don’t have the time to brew our own coffee. That’s where instant coffee comes in.
Read our Best Instant Coffee Review to find out.
Our Best Instant Coffee for 2021
- Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee, 25 Count Single Serve packet, 1.76 oz - (Editors choice - High Quality)
- Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee, 14oz - (Runner Up)
- Nescafe Taster's Choice House Blend Instant Coffee, 7 Ounce (Pack of 2) - (Amazing product)
- Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee, 8 Count (Pack of 1) - (Great Product)
- Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, 8 Ounces - (Affordable Product)
Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee, 25 Count Single Serve packet, 1.76 oz
One of the most memorable coffee that I’ve tasted. In one of my backcountry trips, a friend of mine brought a box of Mount Hagen Organic since he’s assigned to bring coffee. I thought it would taste bland and not remarkable. I have never been wrong in my life. It’s one of the best tasting coffee out there and one of the cheapest too.
- It tastes great. It has that rich coffee taste and the aroma is really pleasant despite it being an instant coffee. It doesn’t have that acidic taste and it’s not that bitter.
- It’s really cheap. A box of 25 single serve sachets is almost the same price of a jar of Nescafe. Mount Hagen is also available in a jar container.
- It’s packed in a single serve packet so one sachet is just the right amount for one person.
- It’s compact and easy to bring anywhere.
- It may have that kind of burnt taste so it might not appeal to everybody.
- Since it’s single serve, the plastic waste produced can be voluminous, especially if you’re trying to cut down on your waste and trying to go green.
Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee, 14oz
I’ve come across Anthony’s Organic coffee by chance, thinking “you know what, let’s try this brand for a change”. It comes in a huge bag and it’s organic at an affordable price. The taste, however, is not that remarkable but hey, it’s Instant!
- It’s affordable and most stores have this brand of coffee.
- If you’re a fan of organic products then this one’s the perfect coffee for you.
- It comes in a resealable bag so you can bring it anywhere.
- The coffee has a burnt taste. I’ve tried adding sugar and cream but the burnt taste is still there. It had that coffee taste but the deliciousness of coffee and the aroma are not there.
Nescafe Taster's Choice House Blend Instant Coffee, 7 Ounce (Pack of 2)
One of the oldest and most trusted brands in the world, Nescafe has come a long way in providing decent coffee for almost every household. I usually buy this brand when the budget needs to be strict or if there are no other choices in my local grocery store.
- It’s relatively cheap, so it’s not heavy on the budget.
- It’s accessible almost anywhere in the world since Nescafe is a prominent brand worldwide.
- It’s stored in a glass jar, an excellent choice for retaining the freshness of the coffee.
- It’s bland and salty. If you’re really partial to strong coffee taste, this one is not for you. Even the aroma has a slight unpleasant odor when mixed with hot water. Again, sugar and creamer are your allies here.
- The jar is a double edged sword. If it falls, there’s a chance of it shattering since it’s made of glass.
Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee, 8 Count (Pack of 1)
Want to drink Starbucks coffee without going to Starbucks? Here’s the solution to that. Starbucks has never been closer to home with their VIA instant coffee. Personally, I only drink at Starbucks when I have time to spare but since they released their instant coffee sometime ago, I gave it a shot and yes, I pretty much liked this coffee because of its unique taste.
- The taste is close to the store-bought coffee that Starbucks offers. It has a very strong taste for an instant coffee and it smells really good too.
- A single sachet can produce a really thick texture when dissolved in a cup of hot water so you get to have more coffee if you add an extra half cup of water.
- It’s perfect if you’re craving for sweet coffee since it’s kind of a latte itself.
- It’s quite expensive. It comes in single serve sachets which is perfect for those who are on the go but a box only has 8 sachets which is not economical if you compare the price to other instant coffees out there.
Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, 8 Ounces
Folger’s classic roast is one of the most common brands seen on the market. During my college years, Folger’s Classic Roast was one of my go to brands of coffee. It helped me a lot, especially on those sleepless nights when one cup is just not enough.
- It’s one of the cheapest brands out there so it’s highly accessible to almost anyone who wants a quick cup of coffee.
- It comes in a plastic jar so the risk of breaking the container is quite low and at the same time, the freshness is stored properly.
- The taste is bland and the aroma is not that strong.
- It has that compost-y sweetness on its own which leaves an aftertaste that may not be pleasing to everybody’s taste.
- You need to add sugar and/or creamer to make it more palatable.
What is Instant Coffee?
Instant coffee, also known in some parts of the world as coffee powder or soluble coffee, is a commercially prepared coffee from brewed coffee beans that can be consumed by simply adding hot water and stirring.
Coffee beans are first roasted before being ground, and then brewed. They are then processed in two different ways: freeze-drying and spray-drying.
Spray-drying is done by spraying the brewed, liquid coffee as a mist into very hot air that reaches about 480°F. Due to evaporation, the mist turns into small crystals, which in turn become your instant coffee.
Freeze-drying is achieved by freezing brewed coffee beans to 20°F and then freezing it again to 40°F until it forms into blocks of frozen coffee. The blocks are then broken into small granules and dried in a vacuum until they turn into coffee powder.
Instant Coffee vs. Ground Coffee: What’s the Difference?
Instant coffee is still ground coffee, but the difference is that instant coffee makes use of the liquid from brewed ground coffee, and is then dried to produce granules (the instant coffee itself).
Instant coffee only requires hot water to be edible, while ground coffee requires thorough brewing before being served. In this regard, brewing ground coffee tends to take longer before it can be served, while instant coffee needs only a few seconds after pouring hot water into your cup.
The Health Benefits of Instant Coffee
Coffee is known to have a lot of health benefits and given that brewed and instant coffee have almost the same nutrients and antioxidants in them, it’s safe to assume that they have the same effects on one's health.
Some of the known benefits of instant coffee include:
- Increase in metabolism
- Reduced chance for certain diseases and increase in life expectancy due to high antioxidant content
- Decrease in the risk of developing liver cirrhosis
- Decrease in the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes
- Improves brain capacity due to caffeine
Buying Guide in Choosing the Best Instant Coffee
There are multiple factors that we should consider before we buy instant coffee and decide which ones are the best for us. For me, I usually consider the price to be the top deciding factor when buying instant coffee especially when the economy is at an all-time low. I always go with what is cheaper first.
Second, I consider the taste and aroma of the coffee. I favor coffee with a strong taste and aroma on its own without the addition of sugar or cream.
The packaging is what I consider last. We want one that is convenient for us to store and which one would keep the freshness of the powder.
Beans and the Roast
Instant coffee is usually made from coffee beans from the Robusta variety. Robusta coffee is made from the seeds of the Coffea canephora plant. It orginates from Africa, specifically, the Central and Western-subsaharan regions. Robusta is known for its bitter/burnt aftertaste despite this, it is the second most well sought coffee in the world.
Given that instant coffee is still your regular coffee, it still contains caffeine. However, instant coffee has far less caffeine content compared to brewed coffee. This is because of the processes involved in making instant coffee, which destroys most of the caffeine content prior to drying your ground coffee.
The usual cup of instant coffee has around 30-90 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, a cup of brewed coffee has roughly around 70-140 mg. That’s why some people, especially those who are sensitive to caffeine, tend to have cardiorespiratory effects such as palpitations and shortness of breath when drinking brewed coffee due to the high caffeine content of brewed coffee. At times like these, it’s better to drink instant coffee than brewed coffee.
Additives and Flavors
Sometimes, when you’ve experienced different coffee brands, you can tell which ones are lighter or darker. That’s because the major additives present in instant coffee are colorants. Sometimes, sugar or aromas are added to instant coffee to adapt to the varying tastes of its consumers.
Instant coffee comes in a variety of containers that you can see in the market. Sometimes, the packaging is one of the factors that you should consider when buying coffee. Some of the common packaging bags are as follow:
- Flat bottom bags are one of the most common packaging that you can see in your local grocery stores. This type of packaging stands out the most since it usually stands on its own without having to rely on stacking them and looks like a brick because the top part is folded and sealed.
- Quad sealed bags are just like your flat bottom bags. However, these are more expensive than your flat bottom bags. Some quad sealed bags have a zipping function on their top portion, allowing your bags to be resealed for multiple times.
- Jars are also available for some coffee brands, which helps in sealing the freshness of the coffee powder.
- Sachets are used only for single serve instant coffee. These are the cheapest of all the coffee packaging out there.
- I’m sure everyone is familiar with tea bags. The bags (also known as infuser pods) are used now for instant coffee. Same with sachets, these are made for single serving only.
My final verdict goes to Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee. It has that rich coffee aroma and distinct coffee taste that’s perfect in every way. The caffeine level is also not that strong, so it’s perfect for those who want to drink coffee but can’t tolerate it that much.
Mount Hagen is also really cheap so it’s really good for your budget. It’s perfect for people who are on the go since you can bring the sachets everywhere. As an added bonus, I tried making iced coffee with it and it is by far, the best brand to make iced coffee with.