Instant coffee is undoubtedly the fastest way to get a cup of Joe. Just add your desired amount to a mug of hot water and stir. There’s no messing with filters or machines, just your tea kettle, a mug and the instant coffee. Depending on where you live, instant coffee may not be popular enough to give you a good selection in your local store, but luckily there are plenty of good options online. Prices on instant coffee can vary greatly, just like with any other type of coffee.
It’s also worth a mention that single-serve machines like Keurig are just as fast as instant coffee, but of course you do have to buy specialized equipment.
- Top 7 Best Keurig Coffee Makers
- Top 13 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
- Top 15 Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers
One thing to remember is that instant coffee can be just as lowbrow or just as gourmet as any other kind of coffee. It depends on the beans used, the roast and the quality of processing, again, just like other types of coffee. So what is the best instant coffee? That naturally varies by taste, but here are 14 reviews of some different varieties of instant coffee that might become your best instant coffee.
Top 14 Best Instant Coffee Reviews
The following reviews cover several categories of instant coffee, including instant espresso, coffee chew, Ganoderma coffee, sweetened and flavored coffee and just regular black coffee. As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to get coffee in an instant. All of these instant coffee products are also highly rated on Amazon.
1. Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Italian Roast Coffee
Starbucks VIA is undoubtedly one of the top sources of instant coffee out there, with many reviews comparing it favorably to other methods of making coffee. This Italian Roast is made from ethically sourced, 100 percent Arabica coffee and roasted in a bold, robust style. It has a rich, full taste and aroma that is amazingly similar to Starbucks original Italian Roast coffee made through a drip machine. One important thing to know about the VIA line is that it is not freeze or spray-dried coffee, but very finely ground coffee, which may be part of why it tastes closer to drip coffee.
2. Waka Instant Medium Roast
If you want the tastiest instant, you need arabica beans and you’ll find Waka coffee comes from freeze-dried Colombian beans of the highest quality.
Medium roasted, you’ll get a balanced taste without too much acidity. You can faintly detect a trace of citrus in this crisp, clear coffee.
The single-serve packets epitomize convenience and make this coffee great to take to work or on a trip out. The sachets come black and unsweetened.
While nobody would claim instant coffee is ever your best option, it’s certainly sometimes the most convenient option. Instant has its place. And, to get the best out of any instant, the beans need to be freeze-dried as here.
With Forbes and Business Insider both huge Waka fans, this instant is becoming increasingly popular with just cause.
3. Starbucks VIA Instant Sweetened Ice Coffee
If you’re partial to some mouth-watering cool coffee in the summer months, why not invest in some Starbucks Instant Ice Coffee?
You’ll get all the convenience you’d expect from single-serve sachets. Each servings comes sweetened with can sugar so you have a ready-to-drink iced coffee that tastes like it’s been freshly made.
The VIA instant range also encompasses a broad array of flavored hot coffees so give yourself a treat next time you pop into Starbucks and take some of that pleasure home.
While grinding your own beans and using the cold brew method certainly has its place, it’s not an approach for everyone. If you don’t want to break out the grinder and mason jar, this cold coffee from an industry icon is well worth popping on your shortlist.
4. Maxwell House International Coffee Sugar Free Suisse Mocha Cafe
The International Coffee House line of instant coffee has been around for a long time and it’s known for its sweet, rich flavors of coffee modeled on exotic espresso drinks. For those who like their coffee with plenty of sweet flavor, this is probably the coffee for you. You can not only mix it into hot water, but also to hot or cold milk for an even richer experience. It’s available in both decaf and caffeinated forms.
5. Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee
Grown without using any fungicides, fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, Mount Hagen’s Organic Instant Regular Coffee is top notch. These 100% Arabica beans are sourced from the best areas of the world when it comes to cultivating coffee.
The US Department of Agriculture certifies that Mount Hagen coffee is 100% organic and meets EcoCert organic standards.
Once harvested, Mount Hagan’s coffee beans are ground into grains and freeze dried without using any chemicals, preservatives or additives. These coffee grounds are then individually packaged in single serve sticks, ready for you to enjoy.
Simply mix your Mount Hagen coffee with water and savor your cup of mild yet naturally rich coffee.
6. Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals
Many people think of Folgers when they think of coffee, and it’s easy to understand why that is. The name is synonymous with a great cup of joe and has been for over 150 years.
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to pull out the coffee maker or you’re in a situation where one isn’t available. If you find yourself there and need a quick afternoon caffeine jolt, that’s where this delicious Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals from Folgers comes to the fore.
Folgers will always give you a cup of coffee that’s consistent in taste and purity, and when you are using Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals, this is easier than ever. Simply open the flip top jar and measure out your coffee crystals, add water and you’ve got a lip-smacking cup of coffee to enjoy in seconds flat.
7. Jacob’s Kronung Instant Coffee
When you’re in the mood for a rich and flavorful cup of coffee but pressed for time to make it, look no further than Jacob’s Kronung Instant Coffee.
Jacob’s is made fade from high quality coffee beans grown and harvested in Germany. These coffee beans are then ground down, freeze-dried and sealed in a glass jar before being imported for you to enjoy. This process is carried out to ensure you get a fresh tasting cup of coffee each time you make one.
The Kronung blend from Jacob’s is a strong, full bodied coffee that is rich and flavorful, and you will never notice that is wasn’t traditionally brewed.
8. Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee
Made from coffee beans that have been responsibly sourced, Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee is sure to be a favorite in your home.
The coffee beans have been ground and freeze dried after harvesting, and then sealed inside a glass jar. Using a glass jar ensures that the aroma and freshness are locked in so that your last cup of coffee tastes just as good as the first did.
This coffee offers a refined, nicely balanced and smooth flavor thanks to the mildly roasted beans. To make, simply mix your desired amount of coffee with hot water and enjoy a well crafted cup of joe.
9. Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Medium Roast Instant Coffee
A medium roast coffee is a solid choice, and Douwe Egberts brings this to your day with their Pure Gold Medium Roast Instant Coffee.
This indulgent coffee is made from beans that were roasted with the expertise of Douwe Egberts 250 years of coffee roasting experience. After being roasted and freeze dried, the coffee is sealed in a glass jar to preserve freshness. Then the Pure Gold Instant Coffee is exported from Holland and brought to you.
To enjoy the rich flavor and aroma of Douwe Egberts coffee, simply mix with hot water and enjoy!
10. Cafe Bustelo Instant Coffee Single Serve Packets
Some other instant coffee brands have been sealed in glass canisters after being roasted and processed. This can be a fantastic choice for locking in the flavor and aroma of coffee, but they are not always a practical option.
For backpackers, campers and those who just like a quick cup of coffee while they are on the go, Café Bustelo brings you single serve packets of their delicious coffee.
Café Bustelo is known for being bold and rich in flavor, and none of that is lost in their instant coffee packets. You still get the same great taste in a matter of seconds – simply mix with hot water and sip away.
11. Alpine Start Instant Coffee
With the bold tagline “Instant coffee that actually tastes good”, does Alpine Start live up to the bold claims?
Well, as long as you’re not expecting a taste sensation in line with great pour-over, you might be pleasantly surprised.
The 100% Colombian arabica beans are cut with a non-dairy coconut creamer. This gives your drink a delicious edge while remaining non-GMO and free of soy, too.
If this doesn’t appeal, choose from the original blend or a dirty chai concoction to tantalize your taste buds.
The coffee comes in single-serve sachets and you can buy multipacks once you’re happy with the taste.
If you need coffee in a hurry or coffee on the go, road test Alpine Start and you’ll wonder why you never tried this drink before.
12. Organo Gold Ganoderma Coffee
Organo Gold is the regular version of the Ganoderma coffee offered by this brand. It has a smooth, rich taste and many reviewers tout it as a good alternative if regular coffee gives you stomach problems. The bold, full-flavored taste is comparable to regular brewed coffee.
13. Caffe DVita Mocha Cappuccino Hot or Cold
This is an instant cappuccino product that has been around since 1974. It’s an instant coffee powder that can be used iced, hot or blended. This has a mocha flavor so it is very chocolaty and rich.
14. Hills Bros Cappuccino Sugar Free Vanilla
This is another instant cappuccino style mix, but this time with a sugar-free vanilla flavoring. The sweetener is Splenda and it has a rich, creamy vanilla flavor that is hardly recognizable as sugar-free. Another use for this product is as a sweetener and creamer in one, so you can add it to your coffee instead of sugar and milk or cream.
Best of the Best Instant Coffee
So what’s the best tasting instant coffee for 2020?
Of course, the best type of instant coffee to you will likely depend on what you’re looking for in an instant. Looking through multiple reviews, most people comparing instant coffee to brewed coffee chose Starbucks VIA coffees as the closest in taste and aroma.
However, not everyone wants a drip coffee taste and some also prefer flavorings and some type of creamer added. Fortunately, the highly-rated coffees listed here and the best-seller list should provide something for everyone.