We understand that sometimes all you want in life is a splendid cup of coffee without having to brew it yourself or spend £5 at a coffee shop. But it never seemed to taste quite as good – until recently anyway.
While we always recommend trying a new brewing method, such as French press or pour-over, the truth is that there are some excellent instant coffee options available.
However, you should know that some instant coffees are far superior to others.
Unlike whole bean coffee, where a “bad” bag usually means it’s too mild or flavourless, instant coffee’s quality range is quite broad. You’ll often find it bitter and acidic at the bottom. Brands that are rich, flavourful, and smooth are at the top.
What is Instant Coffee?
The instant stuff is obviously not the same as the regular coffee beans used to make coffee. The ground-up kind may look somewhat comparable, but it certainly doesn’t operate the same way.
Instant coffee is typically made in one of two ways. The first method involves using a traditional cup of brewed coffee. With incredibly hot and dry air, it’s sprayed in a fine mist. When those coffee droplets hit the ground, they’re the flaky flecks we’ve come to expect and enjoy.
The second method is freeze-drying, which produces a shelf-stable coffee powder with instructions to simply add hot water. It’s a drink that’s been reconstituted.
The easiest to re-animate are freeze-dried beverages or food—all you need is water. If you visualise your morning cup of instant coffee as zombie coffee beans, your lazy Saturdays just got a whole lot more interesting.
However, there are several advantages to instant coffee powder, mainly in terms of shelf life. Instant coffee has a much longer shelf life than whole bean pre-ground or ground coffee.
If you don’t drink coffee every day or just want to have some on hand in case you get a craving, a well-sealed jar of instant coffee will last for years (though we can’t promise it’ll be the best cup you’ve ever had).
Our top picks for the best instant coffee in 2021 are listed below
Best Instant Coffee In 2021 – Reviewed
TrueStart Barista Grade Instant Coffee
Truestart coffee is a barista grade instant coffee that is 100% Arabica. The company makes a lot of bold statements on its packaging that hold up to scrutiny upon tasting.
It’s barista-approved, and it tastes just like regular coffee shop coffee. Truestart has the aroma of a well-cared-for cup of coffee. It has a smooth, pleasing, and unique flavor that ‘tastes great black or white, hot or cold,’ as I discovered when I tried it both ways! When it’s dark, it’s a great colour, and the good coffee flavour lingers even when it’s cold. The coffee smells very mild in the , but this is not mirrored when made. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that it is a British coffee brand which I think is awesome!
- APPROVED BY BARISTA – Premium freeze-dried instant coffee for a home coffee shop experience.
- SMOOTH, RICH ROAST – Excellent with or without milk.
- 100% COLOMBIAN ARABICA – Coffee grown at high altitude and roasted gently
- BRITISH BRAND – Ethically sourced coffee from a family-run company.
- Extremely Flexible – Combines well with hot or cold water, making it suitable for protein shakes.
- Not the cheapest
- Not the strongest coffee in the world
Overall it’s a good coffee and compares well with similarly priced instant coffee brands. Although it’s not the best instant coffee it’s certain up there with them. We’d recommend giving it a go.
- BARISTA APPROVED UK BRAND – Premium luxury freeze dried quality posh instant coffee for the coffee shop experience at home. Rich smooth flavour made with with speciality grade beans
NESCAFÉ AZERA Americano Instant Coffee
NESCAFÉ AZERA Americano is a barista-style instant coffee. It can be made using one heaped teaspoon of coffee and hot water boiled on the hob or kettle. It’s probably the best instant coffee and each cup comes with a layer of velvet coffee crema on the top. It goes extremely well with coffee mate which is a powdered coffee creamer, milk also tastes great with the coffee.
This coffee is the closest you will get to shop purchased drinks from establishments like Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
- A mix of Arabica and Robusta coffee is used to produce this coffee.
- Instant and finely ground roasted coffee in an exclusive blend.
- Every cup comes with a layer of velvety coffee crema.
- A fruity fragrance and a well-balanced flavour await you.
- A tad on the expensive side (but definitely worth it)
Overall this is my favourite instant coffee. As avid coffee drinkers it’s hard to even compare instant coffees to pods and professionally brewed coffees but this drink stands up to the test. It’s strong enough and makes for a fantastic morning brew and caffeine boost whenever it’s needed and a kettle full of water is one of the only things required to make it.
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NESCAFÉ GOLD Blend Instant Coffee
Gold blend is a one-of-a-kind product that doesn’t need much explanation. For years, it’s been one of the most popular instant coffees.
Gold Blend is a Robusta and Arabica blend as well. Since Nescafe does not include this detail, we cannot tell you which varieties are used or what percentage of Robusta is used.
By the way, here’s a fun fact for you. When the Brazilian government asked Nestlé to find a market for its massive coffee surplus, it produced Nescafé back in 1929.
Max Morgenthaler, a Nestle food scientist, developed a new method of producing instant coffee that dissolved better and tasted better.
Eric Favre, the man who invented it, played a very long game. He began his career at Nestle in the warehouse, worked his way up, pitched the decision-maker, was rejected – he kept working for them, became a food scientist, and eight years later pitched the CEO of Nestle Japan, who loved it. A rocket engineer invented the Nespresso coffee pod, too, if you didn’t know!
- NESCAFÉ Gold blend is made entirely of coffee beans and contains no other ingredients.
- NESCAFÉ Gold Blend offers a full and rich cup of coffee thanks to a careful selection of beans.
- The hinged lid is used. Re-sealing is easy and safe with Click-to-Close technology.
- It’s easy to serve from and reach the last granule of coffee.
- Tins that save space and is easy to store in the back of the house or on a counter.
- The taste is not very strong
- Does not have a full flavour
- NESCAFÉ GOLD BLEND Coffee 500g is a quality instant coffee for all coffee-drinking occasions
Dunkin Donuts Original Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee
Delicate, maybe a little subdued, according to my blind assessment. With hints of flowers, nuts, and raisiny dark chocolate, the scent is vaguely sweet-toned and slightly cardboardy — smooth, almost silky mouthfeel; gentle, subdued acidity. In the cup, there are just a few traces of lemon, cocoa-ish nut, and perhaps herbs. Clean finish; the flavour is rich in the short term but fades rapidly in the long term.
Dunkin’ Donuts claims to be the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the world. Over the last two decades, the Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend has distinguished itself by defending the traditional medium-roasted American breakfast cup against Starbucks’ darker-roasted onslaught.
- Ground coffee in a big canister
- Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is an American coffee brand.
- roasted ground coffee, original blend
- Approximately 150 – 6 fl oz cups
- With these ground coffee beans, you can make hot or iced coffee.
- Large canister of ground coffee
Kenco Rich Instant Coffee
Kenco Rich Instant Coffee is a well-known brand that has recently joined the Douwe Egberts stable.
A blend of coffee beans is used to produce Kenco Rich instant coffee. It’s a rich roast with a full body made from a blend of coffee beans. As a consequence, the taste is creamy, bold, and rich without being bitter. It also has a pleasant scent. Customers love the Kenco Rich instant coffee’s quality, which they appreciate time after time. This is also a great price.
This is the instant coffee of choice for many consumers.
For those looking for 100% Arabica, Kenco Rich Instant coffee is not for you.
- With just one drink, you’ll note Kenco Rich’s deep richness: a distinctive, full-bodied coffee.
- To create a rich flavour and irresistible aroma, we take a special blend of premium coffee beans and roast them with care and expertise.
- From Barista Style Millicano to the rest of the Kenco range, there’s something for everyone.
- From Americano to Cappuccino and Latte in the form of a coffee shop, Smooth and Decaf versions are also available.
NESCAFÉ Original Instant Coffee Granules
When it comes to instant coffees, Nescafé Original Instant Coffee should be at the top of your list.
Nescafe has been around for more than 80 years. Nescafé Original is a well-known brand around the world.
There’s a distinct rich flavour to it, as well as a heavenly fragrance. It’s a medium-dark roasted blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. This results in distinct flavours.
This Nescafé coffee is what instant coffee should taste like, according to many.
This is now a more affordable value for money coffee than some of the 100 percent Arabica instant coffees and other coffees in general.
- NESCAFÉ is made entirely of coffee beans and contains no other ingredients.
- NESCAFÉ Original offers a perfect and rich cup of coffee thanks to a careful variety of beans.
- The hinged lid is used. Re-sealing is easy and safe with Click-to-Close technology.
- It’s easy to serve from and hit the last granule of coffee.
- Tin that saves space and is easy to store in the back of the house or on a table.
- NESCAFÉ Original instant coffee granules in our biggest 1kg tin
How to Make Instant Coffee Taste Better
It won’t have the sophistication, subtle notes, or brightness of a fresh cup brewed with a French press coffee maker or single-serve machine, just like everything else that’s been reconstituted. This is particularly true if you don’t choose the appropriate brand — which is where I come in. But, before we get into the best instant coffees, let’s talk about how to make a cup of coffee in the first place.
There are various hacks to make the best tasting instant coffee humanly possible, just like anything else in the twenty-first century. Putting a teaspoon or two of cold water in your cup first is one of the simplest ways to improve the taste of your reconstituted brew. Mix the grounds thoroughly in this splash of H20, then add the hot water and enjoy as usual. This allows the granules to brew more gently, resulting in a nice cup of coffee.
Okay, that’s it. We’ll get right to it with this list, which includes everything from easy and cost-effective to more speciality choices, all of which are highly rated and ready for you to try!
The Best Coffee Substitute
DANDY BLEND Instant Coffee Substitute
Do you need a large cup of coffee just to get out of bed in the morning? If so, you’re not alone; plenty of us are sleep deprived and caffeine addicts these days. An occasional cup of coffee isn’t bad, but if you depend on caffeine to work on a regular basis, you risk masking important messages your body is trying to give you (like “go take a nap”).
Caffeine decaffeination doesn’t have to be painful. Dandy Blend is a great substitute to start – especially if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to your morning cup of joe.
Why We Love It:
This powdered extract has a strong coffee flavour, but it has the opposite effects of coffee. This nourishes the liver and kidneys rather than exhausting stress hormones and adrenal glands.
Why You’ll Love It:
It is water-soluble since it is an extract (which means it is gluten-free despite the presence of barley and rye extracts). That is, it operates similarly to instant coffee. A teaspoon or two of honey can dissolve quickly in a mug of hot water with just a stir. It will add richness to every chocolate smoothie, and you can make an instant latte by mixing it with warm water, hemp seeds, and your favourite sweetener. Yeah, and it’s very cheap.
Why You Need It:
This is the best product we’ve found for assisting people in quitting or reducing their coffee consumption.
It tastes remarkably similar to a cup of rich, full-bodied coffee.
It’s caffeine-free and doesn’t taste bitter or acidic. It’s the only herbal coffee alternative with both dandelion root’s health benefits and real coffee’s deep, full-bodied flavour, smoothness, and texture.
It’s made up of water-soluble extracts of roasted dandelion, chicory, and beetroots, as well as barley and rye grains.
There is no gluten in this product. Gluten is made up of non-water-soluble proteins that are left in the grounds to be composted during the extraction process, rendering Dandy Blend gluten-free.
The sweetness in Dandy Blend comes mainly from the fructose found in dandelion and chicory plants’ roots. Many people don’t need any extra sweeteners.
In each cup, there are over 50 trace minerals, the majority of which the body uses to help synthesise compounds needed for metabolism.
When switching from coffee to Dandy Blend, there are no headaches or other withdrawal symptoms. It’s the equivalent of going from one coffee brand to another.
- All the goodness of dandelion in an instant!
- 100% Caffeine-free
- No acidity
- No bitterness
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If you’re a coffee drinker you’ll understand just how difficult it is to find the perfect instant coffee that will give you the best freshly brewed taste without all the faff and effort. After plenty of instant coffee tasting this week we came to the conclusion that our taster’s choice is – Nescafe Azera. This coffee can compete with the taste and flavour of coffees you get in coffee shops and we highly recommend it to coffee lovers.
Last update on 2023-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API