The 10 Best Instant Coffee Brands (2020 Reviews)

Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


It happens. You’ve got an early morning work meeting, interview, or you’re getting the kids ready for school, but don’t have all the time to brew your favorite cup of joe using a French press or pour-over methods. 

Well, you can save time with instant coffee instead.  

But not all instant coffees are the same; some are way better than others.

With instant coffee, you can enjoy coffee in the morning, in the mountains, when traveling, or at work.

We’ve been tasting various instant coffees and managed to separate the best from the worst. We’ve also researched to establish which instant coffee brands many users rave about.

So, if you’d like to taste the best instant coffee in the world, this list is for you.

Short on time? Here’s a quick look at our best instant coffee picks!


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We bet you a cup of coffee you can't tell this is instant. Starbucks hit the mark with taste and packaging making this our winner for best instant coffee.

Quick Glance: Top 3 Picks For Best Instant Coffee

10 Best Instant Coffee Brands


Here’s our list of top 10 instant coffees with their features, pros, cons, and our final verdict for each.

1. Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast

Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast - Best Instant Coffee Brands 2020 Reviews


Starbucks is indisputably a leader in the instant coffee industry. Each grain goes through a meticulous selection process before packaging. The product is a balanced, delicious, and aromatic coffee for you.

The coffee is 100 percent Arabica, which gives it a sweet hue that you’ll enjoy. Not to mention, the coffee is selected from different countries and doesn’t comprise impurities like gluten. That’s why after drinking it, you’ll experience that indescribable feeling. 

Chocolate and hazelnut notes add more points to this coffee.

If you’re a backpacker who doesn’t want the extra weight of coffee brewing equipment on your pack, Starbucks VIA Instant is the way to go.

What We Like

  • Smooth and balanced flavor

  • Naturally sweet

  • It takes about 10 seconds to prepare

What We Don’t Like

  • The packaging isn’t compostable 

Verdict

If you’re looking for tasty instant coffee that you can enjoy anytime and anywhere, we highly recommend Starbucks VIA Instant.

2. Waka Instant

Waka Instant Coffee - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


The taste and aroma of coffee are one of the reasons to look forward to your next cup. And Waka has mastered this art over the years.

The company uses freeze-dried technology to infuse an authentic taste with citrus notes. If you loathe the acidic tone typical in other types of instant coffee, you may want to try Waka and enjoy its rich, balanced taste.

Environmentally conscious coffee fanatics will love this product, as the packaging consists of foil-lined kraft paper. Additionally, it has a resealable zipper to keep your coffee fresh for longer.

Whether you’re on a camping trip or at the office, this instant coffee will make a difference.

A reason you’ll love Waka coffee is that it dissolves fast and without a trace. You can brew it using cold or hot water. 

Added bonus, Waka sets aside 4 percent of profits to go toward clean water projects in several countries.

What We Like

  • Value for money – if brewed well, you can make 80 cups

  • Dissolves quickly

  • Environment-friendly packaging

What We Don’t Like

  • The price is a little high, but worth it in terms of taste and convenience. 

Verdict

We’re glad to recommend Waka instant coffee to anyone interested in a tasty, instant cup of coffee. You can drink it just about anywhere; at work, school, traveling, or hiking.

3. Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


It’s always satisfying to know you’re sipping on something healthy, and Mount Hagen gives you that option. This instant coffee is sourced from Germany and is 100 percent organic. 

Mount Hagen is smooth and does not have the bitter taste characteristic in some cheaper instant coffees. But, if you like strongly flavored coffee, this may not be your best option.

The coffee undergoes the freeze-and-dry method to ensure there are no additives and preservatives so you can enjoy the tastiest, organic flavor.

One jar (100 grams) of this instant coffee can produce about 60 cups, based on how strong you’d like the coffee to be.

When coffee enthusiasts hear terms such as “fair trade” and “organic,” we assume the coffee is costly. But that isn’t always true; Mount Hagen is both tasty and affordable.

What We Like

  • The glass jar helps to preserve freshness

  • It can make a great cold beverage

  • Value for money

  • No bitter aftertaste

What We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for those who prefer strong coffee

Verdict

If you’re looking for instant coffee that’s smooth and not overly strong we recommend Mount Hagan.  

4. Double Joy Select Premium Instant Coffee

Double Joy Select Premium Instant Coffee - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


Double Joy Select makes this instant coffee from top-grade, hand-selected beans sourced from the Andes Mountains. The outcome is an ultra-bold roast and robust flavor.

If you’re a caffeine lover, then this is the best instant coffee for you.

This coffee is designed for the coffee lover who likes their coffee to wake them up and get them ready to take on the day. The blend instantly offers deep complexity, without compromising on quality or flavor.

How does this instant coffee brand manage to prepare such unique and delicious instant coffee?

Well, first, they roast the 100 percent Arabica beans then spray-dry them. Next, they use a micro-grinding approach to pulverize each coffee granule into fine and highly soluble powder. 

Finally, they add tiny pieces of ground coffee to the tasty powder. The outcome is a blend that’s not only flavorful but also strong, especially when you add water or milk.

What We Like

  • Tastes really good; you can’t resist the next sip

  • Smooth but not bitter

  • Packet’s are easy to open

  • Sweet yet strong

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t come with cream and sugar like its counterparts, a moot point if you don’t use either one

Verdict

If you’re looking for instant coffee to wake you up and energize you for the day ahead or even something to take while traveling, you may want to order this delicious instant coffee. We’re big fans!

5. Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee Packets

Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee Packets - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


This instant coffee is from one of the world’s renowned cold and hot beverage brands. While the coffee is hazelnut flavored, you’ll still feel the smooth and roasty taste of Nescafe coffee.

A box contains eight packs of 20 sticks each that could last you for six or so months, which is excellent value for money.

While it’s recommended that you use 6 oz of water per stick, most people prefer using less water to preserve the roasty and nutty taste and aroma. 

What We Like

  • Value for money

  • Nutty and roasty taste and aroma

  • Flash frozen

What We Don’t Like

  • Has artificial flavors, which may alter the coffee’s authentic taste.

Verdict

If you’re looking for an instant coffee that’s smooth and well balanced we recommend Nescafe coffee for you.

6. Starbucks VIA French Roast Instant Coffee

Starbucks VIA French Roast Instant Coffee - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


Starbucks is famous for providing a wide variety of coffee for its customers. And instant coffee is no exception. They made our list twice with our second choice being Starbucks VIA French Roast Instant Coffee 

Made with 100% Arabica beans it will wake you up and keep you alert the entire day.

Whether you’re headed out the door in the morning or need a pick me up while you’re at the office, you’ll like the smooth and well-balanced flavor of this instant coffee.

This is their darkest roast and it delivers explosive flavor in the best way.

What We Like

  • Smooth and rich flavor
  • High caffeine levels make it perfect for mornings
  • Individual packaging 

What We Don’t Like

  • Only 8 packets in a box, price is still reasonable but, you'll likely need to buy more than one box. 

Verdict

If you like a boost from your coffee and a lovely aroma with it, Starbucks VIA French Roast Instant Coffee will suit perfectly.

7. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


The instant coffee market has incredibly unique solutions, and one of them is the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee.

No, it doesn’t taste like mushrooms, but it feels like coffee. And the taste is unique, as the coffee contains unusual ingredients. 

Unlike your average coffee, the caffeine content in Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee is quite balanced. It’s just enough to give you a desirable stimulating effect, but not excessive to overload your nerves.

Other than the beans and other additives, this best instant coffee has two supplements that are beneficial to the body. There’s Chaga to support the immune system and Rhodiola to increase the body’s resistance to stress.

You can use this coffee to kick start the morning or power through a busy workday at home or at the office. Sip it whenever the brain needs that strong, get-it-together hug.

What We Like

  • Dense, unique, and fruity taste

  • Nutritious and health-friendly

  • Balanced amount of caffeine

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey but that seems fair for the medicinal ingredients

Verdict

The Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee is ideal for the adventurous, health-conscious coffee lover.

8. Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee

Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee - Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


Douwe Egberts has been around for over 200 years and is committed to making quality coffee. 

The medium roast instant coffee has a creaminess that makes it suitable, especially if you’d like to make a creamy coffee drink, such as a blended drink with additional flavor or a protein shake. 

Douwe Egberts values sustainability, right from the coffee farms to the environment in general. They make their coffee with a lot of care, and you’ll taste the difference.

What We Like

  • The coffee doesn’t have the bitterness to overpower your taste buds
  • Comes in a reusable glass jar
  • The smooth, mellow flavor
  • Authentic coffee aroma

What We Don’t Like

  • You must store the glass jar at room temperature, or the coffee might turn sticky

Verdict

This freeze-dried instant coffee is suitable for those looking for tasty instant coffee with an excellent stimulant effect.

9. Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


Looking for instant coffee to make your mornings brighter? Today’s your lucky day and for a good reason – Folgers Classic.

 Folgers has been in the coffee-making business since 1850, and they value sustainability. 

Most coffee enthusiasts love freeze-dried instant coffee because the preserved flavor and aroma flows right into your cup. That’s precisely what you get when drinking Folgers Classic.

Most instant coffee granules can disappoint when you try to mix with creamer or milk, but that’s not the case with Folgers. Adding milk, creamer, or sugar, is no problem for Folgers Classic. 

You can make up to 45 six ounce cups, but you may want to adjust these to achieve the desired strength you like, as the coffee comes in a jar instead of individual packets. 

What We Like

  • Rich aroma and flavor

  • Easy to dissolve including in cold water

  • You can easily add milk or creamer

  • Value for money – you get a three-pack bundle at an affordable price

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users find it bitter

Verdict

If you’re short on time or just on the go in general and need an affordable instant coffee, we recommend Folgers Classic.

10. Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix

Maxim Mocha Gold Mild Coffee Mix - Best Instant Coffee 2020 Reviews


There are many types of instant coffee out there, but not all are convenient like this Maxim Mocha Gold.

The coffee sticks contain coffee granules, non-dairy creamer, and sugar. 

But that’s not all.

If you don’t like a lot of sugar in your drink you can control the quantity that goes into your cup by pinching the other end of the stick.

Additionally, you don’t have to pour any milk in your cup as it’s one of the ingredients. 

Even if you’re a black coffee die-hard, you may change your mind after taking a sip of Maxim Mocha. 

What We Like

  • Convenient to use

  • Works with both hot and cold water

  • You can control the amount of sugar

  • Value for money – 100 packs

What We Don’t Like

  • It may not give you a strong coffee flavor

Verdict

If you’re looking for the best instant coffee that you can take on the go, including the milk and sugar without breaking the bank, then you’ll enjoy Maxim Mocha Gold.

What Is Instant Coffee?


Instant coffee is coffee in crystal or powdered form that dissolves when mixed with hot or cold water. 

Other names synonymous to instant coffee include coffee crystals, soluble coffee, coffee mix, freeze-dried coffee, coffee granules, or spray-dried coffee.

How Is Instant Coffee Made?


Instant coffee is made by removing water from brewed coffee to make it powdery. Extraction of water from brewed coffee occurs in two possible methods:

Spray Drying

Spray drying is where the coffee extract is sprayed out at the top of a tall tower in a fine mist. At the same time, hot air blows the coffee mist towards the ground.

As the mist settles down, all the moisture evaporates, which leaves small particles of concentrated coffee to accumulate. The tiny particles become the coffee powder, commonly known as instant coffee.

At times, a small volume of water may be added so that the particles can clump together and dissolve faster in your cup.

Freeze Drying

This method was discovered in 1964, and it doesn’t involve the extraction of liquid from coffee beans. 

So, how does freeze-drying take place?

First, coffee beans undergo roasting and grinding. In the next step, the ground beans are placed in water, where they dissolve to form a concentrated liquid.

The coffee liquid then undergoes freezing to approximately -58 degrees Fahrenheit. After this, the frozen coffee is broken into tiny particles and put into a freeze dryer. 

Tips to Make the Best Instant Coffee


There are different types of instant coffee in the market, but to enjoy the absolute best instant coffee follow these tips.

1. Buy from a Quality Brand 

When purchasing your instant coffee, consider buying freeze-dried coffee, as it produces an authentic coffee flavor. 

Go for the granulated instant coffee as opposed to the powder, as the former has consistent flavor. 

2. Use Fresh, Filtered Water

The type of water you use has a significant impact on how your coffee tastes. This is not limited to instant coffee, keep this in mind for hot and cold brew too.

We suggest that you heat the water to anywhere between 190 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Follow the Recommendations on the Package

Start out by following the recommendations on the package. Sounds simple right? It is but, many of us add more or less prior to trying our instant coffee as the instructions recommend first. Taste first, then you can always make adjustments as needed.  

Try to stick to the same spoon and mug every time, so you’ll know the right amount for your desired taste to go with next time.

4. Add Cream and Sugar

Some folks (ourselves included) love black coffee, but you can add some cream to improve the drinks flavor or sugar to reduce the bitterness. 

If you prefer white coffee, then you can always order instant coffee that has sugar and milk included in the ingredients.

5. Store It in an Airtight Container

If your instant coffee comes in a jar or loose packaging material, you should keep it in an airtight container after using it. That’s the best way to keep moisture out and preserve the taste.

6. Try Hot Milk

For creamier coffee, you can use hot milk instead in place of hot water.

7. Try Iced Coffee

You can switch things up a little bit by using cold filtered water instead of hot water. Just remember to mix the coffee crystals with a teaspoon of cold water before adding your ice. 

Instant coffee is a great option for making iced coffee because it dissolves in both cold and hot water. 

How to Choose The Best Instant Coffee


When choosing the best instant coffee, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Roast

You’ll notice that instant coffees are graded by the roast type of their beans. Some types, like Nescafe Taster’s Choice, have a light to medium roast. Generally, if you’re looking for coffee with fruity or floral notes, you should choose one with a light roast.

But, if you like a flavorful, conventional instant coffee, you may go for a medium roast. 

And a dark roast should be your choice if you prefer a spicy and robust coffee taste. 

  1. Additives/Flavor

Some instant coffees have additives, while others don’t. If you’re looking for instant coffee without added sugar, cream, or other artificial flavors, go for 100% Arabica coffee, which is naturally sweet. You may also opt for other organic varieties.

Choosing instant coffee with or without additives depends on not only your taste preferences but also when and where you intend to enjoy it. For example, if you’re a regular traveler, then you may need coffee that contains sugar and milk because you may not have time to add these ingredients or want to bring them on your travels.

  1. Packaging

The packaging of the coffee plays an essential part in its flavor and aroma. Brands that sell the best instant coffee package it in airtight containers where moisture and air can’t leak through and mess up with the coffee’s taste. 

Whether it’s instant coffee or ground coffee it’s essential to preserve freshness. 

  1. Price

After considering all the above factors, we can’t overlook the cost. When shopping for your best instant coffee, you want to balance between quality and pricing.

In other words, go for the instant coffee with your preferred roast type, proper packaging, additives, and quantity, but ensure it’s reasonably priced. Always consider a product that will give you excellent value for your money.

Final Word


Ages ago, instant coffees were perceived as less than tasty options, but that is no longer the case. 

Instant coffee is versatile, easy to customize, and we promise it’s tasty too!

So, we hope this helped you learn all about instant coffee. Give one of our suggested brands a try and find the best instant coffee for your taste and lifestyle!