Full-bodied coffee is a priority, no matter where you are and how you’re doing. The best instant coffee is the perfect companion for times when you’re stressed, spent, or even traveling. As a coffee addict, I consider myself to be so lucky to have the option of instant coffee wherever I go.
At Koobies too, the whole team is crazy about instant coffee. But only the most respectable-tasting instant coffee. Not the cheap, low-quality, or a wannabe-ish version of instant coffee that is so widely available these days.
So let’s get to know the top 12 instant coffee brands and their delightful creations.
Table of Contents
- Top Instant Coffee Brands
- Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee
- Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee
- Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Dark Roast Coffee
- Nescafe Taster’s Choice French Roast Instant Coffee
- Nescafe 3 in 1 Original Instant Coffee
- Trung Nguyen G7 3-in-1 Instant Premium Vietnamese Coffee
- Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals
- Maxwell House Hazelnut Iced Latte
- Four Sigma Foods Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
- Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee
- Jacobs Kronung Instant Coffee
- Kava Acid Neutralized Instant Coffee
- Let’s Start With… What is Instant Coffee?
- Types of Instant Coffee
- Choosing Instant Coffee
- Instant Coffee: Is It Good or Bad?
- What Can You Do to Make Instant Coffee Taste Better?
- The End
Top Instant Coffee Brands
Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee
A decent cup of coffee in the morning or at whatever time of the day shouldn’t be so hard to come by, right? And you can’t keep running to Starbucks every single time you want to make that happen. For one, those trips are expensive. And secondly, it’s inconvenient. This is where I tell you that you’ve met your match.
The Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee by Mount Hagen is incredibly smooth with no unpleasant chemical aftertaste. You don’t take time to fall completely head over heels in love with this. Even if it wasn’t organic or freeze-dried, you’d be swooning over the coffee.
It ranks among the best instant coffee for backpacking. The perfect option for those who wish to enjoy a cup of hot, delicious coffee at the top of a mountain. Instead of feeling deprived of caffeine!
In the end, I would just like to say that Mount Hagen instant coffee, this one or any other, almost tastes like non-instant. They’re all that smooth and richly flavored. Plus, the coffee even dissolves without leaving any room for complaint.
- Coffee tastes lightly sweet, thus no need for creamer.
- Dehydrated crystals dissolve very quickly.
- It’s 100% organic.
- Afterbite is quite bitter and sharp.
Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee
I’ve already mentioned Starbucks in my first review. So how about I now not just mention but also review instant coffee manufactured by the coffee giant itself? This Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee is a Colombian blend of pure Arabica beans. It’s the instant version of delicious micro-grounds. All you need to do is add hot water, then stir.
The thing about genuine Colombian Arabica coffee beans is that they’re the richest and smoothest. And this one is also packed with the traditional walnut flavor.
It’s just wonderful when instant coffee delivers the same taste like freshly brewed coffee. Without the muddy and bitter aftertaste. You’ll face no problems when it comes to dissolving the coffee as well. Be it in hot or cold water, the grounds don’t leave a thick sludge of coffee at the bottom.
You can even add it to your morning breakfast smoothies with protein powder. That’s the beauty of instant coffee. Prepare it however you like!
- Arabica coffee beans deliver more flavor and sweetness.
- Bold-flavored with no bitterness.
- Grounds dissolve completely in both hot and cold water.
- Very strong caffeine content.
Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Dark Roast Coffee
Here’s another strongest instant coffee by Starbucks. But this one’s an Italian roast. And it’s made with only top-quality Arabica beans. The dark roast, undoubtedly, is sweet and roasty. It’s got a deep, rich flavor with subtle hints of caramelized sugar.
Starbucks’ roast spectrum is quite exceptional in my opinion. Each and every coffee bean demands the perfect balance of time and temperature. Only then does it reach its distinctive acidity, flavor, aroma, and body. And nobody understands this better than Starbucks.
The dark roast here is bold and full-bodied. The intense roast is packed with robust flavors. Thanks to the use of 100-percent Arabica coffee beans. You can prepare iced coffee as well. Just give the grounds more time in the cup. And then don’t forget to stir thoroughly.
This, or any other Starbucks coffee, is made without the presence of gluten or wheat. So you don’t even have to worry about that.
- Bold, strong flavor with hints of sweetness.
- No-fuss preparing the coffee, even with cold water.
- Lightweight to carry, thus perfect for travel.
- The roast is slightly weaker than Italian.
Nescafe Taster’s Choice French Roast Instant Coffee
Every best instant coffee 2019 list is equipped with this French Roast by Nescafe Taster’s Choice. So the fact that it’s French roast is what makes the coffee unique. And also the fact that the blend here is Arabica and Robusta. Both coffee beans are 100% pure to deliver the real coffee flavor.
This dark roast is full-bodied and robust, no doubt about that. The product is also Kosher-certified and gluten-free. To be honest, the majority of coffee lovers don’t like the taste of instant coffee. But this one is a huge hit within that small community of coffee fanatics that develop a taste for genuinely delicious instant coffee.
Opening this jar of instant coffee is like opening a fresh can of ground coffee. But does it taste as good as it smells? Absolutely! The chances of finding something better than this French roast is highly unlikely.
- Flavorful, hearty French roast coffee.
- Sweet and smooth, even when served black.
- Easy to brew.
- Not as dark-roasted as French roast should be.
Nescafe 3 in 1 Original Instant Coffee
Now, are you ready for the best instant coffee with creamer and sugar? The Nescafe 3 in 1 Original Instant Coffee is quite delightful. This is not like traditional instant coffee I know. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
The 3-in-1 part includes coffee, cream, and sugar. So your every cup is creamier and more aromatic, no doubt. All you have to do is mix the powder in hot water, wait for 30 seconds, and then drink the yummy coffee.
And if you’re not so crazy about too much sweetener and creamer, that’s okay too. Because the Nescafe Original coffee doesn’t have a lot of cream and sugar.
As for the roast flavor, it’s nice and light without any bitterness. Even those that appreciate darker roasts are likely to get hooked on to this coffee.
Each 3-in-1 serving comes in little packets for easy carry. This means you can savor this creamy delight no matter where you go.
- It’s got coffee, creamer, and sugar.
- The flavor is rich and smooth.
- The instant powder mixes very well, with no lumps.
- Not made for those that have no sweet tooth.
Trung Nguyen G7 3-in-1 Instant Premium Vietnamese Coffee
It’s always better to have options, right? So here’s another 3-in-1 version of instant coffee. This Premium Vietnamese Coffee by Trung Nguyen is very popular for all the right reasons. The sugar and creamer in here are non-dairy.
The dry roast process the company employs delivers a superior taste. The coffee is not pre-brewed, concentrated, or freeze-dried just so you know. It’s a very simple and authentic 3-in-1 version that you just have to mix with hot water.
The powdered coffee has a taste and aroma quite much like freshly brewed and freshly ground coffee. It’s an ideal choice for the majority of Vietnamese as well as French coffee enthusiasts.
As for the level of caffeine, it’s medium to high. Meaning perfect to wake you up first thing in the morning. The quantity of cream and sugar, on the other hand, is medium. To sum it up, the overall taste of the coffee is neither too sweet nor too bitter.
- Coffee has a strong nutty flavor.
- Sugar and cream are not over the top.
- Never too sweet, nor too bitter.
- Caffeine levels might be too high for some people.
Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals
It’s obvious that instant coffee, Folgers, Nescafe, or Starbucks, would never be able to satisfy a genuine coffee addict. And that’s because they appreciate the taste of grinding their own coffee beans and using expensive brewers. But if you don’t have the option or patience to do this every morning, you’ve got to pick something that comes close to that experience.
In that case, the Folgers Instant Coffee Crystals offer a rich taste. The best part is that the coffee is the fastest to prepare. I tried it black, and it tastes absolutely delicious. There’s no room for wanting more in this department.
The packaging is well taken care of as well. The seal canister locks in all the freshness and aroma of the special grounds.
And lastly, let me bring one more thing to your attention. Are you used to drinking coffee with lots of cream, sugar, or other artificial sweeteners? If yes, then you’d be better off with something else. Folgers instant coffee is good as is. So if you decide to add too much of other stuff, you might just wreck the rich, delicious taste.
- Rich-tasting coffee.
- It comes in a sealed canister that locks in freshness.
- Easy for camping and other outdoor adventures.
- Residue at the bottom of every cup is unavoidable.
Maxwell House Hazelnut Iced Latte
How about getting to know all about the best flavored instant coffee? The Hazelnut Iced Latte by Maxwell House is easy, indulgent, and tastes café-like. You just have to mix it with milk if you want to make the most of its rich flavor. Water is not recommended unless that’s how you like it.
The hazelnut flavor definitely keeps you coming back for more. On top of that, so does the caffeine fix. It has the power to get you through the day like no other.
The best part is that the grounds dissolve quickly even in cold milk. Even the French Vanilla flavor is as refreshing as this Hazelnut version. So you can devour flavored coffee without having to head to Starbucks or your local café.
- The hazelnut flavor is smooth and rich.
- Easily dissolvable in milk and water.
- Packaged for the on-the-go coffee lover.
- Coffee strength is slightly weak.
Four Sigma Foods Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee
Let me begin by saying that even half the amount of caffeine you normally consume is enough for boosting mental clarity. And if you agree, then I’m sure you’ll absolutely love this mushroom coffee.
What’s included in here? There’s organic coffee with organic lion’s mane plus Chaga mushroom powder. So there’s no way you get to ask the question, what’s so unique about this pick?
Now let me talk about the benefits. Lion’s mane mushroom supports concentration, focus, and memory. It boosts cognitive function to kickstart your mornings. As for organic Chaga, it’s packed with plenty of antioxidants for supporting your immune health.
Moreover, there’s organic Rhodiola root for helping you fight stress. This coffee, no doubt, fits well in vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. There are only organic, natural ingredients in here. Unlike the others on the list. No artificial flavors, fillers, or carriers!
- Caffeine levels are controlled, thus healthy.
- Coffee contains lion’s mane and Chaga mushroom that offer health benefits.
- Carefully roasted and brewed for pure instant coffee.
- Mushroom content is only 20% though, rest is all coffee.
Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee
Is double-roasted coffee like this Espresso Instant Coffee easy to prepare? Now I don’t know about the others. But this one certainly is quite convenient to make. And it’s unusually delicious, aromatic, and rich the brand claims. No false claims, that’s for sure.
But why is the coffee double-roasted? So you can enjoy the traditional espresso flavor. Such instant coffee is proof that even ground coffee can be just as tasty. But, more importantly here, Medaglia D’Oro coffee is easy on the tummy. Meaning no acidity as a result of your caffeine cravings!
You can add it to desserts as well, like mocha buttercream frosting. There’s no doubt you’ll be anything but pleased with the rich, delicious espresso flavor that you normally don’t get from most other coffee brands.
- Strong flavor with no acidity, no bitterness.
- Grounds dissolve very quickly.
- Perfect as an ingredient in dessert recipes.
- Mild espresso instant coffee.
Jacobs Kronung Instant Coffee
The second-last pick better be as good as the first and last, right? In that case, the Jacobs Kronung Instant Coffee fits the bill. The German coffee is freeze-dried, much like freshly brewed coffee. Fine quality, superior taste, and freshness are all a huge part of the sipping experience.
The blend, unquestionably, is the most flavorful and rich. It’s the perfect instant coffee for camping, travel, and early mornings.
You can be a coffee snob and still end up drinking lots of Jacobs Kronung coffee. In comparison to spending huge sums of money on K-cups, this instant version offers great value. And in terms of taste and flavor, it doesn’t ever disappoint. That’s the best part.
- The flavor is ideal for black coffee lovers.
- Even though strong, it has no bitter or harsh aftertaste.
- It’s fresh instant coffee.
- Don’t look forward to any tempting aroma.
Kava Acid Neutralized Instant Coffee
So why should you even consider the last pick on the list? It’s only because the instant coffee is acid-neutralized by 50%. The benefit of that here is full-bodied, rich coffee without half of the bitterness you get from most other instant coffee brands.
The convenience factor of instant coffee is what most people love about it. But, more often than not, in the process, the delicious taste and flavor of the coffee get compromised. Not in this case though. No matter how big of a coffee snob you are, much like me.
The flavor, quite surprisingly, is very strong. The cup you prepare always tastes exceptionally balanced. On top of that, the caffeine kick you get meets the demands of your long, busy days. Now that’ a good combination, isn’t it? Low acid profile and high caffeine content.
- The flavor is full-bodied, strong, and not bitter.
- Low acid instant coffee with high caffeine.
- A delicious dark roast that mixes well.
- Caffeine kick may be too much.
Let’s Start With… What is Instant Coffee?
The question is simple, but so is the answer? Let’s find out!
Instant coffee starts as just about any regular coffee brewed for drawing out most of the flavor and taste. During this stage, what matters is controlling the pressure and water temperature. Once the brewing is done, water is drained out of the coffee. So what’s left behind is pure coffee extract.
The thing about coffee extraction is that the procedure is performed in different ways.
The final coffee extract is dried and turned into granular or powder form. And this drying process is carried out in two different ways. That means there are two different types of instant coffee.
Types of Instant Coffee
This is when liquid coffee transforms into instant coffee within 30 seconds. The concentrated form of coffee is sprayed into a chamber filled with hot air. Here, it evaporates and forms tiny droplets. That, in turn, dry up into coffee crystals.
For full coffee bean flavor preservation, the freeze-drying method works best. Coffee concentrate, in this case, is frozen. Then placed inside a heated, vacuum-filled drying chamber. Here, coffee tends to warm up and go through sublimation. So what’s left behind is highly flavorsome and intense dry coffee grains.
Choosing Instant Coffee
Freshly brewed coffee and instant coffee both are very popular these days. Some coffee brands deliver high-quality instant coffee that tastes very much like freshly brewed coffee or café-like coffee. But then there are crappy options too. So here’s how you can stay away from bad coffee.
Check the roast and coffee beans
Coffee from Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Indonesia is the most popular. So if you have a preference, then make sure your instant coffee comes from your favorite coffee producing country.
Then there are roast preferences too, right? The thing about coffee is that, in every form, it’s roasted light, medium, or dark. Even instant coffee comes that way.
Check the caffeine levels
The numbers here are printed on the packaging. They’re displayed in terms of grams for every serving. Based on health and medical professionals, anything below 60 grams per serving you should avoid.
Check for any flavors and/or additives
What additives do is initiate the fast brewing process. There are some instant coffee options that offer delicious crema with the help of such flavors and additives.
But, to be honest, if you’re a traditional coffee lover, then you’re highly likely to not appreciate the taste of additive-infused instant coffee.
Instant Coffee: Is It Good or Bad?
No doubt, instant coffee is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Much like regular coffee! In fact, the instant version contains more antioxidants due to the way the coffee is processed. On top of that, a normal cup of instant coffee offers just seven calories.
The next benefit of instant coffee is that it has comparatively less caffeine. Instant coffee contains 30 milligrams to 90 milligrams of caffeine per teaspoon. As for regular coffee, it’s between 70 milligrams to 140 milligrams for the same amount.
So if you’re caffeine-sensitive or trying to cut back on your daily caffeine consumption, then instant coffee seems like a healthier choice. By the way, the instant version also comes in decaf with an even smaller quantity of caffeine.
On the other hand, instant coffee has a higher content of acrylamide. It’s a harmful chemical present in coffee due to the roasting of the beans. In comparison to freshly roasted coffee, instant coffee is equipped with double the amount of acrylamide.
Over-exposure to this potentially harmful substance leads to nervous system damage. It also increases your chances of developing cancer.
However, generally speaking, instant coffee is pretty much like regular coffee in terms of health benefits. Boosting brain function, metabolism, liver health, and mental health. Along with reducing the risks of neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.
What Can You Do to Make Instant Coffee Taste Better?
Everything reconstituted loses its complexity. In the case of instant coffee, the same should be expected. The subtle notes and full-flavored brightness that a single-serve coffee maker or French Press delivers are almost always lost. Even more so if you don’t choose high-quality instant coffee.
So it’s only natural to want better results. And here’s how you can do that.
So, in this article, I’ve reviewed all types of different instant coffee. There’s mushroom coffee, organic coffee, Arabica and Robusta blend coffee, Italian roast coffee, French roast coffee, acid-neutralized coffee, coffee with cream and sugar, flavored coffee, Espresso coffee, and lots more.
So you can pick based on your personal tastes and preferences. Isn’t that amazing when it comes to satisfying your caffeine cravings!
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