Best instant coffee for that quick and easy hot drink

There’s been a surge in the number of coffee shops and cafes in cities around the world. Despite this, the humble instant coffee is still a go to and a staple of most households as well as many office goers. This article looks at twelve of the best instant coffees that’s available on the market covering regular, flavoured, barista style and decaf.

What is instant coffee?

How to make instant coffee

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Instant coffee is usually in the form of powder, granule or crystals that can be made into a coffee drink with the addition of hot water. Instant coffee is made by making liquid coffee and then freeze or spray drying to create the powder, granule or crystals.

Instant coffee used to be a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. However, the rise of the speciality coffee phenomena has meant that even instant coffee makers are trying to use the best beans- Arabica. So now you do get 100% Arabica instant coffee too.

The advantage of instant coffee is that it has a long shelf life if it is kept dry. The traditional instant coffee also didn’t leave behind a grit or coffee grinds in the cup like a filter coffee. However, this is changing with many brands now trying to imitate the taste of regular coffee.

The two main factors in choosing an instant coffee are aroma and taste. Most people who choose instant coffee want it to have a rich, heavenly aroma along with a smooth flavour.

Wide variety of instant coffee = customer confusion

There are many brands of instant coffee available in the market. Within each brand there are several different instant coffees, types and flavours creating what seem like tens of jars and refills of this type of drink in any large grocery store.

One option of course is you could start at one end of the instant coffee display at the store and then work your way to the other end. The risk you run with this is that you’ll probably find several that you don’t like and that results in a waste of money. Or you could buy the most expensive, the cheapest or the one bang in the middle. None of these will guarantee that you’ll like the instant coffee.

This is a list of instant coffees short listed for you. With a variety of types and flavours, you should find one that suits your palate. Read the detailed review of each to decide whether the description appeals.

The best instant coffees (regular)

This is the list of the top five picks of regular instant coffee. 

1. Nescafé Original Instant Coffee - Iconic Instant Coffee

Nescafé Original Instant Coffee
Nescafé Original Instant Coffee
Nescafé Original Instant Coffee Review
Aroma
Taste
Consistency
Price
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Some positives
The flavour that many associate with good instant coffee
Has remained consistent for decades
Some negatives
Mix of Arabica and Robusta beans
4.7
The iconic instant coffee

Read the full review of Nescafe Original Instant Coffee


2. Starbucks VIA® Colombia Roast Coffee - To Kick Start the day

Starbucks via colombia roast review
Starbucks via colombia roast review
Starbucks VIA® Colombia Roast Review
Aroma
Taste
Consistency
Price
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Other Positives
Sachets are easy to carry with you just about anywhere
Way to kick start the morning
100% Arabica beans
Some drawbacks
Quite pricey but worth it for fans of this coffee
Has some dregs at the bottom like fresh filter coffee
4.6
Perfect to kick start the day

Read the full review of Starbucks Colombia Roast


3. Illy 100% Arabica Instant Coffee - Taste of Real Coffee

Illy Arabica instant coffee
Illy Arabica instant coffee
Illy Arabica Instant Coffee Review
Taste
Aroma
Consistency
Price
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Other Positives
100% Arabica beans
Feeling of fresh coffee that builds with every sip
Some negatives
Expensive but worth every penny
4.6
The taste of real coffee

4. Kenco Rich Instant Coffee - Go To Instant Coffee 

Kenco Rich Instant Coffee Review
Kenco Rich Instant Coffee Review
Kenco Rich Instant Coffee Review
Aroma
Taste
Consistency time after time
Price
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Other positives
No dregs in cup so you can drink it to the bottom.
Value for money
Well liked by customers
Negatives
It's a blend of beans and not 100% Arabica which is important to some
4.6
Go To Instant Coffee For Many

5. Douwe Egberts Pure Gold instant coffee

Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Review
Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Review
Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Review – Instant Coffee Series
Aroma
Taste
Consistency over time
Price
Reader Rating0 Votes0
Other positives
Real aroma of coffee
Some drawbacks
It's a light flavour perfect for all day but doesn't have the kick in the morning
Blend of coffee beans
4.4
Quality instant coffee for any time of the day

Read the full review of Douwe Egberts Pure Gold instant coffee


The best instant barista style & flavoured coffees

6.NESCAFÉ Gold Cappuccino Original Review

best instant coffee - barista style

If you want to quickly create a coffee shop style cappuccino at home, the Nescafé Gold Cappuccino Original is highly rated.

It has the great Nescafé coffee flavour in a frothy coffee.

The milk comes from British farms. It’s also easy to make. All you need to do is to add hot water to get the cappuccino.

7.Maxwell House Cappuccino Review

Best instant coffee- barista style

Cappuccino lovers who want to have an easy shop style coffee at home like the Maxwell House Cappuccino. Many love this coffee flavour though a few don’t find it strong enough for their taste. The good thing is since it comes in a tub, you can add some more to your cup.

This comes in a big tub, rather than sachets, so keeping it cool and dry is important since the quantity of cappuccino will go on for quite a while.

8. NESCAFÉ AZERA Americano Instant Review

best instant coffee - barista style

The Nescafé Azera creates Americano style instant hot coffees. For those looking for an Americano at home, this works well. It’s created from a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans and provides a great kickstart to the day.

9. Douwe Egberts The Flavour Collective Roasted Hazelnut Review

best instant coffee-flavoured

If you love flavoured coffee, then this instant coffee is for you. It has a warm nutty flavour and a lovely aroma. It’s a medium roast which means it’s a good blend of rich and smooth coffee flavour too. You’ll most likely find that your whole family love this drink.

10. Douwe Egberts The Flavour Collective Smooth Caramel

Best instant coffee - flavoured

This instant coffee with a caramel flavour has a lovely caramel toffee aroma and a light caramel flavour. It isn’t too intense or sweet. While this works as a caramel treat, you may need to add a bit more coffee if you want a stronger coffee flavour.

The best instant decaf coffees

If you want the flavour of coffee without the caffeine, then decaf instant coffees are the way to go. Here are the top two picks in this category.

11.Kenco Decaff Instant Coffee Review

Best instant coffee - decaff

For those who want plenty of hot coffees at work, the Kenco Decaff instant coffee is their go to coffee. It’s got all the great features of their regular coffees – bright, smooth with a lovely aroma and without the caffeine. This is a freeze-dried coffee. The process of freeze drying is known to retain coffee aroma and flavour well.

12.Clipper Organic Instant Freeze Dried Decaffeinated Coffee

best instant coffee-decaf

This is made using the freeze-dried coffee process from 100% Arabica beans. It’s a medium roast is a well-balanced toasty intense blend of coffee with a rich aroma.


Now that you’ve found your favourite instant coffee, learning how to make good instant coffee is important. Read our article on how to make instant coffee.  

An electric kettle is a must have to make convenient instant coffee. So make sure you have one of those around. 

Modern coffee production techniques have meant that instant coffee has its time and place in people’s homes and offices. There’s no beating the convenience and consistency factor when it comes to making instant coffee.

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