HomeLifestyle NewsQuick and Quality: Exploring the World of Best Instant Coffees

Quick and Quality: Exploring the World of Best Instant Coffees


Instant coffee offers a quick and convenient way to get your daily caffeine fix. But not all instant coffee is created equal when it comes to taste and quality. This article explores what to look for when selecting an instant coffee brand and reviews some of the top options on the market today. Follow along for tips on choosing, brewing and enjoying a delicious cup of instant coffee.

The Convenience of Instant Coffee

For many busy people, instant coffee provides an efficient way to enjoy a hot beverage in mere minutes. Simply add hot water and stir – no time-consuming brewing required. This speed and simplicity explains why instant coffee has remained popular for decades, even as freshly brewed specialty coffee beverages gain ground.

Instant coffee is shelf-stable, lightweight and travels well. Backpackers, road trippers, office workers and students are just some of the demographic groups who appreciate the grab-and-go convenience of instant coffee. It’s easy to tuck a few packs or jars into your bag as you head out the door.

How Instant Coffee is Made

To understand what makes great instant coffee, it helps to know a bit about how it’s produced. There are two main manufacturing processes used:

Freeze Drying

This method produces higher quality instant coffee with a taste and aroma more similar to freshly brewed. First, roasted coffee beans are brewed into a concentrated liquid. The liquid is then frozen and put through vacuum drying. This dehydrates the coffee while preserving its compounds that give flavor and aroma.

Spray Drying

In this cheaper process, hot air rapidly dehydrates coffee concentrate into powder form. The result is best instant coffee that generally tastes inferior to freeze-dried. However, modern techniques are improving the quality of spray-dried instant products.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Instant Coffee

When shopping for instant coffee, keep the following factors in mind:

Type of Beans

Arabica beans make for a smoother, sweeter coffee than the more bitter, robust Robusta bean. Seek out instant coffee made with 100% Arabica beans. Or opt for a blend that incorporates Arabica.

Roast Level

How dark the beans are roasted impacts flavor. Light roasts accentuate bright, fruity notes. Dark roasts bring out deeper, earthier flavors and have slightly less caffeine. Pick a medium or dark roast for bolder instant coffee.

Grind Size

Finer coffee grinds dissolve more efficiently in water. Instant coffee with finer grinds mixes quicker and prevents that gritty texture in the final beverage.

 Additional Ingredients

Check the label for quality instant coffee without unnecessary fillers, preservatives and artificial flavors. Some brands add real milk or creamer powders for a smoother mouthfeel.

Reviews of the Top Instant Coffee Brands

Here is a look at some beloved instant coffee options:

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals

This budget-friendly bestseller delivers a straightforward, classic instant coffee experience. The smooth, medium roast Arabica beans offer a mellow, slightly sweet flavor.

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Packets

For those who love Starbucks, these handy packets let you mimic the taste of their brewed coffee anywhere. The 100% Arabica beans sport a mellow roasted flavor. Add hot water and enjoy.

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee

Sourced from high-altitude grown beans, Mount Hagen is a premium freeze-dried instant coffee. It’s certified organic and Fairtrade. The complexity and crisp acidity rival a freshly made cup.

Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee

This newcomer uses a proprietary cold brew method for rich, nuanced flavor. The smooth blend of Arabica beans makes for a mild, crowd-pleasing cup. Convenient sticks let you enjoy it anywhere.

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Instant Coffee

While instant coffee is easy to make, following these tips can elevate your drinking experience:

Use Freshly Boiled Water

Don’t use tap water that’s been sitting around. Freshly boiled water helps maximize extraction of the coffee compounds for better taste.

Use the Right Amount of Coffee

Follow label instructions for the correct amount of instant coffee per cup. Using too little can result in weak, watery coffee. Too much makes an overly strong, bitter cup.

Customize with Milk, Creamer or Sweeteners

Balance out the acidity and enhance the mouthfeel by adding milk, creamer or sweeteners like sugar or honey. Sprinkle on some cinnamon for extra flair.


Instant Coffee Offers a Quick caffeine Fix

When you lack time to brew coffee, instant coffee steps in to deliver a fast shot of caffeine along with comforting warmth and flavor.

Pay Attention to Quality and Ingredients

Not all instant coffee is created equal. Seek out reputable brands that use high-quality beans and ethical manufacturing practices.

Follow Proper Brewing Techniques

Take your instant coffee to the next level by using hot, fresh water and customizing your cup with extras like milk or sweeteners. With the right brand and brewing method, instant coffee can taste quite good.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the healthiest instant coffee?

Organic, freeze-dried instant coffee is considered the healthiest, with the least processing and no potentially harmful chemicals used. Mount Hagen and Café Altura offer reputable organic instant coffee options.

Is instant coffee cheaper than brewed coffee?

Instant coffee is generally cheaper per cup compared to brewing methods that use fresh grounds. But premium instant coffee may cost more than budget-friendly brewed coffee.

Does instant coffee go bad?

Properly stored instant coffee can last around 2 years before losing flavor and freshness. Once opened, aim to use up instant coffee within 6 months. Store it in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.

Can you use instant coffee when baking?

Yes, instant coffee works well as a flavoring in baked goods like cakes, cookies and muffins. Use anywhere a recipe calls for brewed coffee. Just dissolve the granules in water first.

Why does instant coffee get slimy?

If your instant coffee develops a slimy, jelly-like texture, it’s a sign that it has absorbed too much moisture and started to break down. Prevent this by keeping it sealed in an airtight container in a dry environment.