Last Updated: 28-05-20

10 Best Instant Coffees 2020

Here at Daily Espresso, we like to think of ourselves as coffee connoisseurs, believing that the best coffee is made using the best equipment.

The truth is, instant coffee gets a bit of harsh treatment from the coffee world. You can argue that it isn’t really proper coffee, but there is also no denying that it is massively popular.

Especially if you want to make a whipped Dalgona coffee, which can only be done with the instant stuff.

But choosing instant coffee doesn’t mean you have to settle for substandard. The good thing about it being so popular is that there is some really decent stuff out there now, which tastes just like the real thing – perfect for coffee taste lovers who aren’t as bothered about the caffeine content or crafting their perfect cup.

So without further ado, we bring you the best instant coffee available on the market.

Our Top Picks

Image Product Details
NESCAFÉ AZERA Americano Instant Coffee Tin
  • Capacity: 100g
  • Flavour: Original
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Kenco Iced Latte Instant Coffee 8 Sachets
  • Capacity: 8 x 230g Sachets
  • Flavours: Original, Coconut, Vanilla, Salted Caramel
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NESCAFÉ AZERA Cappuccino Coffee
  • Capacity: 6 x 96g
  • Flavour: Cappuccino, Flat White, Latte
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The Best Instant Coffees

1.
NESCAFÉ AZERA Americano Instant Coffee Tin

Specifications

  • Capacity: 100g
  • Flavour: Original

As mentioned, while instant coffee isn’t ideal for the ‘real experience’, this is probably the closest you will get to perfection.

It describes itself as barista-style instant coffee, crafted from a selection of Arabica and Robusta beans. As it is a blend of instant and finely ground roasted coffee, you get a layer of velvety coffee crema with every cup, which isn’t often the case with ordinary instant.

Two spoonfuls makes a double shot for a bit more of a kick, and it still only requires hot water to make so is really easy.

It is also available in decaf in case you still prefer the taste over the caffeine kick.

2.
Kenco Iced Latte Instant Coffee 8 Sachets

Specifications

  • Capacity: 8 x 230g Sachets
  • Flavours: Original, Coconut, Vanilla, Salted Caramel

These sachets are great if you love an iced latte from the coffee shop but making it at home when the craving hits is just too much hard work.

They are available in Original, Salted Caramel, Coconut or Vanilla, to match your usual order. It is recommended you make it with ice cold milk, add some ice cubes and even add a dollop of ice cream on top for extra indulgence.

For a less creamy drink, use 180ml of water and just stir until it gets to the right consistency. Because they come in sachets, they are also great to take on holiday, pop in your bag to go to work or just simply something that takes up little space in your cupboards.

3.
NESCAFÉ AZERA Cappuccino Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 6 x 96g
  • Flavour: Cappuccino, Flat White, Latte

Cappuccino coffee needs to be frothy, luxurious and a little bit sweet, which is why many people go straight to their local cafe as opposed to attempting it at home.

The finely ground coffee dissolves with water, and with a bit of stirring it creates the perfect layer of foam. Because it is a 3-in-1, you don’t have to add the milk – it is already in there, along with the sugar.

All of the beans are sustainably sourced by Nescafe from around the world, and there are also Flat White and Latte versions available in case these are your drink of choice instead.

4.
illy Smooth Taste Instant Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 95g
  • Flavour: Original

100% Arabica, and instant coffee with some roasted ground in there too, this is one of the most popular instant coffee options around for people who love a smooth taste – perhaps anyone used to machine coffee.

It comes in a metal tin, which is ideal for freshness and avoiding plastic. Some people claim that the instant coffee is just as good as the Fresh Brew, which is great if you aren’t bothered about having a higher caffeine content.

There is no bitterness, and it can be hard to find in supermarkets so the fact you get six with this online purchase makes it even better value…

5.
Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence Instant Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 190g
  • Flavour: Original

A strength of Dark/4, this instant coffee is ideal for anyone who really loves a more potent taste. As other instants, it is freeze-dried and therefore will retain the taste no matter how long it takes you to get through them.

It is still made from the finest of beans for that authentic taste, and full-bodied so it can be enjoyed at any time of day. The company has been going for over 250 years, so know a good deal about coffee and have put all of this into their instant blend too.

It can be drunk black or with a dash of milk, and is also good as a base for other drinks in case you want to also froth milk.

6.
Kenco Millicano Americano Intense Instant Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 500g
  • Flavour: Original

An intense, dark-roasted blend which is best if you will be making stronger Americanos or other similar drinks, without milk and other flavourings.

The blend of freeze dried instant coffee and roast and ground coffee gives it that intense flavour, to bring it up a notch compared to most other instant coffees which are available. This makes it one of the best options for people who really love the flavour of coffee but for who instant coffee is easiest.

7.
Lavazza Prontissimo Intenso Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 95g
  • Flavour: Original

Premium instant coffee enhanced with 10% finely ground coffee, this intense blend is great for anyone who wants to balance easiness with proper coffee flavour.

It is 100% Arabica for top-quality, and it only takes one teaspoon of powder to make a perfect cup. Flavour it with milk, sugar or whatever else you use, as it makes an ideal base coffee.

A 5 medium roast, it could be enjoyed at any time of day and even by itself.

8.
Beanies Flavoured Instant Coffee Jars

Specifications

  • Capacity: 3 x 50g
  • Flavour: Mixed Bundles

Beanies are perhaps the best-known flavoured coffee brand, and their selection is pretty unbeatable too no matter what you are after.

You can choose from two bundles – A, with Irish Cream, Chocolate Orange and Amaretto Almond, or B with Double Chocolate, Cinder Toffee and Cookie Dough in case you have a sweeter tooth.

They are great used as they are, or as a base flavour to recreate your regular Starbucks Secret Menu order. There is still caffeine present, and the less you use the more the flavour comes through so you should see them lasting a while.

We will be honest and say that the flavour is quite artificial-like, so if you’re used to pumps of syrup from the barista, you may need to take a while to get the flavouring to what you’re used to.

9.
NESCAFÉ Original Instant Decaffeinated Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 500g
  • Flavour: Original

Made from 100% coffee beans and nothing else, and still giving an intense flavour, this decaf will be ideal for anyone who can’t cope with caffeine.

Instant coffee contains a lot less caffeine anyway, so can be a drink of choice for some people trying to avoid it, but there is still around 26 mg per 100mg (just over half of what is in an ordinary coffee).

So, a decaf instant will cut this down yet again, to around 12mg for a 473ml serving. You still make it just like an ordinary instant, and it dissolves really well.

It comes in a big tub, which uses Click-to-Close technology to keep everything fresh and prevent it from all falling out if the tub happens to make an escape from the kitchen cupboard. The tin is space-efficient however, in case it will be kept to hand on the bench.

10.
Clipper Organic Medium Roast Arabica Coffee

Specifications

  • Capacity: 100g
  • Flavour: Original

When you are conscious about buying your food, drink and pretty much everything else, looking for the Organic label is one way to tell it is a fair product.

This Clipper coffee uses pure ingredients and has only the highest-quality sources. There is nothing artificial added and it has also helped to improve the welfare of workers. 

It is full bodied and smooth, natural, fair and delicious coffee. The medium roast is good for any time of day, and it dissolves down really well with one or two teaspoons of coffee and the right amount of water.

Instant Coffee Buying Guide

How To Choose The Best Instant Coffee

Think about your regular coffee drinking. How strong do you like it, which roast and how do you make it?

For example, if you like a dark, rich roast and to make it with frothy milk and sugar, find a roast which is dark and a coffee which isn’t too intense, so it will taste okay mellowed down.

Capacity

For each cup of instant coffee, you should use a teaspoon of granules, which is about 4g.

So, a tin of 95g of coffee will still make around 24 coffees. But, if you have a household full of coffee lovers, then buying in bulk or a tub of larger capacity could work out better in the long run.

Types Of Instant Coffee

Instant coffee comes in jars or sachets.

For the former, it is often just the pure coffee content in the jar which can be used as a base drink. However, a sachet of coffee will usually contain the milk and sugar content needed for a regular cup of coffee. Sachets can also contain all of the ingredients for speciality coffees such as iced, cappuccinos or lattes, and are great for taking on holiday, camping or to work.

You can also buy freeze-dried granules or spray-dried granules, which is basically just two different methods of production but the former is often seen as the higher-quality product.

FAQs

How is instant coffee made?

There are a few ways to make instant coffee, in order to make the grounds soluble. 

With freeze-drying coffee, the soluble parts of the coffee bean are extracted, and this is then freeze-dried to make smaller granules. They are dried, and the water is removed. It is a more expensive and longer process than spray-drying, but often gives better results.

With spray-drying, a similar method is used but the faster drying and larger scale can mean a lower quality coffee granule.

How do you make instant coffee?

It is super easy – which is why it is so popular! Simply put one teaspoon of the granules into a cup, and pour the right amount of water over as described on the packaging.

Some people like to put two teaspoons in for a stronger, more bitter taste, and some also argue that putting the water in first is best. Either way, use hot water rather than boiling.

You can drink it as black or add milk and sugar. You can also use it as a base for creamy homemade cappuccinos or add flavoured syrups.

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