10 Best Instant Coffees in 2021 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

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Our #2 Pick
Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee, 25 Count Single Serve packet Net wt 1.76 oz (50g)
Our #1 Pick
Mushroom Coffee by Four Sigmatic, Organic and Fair Trade Instant Coffee with Lions Mane, Chaga, & Mushroom Powder, Focus & Immune Support, 10 Count
Our #3 Pick
Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee, Colombian, Medium Roast | 100% Arabica, Freeze Dried, 8 Single-Serve Packets | We Bring The Instant Back
Rating
-
-
-
Prime
Pros
Produces a mild taste with a pleasant earthy aroma.
Low caffeine content, convenient packaging, healthy coffee blend.
Medium roast with hints of citrus, has single-serve and bulk options, gives a pleasant aroma.
Cons
Slightly more expensive.
Has a bit of an aftertaste.
Does not dissolve well in water.
Feature
Comes in a convenient packaging, made of 100% highland Arabica coffee beans, has a mild and pleasing taste.
Features a healthy blend of instant coffee and organic materials, this drink claims to boost brain functions.
It produces a delicious blend of instant coffee with citrus undertones, making it pleasant to drink..
Our #2 Pick
Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee, 25 Count Single Serve packet Net wt 1.76 oz (50g)
Rating
-
Prime
Pros
Produces a mild taste with a pleasant earthy aroma.
Cons
Slightly more expensive.
Feature
Comes in a convenient packaging, made of 100% highland Arabica coffee beans, has a mild and pleasing taste.
Our #1 Pick
Mushroom Coffee by Four Sigmatic, Organic and Fair Trade Instant Coffee with Lions Mane, Chaga, & Mushroom Powder, Focus & Immune Support, 10 Count
Rating
-
Prime
Pros
Low caffeine content, convenient packaging, healthy coffee blend.
Cons
Has a bit of an aftertaste.
Feature
Features a healthy blend of instant coffee and organic materials, this drink claims to boost brain functions.
Our #3 Pick
Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee, Colombian, Medium Roast | 100% Arabica, Freeze Dried, 8 Single-Serve Packets | We Bring The Instant Back
Rating
-
Prime
Pros
Medium roast with hints of citrus, has single-serve and bulk options, gives a pleasant aroma.
Cons
Does not dissolve well in water.
Feature
It produces a delicious blend of instant coffee with citrus undertones, making it pleasant to drink..

Coffee is essential to my mornings and maybe to yours, too, because it awakens and offers us just the right amount of energy for the day.

But with all the different flavors to choose from, you might be wondering what the best instant coffee might be.

Of course, it mostly depends on your taste and preference, although there is almost always a universal drink that a lot of users enjoy. Now, let me help you on this.

In this post, we’re going deeper into these instant coffees on the market because I’m quite sure you’re a bit overwhelmed with all the choices.

That is why I went ahead and conducted the research and review for you. Let’s get started.

10 Best Instant Coffees in 2021 (Reviews)

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee

Mushroom Coffee by Four Sigmatic, Organic and Fair Trade Instant Coffee with Lions Mane, Chaga, & Mushroom Powder, Focus & Immune Support, 10 Count
  • NOTE: Packaging May Vary. Manufacturer has updated the packaging, but the formulation is exactly the same.
  • POWER ON CREATIVE FOCUS: Half the caffeine, double the mental clarity; Mushroom coffee mix with organic instant coffee & 500mg of organic Lion’s Mane + Chaga mushroom powder

Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Coffee is a healthy aromatic blend, giving you half the caffeine but improving mental clarity. The combination of organic Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushroom powder is known to boost brain functions, too.

Not only that but Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffee also contains a lot of immune-enhancing ingredients like wild Rhodiola root, giving coffee a lot of antioxidant properties.

One thing I like the most about this product is its taste. Despite its ingredients, you won’t taste any mushroom or lion’s mane when you drink your coffee.

Because of this, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the best instant coffees in the market.  I also like how the coffee comes in 10 ready-to-go packets. With this, I can correctly estimate how much caffeine I’m consuming.

Pros 

  • Low caffeine content
  • Convenient packaging
  • Healthy coffee blend

Cons 

  • Has a bit of an aftertaste

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Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee

Mount Hagen Organic Instant Regular Coffee, 25 Count Single Serve packet Net wt 1.76 oz (50g)
  • Mount Hagen: Organic Instant Coffee Single Serve (1 X 1.76 Oz)
  • Made From 100% Highland Arabica Coffee Beans.:

The Mount Hagen Organic instant coffee is made of 100% highland Arabica coffee beans, providing the right amount of caffeine to kick start the day.

One of the freeze-dried instant coffees in the market, the product is guaranteed to be fresh. I like the earthy aroma it produces. This instant coffee is also quite a nice brew, as it’s not too bitter or acidic.

Many drinkers like to add milk and cream to this mix to milden its taste further.  You can opt for this alternative if you don’t want a strong coffee.

Another thing I like is that it is very well-packaged. You can find 25 sachets in one box, or you can opt to buy it in a jar. With this, you won’t have any problem regarding storage. It also makes it easier to track your consumption.

Pros 

  • Comes in a convenient packaging
  • Made of 100% highland Arabica coffee beans
  • Mild and pleasant taste

Cons 

  • Slightly more expensive

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Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee

Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee, Colombian, Medium Roast | 100% Arabica, Freeze Dried, 8 Single-Serve Packets | We Bring The Instant Back
  • BEST COFFEE BEANS: Made of 100% high quality Arabica beans instant coffee.
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Freeze dried to preserve aroma and original flavor of the beans.

Made of 100% high arabica beans, the Waka Coffee instant coffee is dubbed as one of the finest types of instant coffees in the market.  I like that it’s freeze-dried,  as it helps preserve its aroma and flavor.

With that, the coffee is a medium roast that has hints of citrus. For an instant coffee, it tastes quite pleasant and gives you the right boost you need. The smell is also not overpowering. Many users even recommend adding milk or whipped cream to make a frothy and sweet coffee drink.

This product is also well-packaged. You can purchase one box containing eight packets or get them in packs of 3.5 ounces or 8 ounces.

Pros 

  • Medium roast with hints of citrus
  • Single-serve and bulk options
  • Pleasant aroma

Cons 

  • Doesn’t dissolve well in cold water

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Maxwell Original Blend Instant Coffee

Original Blend Instant Coffee, Medium Roast, 3 Count, 24 Ounce
  • Bundle of 3, 8 Ounce each
  • Rich and Classic Medium Roast Instant coffee

The Maxwell original blend instant coffee comes in a jar that can serve about 120 cups. With this, the product is easy to store. You can even purchase it in bulk as it also comes in a bundle of 3, allowing you to save money.

One thing I like about this product is its taste. This medium roast coffee has a rich flavor, but it is neither bitter nor acidic. If I were to describe it, it tastes like your typical espresso or americano as it gives you the right amount of bite to get you going in the mornings.

Maxwell’s instant coffee also gives an earthy aroma; however, it is quite pleasant and not overpowering. It also blends well in hot or cold water.

Pros 

  • Comes in jars for bulk buying
  • Has a pleasant earthy aroma
  • Medium roast coffee

Cons 

  • Might be bitter for some drinkers

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Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaffeinated Coffee, Award-Winning, House Blend, Kosher, 3.53-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)
  • MOUNT HAGEN: The trailblazer of organic Fair Trade coffee production, the conscience of the global coffee industry
  • AWARD-WINNING: Mount Hagen consistently tops lists of best instant organic coffees

Mount Hagen consistently produces great instant coffee. Featuring flavorful and aromatic blends, it’s no wonder that they are always included in a top list. Its instant decaf coffee is one of the people’s favorites.

Being both Fair Trade and Organic, Mount Hagen’s decaf coffee is a certified organic decaf coffee. The company sources their coffee beans from Honduras, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. These countries produce coffee with a tropical kind of flavor.

It features an artful blend of fruity and nutty flavors with hints of spice. Surprisingly, it gives a mild and pleasant taste.

I also like how this product is certified caffeine-free as their decaffeinating process removes 99.99% of the caffeine. With that said, you can still enjoy your drink without the adverse side effects.

Pros 

  • Uses high-quality coffee beans
  • Has a fruity and nutty flavor with hints of spice
  • 99.99% caffeine-free

Cons 

  • Slightly more expensive

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Four Sigmatic Adaptogen Instant Coffee

Adaptogen Coffee by Four Sigmatic, Organic Medium Roast Instant Coffee with Ashwagandha, Chaga & Tulsi, Immune Support & Stress Relief, Keto, 10 Count
  • MEDITATION IN A CUP: Half the caffeine, plenty of adaptogens to master stress; Adaptogen coffee mix with organic instant coffee & organic tulsi, organic ashwagandha, organic eleuthero to stay calm, cool, and collected
  • BALANCE & MASTER STRESS: Adaptogens help your body to balance and fight occasional stress; Tackle your to-do list without caffeinated jitters thanks to the adaptogens organic tulsi (100mg) and organic ashwagandha (200mg)

Four Sigmatic is known for providing healthy blends that give a lot of benefits with half the amount of caffeine.

The adaptogenic instant coffee features a mix of instant coffee and organic tulsi, ashwagandha, and eleuthero. These ingredients are known for their relaxing effects, keeping you relaxed throughout the day.

Aside from that, these ingredients are known to enhance the immune system due to antioxidant properties, which can keep diseases at bay.

The product comes in 10 packets per box, which makes it easy to store. I also like how it makes it easy to track my consumption. This coffee drink easily blends into water, too. As such, you can enjoy it hot or cold, based on your preference.

Pros 

  • Help reduce stress
  • Mild and pleasant taste
  • Perfect for all diets

Cons 

  • Has a bit of an aftertaste

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Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee

Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets, The Daily House Blend', 6 servings per box, Premium quality coffee for on-the-go/travel
  • SPECIALTY COFFEE IN AN INSTANT: our craft coffee is roasted, brewed and dehydrated in small batches, allowing the complexity and delicate flavor profile of the roast to shine through. The result is a concentrated, pre-brewed instant coffee that makes for the perfect cup of Joe coffee in a convenient, single-serve format.
  • 6 SERVINGS PER BOX: each box includes 6 individual 5g sachets of instant coffee. Simply add 8-10 oz of hot or cold water to enjoy.

Joe Coffee’s instant coffee is made of beans sourced from South and Central America. As such, it gives a slightly bitter taste that is balanced with hints of nuts and citrus. I like the taste, especially when you add a bit of milk or cream in the mix.

The smell is also quite heavenly, as the coffee produces a chocolate-pecan aroma. You cannot even taste the bitterness at all.  This instant coffee comes in 6 sachets per box. The packaging makes it easy to store, and I like how it helps me keep track on how much coffee I consume.

Pros 

  • A perfect blend of bitterness and sweetness
  • Mild and pleasant brew
  • Made of high-quality beans

Cons 

  • Small packaging

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Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Dark Roast Packets

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Dark Roast Packets — French Roast — 1 box (50 packets)
  • Made only with high-quality arabica coffee beans
  • Smoky and singular, the explosive flavor of our darkest roast

Made of high-quality Arabica beans, the Starbucks VIA instant coffee is also one of the crowd-favorites.  It comes in a package containing 50 sachets. I like it since it makes it easier to store as well as to track my consumption.

This instant coffee comes in a dark roast, which gives it a rich and deep flavor. It can be bitter for some, but this is balanced out with hints of caramelized sugar. When you drink it, you cannot even taste the bitterness down your throat.

I also like how the coffee smells. It’s got an earthy but pleasant aroma that is not overbearing.

Pros 

  • Rich flavor with hints of caramelized sugar
  • Gives off a pleasant aroma
  • Comes with 50 single-serve sachets

Cons

  • Does not blend well with cold water

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Cafe Altura Freeze Dried Instant Organic Coffee

Folgers Classic Roast, Instant Coffee Crystals, 8 oz
  • Contains 1 - 8 Ounce Easy-Open Flip-Top Jar of Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals
  • Delicious, 100% pure Folgers medium roast coffee

Folgers is one of the most affordable coffee brands in the market. Many users love it since it produces a homey flavor.

Made of mountain-grown coffee beans sourced from New Orleans, Folgers instant coffee provides a classic medium roast flavor that reminds you of cozy mornings. It gives off a pleasant and mild aroma and flavor.

It also blends well into your drink, no matter the temperature. As such, you can choose between hot or cold servings.

The product comes with an easy-open flip jar that seals its freshness. It can make about 120 cups of coffee, following the six-fluid ounce serving.

Pros 

  • Open-flip container ensures freshness
  • Produces classic taste
  • Serves up to 120 cups of coffee

Cons 

  • Can be a bit bland for some drinkers

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Instant Coffee Buying Guide – What You Should Know

Purchasing your instant coffee can be quite a challenge because the market is saturated with choices. There are lots of brands and flavors you can choose from. Moreover, you still need to determine what type of roast to get and the amount of caffeine the drink has.

With that said, you might need to undergo a lot of trial-and-error to find the instant coffee brand that suits your tastes. However, like all things, it can be achieved through patience and hard work.  Now, you don’t have to worry. This section has compiled all the factors and features you need to look for when shopping for instant coffee.

Types of Coffee Bean 

There are two main types to look out for when it comes to coffee beans: Arabica Beans and Robusta Beans. Choosing what kind of bean to get depends on your preferences.

coffee beans

Arabica Beans

Most coffee drinks have their origins in the Arabica bean. This bean is easy to grow and found globally around the world. While that may be so, they are still slightly more expensive than the Robusta beans are.

Arabica beans are known to provide a sweet and mild taste. It also usually comes with different undertones, ranging from fruity and flowery flavors. If you favor more aromatic and flavorful coffee, then this coffee bean might be best for you.

Robusta Beans

Unlike its counterpart, Robusta beans are mostly found in Asia since they thrive in humid environments. They are also cheaper compared to Arabica beans.

Robusta beans are known for their bitter and earthy taste and aroma. They also have two times more caffeine than Arabica beans. If you are the type to care more about the caffeine content, then look for instant coffees made of Robusta beans.

Blend

There are also instant coffees that feature a blend of these two coffee beans. Most brands have an 80:20 ratio. Many users recommend trying different blends first to get a feel and taste of the other coffee beans.  After this, you can slowly branch out and find instant coffee brands that use only Arabica or Robusta beans.

Roasts

Instant coffee is also differentiated by the roasts they provide. There are light roast, medium roast, dark roast, and extra dark roast variants. What type to choose will largely depend on your taste.

Light roasts provide milder and tamer aromas and flavors, while medium roasts taste like the usual American coffee. Dark to extra-dark roasts can be quite bitter and are similar in taste to espressos.

It’s best to experiment and taste different roasts to see which one you will like best.

coffee beans roasted

Grain Processing Method

After the coffee is harvested, they are delivered to coffee plants for processing. The processing method will also affect the coffee’s aroma and taste. Instant coffee has three modes which are the following:

Dry Processing

Also known as the natural processing method, this approach lets the coffee beans dry naturally. As such, workers dry the coffee beans without purifying it from various impurities.

Countries like Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Yemen all adhere to this method.  Instant coffees processed under this method usually provide a sweet and rich flavor.

Semi-Dry Processing

In this method, workers remove the coffee bean’s skin and leave the flesh inside before drying. As such, instant coffee derived from this approach usually provides a balanced taste and mild. Compared to other instant coffees, it also has a more muted acidity.

Brazil uses this method in processing their coffee beans.

Wet Processing

Here, both the flesh and skin are removed before the final drying process. As such, instant coffees under this method produce bright flavors, with sometimes fruity and floral undertones.

These types of instant coffee brands also smell sweeter; however, they do have high acidity levels.

Types of Instant Coffee

Different types of instant coffee results from the various techniques manufacturers use to produce the final product. Instant coffee usually comes in three types.

ground instant coffee

Spray Drying Instant Coffee

This instant coffee type is most common via a method of drying and spraying using a fine mist. Here, the roasted beans are chopped and treated carefully under hot running water. You will then need to filter the infusion by spraying its extract in special chambers.

Spray drying instant coffee is usually used for cooking purposes as it makes an excellent additive for cream and dough.

Granulated Instant Coffee

Granulated instant coffee follows the same procedure as the spray drying variant. However, these two coffee methods diverge in their actual compositions. While spray drying variants are usually natural and pure, granulated types contain coffee oil.

Freeze Drying Instant Coffee

This instant coffee type undergoes the process of drying and freezing. The moisture inside the coffee beans are purged out through sublimation.

With this, it produces a stabler and fresher instant coffee. However, due to its production process, freeze-drying instant coffee can be quite expensive.

Liquid Coffee

Compared to the other three types, liquid coffee is 100% coffee extract and contains no additives nor preservatives.

First introduced in 2008, this instant coffee steadily rose to popularity since it’s natural and is guaranteed freshly-made.

instant coffee packs

Texture

Coffee texture can also affect the taste and manner of enjoying your coffee. Depending on the brand you pick, you can find three different ground varieties, with textures ranging from fine to large crunchy granules.

Caffeine Level

If you are more concerned about the coffee’s effect in your system, it’s best to look for products with sufficient caffeine levels.

Typical caffeine levels in most instant coffee products range from 60 milligrams to 80 milligrams. Anything higher than that might be detrimental to your health.

Convenience

Convenience also plays a huge factor. You wouldn’t want a too expensive coffee brand or, worse, difficult to find once you run out.

Avid coffee drinkers recommend finding a trusted local coffee shop or roaster where you can get your instant coffee from.

Many coffee drinkers also recommend that you purchase a brand that comes with a free storage container to help preserve the freshness. With this, it is easier to monitor the amount of coffee you have left.

How to make the best instant coffee

Aside from purchasing high-quality ingredients and tools, another way to obtain the best cup of instant coffee is the method of how you make it. Ingredients and devices, no matter how fancy or superior, may still taste bland if not used and mixed correctly.

This video can provide you with some tips that you can use when making your hot joe cup.

Our Top Pick

For roundup, the Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee is the best instant coffee for several reasons.  For one, this instant coffee drink features a mixture of instant coffee and healthy ingredients. Aside from getting your caffeine needs, you can also gain a lot of healthful benefits, including immune-boosting properties.

Moreover, it gives you the right amount of buzz and energy to get through the day with half the caffeine content and amount. The healthy ingredients also help improve your brain functions, especially in concentration and memory.

This instant coffee drink also contains wild Rhodiola root, which is known for enhancing the immune system.  Aside from that, it produces a mild flavor such that you cannot even taste a hint of the ingredients. But then, you can always add cream or milk if you want to.

Four Sigmatic’s instant coffee also blends easily. As such, you can enjoy it either hot or cold.  I recommend this instant coffee brand for those looking for a mild and tasting brew that provides many health benefits on the side.

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References

  • https://howto-mantra.com/552-how-to-choose-instant-coffee-what-to-look-for-when/
  • https://www.wakacoffee.com/blogs/coffeelifeblog/how-to-evaluate-best-instant-coffee
  • https://vinepair.com/articles/best-specialty-instant-coffee/
  • https://coffeecraftcode.com/ground-coffee-vs-instant-coffee-7-differences-that-matter/

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