Best Instant Coffee in 2020



Nescafe Taster's Choice House Blend Instant Coffee, 7 Ounce (Pack of 2) Review:


Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee has been my favorite cup of coffee for more years than I can remember. Perhaps it is the way the freeze dried pieces vary in size but dissolve quickly and completely or perhaps it is just the delicious taste that makes it so good.

There has been a recent change but I am so happy that it is not to the coffee but to the container. It now comes in a reusable glass jar rather than the previous plastic jar that had an attached lid that sometimes inadvertently popped open. This new glass jar helps keep the coffee fresher to the last grain.



Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, 8 Ounces Review:


It's only here in the US that people turn up their noses at coffee crystals. I grew up in Europe, where instant coffee has always been quite popular. Since mornings are objectively the worst part of every day, I need at least 2 cups of coffee before I can handle such demanding tasks as getting out of pajamas and into the shower. But I don't need gourmet coffee. I need FAST coffee. And I don't have the patience or counter space for drip machines, presses, Keurigs, etc. I just want reliable instant coffee, and the fact that this comes in an unbreakable container is even better.

How much time do you really want to devote to your morning coffee? I'll tell you what I want to do---I want to microwave a mug of water, dump a spoonful of coffee crystals in there, and get on with my day. Do I think it produces the best cup of coffee known to mankind? No...but it's good enough.



Starbucks Espresso Blend Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 20 Oz. Bag | Great Holiday Gift for Coffee Lovers Review:


I was highly critical of this product, having been an owner of a few coffee shops in the past and initially I was very unhappy with the espresso that these beans produced, no crema and not very good. Because I have experience in coffee I do know to try a few things and this is what worked for me, extremely fine grind which for my grinder it usually plugs the filter basket common to espresso machines. Today, it made the perfect cup of espresso, so I'm two stars.... I returned to revise my scathing review. If you are not happy with the beans you might try adjusting the grind.



G7 3-in-1 Instant Premium Vietnamese Coffee, 100 Servings/Sachets, 56.4 Ounce Review:


I received a pack of G7 3-in-1 today; 100 pieces for a little over $20. I was skeptical about it being decent, but hikers, like Shug on HammockForums, seem to like it as it is a low impact way to have a fresh cup in the morning. I like hand ground, fresh brewed coffee, like Volcanica and probably am a coffee snob. Anyway, although I usually drink black, when out and about I am looking for caffeine, a decent taste, and energy, which added sugar gives as a plus. They say 3 oz of water to one pack, but trying 6 ozs with a pack seems fine. I've never had Vietnamese coffee and I assume based on their directions it is normally brewed to be strong. The coffee has a nutty flavor and there is definitely a kick to the result. Just want I want. After a few cups I am sold on G7 and will have to try their black only version.

The pack I received was made in March 2018 and has a best by date of March 2020. I am looking to try some Voila instant when they have sampler packs again, and I understand they are the best available in instant, at least so online reviewers say. At $4 a cup compared to around 21 cents a cup of G7, that makes it quite pricey. I expect there is a place for both though. And in the meantime, while I have the time at home, I'll stick with the fresh ground beans. Nonetheless, this is better than any instant I have had before and the value for your money is excellent. Certainly worth a try in a small pack, if cream and sugar does not turn you off. Or maybe the black only G7 is the way to go.



Starbucks Breakfast Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 20 Oz. Bag | Great Holiday Gift for Coffee Lovers Review:


We stopped in Seattle on our way to Alaska and the hotel we were staying at served the most delicious coffee. We inquired and were told it was Pike Place Medium Roast. As soon as we got home the on line search began. I am so pleased with this coffee. My favorite coffee blend is Starbuck's Christmas Blend, but it is seasonal. This is the closest I've found. It is flavorful without being bitter. We like a strong cup of coffee but do not like bitter. This is perfect. We continue to buy, well at least until the holidays and the Christmas Blend hits the stores.



NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee 7 Ounce Review:


I'm a big "black coffee" fan & drink it regularly (translation: if I'm not shaking, I need another cup).

I USED to brew it from freshly ground beans or a favorite custom pre-ground coffee, till I discovered this at a local Mexican market (I live in Texas). This is a great, dark-roasted, very strong (mas fuerte) black coffee. DELICIOUS! If you like to drink plain, black coffee, you know that taste matters. This one has it & is one of my favorites. I truly don't understand why people pay so much for coffee pods when they could just drink Clasico. But to each his own; try it, I think you'll love it!

UPDATE 3/7/14: Just an FYI: dark roast coffees tend to have LESS caffeine than lighter-roast coffees. According to Nescafe, a typical cup of Clasico contains 57-65 mg of caffeine.

UPDATE 3/9/15: Another FYI. APPARENTLY, Nescafe is "updating" Clasico. I truly HOPE this is an experimental "improvement" that they decide to abandon, but I recently bought some Clasico at my local grocery store, opened the jar, & was confronted with something that smells, looks, and tastes like "Taster's Choice." Two Thumbs Down. How can you tell REAL Clasico from "others"? REAL CLASICO dried powder is a little finer than most AND it has a reddish, almost copperlike cast (not deep brown, like other instants). All Clasico I've purchased from Amazon is the REAL DEAL. A+!



Starbucks Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee, Ground, 20 Ounce (Pack of 1) bag Review:


We stopped in Seattle on our way to Alaska and the hotel we were staying at served the most delicious coffee. We inquired and were told it was Pike Place Medium Roast. As soon as we got home the on line search began. I am so pleased with this coffee. My favorite coffee blend is Starbuck's Christmas Blend, but it is seasonal. This is the closest I've found. It is flavorful without being bitter. We like a strong cup of coffee but do not like bitter. This is perfect. We continue to buy, well at least until the holidays and the Christmas Blend hits the stores.



Starbucks French Roast Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 20 Oz. Bag | Great Holiday Gift for Coffee Lovers Review:


Starbucks gets knocked around a lot by coffee experts but I've tried a lot of highly rated dark roasts and this is where I land. I like dark coffee to taste *dark* - very bold, bitter around the edges and robust enough for good coffee taste to punch through the sweet cream that I also prefer. The price is a bonus, especially as I brew it strong - I'd pay more if any of the pricey competitors could pull their weight as well. The only real competition to me are the super duper high caffeine ones with corpses and stuff on the label that wreck my day with edgy jitters. Nah. Just don't let that guy run for president.



Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Dark Roast Coffee, 50 Count (Pack of 1) Review:


I’ve been looking for a good “instant” coffee for camping and hiking. My main requirements were that it had to be in very light weight single serve waterproof packets and, of course, taste good. Pretty much all instant coffees can be found in single serve waterproof packets; however, the second part is questionable, especially compared to a good fresh grind pour over.

But, when on the trail, I still need a good cup of joe, even if it’s cold instant. So, I read a heap of reviews, and picked out some of the highest rated (Starbucks VIA Instant Pikes Place Medium Roast, and Mount Hagen Fairtrade Organic Instant, 25 packets for $9.95 -about 40 cents a packet), and threw in some Café Bustelo Espresso Instant Coffee someone had picked up at the local supermarket for comparison. Also bought some Starbucks VIA Instant Caffe Latte just for funzies.

- Starbucks VIA Instant Pikes Place Medium Roast, 8 packets for $5.98 or about $1.23 a packet (though you can get larger 50 count packs to get the cost down to around 80 cents a packet)
- Starbucks VIA Instant Caffe Latte, 5 packets for $5.08 - $1.02 a packet
- Mount Hagen Fairtrade Organic Instant, 25 packets for $9.95 -40 cents a packet

Over several days, my daughter and I tried the various coffees black, with half-and-half, with half-and-half and sugar, and with some Coffee Mate liquid creamer. We also compared this to some of our ground coffee. Each time, we used one packet for one cup of water.

Final verdict pretty much reflected the online reviews I had read. The Starbuck’s was the best and as good or better than a store-bought ground coffee, but still not as good as fresh ground. It was surprisingly tasty with a rich roasted slightly nutty flavor. The Mount Hagen was a close second, but had a slightly tart aftertaste like some Ethiopian Kochere coffees I’ve had -good if you like that kind of thing. We thought the Mount Hagen was just slightly weak as well, but we are partial to bolder darker roast coffees. The Mount Hagen also seemed sensitive to getting the water too hot and developing a slightly burnt taste. That’s important to me, as you can’t control the water temp too well on the trail. The Café Bustelo espresso was a weak third to the Starbucks and Mount Hagen. I know a lot of people like it, but Café Bustelo, IMHO, is somewhat of an acquired taste. If you’re cost conscious and just want a “decent” cup of coffee, I’d say go for the Mount Hagen as it’s less than half the cost of the Starbucks or Café Bustelo. If you want an instant that’s closer to a good ground drip coffee, then spend a little more and get the Starbucks.

The Starbucks Caffe Latte was not up to our expectations as far as a latte goes. It was more like a thick hot chocolate with just a hint of coffee taste. The single packets were just too much for one cup of water as it’s just too thick and almost chalky like that. I would not recommend, if you’re looking for a Caffe Latte with a good milk and coffee flavor. But mixing it with one and a half cups of water made a decent hot chocolate.



Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast Medium Roast Coffee, 8 Count (Pack of 1) Review:


I’ve been looking for a good “instant” coffee for camping and hiking. My main requirements were that it had to be in very light weight single serve waterproof packets and, of course, taste good. Pretty much all instant coffees can be found in single serve waterproof packets; however, the second part is questionable, especially compared to a good fresh grind pour over.

But, when on the trail, I still need a good cup of joe, even if it’s cold instant. So, I read a heap of reviews, and picked out some of the highest rated (Starbucks VIA Instant Pikes Place Medium Roast, and Mount Hagen Fairtrade Organic Instant, 25 packets for $9.95 -about 40 cents a packet), and threw in some Café Bustelo Espresso Instant Coffee someone had picked up at the local supermarket for comparison. Also bought some Starbucks VIA Instant Caffe Latte just for funzies.

- Starbucks VIA Instant Pikes Place Medium Roast, 8 packets for $5.98 or about $1.23 a packet (though you can get larger 50 count packs to get the cost down to around 80 cents a packet)
- Starbucks VIA Instant Caffe Latte, 5 packets for $5.08 - $1.02 a packet
- Mount Hagen Fairtrade Organic Instant, 25 packets for $9.95 -40 cents a packet

Over several days, my daughter and I tried the various coffees black, with half-and-half, with half-and-half and sugar, and with some Coffee Mate liquid creamer. We also compared this to some of our ground coffee. Each time, we used one packet for one cup of water.

Final verdict pretty much reflected the online reviews I had read. The Starbuck’s was the best and as good or better than a store-bought ground coffee, but still not as good as fresh ground. It was surprisingly tasty with a rich roasted slightly nutty flavor. The Mount Hagen was a close second, but had a slightly tart aftertaste like some Ethiopian Kochere coffees I’ve had -good if you like that kind of thing. We thought the Mount Hagen was just slightly weak as well, but we are partial to bolder darker roast coffees. The Mount Hagen also seemed sensitive to getting the water too hot and developing a slightly burnt taste. That’s important to me, as you can’t control the water temp too well on the trail. The Café Bustelo espresso was a weak third to the Starbucks and Mount Hagen. I know a lot of people like it, but Café Bustelo, IMHO, is somewhat of an acquired taste. If you’re cost conscious and just want a “decent” cup of coffee, I’d say go for the Mount Hagen as it’s less than half the cost of the Starbucks or Café Bustelo. If you want an instant that’s closer to a good ground drip coffee, then spend a little more and get the Starbucks.

The Starbucks Caffe Latte was not up to our expectations as far as a latte goes. It was more like a thick hot chocolate with just a hint of coffee taste. The single packets were just too much for one cup of water as it’s just too thick and almost chalky like that. I would not recommend, if you’re looking for a Caffe Latte with a good milk and coffee flavor. But mixing it with one and a half cups of water made a decent hot chocolate.