Whether you're hitting the road or enjoying a quick cup at home, the best instant coffee depends on your personal preferences and specific needs. However, there are 11 stand-out instant coffee options that many people consider just as good as brewed coffee. Try one of these the next time you need a great cup of coffee with minimal fuss.
Best Instant Coffee for Everyday: Nescafe Azera Americano
One of the highest rated instant coffees on Amazon with more than 1,300 five-star reviews, Nescafe Azera Americano makes a great everyday choice when it comes to instant coffee. Many reviewers noted they had tried it while visiting England and gotten hooked on its incredible full-bodied flavor. Many say it is better than brewed coffee and hands-down the best instant coffee on the market. It retails for about $44 for six 100-gram cans.
Best Instant Coffee That's a Splurge: Intelligencia Illumination Blend
According to Good Housekeeping, Intelligencia's Illumination Blend Instant Coffee is one of the best instant offerings of 2020. The full-bodied and complex flavor rivals fresh-brewed so perfectly that you might not even be able to tell the difference in a taste test. There are notes of coconut and citrus, as well as an undertone of fresh berries. It retails for $13 for four servings.
Best Budget Instant Coffee: Folger's Classic Roast
If you're hoping to mix up some full-flavored coffee without paying full price for beans, try Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals. One of the top-rated instant coffees on Amazon, this brew sells for about five dollars for 120 servings. It has more than 4.5 stars and almost 6,500 ratings too, and reviewers praise it for keeping well, dissolving instantly, and tasting just like the real thing.
Best Instant Coffee Light Roast: Starbucks Via Veranda Blend
Highly regarded by users on Amazon, Starbucks Via Veranda Blend gets rave reviews for its full flavor profile without any harsh bitterness. It has notes of cocoa and toasted nuts, and reviewers say it's excellent tasting and the best instant coffee on the market. It retails for six dollars for eight servings.
Best Instant Coffee Medium Roast: Canyon Coffee Celinga Ethiopia
With hints of chocolate and fruit, Canyon Coffee Celinga Ethiopia is a complex and flavorful instant medium roast. Business Insider calls it one of the best instant coffees of 2020. The coffee is brewed in batches and then freeze dried to preserve its flavor and intensity, keeping the end result just as good as fresh-brewed. It retails on the Canyon Coffee site for $20 for six servings.
Best Instant Coffee Dark Roast: Cafe Bustello Espresso
One of the top-rated instant coffees on Amazon, Cafe Bustello Espresso has a full-bodied, dark flavor in the form of an instant coffee. Its aroma is chocolatey and intense, and it also works well as an add-in to intensify the flavor of regular brewed coffee. Reviewers call it the "best coffee ever," comparing it against fresh-brewed coffee and espresso. It retails for $95 for 28 six-ounce bags.
Best Decaf Instant Coffee: Mount Hagen Decaffeinated
When it comes to decaf, the best instant coffee according to Reddit users and Amazon reviews is Mount Hagen Decaffeinated. This coffee is organic and fair trade, plus it has a great taste that is nearly indistinguishable from regular brewed gourmet coffee. It retails for $20 for about seven ounces.
Best Instant Coffee for Travel: Joe Coffee
According to an extensive review by Conde Nast Traveler, the best instant coffee for travel is Joe Coffee. Packaged in convenient individual sachets, it's easy to throw in a bag and take on the road. It tastes just as good as brewed coffee and certainly beats the offerings in most hotel rooms. It comes in decaf and regular and retails for about $20 for six servings.
Best Instant Coffee for Backpacking and Camping: Steeped California Blend
Many instant coffees work well for backpacking and camping because of their convenience and light weight, but Steeped California Blend has the edge because of its rich taste and compostable packaging. Recommended by Good Housekeeping for its nutty flavor and simple brewing process (just use it like a tea bag), Steeped is small-batch processed and packaged in single servings. After brewing and drinking, you can toss the bag and its packaging on the campfire. It retails for $16 for eight servings.
Best Concentrate-Based Instant Coffee: Jot
Business Insider call Jot "one of the most unique and innovative new instant coffees." Instead of crystals, Jot is a concentrate. You mix one tablespoon with water to create fresh-tasting, full-bodied coffee. This is also a great option for making iced coffee. It's fair trade and organic and retails for $24 for 14 cups worth.
Best Single-Origin Instant Coffee: HUB
Good Housekeeping calls HUB Coffee Roasters Instant Coffee a "complex cup that exceeds out expectations in every way." Even better, it's a single-origin coffee, so you know exactly where your brew is coming from. It has hints of chocolate, citrus, and molasses, making it a full-flavored and delicious offering. It retails for $14.50 for four servings.
Best Instant Coffee for Recipes: Republica
The best instant coffee for whipped coffee and other coffee recipes is one that is affordable and full of flavor. You can use any type of instant coffee granules to make whipped coffee, but reviewers on Amazon had great success with Republica Instant Coffee. To use it to make whipped coffee or Delonga coffee, you simply whip two tablespoons of the instant coffee, two tablespoons of water, and two tablespoons of sugar until it forms a peak. After that, you add a cup of whole milk. Republica Instant Coffee sells for $13 for a 100-gram jar, making it affordable for whipped coffee or any other recipes, such as coffee ice cream, that call for instant.
Take Your Coffee Anywhere
Instant coffee lets you cut the cord of the coffee maker and have a great cup of coffee any place you want. Pair it was the best travel mug, and you can enjoy coffee on the road, the trail, or anywhere else you go.