Best Instant Coffee Brands

Welcome to my site. Here you will be able to read about the best instant coffee, which ncludes information about my favorite brands and the tastiest flavors. Most people prefer a real boiled pot of coffee over the instant stuff but there’s a reason we’re all drinking it so why not drink the best instant coffee instead of just any old instant coffee. Ideally the best instant coffee isn’t going to break our banks either so there will be a price/benefit comparison also.

Personally the reason I drink instant coffee is because my company tries to cut back on as many perks as possible. I switched companies back in January. Previously my old company gave us all the free coffee we could drink. However, upon joining my new company I quickly learned not only was there no free coffee, but there was no coffee machine at all! Recently they installed a machine which dispenses coffee but at the cost of $.25 a cup. That quickly adds up considering I drink at least 2 cups a day. Apparently because there was no room in the kitchen we are unable to bring our own coffee pot to the office. So, the only alternative is instant coffee. Seriously, what’s up with that?

Anyway, for me, if I have to spend own money, I might as well purchase the best instant coffee, as long as it’s reasonably priced. I think most people feel that way. So anyway, lets talk about some of the different brands. Note: I’m going to avoid talking about flavored instant coffee for this particular comparison. I’ll talk about the best flavored instant coffee varieties separately.

Folgers Instant Coffee

Folgers makes two varieties of instant coffee. The first is called Folgers Classic Roast and the second is called Folgers Classic Decaf. Obviously, there’s not a lot of variety there. I rarely drink decaf but on occasion I will drink it if it’s very late at night. Another reason would be if I’ve been using a pre-workout supplement which contains caffeine and I’m trying to wean myself off coffee. What I’ll do is drink half regular and half decaf. Eventually, switching entirely to decaf. Anyway, right off the bat I’ll mention that the Folgers instant coffee mixes pretty well in hot water. It doesn’t get all funky near the top of your mug like some other brands do.

Personally, I take my coffee black except for one or two packets of Splenda. The problems with the instant coffee is it has a really acidic taste to it. I guess some people would describe as an artificial taste. It’s even worse when you try to add additional scoops of the instant coffee, lets say if you’re looking for more of a jolt, when you’re having one of those days. You know what I’m talking about. One nice thing about Folgers instant coffee is the price. It’s very reasonably priced. CVS has an 8 oz jar for $8.29, which should be enough for about 120 cups. So for Folgers Instant Coffee I’d rate it around 5/10.

Maxwell House Instant Coffee

Maxwell House makes three varieties of instant coffee. Instant Coffee, Instant Coffee Decaf, and Sanka Instant Coffee. So there’s slightly more variety than Folgers, which is a positive. Still it’s only an option if you’re a decaf drinker otherwise you’re stuck with one variety. Mix ability wise Maxwell House is very good. It’s the granule kind similar to most instant coffees, so it does mix well in hot water. In cold water you’ll have some issues with some of the mix not actually dissolving. Why would you use cold water? For the summer days or when you just feel like drinking iced coffee. As for taste, I think it tastes noticeably better than Folgers. There’s less of the acidic/artificial taste to it.

Cost wise it’s usually about the same or slightly more expensive than Folgers. It’s $8.29 for an 8 oz jar at CVS. I forgot to mention Sanka, which was America’s first brand of instant coffee. If you prefer decaf you can’t go wrong with Sanka. The flavor is very rich and natural tasting. The only problem is actually finding it in stores. I usually only see it in the Asian grocery stores. You could always pick it up online at Amazon if you don’t have an Asian grocer nearby. My rating for Maxwell House Instant Coffee is 7/10. I’d rate Sanka a 7/10 also.

Nescafe Clasico Instant Coffee

Nescafe has a Clasico line of Instant Coffee. It comes in a regular and decaf variety. Clasico is separate from their Tasters Choice line, which I’ll get into separately. It mixes well in hot water and it has the same issues most instant coffee has when mixing in cold water. Personally, I think Clasico tastes the a lot like brewed coffee. Not exactly the same but close. In addition, it’s definitely bolder than the above two brands including Tasters Choice. Keep in mind I prefer my coffee bold.

As for cost Nescafe is priced very reasonably also. A 7 oz jar at CVS is $7.29. So that means it’s slightly more than Folgers and Maxwell House but it’s still very reasonable. This is actually the variety of choice for most people at the office. I give Nescafe Clasico an 8/10.

Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee

Taster’s Choice is part of a gourmet line of instant coffee by Nescafe and in my opinion the best tasting instant coffee. There’s a large variety also. There’s House Blend, French Roast, 100% Colombian and Decaf House Blend. House Blend is a light roast, Colombian is a medium roast, and French is their darkest roast. Their decaf is a light/medium roast. It mixes well in hot water and OK in cold water. As for price, it’s almost unfair to call Taster’s Choice instant coffee. It tastes just like a regular pot of brewed coffee. The flavor is very natural and bold. It’s hard to tell it apart from the real deal. Seriously, it’s just that good.

The price is kind of high though. At CVS it’s $10.29 for 7 oz. That’s about enough for 105 cups of brew. It’s also sold in single serve packets. But obviously, it’s going to add to the cost. Taster’s Choice gets a 9/10.

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee

Starbucks has their own line of instant coffee called Via. The nice thing is it’s not the tiny crystals like the other brands, but it’s in fact really finely grounded up beans that dissolve in water. It has the best mix ability out of all the instant coffees including in cold water. There’s five different varieties. French Roast (Light), Colombia (Medium), Italian Roast (Extra Bold), Decaf Italian Roast, and Iced (Medium). Iced is actually meant to be mixed with ice and cold water. VIA tastes just like a freshly brewed cup of Starbucks Coffee. But that’s my issue with it. Starbucks coffee is usually over roasted and has a burnt taste to it. That’s why I prefer the taste of Nescafe or Taster’s Choice.

As most things at Starbucks, the price is extremely high. VIA packs come with 6 individually wrapped packets. So you only get 6 servings per pack. A VIA pack at CVS is $7.99. Very expensive. So for Starbucks VIA instant coffee, I rate it 7/10.

So from this roundup of instant coffees I believe the title of Best Instant Coffee belongs to Nescafe Clasico Instant Coffee. It has the best price per benefit ratio. Can’t go wrong with Clasico.