The 10 Best Instant Coffees

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in January of 2018. Enjoying a fresh cup of coffee every morning is a luxury that not everyone has time for, as kids need to get to school, breakfasts need to be made, or snooze alarms need to be repeatedly hit. Luckily, these instant varieties require only a little hot water, saving you precious minutes while still giving you the flavor and caffeine you crave. Some even already have the cream and sugar mixed in. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Mount Hagen Organic

2. Medaglia D'Oro Espresso

3. Maxim Mocha Gold

Editor's Notes

February 28, 2021:

We realize that taste is a subjective thing, especially when it comes to something we drink on a daily basis, like coffee. With this in mind, it was important to us to include a wide variety of roasts and bean types to ensure there would be something to fit everyone's preference. We also made sure that, in addition to pure options that contain coffee and nothing else, such as the smooth Mount Hagen Organic and the bold Medaglia D'Oro Espresso, we also found some mixed options to recommend that already include cream and sugar, like Maxim Mocha Gold and Kopiko 3-in-1. It should be noted that both of these former two are made with a non-dairy creamer, so even those with lactose issues can drink them.

If you checked out this last year, you may have noticed that we have not made any changes to our recommendations during this update. That should just show you how truly convinced we are that these are the best options currently available.

October 23, 2019:

Instant coffee has come a long way since it was first created, providing depth of flavor and lovely aromas that are on par with drip coffee, with the added benefit that they're much easier and quicker to prepare than a coffee pod machine, French press, Chemex, and just about every other type of brewing method imaginable, since they arrive already brewed. That also means you don't have to fiddle with temperatures, deal with filters, or worry about keeping a machine clean and well-maintained.

While we love offerings from Nescafe and are aware that many java lovers swear by it, we supplanted our previous Nescafe Taster's Choice for Medaglia D'Oro Espresso, which is stronger and more potent. Along with Cafe Altura, it's also excellent for use in baking and for adding a delectable coffee flavor to desserts. We also let go of Douwe Egberts Pure Gold in favor of the higher-end Waka Quality Colombian, a selection that undergoes a painstaking packing process and uses only the finest arabica beans. Each serving is sealed in a foil-lined wrapper that resists moisture and water, which makes them especially ideal for backpacking and camping.

Special Honors

Sudden Coffee Sudden Coffee is crystalized coffee made from high-quality, sustainably grown top 1% beans and contains no preservatives or chemicals. Each batch is heavily monitored like in cafes and brewed at exactly the right temperature to maximize flavor. It's offered as part of a subscription service that's catered to your tastes and rotates new coffees in for you to try, and includes educational material and exclusive members-only content.

Tandem Guji From Tandem Cafe & Roastery comes Guji, which consists of beans sourced from Sidamo, Ethiopia that are roasted in Portland, Maine. It mixes well into both hot and cold water and has a flavor that brings depth and dimension to your palette. It's fully washed, roasted, ground, and brewed, then freeze-dried and pulverized for long-lasting freshness.

4. Cafe Altura

5. Elite Instant

6. Kopiko 3-in-1

7. Waka Quality Colombian

8. Maxwell House International

9. G7 3-in-1

10. Starbucks Via

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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