Coffee has become a soul-soothing essential beverage around the world. From kick-starting your mornings to providing instant energy in between your hectic day, a cup of coffee does it all. That is exactly why you will always find at least one jar of instant coffee in almost every kitchen pantry. Even your super-expensive espresso machine is equipped to work with it. It doesn’t matter how you drink your instant coffee, but rather which one you should choose from. Today, for this exact reason, in our best instant coffee brands article, we’ll look at some of the popular instant coffee brands from various major coffee-consuming nations. We hope this will help you diversify your instant coffee choices for the foreseeable future.
Please do note that some of the brands we’ve picked are also popular in different countries even though they’re foreign brands to those nations. Because we’ve included these brands’ long-standing popularity factor in such nations before compiling this list.
- What Is Instant Coffee?
- How It's Made?
- Instant Coffee Brands From The USA
- Instant Coffee Brands From Italy
- Instant Coffee Brands From Mexico
- Instant Coffee Brands From Korea
- Instant Coffee Brands From Vietnam
- Instant Coffee Brands From India
- Instant Coffee Brands From Japan
- Old Instant Coffee Brands
- Instant Coffee – Good Or Bad For Our Health?
What Is Instant Coffee?
Instant Coffee is made from real coffee. First, the whole beans get roasted, then ground and brewed. After that, all the water is removed from the brewed product. Leaving behind the dehydrated crystals of the coffee. That’s why we pour it into warm water to dissolve! This dehydration adds to its shelf-life.
Instant coffee has other aliases too, such as coffee powder, soluble coffee, and crystal coffee. By large, instant coffee is made with Robusta coffee beans instead of the more expensive Arabica Beans.
How It’s Made?
There are 2 methods for making instant coffee crystals. One is freeze-drying and another is spray-drying. Before drying, the brewed beans may or may not undergo these 2 methods:
Vacuum evaporation: Boiling coffee at a lower temperature (similar to ketchup, powdered milk, and other commercial foods).
Freeze concentration: A more flavor-friendly procedure. The water-based ice gets removed to the left with a more concentrated liquid (similar to fruit juice and concentrated vinegar).
Instant coffee is not just a beverage but also a major item in Caffenol-C. It’s also used for developing liquid for homemade black-and-white photos. Hilariously, the cheaper the instant coffee, the better it works for developing photos.
The freeze-drying method is known to preserve the most amount of ‘coffee flavor’. Thus you will pay more for freeze-dried instant coffee. And the flavor difference is very much worth the price!
- The coffee or its concentration (by freeze concentration) rapidly gets frozen to -40 Celsius
- Then it’s placed inside a drying chamber. A vacuum is created inside the chamber which is followed by a heating session
- The frozen coffee then gets warmed up. Thus the water from it rapidly expands into a gas (sublimation). This makes the dry grains of coffee the final product
The spray-drying formula of instant coffee is almost as instantaneous as the actual brewing of the coffee. The transition from liquid to instant coffee takes about 5 – 30 seconds.
- Coffee or concentrated coffee is sprayed from a high tower into a large hot-air chamber
- As the droplets fall, the water evaporates, and dry crystals of coffee fall to the bottom
- During this process, the high temperatures affect the oils. So, the flavor does unfortunately get lost
- This formula often produces too fine of a powder. To make the powder coarseness acceptable, the grains do get fused together with extra steam
Instant Coffee Brands From The USA
Now the USA is one of the largest coffee consumer nations in the world. Almost all the big companies as well as some up-and-new-blood entrepreneurs bring good instant coffee brands to this huge coffee consumer pool of the United States. We’ve handpicked some of the few but very popular instant coffee brands with related products below.
Waka Coffee Medium Roast Colombian
This medium-roast instant coffee is best for iced coffee preparation. Waka Coffee is exclusively dedicated to instant coffees and teas. It can be prepared with cold water. Meaning you won’t have to wait for brewed coffee to chill in the fridge to make the iced coffee. Waka uses 100% Arabica beans for a smoother and sweeter taste profile. This instant coffee is produced by freeze-drying for the best flavor.
Starbucks Via Instant Veranda Blend
Best blonde roasted instant coffee. Blonde-roasted coffee has higher caffeine compared to dark-roasted coffee. Blonde beans are roasted for a shorter period to achieve a mellower flavor, preserving more of the caffeine. Made exclusively with Arabica beans, the Starbucks Veranda blend is filled with both instant and micro-ground coffee – so it looks more like typical ground coffee. This instant version is malty, mild, and bright with subtle but balanced sweetness.
Mount Hagen Decaf Instant Coffee
Considered one of the best decaf instant coffees available. Supports ethical farming and eco-friendliness from start to end. It is the first instant coffee producer in the world, certified as an organic and Fair Trade policy-abiding brand. Like Waka, Mount Hagen also uses freeze-dried Arabica beans to make its instant coffee. The decaffeinated blend is a mixture of Peru, Papua New Guinea, and Honduras. So expect a mild, nutty, super smooth, and fruity profile.
Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee
A list of the popular instant coffee brands cannot be compiled without Nescafe. Its Taster Choice House Blend applies Nescafe’s 80 years old freeze-dried coffee formula. Nescafe uses mild roasted Arabica beans for their iconic smooth and crowd-pleasing taste. Soluble both in hot and cold water, the coffee dissolves properly and stays fresh for months in its container.
Instant Coffee Brands From Italy
Lavazza “Prontissimo! Intenso” Instant Coffee
Balancing fast life with better quality. Since 1985, the Lavazza family dedicate themselves with commitment and passion. Its “Prontissimo!” instant mix reflects all the tastes and the strengths of quintessential Lavazza coffees. It is a unique blend of 100% Arabica with 10% of finely ground coffee for a classical intense flavor and aroma. Since it’s incredibly strong, we recommend starting with half of the recommended serving size. Undoubtedly, one of the best instant coffee brands not only in Italy but also in the world.
Ferrara Instant Espresso
Ferrara’s old-world recipes carry the rich history of traditional Italian confections. This instant espresso is so good that it’s also popular to use it as a baking ingredient! Made from 100% choice Arabica and Robusta beans, Ferrara Instant Espresso will give you the quintessential powerful espresso taste. Add more water for turning it into an Americano. This instant espresso blend definitely wins the award for being something someone might actually want to drink without masking its flavor with milk
Medaglia D’Oro Italian Roast Espresso Instant Coffee
Unusually rich and aromatic, Medaglia D’Oro is a true Italian romance of bold flavors and dark beauty. Since 1924, Medaglia still proudly continues the tradition of Italian-style espresso. You’ll be whisked away in an instant by its espresso coffee since it’s made from double-roasted 100% Arabica beans. This is a very finely ground coffee blend. So it works great in an espresso machine as well as in a drip maker. Note though, this grind is too fine for a Keurig reusable cup.
Instant Coffee Brands From Mexico
Café Bustelo Café de Mexico Instant Coffee
Enjoy the perfect cafecito every time that’s been loved by the Hispanic communities for generations. Each cup will give you authentically vibrant, delicious, and distinct Mexican-styled dark-roasted coffee. This rich flavor stands up to milk and sugar like no other instant blend. Originating from East Harlem, New York, Bustelo has been crafting its own secret blend of rich, authentically Latin coffee. Just add hot water for the strong yet smooth full-bodied dark roasted Latin American flavor in an instant.
Nescafe Cafe De Olla
Nescafe Cafe De Olla Mexican Cinnamon Flavored instant coffee features a traditional dark roasted blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans with a touch of cinnamon flavor and just the right amount of caramelized sugar. Cafe de Olla is best enjoyed with breakfast or as a special drink throughout the day. Making this coffee is as simple as adding hot water and then sugar if required.
Café La Paz Traditional Mexican Style Instant Coffee
Cafe La Paz from the La Paz Chiapas is a Mexican handcrafted blend of ready-to-serve style coffee. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and cinnamon spice with exceptional coffee. It’s a medium roasted blend with authentic raw sugar cane and cinnamon mixed in. Carefully handcrafted blend that was made with responsibly sourced coffee beans. It requires warm water for the best solubility.
Instant Coffee Brands From Korea
Maxim Instant Coffee Sticks
One of the best instant coffee brands in Korea as these yellow sticks are seen everywhere from office shelves to school teachers’ rooms. Among its many choices, the most popular drink is the Maxim Mocha Gold Mild. The coffee sticks consist of just 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, and 50mg of caffeine. It’s got that smooth light taste that would require a touch of cream.
KANU Instant Coffees
Kanu specializes in cafe-style coffee. It aims to give its customers a specialty coffee experience in their home comfort. The packets are identifiably much smaller than the other brands – so users can fit these right in their pockets while on the go. Kanu and Maxim are actually owned by the same company but they try their best to stay distinctive from each other. Kanu’s most popular instant drink is its Dark Roast Americano blend. This dark roast instant coffee is bitter and rich. Because there is no sugar or milk added. So this is the best option for those who love their coffee just black – without any creams or sweeteners.
Ediya Instant Coffee Beanist
Ediya is the only brand in Korea that has the largest number of stores among all of the local and international coffee brands including Starbucks. It’s not a surprise that the F&B chain decided to jump into this instant coffee market. Their coffee is really nice with a nutty chocolate flavor that isn’t much bitter. Ediya’s most popular drink is the Coffee Beanist Original. One of the preferable brands over the other big brands when folks go out and about and love their instant coffee too!
Instant Coffee Brands From Vietnam
Trung Nguyen G7 Instant Coffee
Trung Nguyên is a world-renowned Vietnamese business organization solely involved in the production, processing, and distribution of Vietnamese coffee since 1996. Trung Nguyên is the largest domestic coffee brand in Vietnam and it exports its coffee products to more than 60 countries. Their G7 instant coffee is made of Vietnamese coffee using a patented dry roast process of their own. Sold in small packets which makes it easy to carry around. The G7 has a distinct initial aroma that has the potential to become your everyday ideal drink.
Instant Coffee Brands From India
Nescafe Gold Blend Rich and Smooth Coffee Powder
One of the most popular instant coffees in the Indian market. Nescafe instant coffee powder is made from premium quality roasted beans – giving its aromatic, strong, and perfect taste profile. Nescafe only uses the blend of Robusta and Arabica beans for a smooth taste. Its specially designed glass jar keeps the Nescafe Gold Blend delightfully tasty to the very last drop.
ID Authentic Instant Filter Coffee Decoction
Strong filter coffee is one of the staples in India. With ID instant filter blend, you can make it at home too. The blend includes flavored Arabica and Robusta. The decoction is made from a strong, optimum blend of 20% chicory and 80% coffee. The Robusta and Arabica beans are hand-picked and plucked from the Chikmagalur and Coorg coffee plantations. The filter coffee decoction has no added preservatives, color, or artificial flavors.
BRU Gold Instant Coffee Powder
Bru Gold Instant Coffee is made from a 100% pure coffee blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta beans. The beans are sourced from the finest plantations of South India. Easy to use as it mixes effortlessly with milk and water. BRU Coffee is India’s one of the top instant coffee brands. BRU Instant and BRU Gold Instant offer the authentic South Indian taste of coffee in every sip. Every pack has a maximum shelf life of 18 months. Bru Gold is applicable for both hot and cold coffee.
Instant Coffee Brands From Japan
AGF Blendy Cafe Latory
AGF Blendy Cafe Latory is Japan’s one of top instant coffee brands. Aside from its very simple design, it is convenient also to bring anywhere you go. Just tear, pour into the cup, pour hot water, and stir – and it’s done! Add the right amount of water to extract a fuller taste. Filled with a creamy taste, mild sweetness, and a tad bit of bitterness that is almost unnoticeable.
Key Coffee Instant Cappucino
Key Coffee Cappucino brings a rich taste of coffee to you. With a not-so-foamy milk finish yet tastes so refreshingly good! Anyone who loves latte will love to switch to this from time to time. Packaging-wise, it has the same packaging as the other standard coffee sticks available in Japan.
UCC Beans And Roasters Caffe Latte Stick
UCC Caffe Latte stick is another jewel to Japan’s instant coffee legacy. If you’re looking to get an almost similar taste of Ueshima Coffee, then choose no other! Make sure to add the right amount of warm water to get the maximum full-bodied taste.
Old Instant Coffee Brands
The first version of instant coffee dates back to 1771. This was approximately 2 centuries after coffee was introduced to Europe and Great Britain. Then, in the late 19th century, a firm in Glasgow invented Camp Coffee, which was a liquid “essence”. It contained water, sugar, coffee, and chicory. Camp Coffee hit the retail market in Great Britain around the mid-to-late 1800s.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in the United States, the earliest recorded instant coffee was found during the Civil War. Around the mid-1800s in San Francisco, James Folger and his sons began their coffee company. Folger’s sold the first canned ground beans that didn’t require roasting and grinding at home. Now, Folger is one of the world-renowned coffee companies.
Instant Coffee – Good Or Bad For Our Health?
- Good instant coffee brands do contain the same, and sometimes, even more, antioxidants than filtered coffee
- Instant coffee contains an anti-cancer antioxidant “Methylpyridinium”. This antioxidant has been linked to preventing colon cancer particularly
- Instant coffee generally contains more calories and less caffeine due to the sugar and creamers that get added after
- Regular coffee consumption may lead to increased levels of serum cholesterol. The same increments were not found with instant coffee because it lacks Cafestol and Kahweol
What Are The Most Flavorful Instant Coffees?
Waka, Starbucks, Nescafe, Lavazza, Mount Hagen, Café Bustelo, UCC, Trung Nguyên, Maxim, Medaglia D’Oro, etc are considered to be the most flavorful instant coffee brands around the world.
Is Instant Coffee Full Of Chemicals?
Yes as much as organic ground coffee. But when it comes to Acrylamide, which is a potentially harmful chemical – instant coffees hold up to twice as much Acrylamide compared to fresh, roasted coffee beans. Acrylamide overexposure may cause damage to the nervous system and increase the risks of cancer.
Is Nescafe Real Coffee?
Yes Nestlé Nescafe is real coffee. Their instant coffee is freeze-dried coffee since 1966.
Is Organic Instant Coffee Healthy?
Compared to regular coffee, instant coffee contains slightly less caffeine but more acrylamide. But it contains all of the same antioxidants. Instant coffee is a healthy and low-calorie option.
What Is The Healthiest Instant Coffee?
Mount Hagen instant coffee is the healthiest coffee product you can find. Mount Hagen abides by Organic farming and roasting, and Fair Trade rules. As a result, you’ll get deliciously smooth, fruity cups of coffee.
Is Nescafe Arabica Or Robusta?
Nescafe uses 100% pure Robusta medium-dark roasted coffee beans.
What Was The First Instant Coffee Brand?
In the 19th century, Glasgow saw the first variant of instant coffee which was more commonly known as “camp coffee”. In America, in the mid-1800s Folgers family first sold their canned instant coffee in San Francisco.
Who Invented Instant Coffee?
The first accepted patent for instant coffee was in 1881. It was invented and patented (#141520) by a Frenchman named Alphonse Allais. Allais’ patent is the first form of real instant coffee.
What Instant Coffee Was Popular In The 60s?
Maxwell House and Sanka Instant coffees were 2 of the most popular instant coffee brands back in the 60s.
Instant coffee always has been a quick and easy source of coffee. Its longer shelf life and relatively cheaper price helped it to grow as a worldwide commodity over the years. Instant coffee also contains slightly less caffeine while carrying more acrylamide than regular coffee. Good instant coffee brands also contain a similar amount of antioxidants compared to regular coffee. Overall, it’s a healthy, low-calorie beverage that has the same health benefits that come with less quality but more shelf-life.
Enjoy Your Coffee!