The Ultimate Guide To The Best Instant Coffee Brands: 13 Delicious Instant Coffee Powders!

Most people think of instant coffee and relate it to cheap coffee on the go and the last resort for consumers in need such as the school teacher during conferences who are in dire need of some caffeine, and finds out that the only coffee left at the lounge is a pitiful instant coffee packet, and regrettably chugs the cheaply made caffeinated product. However, instant coffee over the years has slowly climbed its way out of that horrid reputation, as more and more instant coffee brands redefine the norm and create a delicious variety of roasts that suit even the pickiest of coffee snobs 👀. Yes, even we were pleasantly surprised that our disdain for instant coffee was blown out of this universe with the delicate blends and attention to detail that these new and classic coffee brewers have come to create.

This post is all about the best instant coffee! We made sure to cover the various instant coffee brands, roasts, flavors, value, and specific needs such as organic or single-origin options.

Instant Coffee: The Comprehensive Guide You Never Knew You Needed!

Instant Coffee Powder and coffee beans
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Overall Best Instant Coffee

Intelligentsia Coffee – Medium instant coffee

Coffee Beans: Arabica beans

Caffeine: We estimate 100 mg per serving

Packaging: 5 single serve packets per box

Availability: instant espresso black cat classic, instant coffee house blend, instant oat latte

What We Love

  • fresh blends that change seasonally along with the fruity aromas
  • notes of milk chocolate, mandarin, and apple
  • direct trade
  • high-quality blends

What We Wish Was Better

  • how much you get in a box is pretty small, we hope to see bulk options soon
  • cost is a little high

Best Blonde Roast Instant Coffee

Starbucks Blonde Instant Premium Coffee or VIA Instant Veranda Blend

Coffee beans: arabica beans

Caffeine: est 100-130 mg per serving

Packaging: packets – 50 count or canisters with up to 40 servings

Availability: medium roast and dark roast and light roast

What We Love

  • available everywhere or so it feels like
  • great taste that isn’t too acidic
  • ethically sourced
  • VIA packets have chocolate and sweet malt notes
  • Blonde Roast has a crisp profile with a mellow sweetness, overall a mild flavor

What We Wish Was Better

  • quality could be a tad better but it’s not and for the price and accessibility

We love the light profile of this blend, it definitely is a true blonde blend with a subtly sweet flavor and a crisp body. We also like that you can choose the canister version or get the VIA instant blonde blend for an easy on-the-go cup of caffeine. Although the flavor is different between the two with the VIA having chocolate and toasted malt notes intertwined in the coffee aroma.

brewed fresh cup of instant coffee with coffee beans spilled next to it
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Best Medium Roast Instant Coffee Crystals

Joe Coffee The Daily – instant coffee crystals

Coffee Beans: Changes based on Seasonal availability, usually coffee beans from the south and central America

Caffeine: we estimate its around 100-130 mg per serving

Packaging: Packets – 6 packets each box

Availability: The daily – specialty instant coffee, Columbia la Familia Guarnizo – specialty instant coffee, and nightcap decaf – specialty instant blend

Method: Natural and Washed

What We Love

  • delicate profile but still has a rich and bold flavor
  • brewed in small batches ensures a high-quality product
  • hints of chocolate and caramel
  • fresh coffee that is roasted to order

What We Wish Was Better

  • we wish there were a darker roast, but for a medium roast, this one provides great coffee flavor
  • since medium roast is a popular roast we would have wished to have seen a bulk option for this / container
  • a tad acidic for a medium coffee blend

Joe Coffee – The Daily is infamous and has a cult following behind it touting it as the best instant coffee for a medium roast. It does contain a delicate profile that is complimented beautifully with hints of chocolate and caramel. However, it was a tiny bit acidic considering it’s a medium roast, it’s also expensive at around $3 a serving typically. Despite that, the coffee is amazingly good and we definitely recommend it and see it staying on our top list of instant coffees for quite some time.

Best Dark Roast Instant Coffee

Death Wish Dark Roast Instant Coffee

Coffee Beans: Arabica and Robusta beans blend

Caffeine: est 300 mg of caffiene

Packaging: packets – 8 packets per pack

Availability: only dark roast

Method: unknown

What We Love

  • organic and fair trade
  • Insane caffeine per serving means you’ll need fewer cups of coffee
  • strong coffee flavor with hints of chocolate and cherry
  • goes down smoothly, and is not as bitter as we had expected for such a strong and bold brew

What We Wish Was Better

  • still has bitterness, but what can you expect when it has a whopping 300 mg of caffeine
  • we do wish the flavor profile was a bit brighter

This brew literaly has flown the galaxy and the company proudly boasts itself as the best brew in the galaxy because of this. Not only that, you’re probably wondering why it’s called a death wish, it is because it has twice the amount of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee. So cool it with the multiple cups a day while drinking this bad boy, otherwise, you’ll definitely be feeling extra jittery.

Best Decaf Instant Coffee

Mount Hagen organic decaf coffee

Coffee Beans: arabica beans

Caffeine: 99.99% free of caffeine

Packaging: Canister or packets 25 counts per box

Availability: decaf or regular

What We Love

  • organic and fair trade
  • eco-friendly packaging
  • the award-winning formula for the best instant organic coffee
  • nutty aroma with subtle spices complement the complexity of this blend
  • 99.99% caffeine free

What We Wish Was Better

  • no instructions 🤔, so it might come out wrong the first few times until you adjust it to your liking. we recommend 6 oz of water for a stronger brew and 8 oz for a more delicate taste.

We love the mission behind this company, they ensure from bean harvesting to roasting to brewing that the whole process is done under fair trading and everyone is paid fairly. They also are certified organic for the EU and the US, in case youre worried about the organic clarity of the brand.

This German brand specializes in high-quality blends and it can be seen from the depth and aroma of the coffee when it is first brewed. With hints of fruity notes and a subtle nutty profile, you’ll love this blend! It especially tasted amazing when making our favorite whipped coffee foam! 👀

Best Instant Coffee Packet: Cream and Sugar Included

Alpine Start -coffee + creamer

Coffee beans: Colombian Arabica Beans

Caffeine: 120 mg per serving

Packaging: 5 packets per box

Availability: if you’re only looking for creamer and coffee then just this one, otherwise they have a dirty chai flavor.

What We Love

  • keto-friendly
  • nondairy creamer that tastes super creamy because of the hefty coconut cream
  • medium roast blend fits most people’s taste
  • vegan, gluten-free, non gmo
  • no sugar added

What We Wish Was Better

  • we were wishing for a coconutty taste, but it’s very subtle
  • doesn’t dissolve well in cold drinks, we recommend mixing in warm water first

Best Pod Instant Coffee

Cometeer – mixed roast box

Coffee Beans:


Packaging: 32 capsules per variety box – 8 capsules per flavor

Availability: light roast, medium roast, dark roast, decaf, flavored, and coffee with cream and sugar.

Method: frozen puck of coffee concentrate

What We Love

  • long shelf life of 2 years
  • easy to recycle
  • composted leftover beans
  • works perfectly for both iced and hot drinks!

What We Wish Was Better

  • it’s not highly transportable due to the frozen puck capsule needs to be used within 24 hours of thawing
  • expensive

Best Instant Coffee For Iced Coffee!

Waka Coffee – Roast Explorer Instant Coffee Bundle

Coffee Beans: Arabic Beans

Caffiene: 60mg-80 mg per packet

Packaging: Packets – 8 packs per flavor or 3.5 oz bag or 8 oz bag

Method: Freeze Dried

Available: Light Roast Ethiopian blend, medium roast Colombian or Papua New Guinean, decaf medium roast Colombian, Dark Roast Ethiopian, Vanilla flavored, dark chocolate mocha flavored.

What We Love

  • great shelf life! up to 2 years!
  • Perfect for iced coffee with fast dissolving coffee crystals
  • The versatile blend can be used in cold and hot drinks and also for baking
  • Company is a part of the given water
  • balanced acidity – pH 4-5
  • notes of caramel sweetness add to the balance of these robust blends.

What We Wish Was Better

  • not vegan or kosher certified
  • not organic
  • newer company

if you haven’t heard of Waka yet then be prepared to be amazed by this new up-and-coming coffee brewing company that specializes in instant coffees and instant teas. We love the mission behind this company to create the perfect high-quality cup of instant coffee and teas for those who just cant afford the time it takes to make a great cup of coffee. They took out the guesswork wot this process and created an exceptional variety of blends to choose from that all taste amazing with different notes that bring out the heavy but fresh profile of the Arabic beans they use. Just add hot water or Cold water and you are on your way to a gorgeous cup of joe to rev you through the day. Speaking of cold drinks, we chose this blend due to its high dissolvability in cold drinks, the last thing anyone wants is clumpy iced coffee 😆.

While they may not be vegan, kosher, or organic, we do hope to expect this company to make the switch one day once they get their brand more established.

Best For Cold Brew: Instant Coffee Concentrate

Jot Coffee Concentrate

Coffee Beans: Organic Coffee Beans

Caffiene: 140- 150 mg per serving

Packaging: Liquid – 14 servings

Available: Orginal, Dark, and Golden Hour

Method: Closed brewing system extraction

What We Love

  • Powerblend that packs a bite
  • organic, sustainably grown, and ethical process
  • all left beans from the process are composted – Yay!
  • A closed brewing system ensures an unparalleled concentration of the beans that is insanely high quality
  • smooth and rich
  • 1 ingredient! Coffee beans! (and water obviously)

What We Wish Was Better

  • we wish there was a bulk option
  • only available in 3 brews
  • unlike the powder versions, this concentrate maintains its freshness better by being refrigerated which reduces its portability.
  • only 90 day’s shelf life
  • can only be bought from the official site and Amazon

If you had no idea what coffee concentrate was until you read this post, you’re not alone. We barely found out about this method of brewing a year ago and were super surprised that no one hyped up this method up! It’s less wasteful, intense, and potent, but high-quality taste that has a memorable profile and freshness that is hard to beat.

cup of coffee, spoon, coffee beans, sugar and other things
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Best Flavored Instant Coffee

Cusa Tea & Coffee Mocha Coffee

Coffee Beans: Arabica Coffee

Caffiene: 110 mg per serving

Packaging: packets – 30 packs, 100 servings, pitcher packs, and trial size 7 set

Availability: Mocha coffee, vanilla dark roast coffee, medium roast coffee, light roast coffee, dark roast coffee, pumpkin spice coffee, dirty chai coffee, and a variety pack

What We Love

  • regenerative agriculture farms – rainforest alliance seal!
  • can be used in either cold or hot drinks
  • With eco-friendly packaging
  • Rich Raw Cacao powder makes this a rich and creamy mocha that you’ll want time and time again without extreme bitterness!
  • Slow cold brew method and combined with pressure and time create this perfect blend.

What We Wish Was Better

  • The mocha flavor does need to be dissolved in warm/hot water first otherwise you’ll get a clumpy texture.
  • A tad spendy

This award-winning instant coffee blend is amazing in both quality and taste! While the vanilla is a cult favorite for this brand, we actually loved the mocha flavor due to its subtle creamy cacao and the slight hints of high-quality Madagascar vanilla from the roasted arabica beans.

We also loved that Cusa utilized a different form of creating their instant coffee that creates a higher quality product due to a slower process. First they cold brew the coffee, then use intense pressure and time combined with a slow dehydration process to create an intoxicating brew. Thus, if quality and flavor are on your must-have list for instant coffee, then get this blend or the vanilla version but both are divine!

Best Mushroom Instant Coffee

Four Sigmatic instant Mushroom Coffee

Coffee Beans:

Caffiene: 50 mg per serving

Packaging: Canister – 30 servings or Packets – 10 pack


  • Instant mushroom coffee with Chaga and Cordyceps
  • instant adaptogen coffee
  • instant mushroom coffee with lions mane

What We Love

  • nutty profile intertwined with a dark and rich blend that goes down smoothly
  • Contains nutrient-dense ingredients such as Chaga and Lions Mane and Rhodiola
  • Can’t taste the mushrooms (Bless! because can you imagine???)
  • organic and fair trade and single origins coffee
  • Vegan
  • Not super expensive
  • eco-friendly packaging

What We Wish Was Better

  • We wish it was easier to get a hold of, your best bet is to buy it online.
  • We wish there was more variety in the blends

Okay, you’re probably wondering why people are mixing mushrooms and coffee together and why is it a thing? This actually wasn’t our first time hearing about this new trend though. I was out running errands and stopped at a nearby coffee shop in Seattle and the owner was going on and on about the benefits of mushrooms in your coffee and how you can’t taste the mushrooms.

It does give earthy vibes that can be gently sniffed when bringing the brew to your nose to smell. When drinking it, I was pleasantly surprised that the earthy smell actually complimented the coffee brew brilliantly and combined with the touted health benefits that the mushrooms added to the blend made me search for at home versions that I could add to my daily coffee arsenal.

This brings us to our unique choice of instant coffee! This brand has been around for ten years and has slowly been perfecting its special blend of Chaga mushrooms, Lions Mane Mushrooms, and rich smooth, and dark coffee. This blend offers the benefits of hefty caffeine without the jitters and packs a punch of health benefits such as immune function benefits from the Chaga, and brain-boosting focus from Lions Mane. With subtle hints of a nutty profile, that goes down smoothly you’ll love this blend and might even replace your daily cup of good ole coffee drip with this instant version.

Best Espresso Instant Coffee

Cafe Bustelo

Coffee Beans: Arabica beans

Caffeine: est 120-150 mg per serving

Packaging: Container and Packets – 6 ct

Availability: Cafe con Leche, cafe con dulce de leche, decaf espresso instant coffee, supreme by Bustelo freeze-dried coffee, supreme by Bustelo freeze-dried coffee decaf, and cafe de Mexico instant coffee.


What We Love

  • Affordable
  • Kosher
  • Does not contain any major allergens

What We Wish Was Better

  • Could be stronger
  • Would have appreciated a more complex flavor profile

Café Bustelo Espresso Powder is perfect for that extra oomph of caffeinated power. This Cuban Coffee powder is made perfect with rich and aromatic notes that compliment the espresso wonderfully. Café Bustelo has been making supreme and affordable coffee blends since 1928 and continues to honor its Latin roots with rich and bold blends that will wake anyone up from a long night. So if you’re looking for the perfect strong blend to replace your morning cup of joe, then this is it! One note, do not add too much water to this instant coffee, it can become too watery.

Easiest To Find In Stores: Instant Blend

Starbucks VIA Instant Italian Roast Dark Roast Coffee

Coffee Beans: Colombian Arabica

Caffiene: est 130 mg per packet

Packaging: 8 packets per box

Also Available: Columbia Medium Roast, Pike Place Medium Roast, French Dark Roast, Decaf Italian, Veranda Light Roast, and Blonde Roast.


What We Love

  • Easy Access, Starbucks is everywhere! Target, local groceries stores, Starbucks store and cafes, and online.
  • Ethically sourced
  • Fresh taste
  • A variety of blends are available

What We Wish Was Better

  • A little weak, if you add too much water. We recommend two packets if you like filling up a coffee thermos.
  • Can burn easily, but so can most instant coffee blends, be careful with scorching water as it will make the coffee bitter

Good ole Starbucks, there when we want it and when we need it most. Starbucks is like an unruly wildflower, it’s aesthetically pleasing, smells heavenly, and pops up everywhere! However, that’s the reason it earned this spot for the most accessible instant coffee blend. The popular line Via is available from mom and pop shops, large grocery stores, Starbucks resellers, Starbucks cafes, and online. So youll have no problem filling up on these packets when you need them most.

Besides being extremely accessible, Starbucks has created a brand that is hard to rival. The coffee made not be the best blends or highest of qualities but it does get the job done and tastes better than that nasty cheap car dealership coffee in the waiting room. Plus, Starbucks is able to make various blends do their massive monopoly. the market, whether you enjoy decaf, dark roast, medium roast, or blonde roast you are sure to find the blend that fits your taste profile.

While we love the variety of blends, our personal favorite is the Italian dark roast coffee blend. Its hints of smokey aromas, and subtle notes of chocolate, bring this blend up a notch. While it’s certainly not the best instant coffee, it is good enough to drink when speed and ease of use are important.

fresh instant coffee powder coffee drink
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Wrap Up For Instant Coffee Round Up

That Wraps up all the instant coffee products that we wanted to cover! We hope you now know that there are endless possibilities and that despite popular belief, instant coffee can actually replace your morning cup of Joe from the brewer and taste just as good!

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