You may have a bad taste in your mouth when you think of instant coffee and for good reason. Many instant coffees are absolutely undrinkable. Lately there has been a surge in the production of higher quality options using very high end beans and techniques. Chief among the improvements has been the freeze drying process most of the best instant coffees have adopted.
The freeze drying process keeps intact the qualities of the bean much better than previous methods. Freeze dried coffee also allows coffee makers to avoid using preservatives or additives. In fact many of the offerings below are able to be 100% organic. This along with using high quality beans has made us rethink the best instant coffee on the market. No longer just a last ditch coffee fix, instant coffee can be tolerable if not enjoyable.
Interestingly enough instant coffee has also seen a rise in sales and use at coffee shops. Why would coffee shops use instant coffee? That’s a pretty good question. No they are not serving it straight up. The world hasn’t gotten that far off its axis. Instead they are using it in mixed drinks or frappe style drinks. It gives the drink a strong coffee taste without melting the ice or curdling the cream.
Instant coffee is also a great option for campers, travelers and RVers. It produces little waste and creates very little mess. While we would prefer a percolator for most traveling sometimes it just doesn't make sense to go through all the hassle. We understand that but we also understand it is important to not have to drink a terrible cup of coffee. So we sacrificed our taste buds to help find the best instant coffee on the market. In doing so, we were pleasantly surprised by many of the options.
Mount Hagen is made from 100% Highland Arabica coffee beans. These beans are quarantined from the use of any pesticides. Additionally they are freeze dried so no preservatives need to be added. If you are looking for a mild flavored 100% organic coffee this is a great choice.
For those looking for a less bitter instant coffee this was the best we tested. It is 90% acid neutralized so you can have a rich full bodied instant coffee without all the bitterness and acid. It's a little pricey and is not freeze dried so the taste may alter from batch to batch.
On the other side of the taste spectrum is the Davidoff Espresso 57. This is an incredibly intense coffee bursting with flavor. Their roasting process is truly unique. The 57 in its name is not random. It is the degree of roast used. This ensures a perfectly balanced ratio between roasting for long periods and at high temps. This gives it the ideal factors for the manifold aroma compounds locked in the whole bean to release.
Known for its rich taste this instant coffee is great for those looking for an easy to make espresso alternative. It is double roasted for a deep flavor that might not be the real deal espresso but it is a convenient option that is easy to find at most retailers.
Juan Valdez is a popular choice for many Colombian households and lovers of great tasting Colombian coffee. It has rich and bold flavor that stays true to its non freeze dried counterpart. It is getting increasingly hard to find in stores so we suggest stocking up now while you can.
Any of the above choices will surely change your mind when thinking about instant coffee. We did try a few duds but overall we we were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of instant coffees. I’m not fully converted but if I am travelling or in a pinch I wouldn’t hesitate in choosing one of the above options.