The best cup of coffee is the freshest cup of coffee – with coffee beans you grind right before brewing and a cup waiting to be filled. But brewing fresh coffee by the cup is not always practical. This is why sometimes instant coffee may be the only option. But there’s a reason many people consider the moment to be a last resort – it often tastes pretty bad. But it turns out that no to have to bad taste.
An ever-growing crop of roasters are taking instant coffee more seriously. Verve’s specialty roasters at Intelligentsia have jumped into the instant coffee game, creating convenient brews that taste almost as good as the real thing.
Instant coffee can be a great option for people with rushed morning schedules or people looking to enjoy a hot cup of coffee on a camping trip and who (naturally) might not want to bring their Chemex. Instant coffee can also be a good option for anyone at a small desk that only has room for a small electric kettle.
Specialty roasters have also experimented with what instant coffee can be, beyond the twist-off plastic pot most of us are familiar with. Many instant coffees come in individual sachets that look like tea bags.
If the snapshot is totally irrelevant to you but you still need something handy, we’ve included single-serve pour-on kits as well. These are as easy to store and use as they are snapshots, but they’re as fresh as they are to pour. Another unique option to consider is coffee concentrate, which comes in liquid form. All you need to do is add hot (or cold) water and a teaspoon of the concentrated coffee formula. And of course, if you just want classic instant coffee, we have those options too.
These are some of the best instant coffees to try.
1. Joe Coffee Specialty instant coffee sachets
Joe Coffee is a popular option in New York City, but you don’t have to be in the city to get your daily fix. This instant coffee is based on Joe’s Daily House Blend. Each box comes with six teabags of tearable coffee – just add 8-10 oz of hot water and stir to enjoy. It’s quite expensive, so you can’t use it as a daily brew, but it’s a great option for traveling or to keep in your pantry for caffeine-related emergencies.
Buy: Joe Coffee Instant Coffee $ 19.99
2. Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee
Many coffee companies jump into the instant, but instant coffee is the whole MO of Mount Hagen. It’s a reasonably priced option that results in a rich brew. Plus, Mount Hagen’s instant coffee is certified organic and fair trade. This means that even on those mornings when you can’t think much about your cup of coffee, you can rest assured that you know Mount Hagen has.
Buy: Mount Hagen Instant Coffee $ 11.99
3. Waka quality instant coffee
This coffee from Waka is made with freeze-dried Arabica coffee, resulting in a coffee that tastes like a classic cup of filter coffee. You can add 8-10 ounces of hot water for a classic cup of instant, or you can use cold water for a refreshing glass of iced coffee. This option is a balanced medium roast that comes from Colombian coffee beans.
Buy: Waka Instant Coffee $ 25.99
4. Verve Seabright Instant Coffee
Verve was born in the quiet college town of Santa Cruz, but has since grown into a global brand, with outposts in LA and Tokyo. If you are not in California or Japan, you can take advantage of Verve from online retailers. This medium roast is Verve’s house blend, and six packets of single serve coffee are included.
Buy: Verve Instant Coffee $ 17.69
5. illy instant coffee
Italian roaster illy has been in the coffee business for almost 90 years, and although it specializes in espresso, the company also makes excellent roasts for filter coffee, as well as this instant coffee. It comes in a 3.5 oz container.
Buy: illy instant coffee $ 9.00
6. Alpine Start instant coffee
This instant coffee can be enjoyed anywhere, but as the brand name suggests, it was designed with the great outdoors in mind. Many campers and backpackers are fans, including those who also call themselves coffee snobs. It’s made with Arabica coffee and comes in the form of handy sticks that you tear up and pour into your mug. Alpine Start coffee can be enjoyed hot or iced.
Buy: Alpine Start Instant Coffee $ 9.00
7. Classic Le Latte Copper Cow Coffee
This broadens the definition of the moment a bit, but you’ll be impressed with the convenience of Copper Cow’s coffee. Copper Cow is inspired by Vietnamese coffee, a proud (and delicious) tradition that you may not have yet experienced. This latte includes a disposable paper pouring kit that fits over your cup of coffee. You then pour hot water from your kettle onto the floor, just like you would with an automatic watering device. Then empty the sachet of condensed milk to make a quick and convenient latte.
Buy: Copper Cow Pour Over Kit $ 15.00
8. Intelligentsia House Instant Roast Coffee
Chicago-based Intelligentsia is one of the biggest names in specialty coffee, with locations in major cities across the country. If you don’t have a cafe near you, Intelligentsia is available at grocery stores and online retailers. This light roast includes five sachets of instant coffee.
Buy: Intelligentsia House Instant Coffee Light Roast $ 16.99
9. Jot Concentrated Coffee
Jot makes one of the most unique options on the market. It comes in a liquid concentrate form and the small 6oz bottle is easy to take with you or keep at your desk. You simply add a tablespoon of concentrate to a cup of hot or ice water. You can even make a latte with milk. The resulting infusion is strong but sweet.
Buy: Jot Coffee Concentrate $ 24.00
10. Thrive Market Organic Instant Coffee
Thrive Market is one of the best online marketplaces for organic and ethical grocery shopping, and they have their own line of organic coffee. The coffee is made from organic and fair trade Arabica beans. It comes in a convenient 3.5 oz resealable bag.
Buy: Thrive Market Instant Coffee $ 7.99
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