9 Best Instant Coffees Of 2022 – Instant Coffee Reviews – Delish

best instant coffee

Sarah Ceniceros

We know. Instant coffee has a bad reputation. It can be clumpy and simply not good . But it can also be super-convenient when you’re traveling, camping, or running late. It’s even good in recipes like creamy dalgona coffee , the dalgona martini , coffee cupcakes , or coffee cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream —all of which rely on instant espresso.

Whether you’re frequently traveling or always in a rush, or simply like instant coffee because it’s easy, you should never compromise on flavor. We saved you time by tasting lots of instant coffees and poring over online reviews so you don’t have to. Here are our top picks.

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Best Overall

Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast

  • Well-balanced and smooth
  • Affordable and accessible
  • Enjoyed hot only

The well-balanced Starbucks VIA Instant Pike Place Roast was first created for customers that wanted a coffee they could drink throughout the day. It’s a medium roast with notes of cocoa and pine nuts, and is so smooth, you can drink it all day long.


Best Value

Nescafé Clásico Dark Roast Instant Coffee

  • Budget-friendly
  • Not available in single serve packets
  • Best with hot water only

Nescafé Clásico Dark Roast Instant Coffee makes a solid morning cup. It’s rich, bold, plus robust—exactly what I need to wake up. For under $10, you get a jar that can make up to 150 cups of coffee. How much better can it get?


Best Light Roast

Waka Light Roast Instant Coffee

  • Enjoy hot or iced


Best Dark Roast

illy Ground Intenso Instant Espresso Dark Roast

  • Doesn’t come in single-serve packets

For a bold, full-bodied cup of joe, look no further than illy’s Ground Intenso Darkish Roast . It blends well into hot or cold water, and is clump-free. I loved it iced, too.


Best Decaffeinated

Waka Medium Roast Decaffeinated Instant Coffee

  • Enjoy very hot or iced

The Waka Medium Roast Decaffeinated Instant Coffee is made with 100% Colombian Arabica beans. Each cup is well-balanced along with notes of citrus—all without the caffeine.

“It’s very hard to find single-serve instant decaf coffee that actually tastes good—but Waka does it! ” said one reviewer .


Best With Creamer

Alpine Start Dairy-Free Coffee + Creamer Instant Latte

  • Dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian
  • Best with hot water

The box says it all—instant coffee that truly tastes good. For those who like a little creamer with their coffee, the Alpine Start Diary-Free Coffee + Creamer Instant Latte is a convenient on-the-go option that Carlos Dominguez, Delish Senior Designer, loved. While the coconut creamer gave his mug a good taste, he also liked how it wasn’t overpowering.


Best Local

Oslo Specialty Instant Coffee

  • Can be used with hot or cold water

I’ve been an Oslo Coffee Roasters fan since I first stopped in for a cold brew , and I’ve been loving everything they make ever since, including the Oslo Specialty Instant Coffee . With notes of berries, chocolate, and citrus, you’ll truly forget that you’re drinking instant coffee.


Best Dirty Chai

Alpine Start Dairy-Free Dirty Chai Tea Immediate Latte

  • Mixes with hot or cold water
  • Single serve packets
  • Dairy-free, vegan, paleo, vegetarian

“I was pleasantly surprised by the Alpine Start Dirty Chai Latte I tried, ” said Delish Digital Food Producer Camille Lowder . Traditional chai spices, black tea, and 100% Colombian Arabica coffee are blended with soy milk (which Lowder appreciated) to create a creamy, spicy dirty chai. Since Lowder isn’t a camper, she said she wouldn’t use this regularly, but would reach for this over the office coffee. We hear you there.


Best With Mushrooms

Four Sigmatic Instant Mushroom Coffee With Lion’s Mane

  • Less caffeine than traditional cup
  • Vegan plus organic
  • Single serve packets
  • Best blended with hot water

Love coffee but hate the particular crash? Four Sigmatic Instant Mushroom Coffee is made to keep you jitter- and crash-free. Organic Colombian coffee is blended with organic chaga mushroom, lion’s mane mushroom, and rhodiola to make a cup that they say supports immune function, productivity, plus creativity—all with only 50 mg of caffeine. While it tastes a bit earthy, one reviewer adds milk and flavorings, and says this tastes just like a regular cup of coffee.

10 How We Picked These Products

We searched high and low for some of the best instant coffees on the market, pored over reviews, and taste-tested them ourselves to come up with our top picks. No one like clumpy, instant-tasting coffee, so we looked for those that tasted just like the real thing. When crafting this list, we considered several factors including cost, variety, dietary restrictions, easy of use, plus, above all, taste.

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