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Instant Coffee: The Best Brands & How to Choose One

Instant coffee has come a long way in recent years, and today, there are plenty of options available that taste just as good as freshly brewed coffee. However, with so many brands and varieties on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth your money.

In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about instant coffee, from what to look for when choosing a brand, to some of the best options currently on the market according to blind test ratings.

Best Instant Coffees

We’ll start by taking a look at some of the top picks when it comes to instant coffee according to blind taste-test ratings. Keep in mind that these ratings were based solely on taste, and each person’s preference may vary.

Top Picks

  • Nescafe Azera: This brand offers a balanced and realistic taste that closely resembles a medium-dark roast. It’s perfect for those who love a strong cup of coffee without it being too overpowering.
  • Lavazza Prontissimo: With an intense, dark-roast flavor profile, this brand is excellent for espresso lovers. It’s perfect for those who want a punchy, full-bodied taste.
  • Kenco Smooth: As the name suggests, this brand offers a smooth and clean taste with a mellow aftertaste. It’s ideal for those who prefer a more delicate coffee experience.
  • Davidoff Rich: This brand boasts a medium-dark roast with a complex flavor profile that includes subtle fruity notes. It’s perfect for those who appreciate a layered coffee experience.
  • Little’s Ethiopian: This brand offers a more average taste profile with subtle hints of flavor. It’s an excellent option for those who like a simple, unassuming coffee.
  • Little’s Irish Cream: If you’re looking for something unique, this brand may be perfect for you. It has a creamy aroma and a wine gum flavor that is sure to wake up your taste buds.

Less Impressing Picks

  • Nescafe Red Cup Original: While this brand has a classic taste, it fell short in the blind test ratings due to its grainy texture and bad taste.
  • Starbucks Pike Place: With a very dark roast that produces a bitter and astringent taste, this brand may be best suited for those who like their coffee strong.

Unique Options

  • Mount Hagen Fair Trade: This brand boasts a smoky and spicy taste that is perfect for BBQ lovers. It’s quite unique in flavor and provides a refreshingly different take on instant coffee.
  • Nescafe Gold Crema: This brand has a sharp licorice or anise flavor that is full-bodied and robust. It’s perfect for those who like a bold and intense taste.

Behind the Test & Blind Tasting

Now that we’ve provided you with some of the best picks in the market, let’s take a closer look at how these results were achieved. In a blind taste test, participants try coffee samples without knowing the brand or type of coffee.

This ensures that the ratings are based solely on taste and not influenced by brand loyalty or marketing tactics. The blind-tasting approach used in this study involved several cupping bowls that were numbered, so the participants could easily identify each sample.

The coffee samples were then served alongside water and neutral foods to help cleanse the palate between samples. After the blind tasting, there was an un-blinded cupping where participants had the opportunity to guess the brand name and roast style of each sample.

What to Look for in Instant Coffee

When choosing an instant coffee brand, several factors come into play that can impact your final decision.

1. Beans

The types of beans used in instant coffee varies from brand to brand.

  • Robusta and Arabica are the two most commonly used beans. Arabica beans are of superior quality and are renowned for their delicate flavor profiles, while Robusta beans have a stronger taste profile and contain more caffeine.

2. Roast & Taste

The roast of the beans can impact the taste and flavor of the coffee.

  • Light roasts typically have a milder taste profile, while medium to dark roasts have a stronger flavor.
  • If you prefer a stronger coffee, opt for a dark roast.

3. Convenience

Ultimately, the reason why many people opt for instant coffee is its convenience.

Make sure to choose a brand that is easy to make and requires little hassle.

Pro Tip: Iced Coffee!

Iced coffee is a great way to enjoy instant coffee during the summer months. Simply dissolve the granules in hot water, and then pour the coffee over ice. Quick, easy, and refreshing!

In conclusion, instant coffee has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and there are plenty of brands available on the market today that offer a premium coffee experience.

When choosing an instant coffee brand, it’s important to consider factors such as the beans used, the roast, and convenience. We hope this article has helped you in your search for the perfect cup of instant coffee, and we encourage you to try some of the top picks we’ve suggested.

In this article, we’ve explored everything there is to know about instant coffee. From blind taste-test ratings to the factors to consider when choosing a brand, we’ve covered it all.

While it’s still up for debate as to whether instant coffee can match the level of deliciousness found in specialty coffee shops or regular brew, it’s clear that instant coffee is a perfect option for individuals who are too busy or too lazy to brew a decent morning cup. With a variety of interesting options now on the market, instant coffee is no longer an inferior alternative to traditional coffee brewing methods.

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