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Instant coffee has always been an ultimate choice for hustling working people who can’t spare enough free time to brew ground coffee from scratch, for ground coffee requires some actual efforts to make a good drink.
On the other hand, with instant coffee, everything has never been so convenient and accessible. With the simple act of pouring the soluble pre-brewed coffee granules into a cup of warm water, you can already have yourself a pro-like drink effortlessly.
To help you choose the best instant coffee to match your own taste, we are here today to give you our best instant coffee uk reviews with some top recommendations. No more hesitation, and let’s get started, shall we?
Table of Contents
- What Is Instant Coffee?
- How To Choose The Best Instant Coffee?
- Best Instant Coffee Reviews UK 2023
- 1. Kenco Smooth Instant Coffee Refill – Best For Multiple Drinks A Day
- 2. L’OR Classique Freeze Dried Instant Coffee – Best For Maintaining The Original Aroma
- 3. NESCAFÉ Original Instant Coffee – Best Packaging
- 4. NESCAFÉ GOLD Blend – Best Bittersweet Aftertaste
- 5. TrueStart Barista Grade – Best For Versatility
- 6. Taylors of Harrogate – Best Wake-up Coffee
- 7. Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence – Best Value
- 8. Clasico Pure Instant Coffee – Best Instant Coffee For Iced Coffee
- 9. Cafédirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu – Best Coffee With Fragrance
- 10. Clipper Latin American –Best Organic Coffee
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Instant Coffee?
Instant coffee, like any other coffee type, is made from whole beans. However, besides being roasted and ground, they are already pre-brewed to make the coffee soluble, drinkable without further manual processing.
Suppose you love a quick cup of coffee in the morning but are rushed off your feet with the morning errands, or in need of something straight-to-the-point for an office drawer or an overnight picnic, instant coffee is the perfect option for you.
Instead of going through the process of grinding the beans, brewing the ground coffee, and then adding in some fragrance, everything you need will be neatly packed in the few cups of granules put in hot water.
How To Choose The Best Instant Coffee?
1 – The Beans
Despite the fair variety of sources, the coffee beans used in most products from all around the world these days are mostly two types. Each type has its own signature and is used for different purposes.
Arabica beans: This type of coffee beans provides the users with a more tender taste, for it has a natural sweetness that can remind you of fruit, berries, or wine. They usually have a higher level of acidity, which enhances the richness and depth of the flavour.
Robusta beans: As opposed to the tenderness often found in Arabica, Robusta beans have a certain amount of harshness and bitterness to the flavour, making them unappetizing to a lot of new coffee drinkers. On top of that, they have a caffeine intensity twice as strong as Arabica beans, so it is such an excellent choice if you are looking for a morning drink.
2 – The Types
The way the coffee beans are stored and preserved can have an influence on the original taste, the aromatic elements and the shelflife of the coffee granules. Therefore, it is imperative to pay some attention to the drying method used in the product.
Spray-drying is a more cost-effective preservative method between the two. The coffee granules before being sealed in the packaging will be exposed to a stream of hot air to achieve a higher temperature of typically above 80°C. This method is time-saving and cheap to operate but can lead to some reduction in efficacy and taste.
Freeze-drying is a preferable choice when it comes to instant coffee preservation, for the low temperature provides the granules with a more secured protection against physical alterations, or thermal degradation. Generally, the coffee’s temperature in freeze-drying will be at about 20–30°C after the drying process of two steps. However, freeze-dried instant coffee is more expensive than spray-dried coffee.
3 – The Roast Level
The roast level is another factor you should take into consideration when looking for a suitable instant coffee, for it contributes largely to the caffeine intensity and the harshness in the flavour of your drink. There are three levels of roasting that you should be aware of:
Light roast will keep the coffee beans at the temperatures of about 180°C to 205°C. They have a light-brown finishing coat, and no oils are produced. Light-roasted beans will have a grainy, toasty taste with the highest amount of caffeine retained.
Medium roast gives the coffee beans a richer, darker tone with a sign of oily coating on the beans’ surfaces. The roasting process will stop when the beans reach the second crack at about 225°C to 232°C. The taste and aroma of medium-roasted beans has a clearer hint of bitterness.
Dark roast creates a dark brown, chocolate-like, sometimes blackish bean’s coating. The natural oils inside the beans are coaxed out a great deal to give the beans a sheen, glossy surface layer. The internal temperature of dark-roasted beans is about 240°C to 248°C at the second crack.
Best Instant Coffee Reviews UK 2023
These products below are the top 10 best instant coffee on Amazon that we have put into a comprehensive list with detailed reviews to help you choose the best one for yourself. We will go through its outstanding traits and weigh its pros and cons. Now, let’s dive right into it, shall we?
1. Kenco Smooth Instant Coffee Refill – Best For Multiple Drinks A Day
Suppose having some caffeine in your system has become a real obsession, but you fear it might evoke the sense of jitteriness that messes with your sleeping routine. If that’s the case, have a look at the instant coffee from Kenco Smooth will do you some good, for it is one of the best instant decaf coffee in the market these days.
Saying this is the best option for constant coffee drinkers is not an overstatement at all, for it offers you the rounded, full-balanced flavour and a delightful aroma of the original Latin America Arabica beans despite its being a decaf coffee.
Generally speaking, the caffeine amount found in a cup of decaf is only one-fifth as strong as a regular one. For that reason, if you demand at least 3 to 4 cup of coffee daily to get through a long workday, stick to this decaf coffee for the fulfilment without any health risks.
On the downside, the used packages are not recyclable at all, which can be a huge put-off for someone who takes environmental issues seriously.
- Rich flavour for a decaf coffee
- Reasonable price
- Considerably smooth
- Taste good when decaffeinated
- Packages can not be recycled
2. L’OR Classique Freeze Dried Instant Coffee – Best For Maintaining The Original Aroma
Instant coffee needs to go through a harsher process to achieve the instant drinkability that it possesses. If not handled expertly, it can lead to the reduction in the signature aroma of the coffee beans. However, this product from L’OR will allow you to bring the original scent back to life in every sip.
This can be achieved mainly thanks to the unique method this brand applied to the making of preservative packages called “aroma lock”. Essentially, the coffee is immediately packed after the roasting, grinding and brewing to keep all the aromatic freshness intact inside the pack.
Additionally, this coffee also carries within itself a strong espresso-like taste with a hint of sweetness without the need to add any creamer or sweetener.
For that reason, the product can make a good companion if you crave the aroma of actual ground coffee while being on a picnic trip or a short vacation.
However, it leaves some bitter aftertaste which might spoil the drink for some people.
- Rich aroma
- Have a faint sweet taste
- Espresso-like scent
- Low in fat and sugar
- Bitter aftertaste
3. NESCAFÉ Original Instant Coffee – Best Packaging
People usually opt for instant coffee stored in tinned form when they are in need of a long-term package for daily caffeinated energizations. If that’s your case, then definitely check out the coffee granules tin from Nescafé.
Firstly, let’s talk briefly about the quality of the coffee. Being ground and brewed after going through a careful selection from Nescafé, the finishing granules promise to deliver the flavourful taste with the closeness to the freshly-roasted coffee beans.
Another feature that makes this product stand out from the rest is the packaging, which is optimized for the preservation of the granules’ taste when re-sealed and the ergonomic lid design for the easiest take-out.
Therefore, the coffee granules will be in the best condition even when being stored for months, since the external moisture will be prevented from clogging the flour. Also, the hinged lid will make it easy to reach even the last granule of coffee at the tin’s bottom.
However, this coffee is relatively strong, so it shouldn’t be used at night for a restful sleep.
- Good preservation
- Carefully processed
- Great morning drink
- Not for night drinking
4. NESCAFÉ GOLD Blend – Best Bittersweet Aftertaste
Here’s another instant coffee from the brand Nescafé, since their reputation for making high-quality coffee while keeping the price within the budget has been widely acknowledged. You will be smitten with this one if the bittersweet aftertaste matches up to your taste buds.
With the high percentage of Robusta coffee beans harvested from the fertile soil of Latin American mountains, even coffee connoisseurs will appreciate the robust, slightly bitter taste in every cup to eliminate the intrusive and intense aftertaste in your mouth.
On top of that, to give the flavour a more nuanced feel to make the drinkers come back for more, the brand also adds Arabica coffee beans in the formula. This type of coffee beans enriches the final flavour with the hint of natural sweetness to balance out the harshness of the Arabica beans.
However, this instant coffee refill has received some complaints from purchasers, mainly due to the steep price you have to pay for a pack of six.
- Bittersweet aftertaste
- High-quality production
- Smooth, well-rounded taste
- Quite expensive
5. TrueStart Barista Grade – Best For Versatility
The creativity in the making of this coffee granules have strongly contributed to the usability of the product, making it an appropriate choice for a wide range of drink styles you aspire to create.
With the ingredient composed of exclusively Columbian Arabica grown at high elevation and gently roasted to sustain the tenderness in the taste, your taste bud will be exploded in the smoothness, richness of every cup.
What is more, as opposed to most instant coffee, which requires the inclusion of hot water for the granules to dissolve fully, these coffee granules can be mixed with cold water. Thanks to that, you can add them to your protein shakes for a flavourful workout drink.
However, the natural taste of this instant coffee might bore some people out, especially those who prefer their coffee to have a more fragrant taste to it.
- Smooth, rich roast
- Within the budget
- Keep the original flavour
- No fragrance added
6. Taylors of Harrogate – Best Wake-up Coffee
Are you always too busy in the mornings to make yourself a brewed cup of coffee but still want something similar to kickstart your day on the right note while not consuming too much of your time? If that sounds familiar, then the instant coffee bag from Taylor of Harrogate might be what you need.
To be more specific, the caffeine intensity is brought to the maximum through the extra dark-roast process. As you may know, the long roasting time can bring out all the signature flavours and the rich oiliness of the beans.
For that reason, just from the very first tastes, you can already experience the bold and well-blended flavours of the smoke and black pepper filled in every sip. From now on, every lagging morning of yours will be immediately boosted up without your having to put too much effort into making brewed coffee.
Nevertheless, these coffee granules won’t dissolve in cold water, so make sure you use hot or warm water to make the best finish drink.
- High-caffeine coffee
- Strong, dark and delicious
- Individually-wrapped bags
- Works well with creams
- Don’t blend in with cold water
7. Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence – Best Value
This product from Douwe Egbert can give pleasure to the most picky purchasers in terms of value and quality, for it is, hands down, one of the best instant coffee in town for the price it offers.
Indeed, saying this product has the highest value for the cost is not a made-up affirmation at all. Particularly, you will get a pack of six jars; each jar is measured at about 200g in weight at a cost-effective price.
Despite the modest price, this brand is still a go-to for so many instant coffee drinkers, mainly for the unique flavours created through the pre-brewed process that filtered coffee doesn’t have. It has a balance between the original bitterness and the gentle creaminess embracing your taste buds.
On the negative side, the lid’s design should be improved in terms of practicality, since some buyers have complained that it takes lots of effort to open the jar.
- Great value for the price
- Creamy and aromatic flavour
- Freeze-dried packages
- Reusable jars
- The lid is hard to open
8. Clasico Pure Instant Coffee – Best Instant Coffee For Iced Coffee
The fact that we put this one as the third product from Nescafé on our list today is not a coincidence at all. This instant coffee named Clasico is such a perfect within-the-budget alternative to those overpriced pre-made iced coffees sold at stores.
With the attention to the solubility and the flavour preservation after the brewing process, this coffee has the ability to dissolve quickly and blend in completely in cold water after some steady stirs.
Also, the low level of acidity in this instant coffee makes them match perfectly with sweeteners such as creamers and sugar. Therefore, after the granules are fully mixed with the water, just pick your favourite crema and add in the cup, then you will have your at-home iced coffees.
Despite the quality, some purchasers still find fault in this product in terms of flavour, for the low-acidity coffee might taste quite bland when drinking raw without sweeteners.
- Great for making iced coffees
- Taste well with sweeteners
- Reliable production
- Low acidity
9. Cafédirect Fairtrade Machu Picchu – Best Coffee With Fragrance
If you are searching for an instant coffee that contains fragrance, then definitely give this jar of coffee granules from Cafédirect Fairtrade a shot.
Instead of sticking to the classic one that maintains all the natural qualities, a lot of people prefer their coffees to have some fragrant flavours to diversify their tastes and make daily doses of coffee more varied and worth looking forward to.
To satisfy this need of many coffee drinkers, the brand has added in the formula some dark chocolate notes, giving the granules an espresso-like impression by a hint of sweetness.
On top of that, the whole coffee beans are grown and harvested at the high altitude, fertile volcanic soil of the Machu Picchu region to give the beans its extreme well-roundedness and full-body despite the reduction in acidity.
However, with the caffeine strength of four, some people might find the taste of this coffee unimpressive and not enough to wake them up fully from all the dragging mornings.
- Great fragrant flavour
- Strong chocolate notes
- Reliable sources
- Within the budget
- Not strong enough
10. Clipper Latin American –Best Organic Coffee
The brewing treatment, despite being professionally handled for optimal results, still inevitably leads to the loss of the coffee beans’ natural flavours. If you take the originality thing seriously, then this organic instant coffee from Clipper deserves your further attention.
To maintain the freshness of the taste and aroma, instead of adding preservative additives in the formula, the brand only uses the natural oils coaxed out from the coffee bean itself or synthetic components.
Without man-made chemicals, the flavour will remarkably resemble the natural coffee beans. Specifically, they will give off the signature smell of freshly roasted coffee beans, bringing the drinkers closer to the moments of truth.
What’s more, with the ingredient composed solely of Latin America whole coffee beans that have been roasted at a medium level, the flavour won’t not be too invasive or floral as a lot of people might fear.
On the downside, this product is considerably high-priced compared to most instant coffee jars in the market, mainly due to the organic nature of it.
- Organic coffee
- Resemble the original flavour
- Not too invasive
- No bitter aftertaste
- Not affordable
Frequently Asked Questions
1 – How to make your instant coffee taste good?
There are a few factors you need to keep in mind to have a perfect finishing drink.
First of all, you need to read the instructions carefully to know if the granules work well with hot water or cold water. This step is important because the water temperature determines the solubility of the granules, which can affect the final flavour hugely.
Secondly, pay attention to the amount of granules you want to put in. Although there is no recommended amount for all, you can work it out for yourself based on the water and coffee granules ratio. It might take a few times before you can find your sweet spot and get exactly what you need.
2 – Does instant coffee have the same benefit as ground coffee?
Instant coffee contains a lower amount of caffeine, mainly because the pre-brewing process has taken away some of the coffee beans’ natural properties. The acrylamide level, which is a chemical produced during the roasting process, is also higher in instant coffee.
Be it as it may, they generally share the same amount of antioxidants, which are the substances contributing a lot to protect the body from heart diseases. All in all, you can fairly say that instant coffee does have the same benefit as ground coffee.
3 – What is the main difference between instant coffee and regular coffee?
In terms of coffee qualities and the nutritional components, there is no significant difference between instant coffee and regular coffee, for they still contain the same amount of essential substances that make the coffee.
The main difference has to do with the caffeine intensity. Instant coffee tends to have less caffeine in the formula, which is half as strong as regular coffees.
So this is finally the end of our best instant coffee UK reviews. We are sure that after reading the post, you have learned something new and already picked out a few products that you have a special liking for.
Besides our reviews, it would be best to research more thoroughly about the essential information such as the specific prices or the nutrition facts of each product.
All things considered, we wish you luck and remember to come back for more reviews from us in the future!