I Tried Dozens of Instant Coffees Over the Past Year. These 12 Are the Best

I don’t have a coffee machine and have no desire to acquire one. It’s not that I dislike coffee; on the contrary, I adore it. But I only drink one cup at a time, which has never felt like enough to justify investing in even a cheap coffee maker. When everything closed down last year, I was forced to give up my habit of getting a latte from the café down the street. Not wanting to give up my coffee shop routine or caffeine, I tried Jot, an instant coffee that, to my surprise (and delight), tasted similar to what I was used to. Even non-coffee snobs like myself are aware that instant coffee has long been regarded as the Franzia of the coffee world: a cheap (and low-tasting) knockoff. But, because I enjoy Jot so much — and my coffee-obsessed partner agrees — I began to wonder if there are any other instant coffees that are just as excellent.

The short answer is yes. Yes. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur after spending more than a year sampling more than two dozen different varieties of instant coffee. For those who haven’t had instant coffee in a long time — or ever — it now comes in a lot more varieties than the gritty powder you may expect. That’s not to say that powdered instant coffees aren’t delicious; they are, but my favourites also come in single-serve bags, concentrates, and latte mixes (none of which made me react like Ross and Chandler when they tried instant lattes on Friends). Each style has its own set of advantages. Because you can choose how long they steep, single-serve bags are great for individuals who want precise brew strength. For those who like a robust cup, concentrates are the finest option. And, whether you’re short on time or lazy (or both), a mix or powder is usually the quickest and easiest way to make something tasty. Because I’m lactose intolerant, my list of 12 favourite instant coffees below should appeal to a wide range of people.

Swift Cup Coffee Mainstay Blend Swift Cup Coffee Mainstay Blend $11 Swift Cup Coffee makes instant coffee for a number of companies, including those on this list. Other brands seek it out as a production partner because of the exclusive technique it utilises to roast and freeze-dry coffee as a powder, according to the business. However, after sampling Swift’s own powder instant coffee as well as the variations it produces for other firms, I believe Swift’s is superior. The texture is the smoothest of all the instant coffees on our list, and every cup, whether black or with a splash of milk, tastes like it came from a café. It’s hard to tell it’s instant.

Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets, The Daily House Blend $11 AT SWIFT CUP COFFEE Best instant coffee for people who like their coffee black Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets, The Daily House Blend $20 I used to stop into Joe Coffee for black coffee at least once a week when I commuted to the office. I never needed to add anything to the coffee because it was always so rich and smooth. I’m delighted to report that the powder instant coffee from the same brand tastes exactly the same when served black. Joe Coffee is made in collaboration with Swift Cup Coffee, which explains why it is so excellent in quality. Despite the fact that it is clearly not fresh – it is freeze-dried coffee powder — it tastes freshly roasted.

Read more • nymag.com

Suggested Reading