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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

The 10 Best Quality Instant Coffee Brands



Whipped Instant Coffee
Dalgona Whipped Coffee at Home

Dalgona whipped coffee has taken the world by storm. You’ve likely seen the frothy coffee drink all over Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook recently. Even though it looks like a professional made it, it’s simple to make. All you need is sugar, water, milk, ice, and instant coffee.

Instant coffee is a great alternative to brewing your own coffee. It’s convenient since you only need to add hot water. That makes it a must-have for camping and traveling.

Unfortunately, it’s not known for being tasty. But you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect instant coffee brand. We’ve put together a list of the best tasting and highest quality instant coffee brands. Check these out to make the perfect dalgona whipped coffee.

If you’re in a rush, here’s my favorite pick here: Nescafe Clasico Dark Roast at Amazon.

1. NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee

NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee 7 Ounce

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NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee takes the cake as our #1 choice on this list. It’s made with 100 percent real Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. It’s creamy, high quality, and delicious. It’s best served in hot water, but it works as iced coffee, too. That makes it a great choice for making dalgona coffee since the drink isn’t hot.

NESCAFE CLASICO Dark Roast Instant Coffee is what it advertises; it’s a dark roast. The flavor is rich and complex, but too powerful for those who enjoy lighter coffees. Dalgona coffee is a creamy drink, though, so the intense flavor won’t be a problem. Unless you’re adamant against trying a dark roast, we recommend this.

2. Waka Coffee Decaffeinated Quality Instant Coffee

Waka Coffee Decaffeinated Quality Instant Coffee, Colombian, Medium Roast | 100% Arabica, Freeze Dried | Add Water, Give Water (Colombian Decaf, 80 Servings)

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For a decaf option, we recommend Waka Coffee Decaffeinated Quality Instant Coffee. Thanks to Waka Coffee being freeze-dried, the flavor isn’t lost and preserves well. Also, the decaffeination process is completely natural and without chemicals.

This coffee is great, and it’s not only because of the resealable zipper bag. It’s specifically advertised to be great for dalgona coffee! It can’t get much better than this.

Even though Waka Coffee is freeze-dried, it’s still an instant decaf coffee. Instant decaf coffee is notorious for not being as flavorful as others. It’s still a great pick, but it can come across as a little weak tasting. This might be something to consider as you buy your favorite instant coffee.

3. Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals, 8 Ounces

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This instant coffee is a favorite to many and one that you might have already heard of. Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals dissolve well in water or milk. This is a simple and efficient option when making delicious dalgona whipped coffee.

Folgers Classic Roast is as classic as it claims, but it isn’t very complex. The coffee can end up tasting watery and weak if you add too much water. Since dalgona coffee is a whipped drink, you shouldn’t have a big problem, but it’s something to be aware of. Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee is affordable and it gets the job done.

4. Kenco Millicano 500 Gram Instant Coffee

Kenco Millicano 500 Gram Instant Coffee

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Kenco Millicano Instant Coffee is the closest thing to real coffee that you’re going to get. It’s smooth, dark, and bold. It’s made with fine-milled coffee beans for an easier dissolving process. Plus, it’s sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

Kenco Millicano Instant Coffee is common in the United Kingdom and Ireland. If you live elsewhere, the delivery might take a while, so make sure to check the Prime status. It’s also a bit more pricey compared to other instant coffee brands. Buying this coffee is a commitment to good quality coffee.

5. Trung Nguyen G7 Pure Black Instant Coffee

Trung Nguyen G7 Pure Black Instant Coffee - (2gr/sachet x 15 sachets/box)

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This Vietnamese classic delivers a world of flavors in your coffee. The instant coffee comes in packets for your convenience. The coffee is a powder, like Starbucks Via, another popular instant coffee. Coffee lovers compare the two brands often. In our opinion, Trung Nguyen G7 is a much more affordable and tastier choice. The flavor might be different than what you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean it tastes bad. The flavor is actually what makes it great; it resembles non-instant coffee to a fault.

G7 instant coffee is lower in sugar and fat than some other options on this list. The company also suggests using it in recipes and desserts. It’s a great choice for dalgona whipped coffee.

Lots of fans of this coffee suggest that the taste is unique. It’s one of a kind, which isn’t always something you want in your coffee. Chances are, you want something familiar. It will bring a new experience to your dalgona coffee, so if you’re not opposed, drink it with an open mind.

6. Maxwell House International French Vanilla Café Instant Coffee

Maxwell House International French Vanilla Café Instant Coffee (8.4 oz Canisters, Pack of 4)

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Like Folgers, Maxwell House International is, well, international. It is one of those brands that you’re likely already familiar with. The french vanilla flavor gives it a creamy taste and keeps it smooth. It’s a refreshing step back from some of the black coffee types on this list.

Maxwell House might be a recognizable name, but choosing this coffee has quite a few cons. Many customers receive a package of only 9 servings, as opposed to the 17 servings advertised. Strange enough, the 9 servings even had more calories than the 17 servings. The flavor is also weak. There doesn’t seem to be much caffeine, either, which isn’t what you want with a non-decaf coffee. These cons aside, if you like creamy coffee, it might be worth the risk to try this out. The taste itself is delicious, even if it isn’t as strong as you’d expect it to be.

7. Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence Instant Coffee

Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence Instant Coffee in Jar, Dark Roast, 7.05-Ounce, 200 gram

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Douwe Egberts has been making great instant coffee for some 250 years. Imported from Holland, and they’ve almost perfected the craft. This coffee wakes you up in the morning without fail. Although not advertised as organic, the coffee has no chemicals and tastes natural.

Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence Instant Coffee is smooth, rich, and complex. These facts aside, many find it to taste fake or cheap. It comes across weaker in both taste and aroma. Some customers also experienced their coffee tasting almost stale. While this isn’t the best choice on the menu, it still could be a worthy coffee to try.

Now the Healthy & Organic Options

Instant coffee isn’t the healthiest choice to make when you’re looking for a wake-up call. Dalgona whipped coffee has sugar and milk in it already. It’s an indulging drink to make, but in no way compares to the sugar and carb concoctions you can buy at Starbucks. There are plenty of organic and healthy options for you to choose from. Creating delicious coffee has never been easier at home. Here are my top picks for the healthy and organic coffee brand options:

8. Highground Organic Instant Regular Coffee

Highground Organic Instant Regular Coffee, 3.53 Ounce

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Highground Organic Instant Regular Coffee is our favorite organic coffee on this list. It’s USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified. That means both farmers and the environment are happy! You can enjoy this coffee and feel good about enjoying it. Also, it works great in dalgona whipped coffee without a doubt. You might have to mix for a little bit longer since the whip can seem weak at first, but the result is worth it.

While this coffee seems perfect, nothing is as it seems. The medium roast tastes great, but like most instant coffee brands, it’s still weaker than you want it to be. It also has a bitter aftertaste when enjoyed alone. This won’t be a problem since you’ll be using it for dalgona coffee, but it’s something to think about. Also, the lid on the jar isn’t very tight. Coffee maintains freshness best in a sealed container. If it isn’t in a sealed container, it has a higher chance of going stale on you.

9. Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee

Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee,14oz, Ultra Fine Microground, Gluten Free, Arabica, Non GMO

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Coffee can’t get much better – until it’s organic! Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee is made up of ultra-fine micro-ground coffee beans. The Arabica beans themselves are what’s organic, which means they’re non-GMO too. It will combine well with the milk in dalgona whipped coffee. It’s also certified gluten-free.

A common complaint against Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee is its’ bitter aftertaste. To some, it doesn’t even taste like coffee. It also tastes a little burnt.

Organic coffee is a good investment, but only if you end up enjoying what you paid for. If you decide to try this coffee, keep an open mind, but don’t assume the experience will be groundbreaking.

10. VitaCup Slim Instant Coffee Sticks

VitaCup Slim Instant Coffee Sticks | Diet & Metabolism | Garcinia & Fiber | Vitamins B1, B5, B6, B9, & B12 | Vegan | Superfood Infused Instant Skinny Coffee | Enjoy Hot or Cold (10 Count)

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VitaCup Slim Instant Coffee Sticks are the healthiest option on this list by far. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free. It’s also superfood-infused to boost your metabolism and keep you feeling your best. Since dalgona whipped coffee asks for extra sugar, you might want a coffee with less sugar in it. Look no further! VitaCup Slim Instant Coffee Sticks have tons of B vitamins, too. It mixes great in cold coffee, so you won’t have trouble with making dalgona whipped coffee. There are 68 milligrams of caffeine in a serving.

VitaCup Slim Instant Coffee Sticks are, unfortunately, weak-tasting. It also doesn’t curb your appetite as it advertises. It doesn’t taste like good coffee, but it gets the job done. If you want these extra benefits while drinking dalgona coffee, we recommend this brand. Even so, it’s not the best choice out there.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Instant Coffee Bad for You?

Everything in moderation, but instant coffee has not shown to be any different to your health than regular brewed coffee. It has slightly less caffeine, and slightly more acrylamide.

What is the Coffee in the Yellow Can?

Many people know the yellow can coffee but can’t remember the name of it. It’s Cafe Bustelo. Latin inspired for over 100 years. Often you can see the signature lady on the packaging: Lady Bustelo “Angelina”.

What is Mexican Instant Coffee?

Mexican Instant Coffee tastes like coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. The cinnamon is the distinguishing flavor. It can also be known as Cafe De Olla. Nescafe makes this type. It is coffee with cinnamon and piloncillo in it. Piloncillo is a raw cane unrefined sugar known as Mexican brown sugar. Buy piloncillo here on Amazon.

What are the Old Instant Coffee Brands?

Nestle, Hill Brothers and Maxwell House Brands were all established in the 1800s. I had no idea that we humans have been obsessed with coffee for centuries.

How Much Caffeine in Instant Coffee?

Instant Coffee has slightly less caffeine versus brewed coffee. Instant will contain 60-80 milligrams and brewed will contain 60-120 milligrams. Check your particular brand.

What is the Strongest Instant Coffee?

2 answers here. Strongest by flavor will be the Nescafe Dark Roast. If by strongest, we mean caffeine content, then the highest jolt of caffeine will be the Highground from Amazon at 90 milligrams. Others have reported quite a buzz with the Douwe Egberts brand.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the options are endless to find the coffee flavor you like. No matter your preferences, there’s an instant coffee on this list that’s perfect for you. Achieve your trendy dreams and pick one out to use in your whipped coffee.

Additional Resources

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rose Reinhard

Rose Reinhard is a Thai-American foodie from Chiang Mai, Thailand. She's been a creative writer since she could speak and enjoys making vegetarian/vegan dishes and reading about food science. She claims her air-fryer is the best purchase she’s ever made to date.

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