Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Welcome to our big instant coffee test 2022. Here we present all the instant coffees we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best instant coffee for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy instant coffee.




Summary

  • Instant coffee consists of dried coffee extract and can be prepared quickly with hot water.
  • Versatile in use, instant coffee can also be integrated very well in baking or cooking, for example.
  • Born out of necessity, instant coffee is now a worthwhile alternative to other types of coffee for many people.

The Best Instant Coffee: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Instant Coffee

What is instant coffee?

Instant coffee is made from processed coffee beans that can be quickly brewed into coffee with hot water.

Instant coffee has less caffeine, but is all the quicker to prepare.

The long shelf life and storability made this type of coffee very popular, especially in times of crisis. Soluble coffee has been around since the end of the 19th century, but it still enjoys some popularity.

Before the instant coffee powder enters the morning cup, it undergoes a special roasting process.(Image source:pexels.com / Livier)

After roasting, a coffee extract is extracted from the coffee beans using a process involving extremely hot water and pressure. This is then dried by either spray or freeze drying.

How healthy is instant coffee?

Due to the high effort in the production process, caffeine and aromas are lost in instant coffee. For people with caffeine sensitivity, instant coffee can therefore be a good alternative.

Apart from the reduced caffeine content, little changes in terms of calories. However, you should watch out for additives, such as in instant cappuccino. These blends often contain a lot of sugar.

Can instant coffee have side effects?

Instant coffee, like normal coffee, has a digestive effect. Due to the high degree of processing, this is naturally slightly higher with instant coffee.

More dangerous, however, is the relatively high acrylamide content. This is higher because of the production process. Acrylamide is a carcinogenic substance that is formed when food is exposed to excessive heat.

Now, researchers do not assume that you will get cancer from a few cups of instant coffee. However, in the long run, this is simply another negative statistical factor for this.

How much does instant coffee cost?

There is a wide range of prices between the different types of instant coffee. Depending on the type of cultivation, form and coffee bean, the cost varies.

The range can go from about 15 to 120 euros/kg. However, organic instant coffee usually ends at 75 euros.

If you are a coffee connoisseur and don’t have the time or beans at home, the prices for instant coffee seem reasonable to us.

Type price range
Instant coffee 15 – 50 euros/kg
Instant coffee sticks 22 – 120 euros/kg

Instant coffee sticks range up to 120 euros, with different manufacturers charging very different prices. You can buy instant coffee in larger containers from 15 euros, which is comparatively cheap.

What are the alternatives to instant coffee?

There are different methods of preparing coffee beans and making a coffee drink. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the following section, we will give you a brief overview of the alternatives to instant coffee.

Method Description
Filter coffee The classic filter coffee, the Germans’ favourite drink, has a high caffeine content, but has to be brewed and is not so easy to portion.
Coffee capsules Coffee capsules convince with a very full taste and easy portioning. However, they are expensive and the capsules are a burden on the environment.
Coffee pods Coffee pods are similar to coffee capsules. However, they are less intense in taste and not quite as harmful to the environment.

Classic filter coffee has a high caffeine content and the coffee beans usually have to be ground first.

A more convenient way is to use coffee capsules, which are already pre-portioned. Unfortunately, despite the convenience and speed of preparation, they are a burden on the environment. Coffee pods, on the other hand, are compostable and less harmful to the environment.

What Types of Instant Coffee are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to enjoy your coffee quickly through instant coffee, there are several alternatives to choose from:

  • Instant coffee in large containers
  • Instant coffee sticks

The types of instant coffee each come with advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and how you want to consume instant coffee, a different type is suitable for you. The following section is designed to help you decide.

What distinguishes instant coffee in large containers and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The oldest form of instant coffee is packed in large containers. This type of instant coffee is characterised by its high volume.

Less expensive than other types, this instant coffee can also be used in many ways, for example in cooking or baking. In addition, the coffee can be brewed stronger by adding more spoonfuls of the powder.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Flexible portion sizes
  • Versatile
Disadvantages
  • Sensitive to moisture
  • Does not last as long
  • Must be used up quickly

This is not possible with instant coffee sticks without, for example, leaving half a packet lying around. This leads to the biggest disadvantage of instant coffee in large containers: shelf life.

Moisture can cause mould to form in the container. Therefore, you should always use a dry spoon. The size of the container also means that if you consume it slowly, the instant coffee can lose flavour and also go bad. Instant coffee in large containers is particularly suitable for regular use.

What distinguishes instant coffee sticks and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Instant coffee sticks are conveniently packaged instant coffee in small plastic bags. These make transport easier and are particularly suitable for irregular use.

Advantages
  • Very long shelf life
  • Easy to portion
  • Easy to transport
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Inflexible portion sizes
  • Bad for the environment

By using each portion individually, the rest of the instant coffee is kept fresh and aromatic in the other plastic bags.

This also makes the instant coffee sticks a lot more expensive than instant coffee in large containers. In addition, the high plastic content in the packaging of the instant coffee puts an extra burden on the environment.

Buying Criteria: These are the Factors you can use to compare and evaluate Instant Coffee

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many different types of instant coffee.

The criteria you can use to compare instant coffee include:

In the following paragraphs we will explain what each criterion means.

Type of drying

Instant coffee can be dried by two methods, spray drying or freeze drying. These processes are used after the thick coffee extract has been produced.

In spray drying, the viscous mass is atomised and the remaining water is evaporated by supplying hot air. The fine powder is then bound together by a process known as agglomeration.

In freeze-drying, on the other hand, the coffee extract is gradually cooled to -50 degrees Celsius after the addition of air. The mass is then ground and moisture is removed at the end of the process with the help of a vacuum dryer.

Freeze-drying is much more time-consuming and also more expensive, but it also retains more aromas.

Additives

Instand coffee follows a strict purity rule. Only 100% coffee bean may be included. However, additives may be added to some products.

These include instant cappuccinos and other coffee drinks containing milk. In addition to the coffee beans, sugar or milk powder is also added to these.

Moreover, 100% coffee bean does not mean 100% caffeine. Some manufacturers advertise their products with titles like “espresso” or “extra strong”. However, random tests have shown that this is not always the case and that the caffeine content can also be significantly lower.

So if you are particularly sceptical, you should not accept a possibly higher price for such products, and instead go for the classic instant coffee.

Degree of roasting

Depending on how long a coffee bean has been roasted, the taste of the coffee will also change. As a general rule, coffee tastes more intense when the coffee bean has been roasted for a longer period of time.

The intensity of the flavour depends on how long the coffee bean has been roasted. (Image source: pixabay.com / Alexas_Fotos)

Since the coffee beans used in instant coffee are roasted longer than conventional coffee anyway in order to survive the manufacturing process of , the longer the coffee beans have to be roasted for a strong instant coffee.

However, this process can also increase the acrylamide content. Acrylamide is suspected of being carcinogenic, but plays only a minor role in the consumption of instant coffee.

Coffee bean

Coffee beans are grown in many countries. There are now about a dozen different coffee bean varieties. However, the majority of these different coffee beans make up only a small part of the world’s coffee production. The most widely used coffee beans are the Arabica, followed by the Robusta.

The Arabica bean has a lower caffeine content and is therefore gentler on the heart than the Robusta.

The Arabica is much more aromatic than the Robusta. Whereas the Robusta is less acidic and has a more earthy aroma.

Facts worth knowing about Instant Coffee

Does instant coffee help with digestive problems?

Coffee is said to have digestive properties. Although instant coffee does have these properties, it is not suitable for sensitive stomachs due to the fact that it is produced industrially and using various processes.

The consumption of instant coffee is not recommended for people with sensitive stomachs. (Image source: pexels.com / rawpixel.com)

If you have stomach or digestive problems, you should rather go back to normal coffee or tea. These have a milder effect on the digestive system due to a gentler roasting process. The most beneficial teas for digestive problems are camomile tea, peppermint tea and lemon balm tea.

Can I make instant coffee myself?

Since instant coffee is heated up to 220 degrees Celsius without allowing the water to evaporate, special machines are needed. You can of course make your own instant coffee using these machines, but they are very expensive.

The effort is not really worth it, so we can only advise against producing your own instant coffee.

What is the shelf life of instant coffee?

Coffee tends to have a very long shelf life, it just depends on the aroma. This can be lost over time, depending on how it is stored.

Instant coffee, which contains less flavour than regular coffee anyway, should be consumed four weeks after opening. However, you don’t have to worry much about the aroma.

You should also make sure that no moisture gets into the container. This can lead to mould. With instant coffee sticks, of course, you don’t have this problem.

The big advantage of instant coffee sticks is that you don’t have to worry about mould in the packaging and the whole cleaning process is taken away from you, just like with coffee machines.

Image source: pexels.com/pixabay.com

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