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Review: Best Instant Coffee Mixes

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do before I even make my way to the bathroom is start making a cup of coffee. I love the smell, I love the taste, and I love allowing myself the time to sit and indulge in something I really enjoy. Well for me, it is the convenience of the drink that keeps me buying more. For most coffee drinkers, it is hard to feel like a fully-functioning human before you have that first cup o’ Joe.

But why instant coffee, you may ask? Many coffee “connoisseurs” turn up their noses the thought of instant coffee. “How can you be a coffee lover if you only have instant coffee at home?” they would exclaim. The answer is simple - there are countless beautifully rich and flavorsome instant coffees available at reasonable prices.

I am a self-proclaimed coffee lover and a staunch believer in not letting someone else’s pretentious views ruin the things I naturally love. If you love the convenience of instant coffee, you’ll love our list of the best instant coffee mixes in 2021. We’ve also included some handy tips for buying instant coffee mix when you’re at the store or shopping online for something different.

Best Instant Coffee Mix

KOS Sippin Organic Instant Coffee Mix

Kos Sippin’ on Shroom Boom Mushroom Coffee is a delicious caffeinated beverage made from a variety of potent mushrooms and dark chocolate mocha flavorings. Don't worry, there's actual coffee in this blend too. Each serving contains roughly 60 milligrams of caffeine from unroasted coffee beans, and the mushrooms in the blend don't actually taste like mushrooms. Some studies have shown that this coffee also has adaptogenic properties to help you cope with stress. It's unconventional for sure, but we're big fans of the fact that this blend tastes great and provides the same boost as regular coffee without any of the side effects that come from excessive coffee intake.

  • Packaging and name are fantastic
  • Tastes great - even if you can’t stand mushrooms
  • Unique gift idea for organic coffee-loving friends
  • Might seem a bit “out there” for more traditional coffee lovers

Folgers Cappuccino French Vanilla Instant Coffee Mix

Available in French vanilla or mocha chocolate flavors, the Folgers Cappuccino Instant Coffee Mix gives you the company's renowned flavor and texture with either variety. These sachets make a foamy and frothy cappuccino - all you need to do is add hot water. Each sachet makes cappuccino-style coffee, but you can also use a sachet as a creamer if you prefer regular coffee instead. That said, it's good enough to enjoy on its own. This particular set includes 8 boxes of 4 single-serve packets, adding up to 32 sachets.

  • Delicious in both flavors
  • Cappuccino is virtually as foamy and frothy as one from a machine
  • Can even be used as a creamer
  • A standard coffee flavor would be very welcome

Vinacafe Instant Coffee Mix

Vinacafe may not have the flashiest packaging, but this coffee tastes amazing! Because this is Vietnamese coffee, it has its own strong, distinct flavor. One bag lasts quite a long time, but be warned - once you drink this coffee, you may never want to try another instant coffee mix again. This is a deceptively difficult product to find in your local grocers, but it can be found easily enough online. Trust us - this one is worth the trouble of going out of your way to find! It's also available to buy in bulk, and that's the option we'd recommend if you decide that you always want this coffee around.

  • Amazing taste - better than most other instant coffee mixes
  • Can be bought in large quantities
  • Packaging isn’t very appealing

VitaCup Genius Instant Coffee Mix

Who said instant coffee can't also be a health booster at the same time? The VitaCup Instant Coffee tastes great due to the 100% Arabica coffee beans sourced from local farmers in Colombia and Brazil, and the mix is infused with MCT oil, cinnamon, and turmeric. The MCT oil in particular is known for aiding mental clarity, and each stick also contains lots of essential B Vitamins. This instant coffee mix is basically a superfood, and it can be served either hot or cold based on your preference. The packets are quite small, though, so you may need to mix several into a single cup if you like your coffee strong.

  • Pleasing taste and lots of energizing features
  • Packed full of superfoods and vitamins
  • Great for keto diets
  • Portion size is quite small

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Mix

Here's a name that everybody should recognize. If you enjoy Starbucks and want that great taste in the comfort of your own home, you need these Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Packets in your life. Available in a variety of iconic flavors, these instant coffee mixes bring you that Starbucks guarantee of a good cup of coffee. These packets are made with 100% arabica beans, with Starbucks' instantly identifiable roast characteristics. Simply add hot water and stir - you don’t even need a coffee machine! If you prefer iced coffee, Starbucks also offers several flavors of VIA Instant Coffee that dissolve in cold water.

  • Convenient to have Starbucks quality coffee at home
  • Every flavor tastes great and authentic
  • Not as good as an actual Starbucks coffee from the shop

Maxwell House Instant Coffee Mix

The Maxwell House International Orange Cafe Instant Coffee Mix is one of the more unique coffees on our list of recommendations. Rather than the expected vanilla or mocha flavors, this instant coffee delivers a consistently creamy and smooth texture with more than a hint of orange and citrus. The mixture dissolves very well in hot water or milk, and it can even be used as a creamer if you've already prepared coffee. The container can make about 9 servings and can be bought as part of a multi-pack to help you save some money. If you prefer more conventional coffee, Maxwell also offers this instant coffee in a dozen other flavors.

  • Orange coffee is a welcome change from the norm
  • Mixes well in both hot water and milk
  • Texture is undeniably smooth
  • Packaging leaves a lot to be desired

Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Mix

The Trung Nguyen G7 Instant Coffee Mix is a blend of coffee beans from Jamaica, Brazil, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, with the flavors balanced perfectly to create an instant coffee that even connoisseurs can get behind. The blend includes coffee powder, non-dairy creamer, and sugar, so there's no need to add anything else to make a great cup of coffee. There are 100 single-serve packets in the package, and the instructions call for mixing one packet in 75 ml of hot water. That's approximately 2.5 fluid ounces, making each serving about the same size as a cup of espresso.

  • 3 in 1 instant coffee blend tastes fantastic
  • Very easy to get quality coffee
  • Lots of sachets for the price
  • Small serving size

Buyer's Guide

We have done everything in our power to come up with a varied list of the best instant coffee mixes on the market today. If you’re a North American coffee addict, all of these instant coffees should be readily available to you. However, we also understand that people enjoy the taste of different things. While you may like strong coffee, others may prefer a milky latte. We have made a list of things you can consider when buying instant coffee.

Read our tips on choosing a compatible instant coffee mix below.

Things to consider before buying an instant coffee mix

There are plenty of instant coffee mixes to choose from - how do you even know if you will enjoy a coffee until you taste it? Of course, you don’t know how much you’ll enjoy a coffee before it touches your lips, but you can prepare yourself with some valuable nuggets of information on what makes a great instant coffee mix.

Caffeinated/decaffeinated

Too much caffeine can be damaging to your body. It can cause insomnia, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and, perhaps ironically, fatigue. As such, reaching for a caffeinated coffee when you feel thirsty actually isn’t the best option.

Caffeine is a known diuretic. This means it makes you urinate more, which causes said dehydration. If you love the taste of coffee but want to limit your intake of caffeine, a decaffeinated (decaf) instant coffee mix would be a good option.

It is well known that many people drink coffee to help them stay awake… or simply to wake them up in the morning. A nice hot cup of caffeinated coffee will help you rise to any occasion. If you are not ready to let go of your caffeine addiction completely, a cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning will usually be enough to set you up for a great day.

Eco-friendly and fair trade

Fair trade products ensure the people who pick your coffee beans are properly paid and fairly treated. Buying organic fair trade coffee is believed to be better for the workers and environment because fewer pesticides are generally used.

In addition, you should try to buy your coffee in a glass jar or cardboard packaging which allows you to recycle the container easily. Buying an instant coffee mix from a company that sources the beans from sustainable sources is another eco-friendly option.

Coffee strength

Coffee may taste strong, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it contains more caffeine. If you have been putting two scoops of instant coffee into your mug to get your desired “strength”, it is a good indicator that you need a different instant coffee. Ideally, coffee should yield the perfect flavor with the recommended amount of scoops. This prevents you from consuming too much caffeine.

When looking for an instant coffee mix, look for a strength rating on the packaging. As mentioned earlier, the strength of a coffee has nothing to do with how much caffeine it contains. Also, the strength rating has nothing to do with the type of bean, only how the beans have been roasted. The higher the strength number, the more bitter the taste. This is why you can have decaffeinated coffee with a high strength rating.

Coffee bean

The three main types of coffee beans are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica. Excelsa was considered a fourth type, but has since been reclassified as another variant of Liberica.

Arabica is the most common type of coffee available, and is perfect if you want a full-flavored and aromatic blend. Robusta is a good option for those who drink coffee for the caffeine boost. Compared to Arabica, Robusta contains almost double the amount of caffeine. Although the taste is considered more bitter than other beans, it also contains a lovely hint of chocolate. Most instant coffees contain a mixture of these beans.

Liberica beans are not as commonly used in instant coffee mixes. If you enjoy a smoky flavor with hints of floral fruitiness, it may be worth looking for a Liberica blend. The final bean, Excelsa, possesses a tart and fruity body.

Instant coffee mix price range

Instant coffee mixes range in price from $10 to $30 per package, but there's a wide range of how much coffee is in each package. Buying instant coffee mix in bulk will save you money in the long run, especially if you are the kind of person who drinks multiple cups per day.

How we choose our instant coffee mix

When it comes to instant coffee mix, we wanted to get our suggestion completely right. We do our best to give recommendations that are both current and on-trend. We take into consideration a wide array of factors including taste, strength rating, price, environmental impact, and many others. We also read customer reviews to ensure we are not the only ones who think an instant coffee mix is worth praise.

Rest assured, we would not recommend an instant coffee mix if we would not buy it ourselves.

Instant Coffee Mix FAQ

Q: How many cups will a 10-ounce jar of instant coffee make?

A: This depends largely on the amount of instant coffee mix needed to achieve the proper ratio, so it's difficult to tell. As well, there doesn't seem to be much of a consensus among manufacturers regarding how big a "scoop" is, which further complicates matters.

Q: How many cups of coffee can I drink a day?

A: Many studies have found that drinking up to 4 cups of coffee is a safe amount. If you feel like you might be drinking too much coffee, try swapping a few cups for decaf instead.

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