The best instant coffee money can buy
March 6, 2014 2:54 AM   Subscribe

For the time being, I am deprived of freshly brewed coffee in the work place. This gives me a sad. So please recommend me the BEST instant coffee brand you have ever tasted. It needs to be available in the UK. Thanks guys!
posted by Ziggy500 to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This isn't very specific and I am no coffee connoisseur, but I've found the brands which have some ground coffee in (they're like 85% instant coffee, 15% ground coffee), e.g. Millicano, to be pretty tasty.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:00 AM on March 6, 2014

The Starbucks stuff with the microground coffee bits in it is surprisingly tolerable.
posted by corvine at 3:07 AM on March 6, 2014 [9 favorites]

Percol Black & Beyond Espresso Instant if you're happier with a stronger brew.
posted by AFII at 3:15 AM on March 6, 2014

I drink this coffee at work and I think it's delicious. Plus I can control the strength and amount of caffeine by mixing in the decaf version.
posted by jshort at 3:16 AM on March 6, 2014

I've been liking NescafĂȘ Azera lately. Googling I see it has the microground coffee other people seem to like.
posted by curious_yellow at 3:22 AM on March 6, 2014

My housemate bought a couple of cans of that Millicano recently - I'm not a big drinker of instant coffee, generally preferring even a rubbish brew, but it was much better than the usual 100% freeze-dried stuff.
posted by Ted Maul at 4:18 AM on March 6, 2014

I hate to say it, but yes Millicano ftw
posted by crocomancer at 4:29 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, if you find you do like it, you can often get it in bulk on Amazon at way below the supermarket price.
posted by crocomancer at 4:30 AM on March 6, 2014

Is cold press coffee an option for you? I've tried several of the best rated instant coffees available in the US and at best they are barely tolerable to me whereas cold press can be good to great.
posted by Candleman at 4:32 AM on March 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I use Lebanese coffee (Najjar brand is good, but not sure if it's available in the UK) and prepare it as you would instant. Not as good as real Lebanese coffee, but vastly better than instant.
posted by sea change at 4:54 AM on March 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I do my coffee brewing at my desk because the office coffee is remarkably horrible. Hario Skerton grinder, pour over drip cone thingus and an electric tea kettle. Is that an option?

Bonus: it wastes 10 minutes of my work day.
posted by pjaust at 5:49 AM on March 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I generally get whicever brand is on special offer in tesco that week when I buy instant coffee. I would have to say the NescafĂȘ Azera stuff is the nicest one I've tried. I don't enjoy the millcano stuff (too bitter) and the starbucks instant is way too expensive for instant coffee.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 5:56 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not coffee connoisseur, but I found the Douwe Egbert instant coffee to be among the most palatable of those that I tried, and apparently the good reviewers of Amazon agree with me. I preferred the Douwe Egbert gold roast to their darker one, but that might just be personal preference). You can get it on here, or you can buy it at brick and mortar places in the UK (Sainsbury's, for one).
posted by ClaireBear at 6:43 AM on March 6, 2014

Moccona. It comes in different roasts. Not sure if in stores over there, but it appears to be available on Amazon UK.
posted by wwax at 7:01 AM on March 6, 2014

Here's detailed instructions on making cold brewed coffee. You can make it at home and bring it to work in a bottle. You then just need to put a shot in a mug and add boiling water.

You can also get the Toddy Cold Brew system from
posted by gudrun at 7:09 AM on March 6, 2014

I was given a smartcafe mug for xmas, it is basically a cafetiere plunger built into a mug, I'm not sure what your circumstances are but I would think that having access to a bag of filter coffee instead of instant coffee would be about the same hassle and using one of these you spend the same time making the stuff except you have to wait a few minutes after pouring the water in to start drinking.
posted by biffa at 7:42 AM on March 6, 2014

I can't tell you if it's available in the UK, but I like Nescafe Espresso. It doesn't exactly taste like real coffee but I like the taste of it, unlike every other instant coffee I've tried.
posted by randomnity at 7:58 AM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Amazing... thanks, guys. I will look out for Millicano or another brand with actual ground coffee in it. The cold brew method looks intriguing too!

Actually, Biffa, I have ordered a smartcafe mug, this question was to help me bridge the gap until the mug arrives!
posted by Ziggy500 at 8:37 AM on March 6, 2014

I've tried several of the best rated instant coffees available in the US--

Different market, different options.

As someone who bought up a lot of instant coffee in the UK to take back to the US, because I am weird: Millicano is really not bad, the Carte Noire Instinct is faux-microground and also not bad, and I didn't really like the Azera much, even though the cans are very pretty.
posted by holgate at 10:43 AM on March 6, 2014

I read that Moccona is just Douwe Egbert's under an Australia-specific name.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:38 AM on March 6, 2014

Ugh. The apparent premium instant coffees like Millicano and Azera that I've tried tasted like they had wood chips in them. After testing most of the options I went for Carte Noire.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:12 PM on March 6, 2014

I like the fact that the Starbucks VIA instant comes in handy sachets, myself. It's really nice, if a bit pricey. Amazon occasionally have big price drops, though, which is how I first tried it.
posted by danteGideon at 3:46 PM on March 6, 2014

Oh, and if you have access to a kettle and a sink you might want to look at an AeroPress, which is not much more mess than rinsing a cup and spoon for instant.
posted by danteGideon at 4:08 PM on March 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

My husband and I like Carte Noire. He also likes Azera.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:14 AM on March 7, 2014

All best-answered. Thank you. :)
posted by Ziggy500 at 5:36 AM on March 10, 2014

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