Instant Coffees: Rated From Good to Bad

There is nothing better to wake up to than the smell of coffee and a gorgeous camp view. With the wrong cup of coffee though that sense of peace in the morning can quickly go to yuck! I have taken it upon myself to seek out some of the best [and even the worse] instant coffees. And yes! I have tried them all.

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BUT WHAT IS INSTANT COFFEE?

According to Wikipedia, "Instant coffee, also called soluble coffee, coffee crystals, and coffee powder, is a beverage derived from brewed coffee beans that enables people to quickly prepare hot coffee by adding hot water or milk to the powder or crystals and stirring. Instant coffee is commercially prepared by either freeze-drying or spray drying, after which it can be re-hydrated. Instant coffee in a concentrated liquid form is also manufactured."

MAKING COFFEE OUTDOORS

I love having a delicious cup of coffee while I'm outdoors. It can be the perfect start to a fun adventurous day. There are many ways to make your camp coffee but one of the easiest, besides cowboy coffee, is instant coffee. For this specific post I went ahead and tried the different coffees to see which ones tasted good, bad, and just plain nasty. I will have to say that for instant coffee, you get what you paid for. In other words, the cheaper the instant coffee you buy, the most likely it'll be that it won't taste "great," unless it's Korean coffee. They nailed it on the price and flavor.

The way I make my instant coffee is by warming up my water in my Pika Teapot and then pouring it into my coffee mug with my instant coffee. I also like to add some sugar and creamer or milk to it. Stir and enjoy.

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INSTANT COFFEES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE NASTY!

I am going to go through all of the instant coffees I have recently tried and share with you my personal opinion about them all. And yes, I have tried them all. As I continue to try new coffees I will also come on here and continue to add them to the list below. I went ahead and rated them as well from 1 to 10, one being bad in taste and ten being excellent in taste. Please note that this is according to how I personally like my coffee.

waka coffee instant coffee

WAKA COFFEE

This Waka Coffee is a 100% Arabica freeze dried Colombian coffee. It is very good in taste and it didn't feel grainy. The first time I tried it I added too much water but the second time around it was on point. I would highly recommend Waka Coffee.

COST: $11.99 ($1.50 p/serving)

SERVINGS PER BOX: 8

QUALITY: Good.

RATE: 8/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Waka Coffee, Amazon

WAKA COFFEE - DECAFFEINATED

I'm not a huge fan of decaffeinated coffee but I tried this one just to see how I liked it. Overall it tastes good for it being decaffeinated. I did add some sugar and milk to it to add more flavor to it. Not a huge fan of decaffeinated coffees but if you love decaffeinated coffee then this is the way to go.

COST: $11.99 ($1.50 p/serving)

SERVINGS PER BOX: 8

QUALITY: Good.

RATE: 7/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Waka Coffee, Amazon

starbucks white chocolate mocha instant coffee

STARBUCKS INSTANT WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA LATTE

Every time I go to Starbucks, this is what I order. A delicious cup of White Chocolate Mocha. When I saw that they had it in instant coffee form I had to grab it. Definitely don't regret buying it. It's not exactly like the one you order at Starbucks but it is very close to it. It is very good in flavor. A little bit on the sweeter side but still very good. It is more expensive though but so totally worth every penny.

COST: $7.15 ($1.43 per serving) 

SERVINGS PER BOX: 5

QUALITY: Good

RATE: 8/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon, your local grocery stores.

alpine start instant coffee coconut creamer

ALPINE START INSTANT COFFEE - COCONUT CREAMER LATTE

I loved this Coconut Creamer Latte from Alpine Start. It has an amazing taste, no need for creamer or sugar, and it has a good consistency to it. It has a really good taste to it for it having coconut creamer and it being a latter styled type of coffee.

COST: $8.99 ($1.80 per serving)

SERVINGS PER BOX: 5

QUALITY: Very good. 

RATE: 8/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Alpine Start, Amazon, REI

alpine start instant coffee dirty chai latte

ALPINE START INSTANT COFFEE - DIRTY CHAI LATTE

This Dirty Chai Latte from Alpine Start is so delicious. You don't need to add anything to it. It is perfect just as it is. If you are a Chai Latte type of person than this is the one for you.

COST: $8.99 ($1.80 per serving)

SERVINGS PER BOX: 5

QUALITY: Excellent

RATE: 10/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Alpine Start, Amazon, REI

alpine start instant coffee original blend

ALPINE START INSTANT COFFEE - ORIGINAL BLEND

The flavor of this instant coffee by Alpine Start is amazing. I did add some french vanilla creamer to it the first time and half and half with sugar another time and it was still very delicious. It is a little more on the expensive side but it is worth it if you really want a good cup of coffee in the morning.

COST: $8.99 ($1.12 per serving) 

SERVINGS PER BOX: 8

QUALITY: Excellent

RATE: 9/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Alpine Start, REI, Amazon

maxim korean instant coffee mocha gold mild

MAXIM KOREAN INSTANT COFFEE - MOCHA GOLD

I absolutely loved this Maxim Korean instant coffee. I first tried this during my trip to Fall Creek Falls State Park with my family. My dad made some and gave me a cup to drink and it was so good. It was very creamy too. They sell these in big boxes. Each box brings 100 packets which comes out over all pretty cheap at 18 cents each packet.

COST: $18.39 ($0.18 per serving)

SERVINGS PER BOX: 100

QUALITY: EXCELLENT

RATE: 10/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon

folgers instant coffee stick packets

FOLGERS CLASSIC ROAST INSTANT COFFEE

We buy Folgers for our regular coffee at home but I have never been a huge fan of their coffees. I personally use Bustelo for my own coffees and make it as cafe con leche. I, however, decided to try their instant coffee just to see. The price is very convenient. You can buy a box of instant coffee for only 87 cents which is very cheap. The taste though was not as strong. It wasn't the worse tasting coffee I've had but not the best either. I did need to add creamer and sugar to make it taste better. If you add milk or creamer then it is a good option if you are looking of a budget friendly instant coffee.

COST: $0.87 ($0.12 per serving) 

SERVINGS PER BOX: 7

QUALITY: Poor

RATE: 4/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart

yaucono instant coffee

YAUCONO INSTANT COFFEE

I used to use this coffee when I lived in Puerto Rico and went to college. It was a very good option for the price but I always mixed it with milk and sugar. The only downside is that it comes in a jar and not in small packets so it is heavier for you to carry around in the backcountry.

COST: $11.49

SERVINGS PER BOX: Comes in a 3.68 ounce jar of instant coffee

QUALITY: Good

RATE: 7/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon

nescafe tasters choice instant coffee

NESCAFE TASTER'S CHOICE INSTANT COFFEE

This is definitely not the best coffee for you to use. Again, it is convenient for the price. You can buy a box of 6 packets for $1 but it doesn't taste good at all. Even with adding creamer and sugar it still isn't something I personally would drink. I would pick the Folgers Instant Coffee over this one.

COST: $1.00

SERVINGS PER BOX: 6 servings

QUALITY: Poor

RATE: 2/10

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart

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RECAP OF THE INSTANT COFFEES

If you are looking for delicious coffee for your next outdoor adventure then Alpine Start, Waka Coffee, Starbucks Instant Coffee, and Maxim Korean Coffee are the way to go. While their flavors range from sweet to strong, overall they have a good consistency and flavor. The price though is a little on the higher side except for the Maxim Korean Coffee but overall very good.

If you are seeking an instant coffee that is more on the value side of the price tag then Maxim Korean Coffee is the way to go. Folgers is also okay to taste if you add some flavor to it like sugar, creamer, milk. However, Nescafe Taster's Choice Instant Coffee was awful and wouldn't recommend on buying no matter how cheap it is. There are better cheap options out there.

instant coffee best worst flavors the walking mermaid

Overall, instant coffee is an amazing option for coffee to bring with you when adventuring outdoors. It is very easy to carry with you and prep is super simple and quick. Cleaning up afterwards is simple and quick as well. Hope this list helps you choose the best coffee for your next adventure. After all, there is no better way to enjoy a good cup of coffee.

What are your favorite instant coffees? Are there any other instant coffees that you recommend I try that you really like? Let me know in the comments below.

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