Food & Nutrition

Best instant coffee you can buy in the UK – 8 options for people who want a quick but tasty cup of coffee

Published by Finn Hayden

Not long ago, most people who drank coffee daily would be more than happy to use instant coffee to get their fix. But in recent years, coffee snobs have made it seem that unless you're making cold-brew drip coffee using an Aeropress, you're not a real coffee lover. But make no mistake, instant coffee can be excellent, you just need to know what brands to buy and which to avoid. So we thought it would be useful to round up the best instant coffee that we've tried and which is available to buy in the UK, let's get into it:

Clipper Latin American instant coffee 

Clipper is a brand that we featured highly in our list of the best peppermint tea, and this brand is definitely best known as a tea brand. So you might be surprised to see them topping our instant coffee list. But trust us, the Latin American instant coffee from Clipper is really excellent. Made using medium roast freeze-dried Latin American Arabica coffee beans and a touch of coffee oil, this instant coffee is quite mild but packed with flavour. On top of this, the beans used are ethically sourced, Fairtrade, and Soil Association approved. If you're an instant coffee skeptic, we think this will change your mind. Learn more and buy it here - amazon.co.uk

Clipper's instant coffee

Little's Flavour Infused

Little's is one of the only brands we've included in this list that is best known for creating instant coffee and nothing else, but we think that gives them a serious advantage. Furthermore, their flavoured instant coffee range is the most comprehensive we've found anywhere - we tried the 'French Vanilla' and 'Rich Hazelnut' flavours (pictured), which both had a lovely natural taste, but the brand has so many other flavours that we can't wait to explore. All of their instant coffee is made from Arabica beans, plus all the flavoured varieties are totally vegan. Learn more and explore the range here - amazon.co.uk

Little's instant coffee

Lavazza Prontissimo! Intenso Instant Coffee

Lavazza is one of the biggest coffee brands in the world, so it isn't surprising to see that this brand also creates very good instant coffee. Interestingly, the team at Lavazza blend 100% Arabica coffee beans with coffee micro granules to create the uniquely full-bodied taste of their instant coffees, which definitely works. If you like your coffee Dark and full-bodied, the Lavazza Prontissimo! Intenso is a great option. Learn more and buy it here - sainsburys.co.uk

Lavazza Prontissimo intenso

illy Classico

The illy Classico range of coffee is really popular in ground form, so to have an instant coffee form to go for is really nice. It's a medium roast with a really interesting palate of flavours, including orange blossom. Made from 100% arabica beans roasted in Italy, this product is simple yet delicious. 2 teaspoons of this instant coffee and 200ml of boiling water are enough to make the perfect cup. Learn more and buy it here - waitrose.com

illy

Café Direct

Café Direct is another brand which produces a popular range of ground coffee, but which also happens to have an excellent range of instant coffee too. We tried the number 4 Machu Picchu variety, which uses freeze-fried coffee beans from Peru, grown very close to Machu Picchu. If you like dark chocolate notes from your coffee, this is a great option to go for. Learn more and buy it here - sainsburys.co.uk

Café Direct instant coffee

Waitrose Duchy Organic instant coffee

Although we think Waitrose is pretty posh, there is no denying that they make some great products. We tried a few of the supermarket own-brand instant coffees, and we thought that the Duchy Organic instant coffee from Waitrose was by far the best. We got notes of caramel from it, plus it's organic and totally Fairtrade too. On top of that, a portion of each sale of this coffee goes towards The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund. At £4.50 per 100g it's not as cheap as some of the other supermarket options, but we definitely think it's the best. Learn more and buy it here - waitrose.com

Waitrose Duchy Organic

Nescafe Gold Blend Roastery Collection

We think that Nescafe gets unfair backlash from coffee purists - sure, some of their products are pretty basic and you're not exactly thrilled when someone pours you a cup of the standard Nescafe coffee, but we've been seriously impressed by the Nescafe Gold Blend Roastery Collection. We opted for the Dark Roast variety, which has notes of dark chocolate and roasted buts. As far as instant coffee goes, this has an intense taste and richness which few other instant coffee brands manage to achieve. Learn more and buy the product here - tesco.com
Nescafe Gold Roastery

TrueStart Instant Coffee

This instant coffee from TrueStart is described as 'Barista Grade' on the TrueStart website, and we'd definitely agree with that statement - this is a serious quality product. Made from Colombian Arabica beans, this instant coffee also has a stable caffeine content which is intended to prevent jitters. A 100g tin (pictured) will make about 55 cups, which for £7 is good value. Learn more and buy it here - truestartcoffee.com
TrueStart instant coffee

We hope the above list has shown you that there is no shortage of excellent instant coffee options here in the UK. Let us know in the comments if you've tried any of the above brands and if there are any others you'd like us to review!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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