Instant Coffee Review – Best Supermarket Coffee Brands
Which supermarket coffee brands taste best according to a coffee-loving barista?
While the coffee shops are closed, and people are encouraged to stay indoors and stay safe, Alicia from Daily Barista has decided to review some of the top instant coffee brands on the market.
Some people can’t stand instant coffee, and some people love it, but while we are all spending more time at home, it is becoming increasingly important to find new ways to enjoy the things you can’t get elsewhere. We’re starting with coffee.
We have ranked these different instant coffee choices based on taste, price, and quality.
Nescafe Azera – RRP £5.59
Now there are 3 main subsets of the Nescafe Azera brand: espresso, americano and intenso.
The americano and the intenso are the most popular of the Azera collection. A blend of Robusta and Arabica coffee beans gives the Azera collection a strong aroma and is rich in taste while minimising the bitterness that can come with instant coffee.
The great thing about the Nescafe Azera collection is how finely ground the coffee comes, it doesn’t have the same appearance as traditional instant coffee. Instead, it has a premium finish and allows you to get that beautiful barista-like crema when you make your coffee.
Barista verdict: Personally, I find the best instant coffee taste comes from the Nescafe Azera intenso tin of coffee. Of course, the name itself suggests that it is a more ‘intense’ flavour of coffee, which could be seen as a positive or a negative depending on how strong you like your coffee.
I do find that it is strong in taste, but it is a little smoother and creamier than the Nescafe Azera americano. For me, the americano is more bitter and has a darker flavour. 1 to 2 teaspoons of this coffee are perfect for me.
L’OR Intense – RRP £4.99
One way that we like to define a good brand of instant supermarket coffee is by the smell. When you first take the lid off of the L’OR Intense, you are hit with a rich coffee aroma that resembles a busy coffee shop on an early morning.
This brand uses instant coffee granules from a medium-dark roast, which gives the coffee a carefully balanced yet intense flavour.
Barista verdict: The packaging perfectly describes the L’OR Intense, it is rich and aromatic. I find that it is quite a dark roast and so usually one teaspoon is enough for a regular sized mug. Otherwise the coffee granules start to settle in the bottom of the cup, and it becomes a bit too bitter for my liking.
Kenco Millicano Americano Original – RRP £4.99
The Kenco Millicano contains a smooth blend of freeze-dried instant coffee, as well as roasted and ground coffee to create a rich, welcoming aroma. This is a great mix as the roast and ground coffee adds a little more of a premium taste to the finished product.
Barista verdict: Funnily enough I am currently drinking a cup of Kenco Millicano as I write this verdict! This is a reliable brand and does the job at producing a good, strong cup of coffee.
One of the positives of the Kenco instant Millicano is that it has a slight creamy taste to it, which counteracts any bitterness that usually comes with instant coffee. I tend to go for 1 and a half teaspoons of this coffee for the perfect balance.
Carte Noire Intense – RRP £4
Another of the best instant coffees, is the Carte Noire Intense, which is a similar product to the L’OR Intense. You can even see a similarity in the packaging, however, L’OR has crept up the scale among best supermarket coffee brands.
The Carte Noire is a dark roast that comes from a popular blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. It has a fresh aroma and is rich in taste.
Barista verdict: Personally, I prefer the L’OR Intense, as it is a little less bitter and quite frankly the brand that I tend to go for more among the two. However, this is still a good strong instant coffee and I wouldn’t turn it down if someone offered me a cup!
Tesco Gold Instant – RRP £1.89
Now, we know people are very much into their ‘brands’ when it comes to coffee and for good reason. Coffee differs so much from product to product and everyone has specific preferences.
The Tesco Gold instant coffee has got a lot of mixed reviews.
This brand is said to be a careful blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. The flavour of this coffee is quite pleasant, but it may not be quite strong enough for some of the hardcore coffee lovers.
Barista verdict: Normally I wouldn’t go for a supermarket’s ‘own brand’ of coffee but firstly, I didn’t buy it and secondly it was all that was in the house at the time. However, I have recently tried it and it makes quite a decent cup of coffee.
It isn’t as good as some of the premium instant coffee brands, it certainly doesn’t have that rich, aromatic taste that the Nescafe Azera does. That being said, this coffee does have a smooth, nutty undertone to it, and I find that it doesn’t carry any bitter aftertaste. Plus, it is priced at a reasonable value.
Instant coffee conclusion
While supermarkets have a variety of options when it comes to instant coffee, they are not the best or taste half a good as fresh barista coffee does.
That being said, you can still get some decent coffee that does the trick and wakes you up in the morning!
So finally, despite it being one of the most expensive supermarket coffee brands, we have concluded that the best instant coffee is Nescafe Azera Intenso. The flavour is smooth and rich, without a lingering bitter aftertaste which is what most people look for in a good instant coffee. Plus, the addition of roast and ground coffee allows you to create a slight golden crema and gives this supermarket brand a more premium finish.