In order to determine which brand of instant coffee has the best flavour, we compared more affordable supermarket brands to Nescafé and Kenco.

We put nine supermarket own-brand instant coffees, including ones from Aldi, Asda, M&S, and Tesco, as well as big hitters from Kenco and Nescafé, through a blind taste test in December 2021 to determine whether or not it is worthwhile to pay more for your morning brew. The panel of coffee-loving consumers included people from Aldi, Asda, M&S, and Tesco. Because Nescafé and Kenco instant coffees cost more than three times as much as the cheapest instant coffee we tested, switching to a cheaper brand of instant coffee that is still delicious will help you save money on your weekly grocery spend. Find out which of the branded coffees, Nescafé or Kenco, impressed our tasters, as well as which of the store’s own brands of coffee offers the best value, and read on to learn more.

The finest quality instant coffee

In our blind taste test, Nescafé Original demonstrated its worth by coming out on top. It was followed closely by Kenco, which came in second place, demonstrating that going with a well-known brand did, in this instance, appear to be the better choice. However, the low-cost instant coffee sold at Aldi is not far behind, and it costs far less per 100 grammes than the competitor’s product does. If you aren’t too picky about your brew, you can safely convert to a cheaper alternative, without sacrificing too much of the flavour, as most of the other cheaper supermarket coffees that we tested also scored well.

Best Buy: Nescafé Original – 71 percent

£2.25 per 100g

In our blind tasting test, the Original mix of Nescafé emerged victorious over its competitors from supermarkets. Although it is tied for the most costly everyday instant coffee in this round of testing, the brew that it produces is quite delicious. Our tasters were pleased with the coffee’s appearance, flavour, and mouthfeel; in fact, it was the only coffee that received four stars for its aroma. You still have the opportunity to save money if you are interested in it. After doing some research on the cost, we discovered that it is almost always available at a discount at one or more grocery stores, thus it is in your best interest to browse around at different options. We discovered that a jar might cost as much as £5.50 (or £2.75 per 100g), but that it was also available for just £3 (or £1.50 per 100g). Therefore, we strongly encourage you to get it immediately if you find it at a price of three pounds or less. You may get it from retailers such as Amazon, Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose.

Kenco Smooth, at a percentage of 68 percent

£2.25 per 100g

 

Kenco is an option worth considering because it has a flavour that is refined and well-balanced as well as a sufficient amount of intensity to jolt you awake in the morning. It is also generally available, which is wonderful news if you don’t want to go out of your way to buy a pack of the good stuff. This is because it is commonly available. Similar to Nescafé, the price of Kenco fluctuates depending on the retailer, so it is important to keep an eye out for any deals that may be available. You may get it from retailers such as Amazon, Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose.

Morrisons Full Roast – 67 percent

£1 per 100g

 

Morrisons full roast instant coffee

Morrisons’ Full Roast instant tastes nice, is competitively priced and is our top rating own-brand instant. It scored well across the board and, while not the cheapest, is still far less than branded rivals, so it’s an excellent alternative if you’re looking to decrease your shopping expenditures. Available from Morrisons.

Aldi Alcafé Classic Rich Roast and Waitrose Rich Roast – 66 percent each 70p per 100g and

£1.50 per 100g

Aldi Alcafé Classic Rich Roast and Waitrose Rich Roast

 

Aldi and Waitrose own-label instant coffee tied in joint fourth place. Aldi is our top bargain option at just 70p per 100g – less than half the price of our Best Buy. Our judges didn’t think its aroma quite measured up to the winning brand, so you might not receive such an alluring morning coffee smell, but it’s still a pleasant and wise pick. Waitrose doesn’t provide as much of a save, but it’s a fantastic choice if you want a full-bodied coffee, with just over half of our panel saying it had just the perfect level of richness. Available from Aldi and Waitrose.

How the other instant coffees fared

No matter where you shop, you’ll still be able to bag an acceptable instant coffee. We’ve selected the best above, but most other grocery brands are fairly decent, according to our tasters. Here’s how the rest scored: Spar rich roast – 65 percent . £1.59 for 100g. Available from Spar (in-store only) (in-store only).

Tesco Classic – 64 percent . £1 per 100g. Available from Tesco. Rich Roast from Asda, 63 percent in strength. 90p per 100g. Available from Asda. Fairtrade Rich Roast from the Co-op, roasted to 63 percent. £1.65 per 100g. You can get it from the Co-op (in-store only). M&S Fairtrade Rich Roast, 63 percent. Available in stores and online. £1.50 for 100g. Both Ocado and M&S carry the product (in-store only).

Rich Roast from Sainsbury’s, brewed to 61 percent.

£1 per 100g. You may purchase it at Sainsbury’s. However, if the alternative at your neighbourhood store is ranked near the bottom of the rankings, it may be worthwhile to explore other supermarkets or switch to the branded option. It is highly recommended that you read our evaluations of other gold instant coffee blends. The prices listed below for instant coffee are accurate as of January 2022.

Keen coffee drinker? Check out our roundup of the best reusable coffee cups and travel mugs for information on environmentally friendly coffee mugs that can help you save money on your cup of joe in the morning.

How to serve coffee made using instant brew

cup of instant coffee

The brewing process for instant coffee is meant to be quick and easy; yet, paying attention to the fundamentals can help improve the flavour of your cup of coffee. One teaspoon is always considered to be the appropriate amount for a dish, but if you want more of a punch, you can add more. If you want to prevent scorching the granules and giving the mixture a more bitter flavour, it is advisable to use water that is just below the boiling point rather than water that is already boiling. After the water comes to a boil in your kettle, simply wait fifteen to thirty seconds before adding it. It is entirely up to you whether you want to add milk to it or not, or whether you want to use a plant-based replacement. Which plant milks are the healthiest and least harmful to the environment? Here is a rundown of the facts to help you make your decision.

The results of our tests on instant coffee

For the purpose of our evaluation, we zeroed in on goods that fall under the category of everyday instant coffee, specifically those with either a classic or rich roast flavour profile. An extensive group of consumers who buy and consume instant coffee on a regular basis provided feedback on the various coffees.

There were 66 participants included in the evaluation of each instant coffee, and the composition of the panel was designed to broadly match the demographic profile of adults in the UK. The panellists gave their opinions on each product in terms of its flavour, texture, scent, and look, as well as what they liked and did not like about each one.

Because the taste test was conducted in secret, the participants had no idea which brand they were evaluating. To eliminate the possibility of favouritism, the order in which they tried the instant coffee was completely randomised.

Each panellist had their own individual private booth, which prevented them from discussing what they were tasting or taking cues from one another. The following factors contribute to the total score:

50 percent flavour

30 percent aroma

10 percent appearance

10% of the sensation in the mouth