The Best Instant Coffee, Ranked


6. The Starbucks Via Instant Colombia Medium Roast Coffee (about $10 for eight packets, or 1.25¢ per serving) was hands down the most polarizing cup of coffee we tasted. I wrote in my notes, “Its burnt rubber aroma is so overwhelming—it tastes like coffee that’s been sitting in a glass carafe for hours and has boiled beyond recognition.” Marguerite just wrote, “Oof, acrid.” And Marilyn noted, “Good acid, long sweetness, and nice toasty notes at the end. But overall too bitter for my liking.” Since, unlike most instant coffee, the Via Instant contains some actual ground coffee, we also detected some grit or sediment in our cups. But testers who were familiar with Starbucks coffee said it tasted just like the real thing, and it was one of the favorites when we filmed an instant coffee taste test with some other Wirecutter staffers in 2019. If you’re a fan of Starbucks coffee, you’ll probably like this one, and we think it would hold up well to cream and sugar.


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