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Jeruba's avatar

Instant coffee drinkers: would you please help me shop around?

Asked by Jeruba (41919 points ) September 1st, 2012

Serious coffee aficionados, you may be excused. This is not a question for people with highly refined coffee tastes. It’s about instant coffee. If you don’t countenance instant coffee, this question isn’t for you, thanks.

So. I don’t like coffee very much. I drink it for its effect and not for pleasure: two cups in the morning, that’s it, period, the end. On the rare occasions when I go to a coffee shop with someone, I have tea or a soda.

I’ve been drinking Taster’s Choice for probably 40 years. All of a sudden, recently, it tastes too strong: in fact, it tastes too much like real coffee. To try to counter that effect, I have been making it weaker and weaker, but it’s not helping. The flavor is just too much.

Now, feeling quite put out about it, I’m going to have to shop around for another brand.

Question: Does anyone have a brand to recommend—maybe one that tastes like Taster’s Choice used to taste?

I know that people’s tastes differ, but I’m thinking that maybe someone who feels about coffee the way I do will mention something that he or she really likes.

Grumble, grumble. I wish people would just not mess with stuff that works, whether it’s a process, a website user interface, or a product as commonplace as instant coffee.

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16 Answers

bookish1's avatar

I, too, drink coffee for profit rather than fun.
This is what I was drinking every day in France. It was very mellow tasting and not too strong. But I’ve never had Taster’s Choice before so I can’t compare.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Have you tried Folgers®?

Jeruba's avatar

Haven’t tried Folger’s in many years (like 30), but I’ll test-drive a jar of it if you recommend it.

The Nescafe looks good too, but I don’t know about the premeasured sticks. I prefer to control the quantity, and I’m not taking it with me anywhere. I’ll see if it’s available in jar form.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Jeruba All I can tell you is that Mom keeps a jar of Folgers on hand. It’s decaf, which to me is like feeding a starving dog a rubber bone, but it works well for a cup of coffee after dinner. If the decaf is acceptable, then the regular is worthy of a try.

flo's avatar

Nescafe, Maxwell House minus the last teasoon so bitter

Bellatrix's avatar

Do you get Moccona coffee there? They have such a wide range of different instant coffees you are sure to be able to find something you like. I tend to only drink tea at home now but my husband has a real coffee making machine at work but he drinks Moccona Mocha Kenya in the morning at home.

fremen_warrior's avatar

I really like Maxwell House; don’t drink Nescafe it’s the coffee equivalent of Johnny Walker red label.

answerjill's avatar

Starbucks Via? Good, but not cheap.

Kardamom's avatar

Nescafe is quite good. Smooth and not bitter.

imgr8's avatar

Starbucks Via is awesome because it doesn’t have any additives, its just coffee ground so fine that it dissolves in hot water.

Jeruba's avatar

So…wouldn’t that mean that the Starbucks probably tastes more like real coffee?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Jeruba You wrote: “This is not a question for people with highly refined coffee tastes.” and ”...recently, [Taster’s Choice] tastes too strong: in fact, it tastes too much like real coffee. To try to counter that effect, I have been making it weaker and weaker, but it’s not helping. The flavor is just too much.”
My dear, clearly you have a more refined coffee tasting palate than you realize.

I have found that the absolute best tasting coffee is whatever I take home from my last hotel stay. Maybe it is my imagination but “free” brand has a better aroma, a longer finish and sweeter midpalate than “purchased”. If you ever see a Starbux purchase on my credit card, call the police. That card has been stolen.
I just checked my cupboard to see which delights I will be tasting for the next two weeks or so. Artisan Blend, Wolfgang Puck, Courtesy Products, and In-Room Coffee by Royal Cup are all on the menu.
For some strange reason no matter how I prepare them, they all taste like milk and sugar.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Today my “free” brand coffee was sweetened and milkified (please forgive the technical term) with 2 tsp of Nestle Carnation Malted Milk – expired 02/2012 for a touch of aged flavor.

jca's avatar

I have some VIA I brought from Walmart to try it. I haven’t gotten up the courage yet. If I like it, I may purchase the large pack at Costco, but still, it’s more expensive than just regular coffee. It may be good to keep on hand for desperate times. Then again, if I have boiled water, I am more likely to make a cup of tea with it than some lame-o expensive crappy instant coffee!

AskZilla's avatar

Sometimes I use Nescafe instant coffee when I’m making a coffee drink (mocha), because I don’t have an espresso machine, and the instant type flavors the beverage better and is easier to use. Nescafe has always been the brand of instant coffee I’ve preferred if I’m going to use instant coffee, which is rare.

Starbucks VIA is also quite good, and quite expensive.

Jeruba's avatar

Ok, Nescafe Clasico isn’t the answer for me. It tastes too much like dirt. I’ll try Folger’s next.

@LuckyGuy, your answer made me smile. I don’t travel very much, but I don’t remember ever getting instant coffee in a hotel. I’ve never drunk any hotel-room coffee that I felt like taking away with me.

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