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Instant coffee reviews

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Last updated: 04 October 2023


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We blind taste test and compare 18 supermarket instant coffees, from brands including Aldi, Coles, Nescafe, Moccona and Lavazza, to find the best.

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We've partnered with Shop Ethical on this review to show the ratings that the Ethical Consumer Group gives to each company (not product).

How we test


We tested 18 instant coffee products that were available nationally in major supermarket chains. Because of the results of the last instant coffee test where the judges noted a lack of flavour, this year we chose dark and richer varieties where available. We did not test latte, cappuccino or mocha styles, flavoured varieties, decaffeinated coffee or coffee bags. The price per 100g is based on the price for a 100g jar or the closest available size (not on special).


We had our trusted panel of expert coffee tasters blind taste the 18 varieties of instant coffee, rating them against a reference coffee. The reference coffee was a long black made on a home espresso machine from freshly ground beans and 140mL water. We made instant coffee with one heaped teaspoon of coffee and 140mL of boiled and slightly cooled water.


The samples were analysed based on the Speciality Coffee Association’s cupping protocols, which assess coffee for fragrance, flavour, aftertaste, acidity, balance, clean cup (the absence of ‘non-coffee’ flavours caused by contamination), sweetness and the taster’s overall impression of the sample. Points were subtracted for any defects found.


Our expert judging panel included brothers David and Matthew Gee, principals of the Barista Basics Coffee Academy, as well as Anee Sampath, founder of Bean Craft coffee roasters.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Pack price in Sydney stores (not on special) in March 2019.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 3.7 and 28

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    Is the product certified organic?

      Price per 100g

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      Price per 100g is based on price in Sydney stores for a 100g jar or closest (not on special) in March 2019.

      enter value/s in increments of i between 1.85 and 14.44

      Sustainable certification

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      The product's sustainable certification body, if any.

        Shop Ethical rating

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        Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our total score. N/A means there is no rating for that company.

          Included in this review

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          • CHOICE Expert Rating
          • Experts say
          • Contains ground coffee
          • Sustainable certification
          • Price
          • Price per 100g
          • Pack size (g)
          • Price per serve
          • Serves per pack
          • Shop Ethical rating
          • Organic
          • Country of origin


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