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Why You Should Keep Nescafé Instant Coffee Out Of Your Shopping Cart

nescafé on store shelf
nescafé on store shelf - Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There's no doubt that instant coffee is one of life's conveniences. A mug of hot water and a spoon are all that's required to get a quick caffeine buzz, but some jars of instant coffee are harder to love than others. Let's face it, there's nothing worse than dish-water weak coffee or a cup of acidic brew, and even a dollop of homemade vanilla cold foam can't make a bitter mug of joe or glass of iced coffee taste good. In Tasting Table's worst-to-best ranking of coffee brands, one type of coffee was a notable flop: Nescafé's original instant coffee.

The brand anchored our list in position 30 of the 31 coffees rated. Tasters said Nescafé had a bland, uninspired flavor, despite parent company Nestlé's claims that it's the best-selling instant coffee in the world. The spray-dried coffee granules have a toasted grain flavor that's common in instant coffee and lack acid balance.

According to the prices at Amazon, however, the average cost per cup is only about 6 cents, considering a 10.5 ounce jar produces 150 cups — so at least you won't break the bank. Nestlé invented the process for making instant coffee way back in the late 1930s, and perhaps the classic medium roast, Robusta bean product is just not keeping up with current coffee trends.

Read more: 26 Coffee Hacks You Need To Know For A Better Cup

Convenience, Flavor, And Price Point Are All Key

instant coffee in mug
instant coffee in mug - Boontoom Sae-Kor/Shutterstock

There are of course still plenty of options when you're looking for the ease of a quick instant coffee fix. Two of Starbucks' VIA instant coffee products, the Pike Place Roast and Italian Roast came in first and third, respectively, in our ranking of instant coffee brands. These individual packs of dehydrated Arabica bean coffee have a higher price point per cup than other brands, but tasters commented on how well-balanced the flavors were without any sour notes that instant coffee sometimes shows.

At a slightly lower price point, Café Bustelo and Juan Valdez instant coffees were the other coffees in our top four. Our tasters noted that the Juan Valdez coffee was weak with just one teaspoon of crystals per cup, but with a double spoonful, they were impressed with the flavorful result. Café Bustelo is actually an instant espresso coffee, so naturally, the flavors are dark and concentrated. The deep, bold flavors can be tamed by adding steamed milk if you want a smoother sip.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.