The 10 Best Instant Decaf Coffee (Unbiased Review & Guide)

Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by John Moretti

Whether you’re into decaf coffee to avoid the effects of caffeine or just as a personal preference, there is no doubt that the market for this popular type of coffee is “bursting with flavor.” The truth is, you will be spoilt for choice when searching online or in stores for instant decaf coffee. Luckily, I have compiled a list through research and personal experience with decaf coffee brands. This list explores the best instant decaf coffee available in the market today.

Nescafé Taster’s Choice Decaf

Nescafe Taster's Choice Decaf House Blend Instant Coffee, 7 oz
$16.98
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09/24/2022 12:28 am GMT

Nescafé Taster’s is one of my best choices of instant decaf coffee. Most brands lack an intense coffee flavor, but Nescafé Taster’s never lets me down. Unfortunately, the decaffeination process can interfere with the taste of coffee because grinding the beans before extraction removes two components: caffeine and adenosine.

NesCafé Taster’s Choice Decaf House Blend has a unique way of masking the lack of freshness and still has a great after-taste. The coffee is a medium roast with a natural fruity flavor. There is an option for single-serve sachets, which are convenient to carry around.

Pros:

  • It has a rich taste
  • It has a fantastic after-taste 
  • It’s inexpensive

Cons:

  • The packaging may be different depending on the store

Starbucks Via Italian Roast

This Italian Roast Coffee is from the best Arabica coffee beans. Starbucks Via Italian Roast is rich in flavor with a hint of nuttiness and caramel. One package of instant coffee has 50 sachets, each of which can serve one person.

Preparation is straightforward, requiring the least amount of work while producing the most effective outcome. All that is needed is to add the instant coffee into a pot of boiling water and stir. Using a coffee grinder or a coffee machine is far more time-consuming and difficult.

Pros:

  • It has a bold flavor
  • It is available in single-serve packets
  • It is available in dark roast

Cons:

  • It is expensive
  • It has a strong after-taste

Hills Bros Instant Decaf Cappuccino Mix

The Hills Bros Instant Decaf Cappuccino Mix is an excellent choice of coffee. Sipping on this coffee gives me a partly similar experience to a cup made by a professional barista. It is a simple way to enjoy café coffee but made at the comfort of the house.

The coffee has a similar taste to French vanilla with detectable sweet notes. Make the coffee by mixing it in hot water, and voila, the coffee is ready for consumption. It is easy to enjoy a cup while watching a movie, while reading, or before retiring to bed.

Pros:

  • It’s affordable
  • It has a coffeehouse flavor at the comfort of your home

Cons:

  • It contains soy lecithin

Café Altura Decaf Instant-Coffee

Cafe Altura Ground Organic Coffee, Regular Roast Decaf, 36 Ounce (Pack of 3)
$39.46
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09/23/2022 11:01 pm GMT

Café Altura Organic decaf is a combination of coffee from Indonesia, South America, and Central America. I would recommend this organic brand to decaf lovers as it has a well-balanced and neutral appearance. In addition, it has a light, crisp taste to it on the palate. Decaf coffee that tastes almost identical to its caffeinated version is available in this variety as well.

I strongly suggest coffee enthusiasts who like light-tasting coffee yet don’t mind organic coffee should try this one. Café Altura Organic decaf cup of coffee has a light flavor that does not imply that it is a bad cup of coffee.

Pros:

  • It has a low acidity
  • Well-balanced flavors
  • It is organic
  • No after-taste
  • Great iced or hot
  • 60 servings per jar

Cons:

  • Its taste is more to the neutral side
  • It is expensive

Folger’s Classic Decaffeinated Instant Coffee

Folgers Classic Decaf Decaffeinated Instant Coffee Crystals, 8 Ounces
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Folger’s brand has a long and illustrious history that dates back more than 150 years. Through their products, another company promotes the importance of family and community by including the highest-quality instant decaf coffee packets available.

The coffee sourced from mountain-grown beans is precisely picked, consistently bringing out each cup’s most extraordinary tastes. As a result, I can taste the authentic flavor of coffee every morning, even when drinking decaf!

Preparing Folger’s Classic Decaffeinated Instant Coffee is as easy as opening the sachet and pouring the contents into a pot of boiling water. Then stir and enjoy the goodness. It takes only two minutes to complete, allowing you to save valuable time when heading to work. In addition, Folger’s Classic Decaf Instant Coffee is available at a pocket-friendly price, so stock up on supplies.

Folger’s is produced by farmers knowledgeable about human rights, environmental standards, and safety protocols following sustainable agriculture principles. In addition, Folger’s has been in the market for over 150 years, which gives them a scope of what the customers need.

Pros:

  • Bold taste
  • Dark roast
  • Available in single-serve packets
  • Packaging is in a flip-top jar which is easy to use

Cons:

  • Dull after-taste

Douwe Egberts Pure Decaf Instant Coffee

Douwe Egberts Pure Decaf Instant Coffee, Medium Roast, 3.5-Ounce, 100g
$25.78
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09/24/2022 12:19 am GMT

This decaf coffee is made from the best sort of medium roasted coffee beans, which results in a pleasant and well-balanced aroma that I love. Douwe Egberts Decaf Instant Coffee is a full-bodied and decaffeinated freeze-dried cup available in a 100g jar which is the best option.

Highly knowledgeable professionals make this coffee with extensive brewing expertise, which allows them to maintain a high level of quality in the coffee sector. I took a drink and discovered that I could quickly become addicted to this decaf coffee in no time at all.

Pros:

  • It has no bitter mouthfeel
  • It has a rich flavor and aroma
  • It is prepared from medium roast coffee beans

Cons:

  • It is pricy

Sanka Decaf Instant Coffee

Sanka Decaf Instant Coffee (8 oz Jar)
$14.88
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09/23/2022 09:25 pm GMT

Maxwell House’s Sanka Instant Decaf Coffee has been a premium member of the company for over six decades now. This coffee was the pioneer of instant decaf coffee in the United States, and it still is leading at producing quality coffee to its consumers. Sanka Decaf Instant Coffee is renowned for its sweet flavor and aroma and has maintained that reputation for 60 years.

The coffee is packaged in a light jar that is simple to use. The jar contains enough instant coffee to make 120 cups to prepare both at work and at home.

Pros:

  • A single jar make 120 cups of coffee
  • The coffee is 99.7% decaffeinated
  • They are pioneers of decaf in America
  • It’s cheap

Cons:

  • Sanka is less rich in flavor in comparison to other Maxwell coffee products.

Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets, ‘Nightcap Decaf’

Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee Packets, 'Nightcap Decaf', 6 servings per box, Premium quality coffee for on-the-go/travel
$19.99
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09/24/2022 12:22 am GMT

Joe Coffee Company uses the Swiss Water technique in the decaffeination process, yielding instant coffee’s delicate flavor. Many high-quality, third-wave coffee roasters mainly embrace the Swiss Water technique.

The origin of the coffee is El Limoncello, Nicaragua. A soft, light-roasted coffee with all the terroir characteristics is what I propose for individuals who appreciate a delicate, light-roasted coffee. It has a mild caramel flavor and a vibrant, fruity taste that is refreshing. Additionally, it has a well-balanced mouthfeel.

Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee is carefully created to produce such a delicious cup of coffee. The setback with this product is the high cost. There are many high-quality whole bean coffees available for less money than this brew. In order to avoid recommending this to individuals who do not truly enjoy the subtle flavors of single-origin coffee, I highly advise against it.

Pros:

  • The company uses the Swiss Water Process for decaffeination, making the coffee 99.99% decaffeinated.
  • Single-origin
  • It is available in single-serve packages
  • Bright taste
  • No after-taste

Cons:

  • It is expensive

Mount Hagen Organic Instant Decaffeinated Coffee

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee, 3.53 oz Organic FairTrade Award-Winning House Blend Kosher Decaffeinated
$12.52
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09/24/2022 01:00 am GMT

Mount Hagen Organic Instant Decaffeinated Coffee is certified by EcoCert as the world’s first 100% organic coffee brand, making it the first and only of its kind. Mount Hagen does not utilize any preservatives, additions, or artificial chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, or any other type of chemical additives in its products. Their organically harvested Arabic beans help them keep a unique, rich, and mellow coffee aroma native to the product.

The coffee is from coffee beans sourced from the best coffee-growing regions across the world. The coffee-making process involves using CR3 Natural Liquid CO2 Coffee, which uses liquid Carbon dioxide at shallow temperatures. 

All preserved compounds give the coffee its taste and aroma during this process, and the hazardous components evaporate. The result is a decaffeinated drink with a mind-blowing taste.

Pros:

  • Certified by EcoCert for its organic nature
  • 99.99% caffeine-free
  • Decaffeinated naturally

Cons:

  • It’s highly flavored, giving off a different taste to other medium roast beans.
  • It is expensive

Colcafé Instant Decaf-Coffee

Colcafé Instant Decaf Coffee Jar | Same Great Taste, No Caffeine | Ready in Seconds | 100% Colombian Coffee | 3 Ounce (Pack of 1)
$9.98 ($3.33 / ounce)
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09/24/2022 01:25 am GMT

Colcafé Instant Decaf Coffee beans are 100% Colombian, which makes them a favorite in Latin America. Coffee from Colombia has a strong, assertive flavor that distinguishes it from other types of coffee. Unfortunately, it is obvious to detect.

The dark smoky, toasty overtones, as well as the chocolate notes from the beans, is something to appreciate. For me, the coffee is of poor quality, but for Colombian bean lovers, this may be a treat. After somehow getting past the disappointment after the first sip, then some might enjoy the coffee.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Poor quality
  • A disappointment on the first sip

The Decaf Process

There are four ways of decaffeination used today;

  • Solvent-based process: Indirect- solvent process and the Direct-solvent process.
  • Non-solvent process: Swiss water process and Carbon Dioxide process.

Coffee processing is done in many ways, and it differs from one brand to the other. The decaffeination process is not a flawless procedure as the coffee will still contain some amount of caffeine.

The Solvent-Based Method

The solvent-based process involves the removal of the caffeine from the coffee beans using a chemical solvent. Some of the chemicals used include methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. The most typical way of processing beans includes soaking them in water and then adding a solvent such as a methyl chloride to the mixture. Although this process is economical, there are some worries regarding the health effects of caffeine chemicals extracted in this manner.

The Swiss Water Method

The Swiss Water Technique relies on the concept of osmosis and solubility to decaffeinate coffee beans. First, the beans soak in boiling water for hours. Then the water is drained and run through activated charcoal to remove the contaminants. Only large molecules of caffeine can pass without being captured. The process is environmentally friendly, and the result is 99.99% decaffeinated instant coffee.

The Carbon Dioxide Method

The carbon dioxide method involves holding the water-soaked beans in an extraction vessel. When the extractor is sealed, liquid carbon dioxide is pumped into the coffee at a shallow temperature. The CO2 works as a solvent, allowing the caffeine in the coffee beans to be dissolved and drawn out while leaving the larger-molecule taste components in place. An absorption chamber stores the caffeine-laced CO2 transferred from the first container. Next, the pressure is released, and the carbon dioxide turns into a gaseous form leaving behind the caffeine.  

If health and flavor are top objectives, the Swiss Water technique may be the best choice. This less-common process is often more expensive, but it does not entail the use of chemicals and is known to leave more decadent flavors in the beans after they have roasted. The CO2 method, on the other hand, given its high cost, is typically employed to decaffeinate huge quantities of commercial-grade, less exotic coffee found in grocery shops.

Buyers Guide on How to Choose Decaf Instant Coffee

Buying instant decaf coffee may be challenging than it sounds with the many brands in the markets. What is important is the taste and the coffee-making process to ensure the coffee doesn’t contain any components I am allergic to. There are additional aspects I consider when buying instant decaf coffee, such as;

Price

When it comes to cost, the higher the price, the better quality of the product, which is not always the case. Some brands will charge you a fortune, and the coffee and flavor may not be pleasant. There are techniques and the type of coffee that affect the taste and flavor look. I tend to look beyond the price tag.

Ingredients

I would advise checking the ingredients as some may cause an allergic reaction to the body. Some components of instant coffee can cause headaches and insomnia. Read through the ingredients listed on the packages to avoid such mistakes. In addition, some brands use additional components to enhance flavor, which can have some adverse effects.

Flavor

Not everyone enjoys the same flavor of coffee, and not all coffee tastes as per my preference. Some people prefer light roast, while others go for dark roast depending on what tickles the palate. Others like their coffee black with the original strong taste of coffee, while some like it with sweeteners and creamer; finding my preference makes buying coffee so much easier.

Brand

Purchasing a well-known coffee brand is essential, especially for decaf, as not all brands yield quality products. If the decaffeination process is inappropriately done, that will affect the result. I find it more straightforward to buy from renowned and well-established brands that embrace technology and trained experts when making the coffee.

Preparation method

Some instant coffee comes in easy-to-mix types, while others like the Nespresso require coffee capsules in a Nespresso OriginalLine coffee maker. Some people prefer to grind the roasted beans to get the full flavor. When purchasing instant decaf coffee, I get what works best for me.

Labels

Always check the labels when buying decaf coffee, especially when purchasing from online shops. I have fallen victim to buying coffee online from a seller claiming it’s decaf while the actual product isn’t. A couple of reasons could lead to this, like the delivery gets sent to the wrong address or there is a third party seller involved.  

Portability

I sometimes take my coffee on the go, which makes the single-serve packets the best option. Carrying the packs along with me is easy, even when traveling or camping. I still get to enjoy my cup of coffee. Although not all brands offer their product in such packages, find the ones that do.  

Mouthfeel 

The after-taste of the coffee is after consuming the beverage. I rely on the reviews, and it is difficult to tell the mouthfeel by looking at the pack. I am interested in the comments left behind when buying a new product because some decaf has dull, and others have a lighter after-taste.

FAQ

I made a point of adding some frequently asked questions concerning instant decaf coffee to make your search easier and help you understand more about this type of coffee. Most people ask the following questions:

How is instant coffee made?

Instant coffee is from coffee beans that are ground and roasted, making them easily soluble. The extraction of the ground coffee beans is done with hot water to recover the taste and aroma. Lastly, the coffee extract is dried. 

How much caffeine does a typical cup of coffee contain?

This is determined by the kind of coffee bean, the degree of roasting, and the brewing method.

There are two kinds of coffee beans: arabica and robusta. Arabica beans have less caffeine than robusta beans, which is why they taste softer and sweeter. The present market is composed of 75-80% arabica and 20-25% robusta; cafés favor arabica coffees, while robustas are often utilized in instant brands.

Does instant decaf coffee contain caffeine?

Decaf is an excellent alternative for those looking to cut down on caffeine consumption. However, most brands are not 100% caffeine-free as decaffeination removes about 97% of the caffeine.  

Can I mix instant decaf coffee with regular coffee?

Yes, mixing decaf with regular coffee is a way to regulate the amount of caffeine consumption. Try out different amounts and see how the two mix best.

Why mix the coffee with cold water first when preparing?

It’s possible that mixing instant coffee directly with hot water is causes it to not dissolve as quickly as you may want it to. This is because Amylum is present in instant coffee granules. When this substance comes into touch with hot water, it hardens, making it more difficult to stir and dissolve. As a result, it is strongly advised to begin mixing your coffee with cold water.

What is spray-drying?

Spray drying is one of how the coffee extract is dried. In this method, the coffee extract is sprayed into a hot gas stream at the top of a cylindrical tower. Then the extract is texturized into granules for easy dissolution. Spray-drying is the most commonly used process because it is speedy while the coffee retains its flavor and aroma.

 What is freeze-drying?

Freeze-drying is the other method, alternative to spray drying. It is used in drying coffee extract. In this process, the coffee extract is frozen at -40 degrees and cut into sizable granules. Then, the frozen granules are dried at low temps and in a vacuum which helps preserve the coffee aroma and taste.

Is it hard to find decaffeinated coffee? Is it expensive?

The most challenging aspect of decaffeinating coffee is eliminating the caffeine while retaining the taste components. It may be difficult to find a good decaf coffee since the vast range of taste compounds that give coffee its rich flavor may be lost during the decaffeination process. When you find the best decaf coffee, it will likely cost more than the regular one.

Bottom Line

Decaf coffee is available in most flavors like cappuccinos, lattes, organic, dark, and light roasts, depending on what makes the palate tickle. The world of instant coffee is vast, and finding what you want is tasking and may require experimenting or using the reviews left by fellow coffee lovers. However, instant decaf is available at a budget-friendly price, and you don’t have to sacrifice taste and flavor to get a cup of this delicious goodness.