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The $4 Coles instant coffee that beat Moccona, Nescafe and the rest

Coles' $4 instant coffee outcompetes its premium counterparts when it comes to taste – and price. (Photos: Choice, Getty)

You’re standing in the coffee aisle and just about to reach for the instant coffee brand you always get.

But halt: that might not be the best-tasting instant coffee on the market.

In a blind taste test conducted by consumer advocacy group Choice, Choice members who regularly drank instant coffee were asked to taste 14 different kinds of instant coffee products in major supermarkets available nationally.

When the results were in, it was found that Coles’ Fairtrade Organic Freeze Dried Coffee had scored the highest (74) per cent, among the reviewers, beating out household favourites like Moccona and Nescafe.

The jar of caffeinated granules will set you back only $4, which is less than a quarter of the price of the runner-up, Moccona’s Barista Reserve Smooth Espresso ($18 a jar or $10.29 per 100g).

In equal third place was three brands: Caffe Aurora’s Medaglia D’oro Italian Style Freeze Dried Coffee, Nature’s Cuppa Organic Coffee, and Nescafe Gold Original 5.

However, while these three brands shared the same score of 70 per cent, the price points vary wildly: the jar of Caffee Aurora will cost you a fiver, while Nature’s Cuppa is $8.

Nescafe Gold Original 5 is the most pricey at $9.50.

Choice’s instant coffee blind taste test, ranked:

  1. Coles Fairtrade Organic Freeze Dried Coffee (74%)

  2. Moccona Barista Reserve Smooth Espresso (72%)

  3. Nature's Cuppa Organic Coffee (70%)

  4. Nescafe Gold Original 5 (70%)

  5. Caffe Aurora Medaglia D'oro Italian Style Freeze Dried Coffee (70%)

  6. Woolworths Freeze Dried Classic Coffee (69%)

  7. Alcafe (Aldi) Classic Gold (67%)

  8. Lavazza Prontissimo! Classico Premium Instant Coffee (67%)

  9. Moccona Classic Medium Roast 5 (67%)

  10. Nescafe Blend 43 (67%)

  11. International Roast Instant Coffee (63%)

  12. Robert Timms Premium Full-Bodied Granulated Coffee (63%)

  13. Bushells Coffee Classic Gourmet Instant Coffee (54%)

  14. Black & Gold Granulated Instant Coffee (53%)

The results of Choice’s instant coffee blind taste test are a win for Coles, whose instant coffee beat out its supermarket counterparts Woolworths Alcafe (Aldi) that ranked only sixth and seventh on the list.

Tasters described Coles’ instant coffee as “full-flavoured,” “full-bodied” and “satisfying”.

“I would confidently serve to friends and visitors,” one taster said.

Whats Coles’ secret? It comes down to the coffee beans that are used, indicated Choice.

“Coles Fairtrade Organic Freeze Dried Coffee and Nature's Cuppa Organic Coffee are both made from Arabica beans, the more desirable beans used in coffee production, and are two of just three products in our test that are 100% Arabica (the third, Lavazza Prontissimo, scored 67%),” said Choice.

“The Coles coffee has the added selling point of being both organic and Fairtrade.”

Common complaints about Bushells Coffee Classic Gourmet Instant Coffee and Black & Gold Granulated Coffee were that they were “too weak”.

This was reflected in their respective scores of 54 per cent and 53 per cent, where The two brands came second-last and last on the list of 14 brands.

It just goes to show that cheaper, non-branded options don’t have to compromise on taste or quality.

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