Fun fact: While not the most prominent of hot beverages here in the U.S., instant coffee is actually quite popular. And, while American coffee drinkers may not consider instant to be on par with elite brews, some companies are working to change perceptions. One of those companies is Waka Coffee.
Waka Coffee’s website proclaims, “Tastes like slow drip coffee, fast like instant.” Their instant coffee is freeze dried 100% Arabica and comes in packs of 8. Waka also donates a percentage of sales to charity: water, an organization working toward worldwide access to clean water.
We had a chance to try out Waka, so we did some un-scientific taste testing and compared it to a couple of other brands on the market. Just a head’s up: we’re not coffee snobs, but we do love a good cup of Joe.
My previous experience with instant coffee is fairly limited. We take whatever brand is on sale with us backpacking, and I’ve tried different Starbucks Via packs. Overall I’ve thought of instant coffee as meh — something necessary sometimes, but not something to take seriously.
This is all to say I really wasn’t expecting much from Waka. Starbucks instant coffee is fine, but I’d never pick it over a brewed cup. Nescafe, Folgers, all those other brands, I have never had a cup and thought, yum!
Waka ended up far surpassing my expectations.
I don’t know how to properly taste and describe coffee, so hopefully me saying, “It’s good! Not like instant coffee at all!” is helpful. I am a coffee addict, so that is my sole claim to expertise.
Waka Vs. Starbucks & Nescafe
Taking my un-official official taste testing to the next level, I also ‘brewed’ a cup of Starbucks Via House Blend and a cup of Nescafe Taster’s Choice (for no reason other than Nescafe was there and on sale).
The Starbucks Via tastes very… Starbucks (I do like Starbucks, so this isn’t a negative). But for me, it’s bitter and not great black. And, I actually think Waka tasted way better.
The Taster’s Choice, well, let’s just say it’s precisely how you’d think instant coffee would be — weak, bland, and sad. So of course Waka blew it out of the water.
The verdict of my extremely inexpert tasting? Waka is the clear winner.
Pros & Cons of Waka Coffee
I can say with certainty that Waka is the best instant coffee I’ve tried. It’s good enough that not only will it be joining me on backpacking and camping trips, it’s coffee I’ll take to work so I don’t have to deal with the office coffee maker.
The brand itself has a great mission of providing stellar instant coffee while also contributing to important clean water missions worldwide. Waka is currently direct to consumer (available only on their website and Amazon) and in our experience those companies have great customer support.
The only cons we see are the limitations in availability and the price. However, it is available with Prime shipping, so it’s not difficult to get. And the price, while a little high, is worth it for the convenience and taste in my opinion.
We’re happy to recommend Waka Coffee to anyone looking for not just a good cup of instant coffee, but a good cup of coffee. It’s tasty enough that anyone will be pleased with the flavor, yet it has that portability going for it, too.
I’ll be glad to drink Waka in a variety of situations — in the mountains, at work, or even when traveling (anything to avoid single-cup hotel coffee makers). I hope you give it a try, too.
Featured image via Waka Coffee.