Asian Instant Coffee: Exploring the Aromatic World of Convenience

Asian Instant Coffee: Exploring the Aromatic World of ConvenienceAsian Instant Coffee: Exploring the Aromatic World of ConvenienceAsian Instant Coffee: Exploring the Aromatic World of Convenience
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Coffee has become a ubiquitous beverage around the globe, with instant coffee being a popular choice for its convenience. However, a unique category within the instant coffee realm has been gaining significant attention: Asian instant coffee. In this blog, we delve into the flavors, culture, and innovation behind Asian instant coffee, which sets it apart from its counterparts.

Asian instant coffee in a bowl

History and Culture of Asian Coffee Consumption

Coffee has a rich history in Asia, dating back centuries. While tea has traditionally been the dominant hot beverage in many Asian countries, coffee has become a beloved beverage. In countries like Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, coffee has become deeply ingrained in the culture, and there are unique rituals and customs associated with its consumption. Asian coffee culture is a beautiful blend of tradition and innovation.

In Japan, the tea ceremony-inspired "siphon" brewing method is popular, where coffee is brewed in a glass siphon apparatus. South Korea has the "dalgona" trend, a whipped coffee served over milk. In Thailand, "Oliang" is a traditional iced coffee made with a blend of coffee, soybeans, corn, and other ingredients. Vietnam is known for "ca phe sua da," a strong iced coffee served with condensed milk.

The Making of Asian Instant Coffee

Asian instant coffee is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The manufacturing process involves various steps, including roasting, grinding, and freeze-drying the coffee beans to preserve their flavor and aroma. What sets Asian instant coffee apart is the use of unique techniques and ingredients. From the traditional roasting methods to the art of blending flavors, every cup of Asian instant coffee is a testament to craftsmanship.

Here are some examples of ingredients used in Asian instant coffee:

  • Ginseng: Ginseng is a popular ingredient in Korean instant coffee. It adds a subtle herbal note and is believed to have health benefits.
  • Matcha: Matcha, a powdered green tea, is sometimes blended with instant coffee in Japan to create a unique flavor profile that combines the bitterness of coffee with the earthiness of matcha.
  • Coconut: In Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Vietnam, instant coffee mixes often feature coconut flavors. This adds a creamy and tropical twist to the coffee.
  • Corn: Corn is occasionally used as an ingredient in Asian instant coffee, particularly in Thai "Oliang" mixes. It provides a unique sweetness and depth to the flavor.
  • Soybeans: Soybean powder or extracts are sometimes added to instant coffee in Asian countries like South Korea and Vietnam. This imparts a slightly nutty and creamy taste to the coffee.
  • Pandan: Pandan leaves, commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, are occasionally infused into instant coffee, giving it a fragrant and aromatic twist.

Distinctive Flavors and Varieties

Asian instant coffee offers a wide range of flavors to suit different palates. From solid and bold profiles to milder and smoother options, there is something for everyone. Additionally, Asian coffee introduces unique regional flavors that showcase the continent's diversity. For instance, Vietnamese coffee is known for its rich and intense taste, while Thai coffee often features a hint of sweetness. The balance between bitterness, aroma, and acidity is carefully calibrated to create a delightful sensory experience.

A bag of Thai Instant Coffee Moccona
Famous Thai Instant Coffee Brand: Moccona

Health Benefits and Specialty Ingredients

Asian instant coffee not only offers convenience and rich flavors but also incorporates specialty ingredients that provide potential health benefits. For example, ginseng, commonly used in Korean instant coffee, is believed to enhance energy levels and promote overall well-being. Matcha, a powdered green tea used in Japanese instant coffee blends, is rich in antioxidants and known for its calming effects. Some Asian instant coffees feature the use of ingredients like turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, or mushroom extracts, believed to support immune health. Additionally, ingredients such as coconut, soybeans, and pandan add unique flavors and textures to the coffee, enhancing the taste experience. By combining convenience, diverse flavors, and potential health benefits, Asian instant coffee offers a delightful and holistic approach to enjoying a cup of joe. Asian instant coffee embraces the concept of available coffee, blending taste and wellness.

Influential Asian Coffee Brands and Market Expansion

Asian instant coffee brands have gained significant traction both within the continent and globally. Brands like Nescafé, Vinacafé, Maxim, and UCC have become household names, captivating coffee enthusiasts worldwide. The market for Asian instant coffee continues to expand, driven by the demand for quality and innovation. The rise of coffee tourism has also played a role in promoting Asian coffee, with travelers seeking authentic coffee experiences.

Several famous Asian instant coffee brands have gained popularity both locally and internationally. Some of these brands include:

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Our Top Picks: Asian Instant Coffee

Moccona Freeze-Dried Coffee

Rich taste of Moccona Classic Dark Roast. Premium taste & elegant glass jar.

Vinacafe Instant Coffee
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Pack of 5 instant coffees brought to you by your local merchant.

Asian Instant Coffee: Reviewed & Ranked

Moccona Freeze-Dried Coffee ($29)

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4.2 out of 5
Moccona Freeze-Dried Coffee

Experience the rich taste of Moccona Classic Dark Roast. Its bold, full-bodied flavor and intense aroma make it the perfect coffee to enjoy everyday. Known for its premium taste and elegant glass jar, Moccona has become a much-loved classic in homes all over Thailand and Australia. About 100 gram per jar. It is sold at a much lower price in Thailand.


Why we like it

  • Bold, full-bodied flavor
  • Intense aroma
  • Premium taste
  • Elegant glass jar

Why we don't like it

  • Price

Vinacafe Instant Coffee ($30)

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4.7 out of 5
Vinacafe Instant Coffee
Vinacafe Instant Coffee Mix is a pack of 5 instant coffees that are brought to you by your local merchant. Buying local helps to support your local economy and thank you for supporting! Each pack contains 1-pound of coffee mix.


Why we like it

  • Buy local to support the local economy
  • Pack of 5 instant coffees
  • 1-pound of coffee mix

Why we don't like it

  • No other flavors available

TRUNG NGUYEN G7 Instant Coffee ($15)

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4.6 out of 5
TRUNG NGUYEN G7 Instant Coffee

TRUNG NGUYEN G7 3-IN-1 Instant Coffee is a perfect cup of instant coffee anytime. It comes with high-quality coffee powder, non-dairy cream and sugar, creating a uniquely fragrant aroma and irresistible taste. The preparation time is under one minute and it is ideal for travellers as it is lightweight and portable. About 50 sachets per bag.


Why we like it

  • Premium instant coffee
  • 3 in 1 combination
  • Bold flavor and fragrant aroma
  • Quick and easy to prepare
  • Travel-friendly coffee
  • Made with coffee powder, non-dairy cream and sugar

Why we don't like it

  • May be too sweet for some people

Old Town White Coffee Instant Coffee ($37)

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4.7 out of 5
Old Town White Coffee Instant Coffee

OldTown is Malaysia's most loved White Coffee mix. It's made with a special blend of three premium beans and brewed using a traditional process for a delicious taste. With its easy-to-use format and bonus eco-friendly coaster, OldTown is a trusted brand that offers a delightful white coffee experience.


  • 45-Day supply when served once a day
  • 45 packets
  • Other flavors: hazelnut, cane sugar, less sugar, milk tea, etc.

Why we like it

  • Includes non-dairy creamer.
  • Halal-Certified.
  • Rich and bold flavor profile.
  • A popular Malaysian brand known for its traditional Malaysian-style coffee.

Why we don't like it

  • Some individuals may find it too sweet for their taste preferences.
  • The coffee may contain artificial flavors.
  • Single-use packaging.
  • May not be widely available in all regions.

Maxim KANU Korean Instant Coffee ($22)

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5 out of 5
Maxim KANU Korean Instant Coffee

The KANU Nutty Caramel Latte is a delicious winter treat. Made with high-quality coffee powder using a special brewing method, it offers a rich nutty flavor with a hint of sweet caramel. It's the perfect drink to enjoy and warm up with during a cozy latte break.


Why we like it

  • Extracted at low temperature and low water content.
  • A unique flavor combination of nuttiness and caramel.
  • Portable and practical.
  • Enjoyed as a hot latte or used as a flavoring for various desserts or drinks.

Why we don't like it

  • May contain artificial flavors.
  • Might be too sweet for some.
  • Possibly hard to find locally.
  • Single serve packaging.

SUPER Original Instant Coffee ($17)

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4.5 out of 5
SUPER Original Instant Coffee

This 3 in 1 instant coffee is perfect for those who like it sweet and creamy. It is Halal certified and preferred way of coffee consumption in Asia.


  • 40 Sticks

Why we like it

  • Halal certified
  • Priced to make it a budget-friendly option for coffee lovers.
  • It can be stored for an extended period without losing its flavor or quality.
  • Can be used in various recipes and drinks.
  • Portable for travel or camping when access to brewing equipment may be limited.

Why we don't like it

  • Flavor can be lacking.
  • Includes additives to enhance flavor.
  • Single-use packaging contribute to plastic waste.

UCC Instant Coffee ($11)

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4.5 out of 5
UCC Instant Coffee

UCC The Blend 117 Instant Coffee is a mixture of different beans from around the UCC estates and a mixture of different roasts of beans from dark, medium, and light. It is a full bodied coffee with perfect levels of acidity, aroma, and smooth flavor intensity.


Why we like it

  • Enjoy this rich blend anywhere!
  • Just add hot water
  • Long shelf life
  • Has a smooth texture

Why we don't like it

  • May come at a higher price point compared to other instant coffee options.
  • Does contain additives to enhance flavor or preservation.
  • Instant coffee typically comes in single-use packaging, which can contribute to plastic waste.
  • May not be widely available in all regions.

Asian Instant Coffee: Inspiration Gallery

Coffee Culture and Café Scene in Asia

The café culture in Asia is vibrant and diverse, reflecting the passion for coffee. Asian coffeehouses are spaces to enjoy a cup of joe and cultural hubs that embody unique aesthetics and experiences. From cozy traditional teahouses in China to trendy specialty coffee shops in South Korea, the café scene in Asia offers many choices. Coffee communities and events further contribute to the global growth and appreciation of coffee culture.

Asian coffeehouses are known for their captivating aesthetics and attention to detail. From minimalist designs to cozy and rustic interiors, each café has its distinct ambiance. Some coffee shops incorporate elements of traditional Asian architecture, while others embrace modern and contemporary themes. The focus is not solely on the coffee but also on creating a sensory experience for visitors.

The coffee community in Asia is thriving, with coffee enthusiasts, baristas, and roasters coming together to share their passion. Numerous coffee-related events, competitions, and festivals are held throughout the year, attracting coffee professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world. These events serve as platforms to showcase Asian coffee, exchange knowledge, and celebrate the craft.


Asian instant coffee has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity due to its distinctive flavors, cultural significance, and innovative production methods. From carefully selected coffee beans to the artful blending of flavors, Asian instant coffee offers a sensory journey that captivates coffee lovers worldwide.

In a world where convenience is valued, Asian instant coffee offers an aromatic and flavorful experience without compromising quality. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or simply curious about exploring new tastes, I encourage you to venture into Asian instant coffee. Discover the rich flavors, immerse yourself in the vibrant café culture, and embark on a delightful journey through the aromatic world of Asian coffee.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is healthier instant coffee or brewed coffee?

Both instant coffee and brewed coffee can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. If you prefer the convenience of instant coffee, it can still provide some health benefits, albeit potentially with slightly lower levels of antioxidants compared to brewed coffee. Remember that the overall impact on health depends on factors such as the quality of the coffee, serving size, and individual sensitivities. Some brands of instant coffee may contain additives or flavor enhancers. These additives can vary depending on the specific product. It's advisable to read the ingredient list and choose instant coffee brands that use minimal additives or preservatives.

What is the difference between instant coffee and coffee?

Regular coffee often offers a wider range of options in terms of bean origin, roast level, and flavor profiles. It allows for more control over the brewing process, enabling coffee enthusiasts to experiment with different brewing methods and create a customized coffee experience. Instant coffee typically offers a more standardized taste and may have limited options in terms of variety.

Instant coffee provides convenience and quick preparation, while regular coffee offers a more authentic and customizable coffee experience with a wider range of flavors and brewing methods. The choice between the two depends on personal preference, time constraints, and the desired coffee-drinking experience.