I tried out supermarket own-brand instant coffee – one was better than Nescafe and Kenco


CAFFEINE lovers are being hit by the cost of living crisis.

Along with many other household items, the cost of instant coffee is soaring.

Lynsey Hope taste tests supermarket own brand coffee

Five best-sellers have risen by an average of 19% at four supermarket. Kenco went from an average price of £4.25 in 2021 to £5.38 in 2022.

It’s become so expensive that Tesco has started adding security tags to some of the more expensive jars.

Ocado said prices were at a ten year high due to shipping costs, weather and inflation and Nescafé said raw materials were becoming more expensive.

But is there a brand that will save you money without compromising on taste?

We asked coffee addict Lynsey Hope, 40, from West Malling, Kent to taste test some own brand to see how they stacked up against the leading brands. Here’s what happened:

Specially Selected 100% Arabica Columbian Instant Coffee

  • £2.09 for 100g

Aldi’s instant coffee was our winner.

Lynsey says: “A good ‘un from Aldi. It’s strong enough without having to add spoonful after spoonful of granules to your mug to get your caffeine fix.

“It’s not bitter with a lovely taste and you could easily serve this up at any dinner party without a single guest knowing where it came from.

“It’s not as cheap as other supermarket offerings but it’s cheaper than big brands – and definitely worth it. Actually, this was my favourite!”

TASTE: 10/10

VALUE: 9/10

RATING: 10/10


Gold Roast freeze dried instant coffee by Sainsbury’s 

  • £3 or £1.50 per 100g

Sainsbury’s coffee was a close second

Lynsey says: “I loved the aroma of this instant coffee by Sainsbury’s. It tasted just as good as more expensive brands without the high price tag.

“It has a lovely rich taste and is great value for money. I’d never tried own brands today so this was a real surprise.

A tasty option and I’d buy this again. A real winner.”

TASTE: 9/10

VALUE: 10/10

RATING: 9/10


Asda Gold Roast Instant Coffee

  • £2.50 or £1.25 per 100g

Asda’s coffee has a lovely aroma

Lynsey says: “I was really impressed by this coffee from Asda. Not the strongest on offer and perhaps a little on the bitter side.

“But it had a lovely aroma. It tastes almost identical to Kenco. I can’t believe anyone would ever be able to tell the difference, and yet it’s half the price. A great option if you’re on a budget.”

TASTE: 8/10

VALUE: 8/10

RATING: 8/10


Waitrose and Partners Italian Style Instant Coffee

  • £3.65 or £3.65 per 100g

This is the most expensive coffee but it has a delicious taste

Lynsey says: “On first glance this looks like good value from Waitrose but actually the jar is half the size of all the others so it’s actually the most expensive.

However, when you open the jar the lovely aroma really hits you. It smells delicious and I wasn’t let down on taste. It’s good quality, strong, but smooth. I was pleasantly surprised.”

TASTE: 10/10

VALUE: 2/10

RATING: 6/10


Nescafé Original Signature Roast

  • £4.50 or £2.25 per 100g

Nescafe is a classic blend

Lynsey says: “The Nescafé had a really lovely aroma and I couldn’t wait to take a sip. It’s a classic coffee flavour, smooth but not too strong.

I’m not sure it’s anything special though. Given the brand has been around for years, I think I was expecting a bit more from Nescafé. It’s very expensive for what it is.”

TASTE: 7/10

VALUE: 5/10

RATING: 6/10


Kenco Smooth Instant Coffee

  • £5 or £2.50 per 100g

Kenco is another well known brand

Lynsey says: “A delicate and mild coffee with a really nice flavour. No bitter aftertaste.

“This was one of my favourites to drink but I can’t justify the price. £5 for a jar seems too much and is almost double the price of some own brands. 

“If you like this, try the Asda own. You’ll barely notice the difference.”

TASTE: 9/10

VALUE: 2/10

RATING: 5/10


Tesco Classic Instant Coffee

  • £2.25 or £1.13  per 100g

Tesco’s is good value for money but the coffee hit middle ground

Lynsey says: “Nothing to complain about, this Tesco’s coffee was very middle of the road.

“It’s quite good value especially as other brands, and even supermarket own coffees, seem to be going up in price, so if you’re not a connoisseur and want to save a bit of cash, this could be a good option for you.”

TASTE: 5/10

VALUE: 6/10

RATING: 5/10


Morrisons Gold Roast

  • £3.25 or £1.63 per 100g

Lynsey felt Morrisons coffee tasted weak

Lynsey says: “Morrisons coffee didn’t taste as good as some of its rivals. I thought it lacked bitterness and tasted weak.

I was adding in a lot more than the recommended amount just to get a bit of flavour. It’s pricey compared to other own brands too. Not for me.”

TASTE: 3/10

VALUE: 3/10

RATING: 3/10


Lidl Bellarom Gold Blend

  • £1.99 or 94.5p per 100g

The cheapest coffee unfortunately tasted like it

Lynsey says: “The cheapest coffee we tried but I’m afraid your taste buds may pay the price. I thought Lidl’s coffee was bland and had a rather artificial taste to it.

It left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. I’d leave this one on the shelf.”

TASTE: 2/10

VALUE: 4/10

RATING: 3/10


We also tried different pasta sauces from Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, one of them beat Dolmio.

We’ve also tested supermarket hummus and one was perfect for digging into a picnic.

And we tested all the supermarket scotch eggs and the cheapest one from a bargain store was the best.