Best Korean Instant Coffee 2022 | Top Korean Instant Coffee Brands You Have To Try!

by Jih Yun

Start your day fresh with the best Korean instant coffee. I’ll tell you a secret – the way to my heart is through a good cup of coffee. Like me, I’m sure many of you start your day with a cup of coffee. In fact, I’m sipping on my favorite Korean coffee.

And of course, nothing can beat good quality brewed coffee. 

But you know what? Korean instant coffee comes close. On days when I am running out the door in a hurry and need an instant pick me up, I turn to my favorite Korean Instant Coffee. 

Best Korean Instant Coffee – Quick Summary

Best Korean Instant Coffee BrandsBest Korean Instant CoffeeLink 
Ediya CoffeeEdiya Coffee Beanist Mild AmericanoCheck price On Amazon
Maxim CoffeeMaxim Coffee Mocha GoldCheck price On Amazon
Maxim White Gold Instant CoffeeCheck price On Amazon
Mayang CoffeeNamyang Coffee French Cafe LatteCheck price On Amazon
Kanu CoffeeKanu Instant Coffee Mini Dark Roasted CoffeeCheck price On Amazon
maxim CoffeeMaxim Ice CoffeeCheck price On Amazon
Namyang CoffeeNamyang Lookas 9 Vanilla Latte Instant Coffee Check price On Amazon
Kanu CoffeeKANU Tiramisu LatteCheck price On Amazon
Kanu CoffeeKanu Mini Decaffeined CoffeeCheck price On Amazon

Related: Best  Korean Yuzu Tea

Which is the best Korean instant coffee?

As a coffee lover, I was more than willing to try several Korean instant coffee brands. I rated the different Korean instant coffee based on flavor, creaminess, quality, caffeine level, and ease of preparation. I found that Maxim White Gold Instant Coffee is best Korean instant coffee and here’s why:

Maxim White Gold Instant Coffee has an amazing flavor. Most instant coffee is either too watery or sweet but Maxim White Gold Instant Coffeehas the perfect blend of coffee, fat-free milk and xylose sugar in a sachet. It has a flavorful creamy texture that is not too sweet. It has a delicious aroma to complement its flavor.

Top Korean Instant Coffee

Ediya Coffee Beanist Mild Americano

If you think instant coffee can never match the flavour and texture of freshly brewed coffee, you must try the Mild Americano by Ediya Coffee Beanist and I bet, you will change your mind.

Experts often say that coffee is best enjoyed in its truest form, which is either an espresso or as an Americano. Ediya does a good job of bringing us an amazingly good Americano.

Ediya Coffee Beanist Mild Americano

Key Features:

  • Contains pure coffee
  • No additives to sweeten it
  • Smooth taste, not very bitter
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  • True coffee flavour, without the addition of sweeteners or creamers
  • Can add the amount of sugar that you prefer, if you wish

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Maxim Coffee Mocha Gold

Maxim is one of the most popular instant coffee brands in Korea and comes in a range of flavours and roasts. I’ve listed a few of the ones I absolutely love and stock up on.

The first one is the Mocha Gold which comes in slim sachets, each containing about 50 mg of caffeine. This is the closest you can get to true coffee as it is less sweeter and less creamier. In fact, I would say this has the perfect balance. 

Maxim Coffee Mocha Gold

Key Features:

  • Contains 50 mg caffeine
  • Has 2 grams of sugar
  • Contains milk powder
  • Can be consumed hot or cold
  • Comes in slim sachets that are easy to carry in a purse or handbag


  • A well balanced instant coffee mix

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Maxim White Gold Instant Coffee

For those who love the taste of coffee, but like the texture to be rich and creamy, I suggest Maxim’s White Gold Instant Coffee. When compared to the Mocha Gold by the same brand, this coffee is slightly sweeter, contains a creamer and has a thicker feel.

Key Features:

  • One stick of coffee makes one cup of coffee (about 110 ml)
  • Contains coffee beans that are roasted using the SPR method
  • Contains fat free milk cream and xylose sugar for sweetening the coffee
  • Can add hot water for regular coffee or hot milk for richer coffee


  • Has just the right amount of sugar, making the coffee not too sweet

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Namyang Coffee French Cafe Latte

Namyang coffees always have a special flavour added and this is what makes them popular. Latte is always considered to be something that is difficult to achieve because you need a milk frother and the technique to make it.

Namyang’s range of lattes make it so simple to have your luxurious drink at home! The French cafe Latte is a medium strength coffee that has a bitter sweet taste and a creamy texture.

Key Features:

  • Contains high quality coffee with minimum sweetness
  • Has a rich creamy texture
  • Well balanced flavours
  • Convenient to carry in a bag as it comes in single serve sticks


  • An easy to prepare latte at home

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Kanu Instant Coffee Mini Dark Roasted Coffee

Kanu is a sub brand of the popular Maxim brand of coffees but has a range that is very unique. Kanu instant coffees come in plenty of different flavours and degrees of roasts that you must definitely try.

I prefer stocking up on the Mini Dark Roasted Coffee by Kanu for those days when I crave a lot of coffee but in small quantities. Aren’t Korean coffees amazing – they cater to every kind of desire!

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Key Features:

  • High quality coffee is extracted by micro grinding procedure at very low temperatures to retain the rich and original taste
  • Has a subtle smoky flavour
  • Dark roasted coffee


  • Makes a strong flavoured coffee

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Maxim Ice Coffee

Once in a while, especially during the hot summer afternoons, I like a cup of iced coffee to cool me down as well as wake me up.

Maxim’s Instant Iced Coffee mix really comes to my rescue on such days. I dissolve a stick of this coffee into ice cold water and voila!~ my drink is ready. My tip- add some ice cubes to enhance your experience and feel like you are sitting in a cafe.

Key Features:

  • Contains a blend of coffee, sugar and non-dairy creamer
  • Easily dissolves in cold water
  • Has a rich coffee taste
  • Comes in single serve sticks for convenience


  • Excellent iced coffee pre mix

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Namyang Lookas 9 Vanilla Latte Instant Coffee 

Coffee is more than just coffee for Koreans. There are lots of flavours added and coffee is almost considered a sweet treat. Namyang’s Vanilla Latte Instant Coffee is proof of that with its delicious Vanilla flavour. The texture is creamy and it froths up as you stir, exactly the way latte is supposed to be! 

Key Features:

  • Contains a blend of coffee, sugar, creamer and vanilla flavouring
  • One cup of hot water is needed for one stick of coffee
  • Dissolves quickly, giving you fresh and delicious instant coffee
  • Comes in sticks of single serve quantity for easy preparation


  • An instant coffee mix that can satisfy sweet cravings

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

KANU Tiramisu Latte

I have just one word to describe Kanu’s Tiramisu flavoured latte – YUM! This hot coffee is absolutely delicious with the bitter sweet taste of the popular dessert. There are pretty strong tones of mocha, mascarpone cheese and rich espresso incorporated this instant coffee. 

Key Features:

  • Contains a high quality espresso flavour that is derived by mirco grinding the beans at -196C
  • Has added cocoa flavour and mascarpone cheese flavour to bring out the Tiramisu flavour
  • Rich and creamy texture with the increase in milk and creamer
  • Comes in single serve sticks for quick preparation and convenience for carrying during travel


  • A specialty coffee that can be relished as a dessert

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Kanu Mini Decaffeined Coffee

I admit, I’m addicted to coffee. (You must have figured that out by now). I appreciate good coffee, just the smell of coffee draws me to it.

Having said that, it’s difficult (even for me) to drink more that 2 or 3 cups a day, but there are some days that demand it – you know what I mean? For such days, I love a good decaf that will still satisfy me but not keep me up until 3 am.

Kanu’s Mini Decaffeined Coffee is perfect for that as each sachet is less than 1 gram and makes about half a cup of coffee. Just perfect!

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Key Features:

  • Decaffeinated coffe
  • Comes in mini sachets, each measuring less than 1 gram
  • Has the full flavour of coffee without the caffeine
  • Medium roasted beans


  • Comes with the rich flavour of Americano, though it is decaf

Check out this best Korean instant coffee below!

Korean Instant Coffee: History

When King Gojong, the last king of Joseon Dynasty went into hiding in Seoul at the Russian Legislation during the Korean invasion by the Japanese, he first learnt about coffee. This was in 1896.

After the war ended in Korea, the coffee industry boomed with coffee shops opening in the capital. The first company in Korean to sell instant coffee by selling instant coffee sticks that were premixed with coffee, cream, and sugar. This was in 1976.

This gave the people to have the luxury of coffee in their homes or offices. Instant coffee in Korean got extremely popular by the 90s since it was affordable and quick to make.

Coffee was introduced in Korea though the last king of the Joseon Dynasty, King Gojong. The King had to go into hiding at the Russian legation in Seoul while the Japanese army was invading Korea. At the Russian legation the King first learned to drink coffee in 1896.

After the Korean war, the coffee industry started to take off, with exclusive coffee shops opening all around the capital. This was a place for businessmen, students and artists to gather.

Dongsuh Foods was the company in Korea which introduced instant coffee to the country by selling mix sticks (coffee, sugar and cream) in 1976. This moved coffee from the expensive coffee shops to the homes and offices.

By the end of the 1990s, South Korea became the largest consumer of instant coffee in the world with approximately 75% of the Korean population was drinking instant coffee on a regular basis as it was very affordable and readily available.

Korean Instant Coffee Brands: FAQs

Why is Korean coffee so popular?

Korea is a coffee drinking country and most Koreans grew up drinking different varieties of instant coffee. This is a drink that is readily available and affordable and that’s what makes it so popular. Almost every place in Korea, be it offices, grocery stores, train and bus stations, restaurants and homes stock up on Korean coffee sachets.

Is Korean Instant Coffee Bad For You?

Korean Instant coffee is simply regular coffee that is already brewed and dehydrated. This has the same benefits as freshly brewed coffee. In fact, research has discovered that some Korean instant coffee varieties have more antioxidants than brewed coffee. 

How to Make Instant Coffee?

Add 120 ml of freshly boiled water to a stick of instant coffee powder and stir with a spoon. Once it dissolves, it’s ready to be enjoyed. 

What coffee is popular in South Korea?

In South Korea, a study was conducted on Starbucks customers to find out what’s the most popular coffee drink was. Americano was voted as the most popular coffee drink followed by latte. When it comes to coffee brands in Korea, Maxim instant coffee brand is the most popular Korean instant coffee brand.

Does South Korea have good coffee?

Even though Korea does not cultivate coffee, the cafe culture in South Korea is very popular. Many cafes in Korean have their own roastery to ensure the best tasting coffee.

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