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We tasted 6 South African instant coffees, and we all need to give Ricoffy a break

In this month’s Food24 Taste Test, we set 6 instant coffee blends against each.

by: Katy Rose | 30 Jul 2019
food24 tastes, best instant coffee south africa

It’s been a tough winter for most South Africans, despite the blessings of abundant rain in the Cape. When the weather is cold, we immediately reach for warming foods - particularly liquids such as soups, hot chocolates and endless cups of tea and coffee. 

At the Food24 office, we’re quite fond of fancy coffees but what about the humble and reliable instant coffee? We decided to put them to the test: read on for the results. 

We compared price per kilo: 

Best instant coffee in south africa food24 taste t


1. Douwe Egberts Pure Gold 

By far the most expensive coffee on our Taste Test panel, Douwe Egberts Pure Gold scored well. Tasters noted a flavourful coffee aroma, but most admitted that this is a stronger coffee that needs some milk. It was also mentioned that most shoppers choose this coffee for the versatile reusable glass jar - even if no one is really sure how to pronounce it...!

food24 tastes coffee

2. Frisco Rich & Creamy Original Powder

We didn't have much hope for old Frisco, a South African classic "coffee flavoured drink". A blended coffee and chicory powder, Frisco was by far the cheapest but alas, it just doesn't compare to the 100% coffee products.

food24 tastes coffee

3. Jacobs Krönung 

Jacobs is a popular premium choice, and we got lucky with a great special price at only R84 for 200g. It was described as 'easy drinking' and showed a good flavour and a slight bitterness. 

RECIPE: Baked pudding with coffee syrup

4. Nescafé Classic

Being one of the best selling coffees in the world, this it was the most popular coffee in our taste test. It had a wonderful aroma, and good strength. Most tasters would prefer to double up on the coffee, however. According to Nestlé Southern Africa Head of Coffee, Nicole Roos (what a job!) 5500 cups of Nescafé Classic are consumed worldwide every second. 

food24 tastes coffee

5. Nescafé Gold Original

Glittery packaging aside, the Nescafe Gold failed to deliver a strong punch. Some tasters found the aroma "a bit flat", and the taste too mild for our tasters. It would make a great coffee for black coffee drinkers or for those who prefer a lighter flavour. Nescafé Gold is also available in a number of stronger variants, which weren't featured in this test. 


6. Nescafé Ricoffy 

The familiar coffee of break rooms and tea time up and down the country, Ricoffy offers a great compromise between coffee flavour and economy. The mild, sweet flavour was a favourite with a few tasters. It also performed really well, coming in 4th place behind the three premium coffees. Nicole Roos of Nestlé told us that in South Africa 6 out of 10 coffee cups are Ricoffy coffee. 

food24 tastes coffee

And the winner is Nescafé Classic! 

food24 tastes coffee

Did you enjoy this Taste Test? READ our other popular articles: 

We tasted 6 of SA’s best tomato sauces: did your favourite one win?

We tasted 8 different mayos to find our favourite one, and the underdog surprised us all

We tested 8 South African peanut butters and we couldn’t believe how different they all tasted

All original images by Katy Rose. 

The rules of Food24 Tastes:
- All tasters tasted and scored all 6 samples. 
-The coffees were blended according to the recommendation on the packaging. 
-The samples were tasted plain black, without added sugar or milk
- The samples were not labelled and tasted in random order. 
- Each sample was rated on Smell and Aroma, Taste and Strength of coffee flavour.
- This article is not sponsored in any way, and Food24 was not paid to come to any particular result. Our taste tests are always unbiased and intended for your entertainment, however you may have come to this article through various paid-for advertising.
Note: Prices quoted above include some ‘Sale’ prices that may not always be available.

Read more on: taste test  |  coffee  |  food24 tastes

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