Kenco 100% Colombian instant coffee changed taste

by Sue
(York UK)

Kenco Instant Coffee

Kenco Instant Coffee



I’ve been enjoying Kenco 100% Arabica coffee for years now and the beautiful taste and aroma is to die for!

Not now! As soon as you open a fresh jar there is a pungent sulphur smell. It’s so strong and I can’t face the coffee

Would it be harmful to drink? (If I could drink it that is! 😁)

I have four jars and they’re all the same....exp 2022...

Any advice would be gratefully received!

Very best wishes



Sue, hi

My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. : )

It’s tough to answer your question exactly, because Kenco creates several different instant coffees!

That said, you’re not alone in noticing a decline in the quality of your favorite coffee.

This seems to be happening across the board, including coffees from Maxwell House, Folgers, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Yuban and others.

It seems companies are cutting back on the quality of the beans they use in their coffees.

This strikes me as a really bad idea, as it upsets their biggest fans and best customers.

I hear stories of people who have loved a particular brand of coffee for 20 years or more, and have now switched because the taste has become so bad.

I’d recommend you try some different brands.

And if you’re not using whole beans, give that a try. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can start with a simple blade grinder at a very reasonable price.

Best wishes,


Comments for Kenco 100% Colombian instant coffee changed taste

Click here to add your own comments

Same loss of taste, moving companies.
by: Anonymous

We've been buying kenko going on 20 years now, and finding this thread proving they're no longer the quality they used to be confirms my fears - it's time to look for a new coffee. :(

I thought it was just me...
by: Just Passing Through

A few years ago, my favourite Kenco Columbian instant coffee started disappearing from supermarkets, along with the other regional coffees like Costa Rican and Brazilian. I went a few months without, and started trying other 'Columbian' brands to try and find the same flavour.

But then Sainsbury started stocking it again, and I thought my problems were over. But some six or seven jars of this version later, I have to accept that the flavour has changed. Gone is the fruity, mild smoothness that I liked, and what it tasted like now is harsh, acrid and smoky. The thing is, this change happened during the COVID lockdown, and I half suspected that I had an infection that did my tastebuds in. It was when I did a websearch for "Kenco Columbian Flavour Change" that I saw I wasn't imagining it.

I've been drinking L'Or Classique for the last year now, and that tasted pretty close to how I recall Kenco Columbian tasting. It's not harsh at any rate.

What has Kenco done?
by: Anonymous

I've used Kenco Smooth instant coffee for years, but suddenly tbe taste hax changed for the worse. At one point, I thought I had covid since the taste was so bitter and didn't taste like coffee.(tested negative)
The taste is bitter and smells acrid, it actually makes me nauseous. Sadly, i am now having to find a new coffee after years of kenco cravings.

kenco instant coffee
by: Anonymous

We have switched to lor coffee as to we noticed kenco didn't taste right it gave myself and my mother in law urine infections. And the smell from it.

What have they done to Kenco Rich instant coffee
by: Anonymous

It has now deteriorated to the point where it doesn't smell or taste like coffee, despite the fact that the price has leapt up in the past year. I'm now rediscovering a taste for tea when I need a quick, hot drink. The search now starts for another, much better, instant coffee.

by: Anonymous

I have changed to Kenco Millicano prefer it but found I have to add more now for tthe flavour I like. Wonder if Covid could be responsible for our change of taste preferencd...just a thought....

Not the same
by: Anonymous

l googled this subject because having used the Kenco Really Rich instant coffee for many years l wondered if anyone else had noticed that not only had the taste declined, but l have noticed that it is much weaker, l am probably having to add at least 50% more to make a cup.

I have given up altogether on Kenco Smooth just not the same.
by: Linda

Kenco Smooth is awful now. Did retry but not good. Kenco Mikkicano is ok but has lost some of it's flavour too.

Kenco Rich Instant now weaker
by: Phil C

I have found recently that Kenco Rich Instant is now weaker than it used to be,I now have to use two spoonfuls now when a few weeks ago I only used one to get the same strength and flavour.

Why the smell is fishy
by: Anonymous

I just called KENCO Customer service UK because the smell inside the jar doesnt smell like coffee at all !
Seriously nasty its even made my poop smell exactly the same 🙈😬🤨 I've drank this coffee and loved it for years but this new jar is mouldy???
Anyway sending me a voucher but I want to get to the bottom of it's weird smell. What ever they have changed is a disaster in my opinion I wouldnt drink it if you paid me .

t and

Taste lack of Kenco Smooth
by: Linda

This was always my favourite until I started drinking Kenco Millicano. Decided to try Smooth again. No flavour and weird taste. Not how it used to be. Shame I bought a big jar.... dissapointed.

Coffee tastes awful
by: Anonymous

This was my favourite coffee but not anymore.. it tastes awful now so I will it be buying it again it tastes horrible. Wouldn’t want to serve it to anyone that’s for sure.

Kenco smooth !!
by: Dave

Been enjoying kenco smooth for well over 20 years and contacted them about the downward quality in taste and aroma, they just sent money off vouchers. The aroma has changed to a sour smell and tastes like bargain basement sweep ups, yuck

Kenco smooth
by: Clarky

Yeah I have noticed a real decline in the taste of Kenco. It seemed to have happened from a few months back. I wont buy more...its that bad it doesn't actually taste like coffee.

I used to like Kenco too
by: danny

I drank Kenco instant coffee for the longest time. I know it's not trendy to drink instant coffee, but it worked for me. I'd take a thermos to work and it would hit the spot all day long.

Not sure when, but maybe two three years ago it changed. not the same at all. And I miss it.

I tried the usual other choices, like Maxwell and Folgers, but liked them even less.

So... been kind of screwed on the coffee front. If anyone knows a really good instant coffee, let me know!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions about Coffee.

Before you go, sign up to receive the Coffee Detective Newsletter...

Sign up for occasional newsletters about the best coffees and brewing equipment. Plus special updates from the Coffee Detective Coffee Store…