I've given up on instant coffee and switched to fresh-brewed, fresh-ground coffee during cold weather. I bought a $4.15 12-cup drip coffee maker from Target and the coffee tastes great. There's one odd design problem with the lip of the pot, though. It dribbles down the side of the pot if it isn't held at precisely the right angle. This isn't much of a problem pouring coffee. I just hold the pot over the sink. It's more of a problem when I have to fill the container with fresh water to heat. I spill water every where.
So now I'm looking for a coffee maker that will make a couple of cups at a time that works well. I know French press-style coffee makers make great coffee, maybe the best, but there's a trap with them. You have to buy an expensive coffee grinder to get consistently coarse grinds to work with the press. Inexpensive blade and burr grinders make coffee that makes it through the press and ends up in your coffee, giving you mud.
The Black & Decker Brew & Go drip coffee maker looks promising, but I've seen in reviews some people have problems with them.
Any other suggestions for good, inexpensive small coffee makers that will allow me to use fresh-ground coffee?