Starbucks “Via”

I got a sneak peek – and taste – of the new Starbucks “Via” instant coffee yesterday. It’s sold in individual packets, similar in size to the powdered versions of tea and certain fruit/energy drinks – a big plus for convenience. It comes in two versions: regular and bold. No surprise which one I tried: bold! Preparing it is just like I used to do many, many years ago when I first started my coffee addiction via Folgers’ Crystals instant coffee (ack! how did we drink that?!): just boil some water (or close to boiling) in the microwave, dump the Via into the water, add whatever suits you (bit of sugar and 1/2-1/2 for me), and that’s it.

So how did it taste? Well…despite some assertions that some people can’t tell the difference between the Via and their regular Starbucks coffee, I definitely could. Of course, that’s likely because my regular is an 8-shot Americano. But it wasn’t bad – not at all. It won’t replace my regular Starbucks beverage, but I will definitely keep some in my home and at the office. Likely scenario: I run out of coffee at work, and the only option is the Maxwell House in the huge pot in the break room that’s been burning for about four hours. Uh, no thanks. I’ll just zap some water, add the Via (maybe 2 or 3 packets?), and that will tide me over.

I’d say give it a shot (no pun intended). Stop by our friendly neighborhood Starbucks (say hi to Sam, Aaron, Marshall, Ann, Erica, Kendra, Brad, Amber, Justin, Cecilia, Andy, Michelle, and the rest of the gang!) and try some. Think they’re going to be having a taste-test event this weekend, even…will be interesting to see how many people can’t tell the difference!

I’m going to put this in the “Win” column for Starbucks.

And here’s a pic to show you how small the packets are (compared to a razor and a camera):

Starbucks "Via" Coffee

Rock Star Jennie!

Meet Jennie. She works at the Montana Sub Shop, which is one of our FAVORITE places to eat. Most of their sandwiches are named after Montana towns, such as the Billings, the Two Dot, etc. My favorite – duh – is the Great Falls, which is a roast beef sammie.

Jennie wants to be a ROCK STAR, so I’m doing my part to help! Next time you stop in at the Montana Sub Shop, give her mad props, cheer her on, and ask for her autograph!

Rock Star Jennie!

Snow Sighting?

Heh…look at the forecast for Tuesday & Wednesday:

Possible Snow Coming to Great Falls?
(click to see full forecast)

After record high temps just a few days ago, this is a VERY welcome sight! I know, I know…down here at the lower elevations, we’ll probably only get some drizzle and rain, but there’s always a chance we’ll see some real snow! And it sure will be nice to look at the Highwoods and Little Belts and see snowcaps! And look at those sweet, sweet low temps – 30s, baby! Hmmm…wonder if we should have another “First Snow” contest?

Greatest Of Great Falls 2009

Well, this is certainly fun: the Trib’s 2009 edition of “Greatest Of Great Falls” is now up and ready for your votes! Doesn’t look like there’s a category for “Best Blogger” this time around, but there is a fun new category for GADFLY (aka activist). Some of the names are no-brainers, but some might also surprise you…heh. Take a look:

Greatest Gadfly of Great Falls?

I voted in several of the categories that I know something about, such as Best Burger (Goode’s!), Best Breakfast (Goode’s!), Best TV Personality (Katie!), Best Hot Dog (Downtown Dog House!), Best Pizza (Howard’s!), and Best Park (Gibson!).

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