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):