http://www.pcfastlane.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/starbucks-via-ready-brew.jpg" width="480" height="357" />
Let me be first to clarify: I did not buy this coffee, it was given to me about a month ago when I went to visit my parents. Ever since I have heard about the Via line of instant coffee when it first came out, I was skeptical about their claim. Aside from not wanting to offend my parents by refusing their gifts, I was also interested in putting Starbuck's claim to the test. Even though I do not even like their line of regular roasted beans, I was willing to see if their audacious claim that they have developed an instant coffee that can taste as good as their brewed coffee. Before this test, I was not sure if I was more excited or more nervous!
/files/u14133/01012012155.jpg" width="375" height="500" />
This particular coffee that was given to me was Columbian medium roast. Each one of these pack contain three small packets of coffee and each small packet are for making 8oz cup of coffee.
/files/u14133/01012012156.jpg" width="375" height="500" />
The above is the claim stated by Starbucks' CEO about their Via coffee. (sorry, the cell phone image is not too sharp)
/files/u14133/01012012157.jpg" width="375" height="500" />
I must admit, the presentation is pretty nice!
/files/u14133/01012012158.jpg" width="375" height="500" />
Let see if the taste is worthy of the cool presentation!
So I followed the direction as stated, I boil up some fresh water in the microwave until boiling; then wait about a minute for the water to cool down (just like as if I'm brewing normal fresh coffee); open the packet (no need to use a cissor here as there is convinient tear mark on the packet) and did a sniff test (nothing spectacular, in fact kind of bland weak generic coffee smell). I used a scale to measure the amount of powder in the packet ( it was 3 grams) and then added exactly 8 ouces of hot water. Igave it a stir, and let it cool a little bit before going for the first sip.
I was not very excited about the aroma; in fact, there is very little aroma from this brew cup (not too surprising since this is instant). I think that even stale coffee beans from starbucks when brew smell much better than this. Going for the sip, I was not happy to find out that it was rather bland, bitterish and watery tasting. It was difficult for me to find any other taste; may be a little nuttiness but that it. I wanted to dump the coffee down the sink after that first sip but convinced myself to give it a fair assessement. I continue to drink the swill but it got worse as it cool (it got more bitter).
Overall, with all this marketing and testimony from Starbucks, I think that their Via line is nothing more than scam! Their claims are far far away from truth and at the end, VIA is just a really expensive instant coffee. I guess if people are into this instant coffee stuff, they better stick with cheaper stuff like Nestle (not that I tried it but I can't imagine it would get any worse). I have seen the VIA on sale in Starbucks' website for 12 packet for $10 and I feel like at that price, it is a ripoff! For that amount of money, you can buy specialty grade freshly roasted coffee here on Roaste (and if you have Prime, shipping is free!) and would be able to enjoy some of the finest coffee on the planet!
Comments will be approved before showing up.