Saturday, May 29, 2010

Starbucks VIA

The idea of instant Starbucks coffee seemed an anathema.  Repeat: an anathema.  Good phrase.  But I digress.  If Starbucks is serious about coffee, roasting, freshness, presentation, all that sort of alchemy that makes the brew what it is, how can they introduce instant coffee?

I like Starbucks better than most coffees, but I really appreciate the micro-roasts and all that.  I am not a coffee fanatic or snob, but I avoid instant in this country at all costs.  In the US market, instant is nothing like the instants available in Europe and other parts of the world.  Nor is the market as big.  So, being a willing consumer of instant coffee when traveling abroad, I was hoping for a great product with VIA.

I took the taste test, and could discern the difference, I preferred VIA less, but just.  It is definitely worthy of the Starbucks brand.  The idea of a great instant in the kind of uber-convenient package that we use when traveling France is one I appreciate.

VIA is used to make the iced coffee drinks you enjoy at Starbucks.  Surprise.

The process for making VIA is patented, of course, but it focuses on quality, suffering low yield gladly to attain flavor.  A portion of VIA is micro-ground coffee beans.  That explains the bit of grit that reminds me of the sludge in the bottom of my French press method coffee.  But more important, there are no chemicals used, so no chemical taste other than what the bean and roasting contributes.

I suggest you add some VIA to your pantry for use in cooking, and for taking on the road.  You never know when a Starbucks or other great coffee shop is going to be out of reach in the early morning, and VIA is preferable to the coffee provided in hotel rooms.

Oh, and the ultra tech Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Tumbler helps.  If only it made a cool air powered ka-chunk sound and auto loaded VIA packets like a pump shotgun!  I would wear it in a holster with a bandolier of VIA packets.


Ted Amadeus said...

Stop it Paul, you're getting me all excited!
I love that place, and imagine their quick-brew is probably better than Taster's Choice (the only instant I can even stand).
Gonna hafta try now, since you're joining the general buzz of my friends raving about it.

Paul said...

Thanks Ted, it will never replace good brewed coffee, but is preferable to bad brewed coffee, bad instant coffee, and no coffee!