February 17, 2009

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee - Great Taste? Free Samples


This had better be good; Starbucks Via, an instant coffee that is unlike other instant coffees because it tastes good? Starbucks, at their website, compares their new Via Instant coffee to other instant coffees that use the old processes that strip out the flavor and aroma out of the bean.... (Um, excuse me, isn't that what you want; take the flavor part and leave the bean part? Put flavor part in cup and add water?)

Starbucks of course has the new process that actually micro grinds the bean and has you put it in the cup and drink it; um, so a cup for of coffee grounds mixed with hot water is better? Actually, it should be and could rival brewed coffee. I mentioned this technology last week when I first wrote about Via, but I will say that I have seen this technology where micro ground coffee - think really really small is suspended in hot water adding flavor and body to the cup. The richness of a lot of drinks is about mouthfeel as much as it is about flavor, and the micro particles here may help provide both. You may think that Starbucks is nuts to get into Instant Coffee - but somewhere north of a third of the coffee drinkers out there drink an instant coffee beverage; it's not either instant or ground and no cross-over. Think about all of those instant coffee drinks and "Cappuccino's" that get made out of the hot chocolate machines in the convenience stores. Now whether of not these folks want a Starbucks straight coffee is a different story.

Ether way, you should decide for yourself and get a Free Sample over at the Starbucks website. I'll write up my impressions when I get mine. You can also pre-order your Starbucks Via, and it will ship about March 3rd.

Via Comes in:

Starbucks Via Italian Roast Coffee, Italian Roast

- "A big, bold, full-bodied cup of coffee, with an aroma that lingers all day."

Starbucks Via Colombia Coffee, Colombia

- "The rich and smooth aroma of a real cup of coffee. Because that's what it is."

UPDATE: Check out this early reaction from the UK's Guardian - Not so great.
Fast Company Magazine did an un-scientific taste test among staffers with their samples, and the "Staff Java Junkies" ranked the Via highly in a blind tasting vs. Starbucks brewed coffee.

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Posted by Scott Martin at February 17, 2009 5:06 PM
Recent Comments

Every other instant coffee on the market is freeze-dried to "lock in the flavors".

Starbucks does something new called "micro-grinding" the coffee beans. This hasn't been seen before in the instant coffee world as long as I've been drinking instant coffee. The coffee drinker gets the entire contents of the bean in the drink, and drinks it all. Is that healthy?

In response to this apparently another high quality coffee went instant. www.instantcoffee.mobi and www.mulvadi.mobi are also selling 100% instant kona coffee at roughly 30 cents per cup.

Posted by: Zeb at March 4, 2009 8:59 PM
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