Instant Coffee in the Espresso lover’s house

The office has decided they are going green by having us bring our own mugs in And they do not want coffee grounds down the drain so no more fresh ground coffee in the maker or use of Presses. No matter how they ask, grounds from people’s Press’s still make it down the drain causing a clog and the folks downstairs end up getting wet from our backed up pipes.

Starbucks introducing their ‘Instant’ coffee is rather timely. Not that instant could possibly replace our fresh ground drip or Press… or could it? If you watch the ads, you might believe that your getting the same cup of coffee you would if you walked into the local corner Starbucks location and asked for a cup of drip coffee… all you need is hot water, a cup and some free WiFi.

The packaging is a switch from little envelopes to thin tubes… all inside of boxes carrying the usual look of the artwork in the Starbucks stores. If you visit the Starbucks Web site, they offer you a chance to give your views of their Instant. They also offer back a area of recipes you can make using a tube or two.

For a local ‘taste test’, I reached out to Brandy for her thoughts on the new Starbuck Instant – exchanging a few tubes of dried dark goodness for a few of her thoughts. Many thanks to her for jumping in with her insight!

“I was given a box of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Italian Roast (Extra Bold). In exchange, I was asked for a paragraph of my thoughts. Not a bad deal. Free coffee and a chance to give my opinion? Count me in!

Not being a coffee connoisseur (I have a regular Starbucks order and pretty much stick to it), I don’t know much about instant coffee… and the things I’ve heard are not good. I’ve heard that it can be weak, less-flavorful, and sometimes fails to dissolve. But, I figured if it was any of those things, I’d gotten it for free, even if it was swill!

However, as it turns out, it dissolved well in the water (I made mine with hot water, while the website boasts you can make it either hot or cold) and was actually more flavorful than the (Archer Farms) coffee I brewed at my house just yesterday! Starbucks calls their VIA “full-bodied” and I have to agree. Honestly, it was pretty strong! And, it wasn’t as bitter as some of the Starbucks drip coffee I’ve tried. There were no coffee grounds floating in my cup while drinking the coffee, although my last sip left a trail of small granules down the inside of my cup. (Never having had instant coffee, maybe this is typical for all of them. This would have been the only give-away on the Starbucks VIA Taste Challenge.) Would I drink VIA again? Yes, I would. Will it stop me from taking the trip to my local Starbucks once a week? Definitely not. It works well on-the-go (it’s fast and easy) and tastes pretty good… but, my friendly baristas would miss me. :-)”

So, coffee to go without the clean up or the atmosphere – looks like a box of tubes will be handy on my desk for those times too many people will catch me sneaking into the kitchen with my secret Press.

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