Has Starbucks VIA set the standard too high?

Brandy is back! After she her first Instant Coffee with the new Starbucks, I asked if she would take a look at some of the other options available in the little ‘easy carry’ options getting so popular these days. She did and…

In having the opportunity to try Nescafé Taster’s Choice single serve coffee packets, I realized that not all instant coffee is created equal. The single packet of 100% Columbian freeze-dried coffee, while convenient, provides only 6 ounces of coffee. Starbucks VIA makes 8 ounces and, for me, 2 ounces makes a huge difference. The Nescafé website even says, “If you want more than 6 ounces, you may need to use an extra stick.” True story. Unless you want to drink it from a thimble, you’ll probably want to use two packets. The Columbian brew was more than I bargained for. The texture was smooth (dissolved like a dream); the flavor was not. The flavor was definitely strong, but not what I would call “rich.” I found it overpowering, with a bitter after-taste that could only be called a “twang.” At first, I tried it only with sugar, but about halfway through my cup, I ended up with creamer that never really cut, but only competed with the intense flavor of the coffee. Since the flavor was so extreme, I wondered if the 6 ounces of water was an underestimate; it was not. Adding extra water only results in a watered-down cup of coffee. At 180 mg of caffeine, if you’re just looking for a quick jolt, a packet of Nescafé Taster’s Choice will get the job done. If you’re looking to enjoy a well-balanced, flavorful cup of coffee, I think you should look somewhere else.
Coffee cup