Starbucks VIA Tastes Okay, but It’s Still A Rip-Off
Coffee isn’t really my thing. I drink one cup per day at the most and sometimes just 2 or 3 per week. I’m the wrong guy to ask when it comes to the subtle textures and aromas of coffee. I do however know what good coffee tastes like and what bad coffee tastes like. Most coffee for me lies right in between, in the area where it just doesn’t make a difference. Starbucks VIA is in that spot. It’s coffee and it doesn’t taste horrible. End of story, end of the taste review.
What is Starbucks VIA, and is it Worth the Cost?
It’s those little packets of instant coffee that Starbucks has been selling at about 3 dollars for a package of three. Actually, according to their packaging, it’s a blend of micro-ground Arabica coffee and instant coffee. In other words, it’s really easy to produce because it’s either cheap ol’ instant coffee or regular coffee that’s ground on a finer setting than espresso. They say that there are no other ingredients. So that’s it; there is absolutely nothing special about it whatsoever. The price is what makes it special, and not in a good way. Regular Starbucks coffee is already pretty expensive at around 12 dollars per pound. VIA is three tiny little packets (each one makes an 8 oz cup) totaling 9.9 grams. Do the math and you’ll see that you’re getting 2.2 percent of a pound of coffee for 3 dollars. If their normal coffee were priced the same it would cost 135 dollars per pound, and they’ll grind it for you for free (isn’t that nice?).
Does it Save Time?
Yes, it saves 4 minutes. 4 minutes is how long it takes for a French press to do it’s job. Oh, and maybe another 20 seconds for the time it takes to rinse out the press. If you don’t have 4 minutes in the morning to make a good cup of coffee, and you’re so hooked on coffee that you don’t mind spending 135 dollars per lb on it, I’d like to meet you because you’re a pretty interesting person. There is, however, one legitimate use for these packets – hotel stays. VIA packets are completely worth the price if you’re in a hotel for a few days and you hate using those crappy little coffee machines as much as most of us do. Yes, hotels are a legitimate use, but I can’t think of any other reason people could justify the expense. The time savings aren’t huge, the cost is ridiculous, and it tastes only moderately better than Nescafe. Like I said, it takes a special sort of person to buy these for daily use.