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Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew by Starbucks Coffee

An instant brew coffee from Starbucks.

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Better than some brewed coffees, but still an instant coffee.

  • Sep 29, 2009
  • by
I've had the opportunity to try the Via - Italian Roast and Colombian several times over the period of 2 months, and I think it tastes better than some instant coffees and even some brewed coffees but it is eventually an instant coffee. It's nice for an on-the-go cup, a better experience than the burnt office coffee but there is no way it tastes like the freshly brewed Starbucks. I like the Colombian a little more than the Italian Roast but that may be just personal preference.

I do like my instant coffees, I've tried Nescafe Classico and Nescafe Taster's Choice. Taster's Choice has better aroma due to their special big grain technology and a sweeter flavor than Via. In my opinion, Nescafe is the best coffee to use to make an ice coffee or a coffee shake, or drink with lots of milk for a nightcap. Bru - another coffee available over the world - tastes more like brewed coffee and is closer in texture to Via, but I simply don't like the flavor and the aroma is not as strong. Via is better than Bru, as it has a nice aroma and blends easier than Taster's choice due to the fine powdery texture. But it is still an instant coffee, it is nothing like freshly brewed Starbucks' Pike's Roast, House Blend or Breakfast Blend.

I tried hard to get to like Via as it had the potential to be a convenient option, but it could not win over my taste buds. At its current price it costs almost a $1 a cup, so I'd rather stick with Nescafe which tastes great and drink fresh brewed Starbucks when I can. My office cafe offers freshly brewed Starbucks for less than a $1 anyway, or I have the choice of the single serve brew machines with some ok coffee (Java Delight). So I don't need to use instant coffee at work. At home I'd rather brew my favorite blend or just add some Nescafe to my milk drink. Given that, I don't have reason to buy Via. I do like the convenient Crystal Light type packaging and think it would be great for camping.

Great idea, but it's not the same Starbucks that you're used to every morning, and is a bit pricey for an instant.

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More Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew reviews
Quick Tip by . March 09, 2013
posted in Coffee Shop
I was given some as a gift and wasn't expecting much but it turned out pretty good. Not as good as a brewed cup but certainly much better than expected especially when you're in a hurry.
review by . October 22, 2009
Starbucks Via Ready Brew
I was given a free packet of the Starbucks VIA "Italian Roast" recently and was really hesitant to try it. In fact, I just put it in my cupboard for "emergency" purposes.  See, I have a cup of coffee in the morning before work... so I was thinking that it'd come in handy on a day that I was running late.  Well, last week the opportunity arose to try it out.  I have an instant hot water dispenser at home so I just tore open the package of Starbucks Via and added …
review by . December 27, 2009
posted in Coffee Shop
Pros: Taste, cost, convenience      Cons: none      The Bottom Line: We can get caffein just about anywhere, the picky coffee people turn to premium offerings and the Via Italian roast should please the picky.      With the apparent success of the Columbian version of Starbuck’s Via coffee, they have begun offering an Italian Roast option.      Italian roast is always extra bold. For any “extra” bold …
Quick Tip by . December 31, 2010
posted in Coffee Shop
I'm not a fan of Starbucks coffee. I like their Salted Caramel Hot Cocoas and Caramel Spiced Ciders but, their coffee has always been too much for me. Also, some inside info of how long they keep their brewed coffee burning turned me off it forever. So, my expectations for Via were LOWWWWWW. However, a friend of mine and I received some free samples when we bought our Salted Caramels. I just asked for a box since I'm the only coffee drinker in my house and like I said, LOW expectations. …
review by . November 25, 2009
posted in Coffee Shop
Pros: Cost, convenience      Cons: Currently only comes from Columbian beans, so no other choices      The Bottom Line: This isn't your grandfather's instant coffee.  I'm a total coffee snob and it passes my tongue.  Honestly, i wouldn't be able to tell it from a brewed cup of Columbian.      Last time I bought a pound of coffee at Starbucks, the barista gave me the 3 pack Via Instant coffee instead of the free …
review by . October 04, 2009
I was extremely skeptical about Starbucks Via Instant Coffee, but after trying it for a few days, I'm not pleasantly surprised and definitely convinced of this as a good alternative to other methods of preparing coffee. The one warning I have to offer is that you have to drink it quickly as the flavor degrades significantly with time. The taste is very good in the first 3-5 minutes, after that, it tastes like old coffee.     Could I tell the difference during Starbucks' Via Challenge? …
Quick Tip by . October 22, 2009
Instant Coffee that actually tastes good?? Yes, it's absolutely true. Leave it to Starbucks, eh?
About the reviewer
Anjana Nigam ()
Ranked #653
I spend way too much time shopping (online and offline) and writing reviews. Good thing that I work in retail too! When I am not on Lunch.com I like to read and try out new tech toys. I grew up in India … more
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About this product


Starbucks has found a way to offer a truly great cup of coffee that you can prepare by just adding water. Other instant coffees taste flat and lifeless. Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew is different – it’s full-bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks® coffee you know and love.

It’s made with the highest-quality, ethically sourced 100% arabica beans. The magic is in a proprietary, all-natural process that we spent years perfecting. We microgrind the coffee in a way that preserves all of their essential oils and flavor. No other coffee company takes this step, and it makes all the difference.

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