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Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew by Starbucks Coffee

An instant brew coffee from Starbucks.

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Finally! Instant Coffee that doesn't taste like "Instant Coffee"

  • Oct 22, 2009
  • by

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 hot water.  I also added milk and sugar (I know you really don't need the details, but I'm a detail oriented guy).  Anyways, I took a sip and actually did a double take.  I thought perhaps I was losing my mind because the instant coffee actually tasted good!  I mean, it was kind of a revelation because I've never had instant coffee that I've actually enjoyed.  I was drinking it merely to "wake up" and hadn't even thought that it may actually be a delicious experience... but it was. There was no weird "after-taste" at all! 

Now, I'm not a Starbucks "Fan Boy" or anything. I actually very rarely go to Starbucks.  I prefer to brew my own Coffee and my favorites are "Peets Coffee" and "Seattles Best". With that said, this stuff is pretty damn good for "Instant" Coffee.  I mean, I don't think you would even be able to tell that it was instant.   The only other similar product out there is "Nescafe Taster's Choice" packets of instant coffee.  I recieved free samples of these to review too, and I honestly have to say that it tasted like a big cup of "crappola"!  I mean, it had the worst aftertaste... a familiar instant coffee trait.  So that's why I think this product from Starbucks deserves some recognition.  The only negative I can say about this product is that it's pretty darn expensive for "instant" coffee at about a buck a packet.  One packet makes a cup of coffee.  Then again, this would be amazing to have on a camping trip.

-Good tasting coffee with No bad After-taste. Beats other instant coffee... hands down!
-small powdered packets are perfect for travel... just add water. one pack, per cup.

-Expensive... nearly a buck a cup


As a "freeze-drying" technician... I'm happy that they finally got their formula right.  I know first-hand how complex this process can be. This coffee is a product of "freeze-dried" perfection :)

I haven't seen this product at regular grocery stores yet. I've only seen it on Amazon.com but I'm guessing it's also available at any Starbucks Coffee. If anyone can verify this, please post in comments. Thanks!


Starbucks Via Ready Brew

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February 13, 2010
I got my samples when they did the VIA promotion taste test - even took photos! Most of the managers didn't explain exactly what the product is - it is actually real ground coffee, ground so fine that it dissolves in hot water. Which is probably why they do not really call it 'Instant Coffee' but 'Ready Brew'. Wish it was less expensive.
October 25, 2009
I actually thought this was ok, but was way better than the coffee we have for free at work (which tastes like gun oil). It is hecka expensive but I get hooked up with the Starbucks employees 40% discount.
October 22, 2009
Just got a packet of this from a friend and haven't really felt like trying it (assuming it was nasty instant coffee). After reading your review I'm more inclined to try it. Convenience factor is big on this one, if it really is good. I usually stash some tea bags in my purse; now I could do the same with coffee.thx for the review!
October 23, 2009
No problem, let me know what you think of the coffee after you've tried it.
October 22, 2009
I'm kind of a Starbucks fan girl, so I'm looking forward to trying this.  Glad that it gets your approval!  Do you know if this is available in a container that I can scoop out of, or are they only available in individual packets?
October 22, 2009
This is only available as packets as far as I know. Also, because this is brand new, I think it's only available on "Amazon" and probably in a "Starbucks Coffee". I looked for it in regular grocery stores and it was nowhere to be found.
October 22, 2009
Thanks for the heads up! :)
October 22, 2009
Glad you gave the "Non-Starbucks-Boy" disclaimer! Maybe i'll look into it, thanks!
October 22, 2009
No problemo :) I love coffee... it makes me happy, lol.
More Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew reviews
Quick Tip by . March 09, 2013
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 . December 27, 2009
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
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
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? …
review by . September 29, 2009
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 …
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
Duc Truong ()
Ranked #65
I'm a man with many hobbies. I work a full-time job in the field of 'Lyophilization' for a small Pharmacuetical company. It's a dream job because it gives me lots of days off to pursue … 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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