Starbucks Via Ready Brew is Starbucks’ instant coffee product line. It is by far the most popular instant coffee product based on the number of reviews on Amazon.
The VIA range has four classic flavors, Colombia, French Roast, Italian Roast and Italian Decaf. There are also other more niche or seasonal flavors such as peppermint mocha and Christmas blend.
Let’s see if its popularity is justified!
My Starbucks Via Review
As you can see from the picture, I am reviewing the Colombia medium roast. Starbucks VIA is packaged exclusively in individual sachets unlike most of the other instant coffee brands on review which come in jars. Individually packed serving usually mean higher costs but the advantages are that the coffee remains sealed, preserving it’s freshness and is convenient for travel.
On the inside flap of the package is great sounding spiel from the chairman, president and CEO. “We believe you should never be without great coffee. For almost 20 years, we’ve tried to capture a perfect cup of Starbucks coffee in an instant and microground form, and I’m proud to say that we’ve finally found a away. When you taste Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, I’m confident you’ll agree. Enjoy.”
Emptying the content of a sachet, reveals that this is a spray dried instant coffee. You can tell as spray drying produces a fine coffee powder while freeze drying results in larger coffee granules. As per instructions on the package, I measured exactly 180 ml or 6 oz of hot water. The aroma is faint but similar in character to what you would smell from a brewed coffee from a Starbucks cafe.
There is only a slight acidity so the coffee is quite flat. In terms of body I found it to be rather heavy. Certainly heavier than most of the Starbucks coffee of the day I have ordered. Of course this can be easily adjusted by adding more water than the 6 oz (180 ml) stated on the package.
First let me state that I am personally not a big fan or customer of Starbucks. I like a strong dark roast and also enjoy milder coffee, but I find Starbucks coffee too bitter. Their instant coffee likewise tastes very similar to regular Starbucks brew. It also leaves a bitter though not unpleasant aftertaste on the tongue.
One other point of note is that although it is low acidity in the mouth (in terms of sharpness), it seems to actually be quite acidic as I could feel it’s effects in my stomach a few minutes after drinking half a cup. So if you have gastro-intestinal sensitivity just be aware if you drink it black on an empty stomach.
Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is similar in many ways to the brewed coffee sold in their cafes. So if you like the typical Starbucks, this would certainly be a VIAble option. It is not the cheapest instant coffee, but is still very popular, probably due to the brand name and the fact that many people are used to and like Starbucks coffee.
For Starbucks fans and those who have a preference for a coffee taste that leans towards bitter, the cost per pack/cup is 59.9 cents, which is what a single sachet costs, from Amazon.