Review – Colombia* Starbucks VIA


Colombia Starbucks VIA
Single Serving Micro Ground – $Free
Seattle, WA

Bean: Micro ground to a powder as fine as Colombia’s other well known pick-me-up.

Aroma: After deciding to mix with hot water instead of snorting, I hovered, wafted and inhaled a somewhat surprising aroma. It was subtle and earthy, comforting like Grandpa’s sweater, but much more pleasant than the Folger’s he consumed. There was a hint of brightness that occasionally poked through the soft undertones of Mexican chocolate, like oranges married with a ripe hamper full of dirty clothes. I was convinced enough to give this blasphemous convenience a fair chance.

Taste: Sipping from a mug surviving the days when Starbucks actually used them, I was immediately impressed by the smooth, low acidic taste presented by this magical concoction. The shock of burnt grinds never came and the lack of flavor that most Kuerig cups embody was trumped by, well, flavor. The delicate tinge of chili powder seasoned every mouthful of this liquid trail mix, highlighting the rich presence of walnuts. If only it provided the same protein and essential fatty acids, I’d have myself a meal.

However, after my enjoyable stroll through the peanut gallery subsided, a pungent aftertaste took hold. Flashbacks of an older brother stuffing dirty socks in my mouth leapt to the forefront of  my conscious. I was forced to drink more just to mask the unsettling memory.

Overall, I am thunderstuck (cool word huh?) by the texture and taste of this instant coffee, one whose marketing budget may rival Avatar’s. I would prefer a cup of this over a fresh one of Pike Place any day, but that’s not saying much.

*I tried the Italian Roast as well, barely making it through half the cup. It tasted, as I imagine a musket full of gunpowder would; sharp, abrasive, and capable of fueling rockets during a Chinese New Year.

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  • Reply Mike Crimmins 12/29/2009 at 6:52 pm

    I tried the VIA a while ago, when it was first released in limited cities. I think it was April and my tastes have really changed since then, so I’d like to re-taste (not so much after reading your review) and see how it compares to the Nescafe instant coffee which I actually ended up liking.

  • Reply bwj 12/29/2009 at 8:22 pm

    I haven’t seen the Nescafe instant. Is it something you pick up in the grocery? Personally I’d rather go without coffee than drink instant, but I’ve seen so much of the Via I had to give it a taste.

  • Reply Get a whif of this « Dear Coffee, I Love You. | Caffeinated Inspiration. 04/01/2010 at 10:45 am

    […] (all the taste with less than 1 calorie), and now in coffee! I guess I don’t need to snort my Starbucks Via anymore, I can just inhale the 100mg of flavored caffeine from Le Whif. […]

  • Reply DCILY partners with Starbucks! « Dear Coffee, I Love You. | Caffeinated Inspiration. 05/28/2010 at 9:10 am

    […] share a customized mug of VIA with a friend. While I’m no fan of instant coffee, I did review VIA last December and it’s sadly, better than Starbucks drip coffee. But all of my […]

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