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Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

13 reviews
5-star:   9
4-star:   1
3-star:   2
2-star:   1
1-star:   0
8

I'm a recovering coffee snob who, in previous years,…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $7.95 for 12 packets

Summary

I'm a recovering coffee snob who, in previous years, would have rather drank mud from a puddle than instant coffee of any brand. Those days are over.

Pros

  • Miniscule packing size
  • Not hideously expensive
  • Tastes great!

Alright, I'll admit it. I'm a coffee snob. My grounds of choice come from Peet's Coffee, and I take great pride in brewing a full-bodied cuppa Joe, whether I'm at home or out in the wilderness.

Over the years I've used espresso makers for backpacking, drip filter holders of all shapes and sizes, the Aero Press system (still a great way to brew, BTW) and good old Cowboy coffee. I will also admit to an aversion to anything from Starbuck's. All of that has changed since I tried the Via instant coffees. 

My youngest daughter brought some home one evening, and hounded me for an hour to give one of them a go, and I did so just to get her to ease up. I'm glad I did!  This stuff, while not as rich and full-bodied as a good cup of home brew, is pretty damned close, and it comes in the smallest, easiest-to-pack setup available.  Genius! 

My camping coffee kit now consists of about 1/10th of what it did 6 months ago, and that can only be a good thing. My wife and I are taking a 3-week,  6,000-mile motorcycle trip this summer, and we'll camp for at least two of those weeks. Space will be at a premium, and the Starbuck's Via has just given me a nice little chunk to work with. 

There are few pleasures in life greater than watching the sun rise over glorious mountain peaks on a cold morning while sipping a steaming hot cup of ebony goodness.  Makes me smile just to think about it!

FromSagetoSnow

I like these too, they seem to pack more caffeine than regular coffee. I find them on the bitter side for my taste but you can't beat the size and its WAY more like real coffee than other instant.


1 year ago
Ben Cerise

Bigger Al. We must be blood (coffee) relatives. I saw this coffee at Costco and was thinking of trying it. Thought I'd be waisting my money, so after ten minutes of trying to make a decision and getting funny looks from people while I talked to the coffee and myself (only got replies from myself) i put it down, because I know better. After reading your review, I will live with regret until I go back and make the purchase. Thanks for being a fearless pioneer and for your review!


1 year ago
bigger al

I'm no fan of Starbuck's coffee, and I'll be the first to admit it. I find the stuff that they sell in their shops to be bitter, over-roasted, and burnt. The Via is so much better tasting that I had a hard time at first believing that it came from Starbuck's. Give it a go, Ben; you won't be disappointed!


1 year ago
Ben Cerise

Thanks!


1 year ago
bamabob

Nice Review! I'm sold on Via, too. As family tent campers, my wife/I always had brought our favorite coffee from home and went to great extents to brew 'home-like' coffee at camp. Even to the point of taking extensions cords to 'borrow' power fro nearby rv sites or carrying coffee makers over to power sources! Then, the coleman brewer that works with the camp stoves. Now the Via ... I'm not a big fan of Starbucks either, Big Al. And to be honest, all instant coffee just tastes instant to me, period, and typically does a number on my stomach. But the Via is very comparable to my home coffee and oh, so easy. A nice thermos like from Hydro Flask full of hot water, a couple/three Via and you have hot coffee all day!


1 year ago
Ben Cerise

A long overdue reply to Bigger Al, as a non Starbucks fan, yet an avid coffee drinker, you were correct. Hands down the best (is it really?) Instant coffee on the planet! I worked on fire crew here in MT this summer and believe I turned the entire Forest Service on to this coffee. No one can believe its instant. Thanks again for your review!


6 months ago
bigger al

Thank you for your service on the fire crew, Ben!! I've lived all of my life in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, and fire danger is always front and center. People like you who are willing to put it on the line are true national treasures.


6 months ago
Ben Cerise

All, don't mean to mislead, my part was microscopic on fires here in MT. Just set up operations HQ tents for officials to work in. I'm not a firefighter by any stretch. Those are the ones who are great!


6 months ago
G00SE

Not a StarBURNT fan, but I'll give this a try, based on your recommendation. Thanks!


6 months ago
Ben Cerise

go for it goose! definatley worth the $. P.S. i dont care much for the MEGA oversized costco/starbucks tripple layer (companies should be fined for) overpackaging. but, by far, the best instant coffee......ever!


6 months ago
0

Great Taste, "land" Filling. Could have something…

Rating: rated 2.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $12.99

Summary

Great Taste, "land" Filling.

Pros

  • Taste
  • Taste
  • Taste

Cons

  • Giant blister packaging
  • Then a second layer before the final packaging

Could have something to do with Starbucks deal w/Costco, I don't know. These tiny packs of coffee make a wonderful, delightful, full bodied cup of brew that doesn't taste instant. The coffee itself gets 5 stars.

Wasteful giant Costco style mega blister pack, then repackaged in groups of three inside that package...I'll bet the two layers of exterior packaging outweighs the little packs 2:1.

Anyway, tastes good! Starbucks gets zero stars for considering the environment.

1

These are tiny and pack very light. They make a nice…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $9

Summary

These are tiny and pack very light. They make a nice strong cup of coffee.

Pros

  • The coffee is strong.
  • They are convenient.
  • They make a full cup of coffee (not a tiny one).

Cons

  • The coffee is strong.
  • $$$

I really love these instant coffee packs. They make a very strong cup of coffee. This really works well for me, because while I don't like my coffee as strong as these tend to be, I can make a cup of coffee in a large mug. There's nothing worse than not having enough coffee to kick start the day, and when I use one of these in a large mug with some extra water and some powedered milk, it makes a very nice, full cup of coffee.

I normally use instant coffee when I'm trying to pack a little lighter, and these will put you into a higher coffee bracket.

The only thing I don't like, is that you can only buy them in those tiny pouches. I would prefer to buy a jar of it, and then pack enough for me and my wife in a small plastic container or a ziploc. It's annoying and a waste of packaging to pack it in all those tiny pouches.

0

Starbucks taste good on a regular day... Starbucks…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: received it as a personal gift (Starbucks)

Summary

Starbucks taste good on a regular day... Starbucks is AMAZING first thing in the morning after hiking all day and camping out all night.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Great taste

Cons

  • A dollar a cup

A taste of civilization in the backcountry. If you can boil water, you can easily have a great coffee in the morning before your next day of hiking. This is a lightweight compact treat to help keep morale high.

0

This has worked extremely well on my last handfull…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $10/10 packets

Summary

This has worked extremely well on my last handfull of adventures. I used to swear by the French Press in my JetBoil, and the coffee that produces does taste a lot better. But now I'm just boiling up some water and pouring it in my mug. Perfect for lightweight, late risers.

Pros

  • Packaged in individual servings
  • Tastes good
  • Very little prep time

Cons

  • Small amount of trash to pack out

I've always been a bit of a coffee snob. Which is why I'm so surprised with how good these little packets of freeze-dried (?) instant coffee taste. I know the price is quite high, but the convenience factor with the individual packets may make it worthwhile.

3

I am a coffee snob. If you've ever had instant coffee,…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $3 /3pack

I am a coffee snob. If you've ever had instant coffee, forget that traumatic experience; this stuff is actually pretty good.

Perfect for camping and backpacking, great taste.

0

Fast and easy caffeine that tastes good and weighs…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $7 for 8 packets

Summary

Fast and easy caffeine that tastes good and weighs nada.

Pros

  • fast and easy caffeine that tastes good and weighs nada

Cons

  • ? tad pricey

PV=nRT  OK, for you non-scientists, this means that at different Pressure(s) and Volumes, the temperature will vary.

As P increases, as it will at higher elevations, T decreases. Water at 7000' and higher does not boil at a sufficient temperature to extract caffeine from ground coffee. Oy! Via is a nice alternative

2

I am a "one cup a day" guy, a good morning jolt is…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $5

I am a "one cup a day" guy, a good morning jolt is all I need. These little packets provide plenty of punch, and with its contents darn near atomized it can be mixed cold if need be. I pack these now on every journey.

Since I can be satisfied with coffee from Denny's, IHOP etc. I am no snob, but they taste good to me!

2

Fantastic!! This is instant coffee for coffee lovers.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $3/3

Fantastic!! This is instant coffee for coffee lovers. Actual strong coffee on the trail.

I've tried many other instant coffees before and they all fall very short of real flavor. Even putting double in was no help, well not anymore, one packet per cup for strong coffee.

2

I really love coffee, and I especially love the visceral…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: Gift

I really love coffee, and I especially love the visceral experience of a beautiful place with decent eats when I am out backpacking.

The Via is a reasonable substitute for the Melita/grounds that I have carried for miles. Minimal waste, extreme ease, decent taste, no fuss--for what I miss a little bit in flavor, I will not trade back for the hassle of making coffee again.

I like the Italian roast best. It is not as full and robust as a classically brewed or pressed coffee, but it's very drinkable. I even took it on vacation to my brother's house because I will drink instant Via a 100 times before I want to choke down classic tinned coffee...

All in all, well worth the convenience.

Update: January 15, 2011

Starbucks has released the French Roast--this instant to me is VASTLY better than the other two flavors, neither of which I minded.

The French Roast is a very tasty drink--for ease, convenience, flavor, weight--this blends tops each of the categories!

2

This is by far the “BOMB.” De-caf or full strength…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: around $4 for 4

This is by far the “BOMB.” De-caf or full strength it is awesome in taste and aroma. I buy the big pack of 12 and always have it with me you can add a little swiss-miss into it for a café-mocha. I drink it and cook with it makes killer red-eye gravy or add some to some pinto beans or chick peas. Bottom line it taste great, easy to pack, easy to make.

2

Just in time for my UL Ozark Trail hike, Starbucks…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $9.95 + S/H

Just in time for my UL Ozark Trail hike, Starbucks introduced, online and in a few urban markets, VIA instant coffee. I had a gift card to burn, so I thought I'd try it.

I'm never packing a percolator, press-plunger, or filter basket again. Ever.

Packaged in single-serving sized foil envelopes, the instant coffee powder is mixed into boiling water, and done.

Starbucks VIA wins on 5 of 5 critical standards: weight, space, space, maintenance, taste, and price.

ULTRALIGHT: Each coffee packet weighs less than half an ounce.

SPACE: Completely unnoticed.

LOW MAINTENANCE: No dishes except your cup.

TASTE: Very good. On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being "nothing like brewed Starbucks" and 10 being "exactly like brewed Starbucks," VIA is a 9. It has even fooled taste testers.

PRICE: VIA is $0.83 per 8 oz. cup of coffee. If you're already inclined to pay for expensive coffee, this is a big time bargain.

0

Perfect for backpacking trips. I use this for all…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: about $1 depending on quantity purchased

Summary

Perfect for backpacking trips.

Pros

  • Great taste and several varieties
  • Extremely small and light weight
  • Easy to use—just add hot water
  • No muss, no fuss and no pot/filter/press to carry

I use this for all my camping trips even the car camping ones that I could take a percolator.  No extra equipment to take and clean, just add hot water and you're good to go. 

The taste is great and there are several varieties/flavors available. Easily purchased in grocery stores. I've even used it at home when I ran out of regular coffee.

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Starbucks VIA Ready Brew

previously retailed for:
$2.95 - $13.99

The Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen June 6, 2013 at REI.

If you're looking for a new coffee, check out the best reviewed current models.