Starbucks VIA: Bringing new meaning to your fast-paced life

StarbucksVIA
As I was getting off the elevators at an Austin hotel on Tuesday morning at 7:30 am, I was reminded of this photo I took on Saturday at the Almaden Starbucks.

Saturday, I had met my aunt for a chat over two skinny cafe lattes. The Starbucks was so abuzz with activity that we decided to pull two chairs and sit at the very edge of the sidewalk curb so we could catch the last of the summer sun on an otherwise chilly fall day. I was puzzled at the VIA instant coffee being promoted because wasn’t Starbucks about the experience?
Fast-forward to Tuesday morning as I was heading down from my room to the conference to present on the ‘Lessons from Social Media for Government Agencies’, I bumped into a woman who already had a Venti Starbucks in her hand.

I made a friendly comment that I was impressed with her foraging skills so early in the morning. This prompted her to smile and give precise details on how from the front of the hotel you could stumble your way to the nearest Starbucks. Yes, she is probably the target market for the latest in convenience and instant gratification.

Me: “Have you tried the Starbucks VIA? Seems it was made for someone like you.”
Women: “Oh, my friends just bought me some!”
Me: “Oh.”

Of course, her friends had already gotten to her. I haven’t tried it yet. I wonder if you needed an instant shot of alertness, could you just drink it in its concentrated form? Or perhaps bartenders are already trying out fancy mixed drinks with it. Or maybe poured on top of a rich scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ah, these ideas must be music to Starbucks’ ears.

P.S. Dear Starbucks, I do find it annoying your website where people can add comments and photos ONLY has positive reviews…hmmm…

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  • Carl

    I tried VIA at the local Starbugs due to the determined persistence of the cashier who must be getting paid based on how many customers she could get to actually taste it. I'm a self-admitted coffee snob: particular about what beans, how my shots are drawn, and how my milk is foamed. Starbugs is a compromise between convenience and good taste. Wrt VIA it is clearly better than most instant coffee but on my scale of a decent coffee experience it is still "jus de chaussette".

    • I still haven't tried it yet to weigh in on this but will try one of these days. It's just that if I am at a Starbucks, I am tempted just to order their tried and true stuff rather than venture to something that most would admittedly say is on par or below.

      Convenience true. Although I take the opportunity when I am not around a ready source of coffee to try to wean myself off of it a bit. I have my fourth year university thesis partner to blame for my caffeine addiction.

  • Carl

    I tried VIA at the local Starbugs due to the determined persistence of the cashier who must be getting paid based on how many customers she could get to actually taste it. I'm a self-admitted coffee snob: particular about what beans, how my shots are drawn, and how my milk is foamed. Starbugs is a compromise between convenience and good taste. Wrt VIA it is clearly better than most instant coffee but on my scale of a decent coffee experience it is still "jus de chaussette".

    • I still haven't tried it yet to weigh in on this but will try one of these days. It's just that if I am at a Starbucks, I am tempted just to order their tried and true stuff rather than venture to something that most would admittedly say is on par or below.

      Convenience true. Although I take the opportunity when I am not around a ready source of coffee to try to wean myself off of it a bit. I have my fourth year university thesis partner to blame for my caffeine addiction.

  • Carl

    I tried VIA at the local Starbugs due to the determined persistence of the cashier who must be getting paid based on how many customers she could get to actually taste it. I'm a self-admitted coffee snob: particular about what beans, how my shots are drawn, and how my milk is foamed. Starbugs is a compromise between convenience and good taste. Wrt VIA it is clearly better than most instant coffee but on my scale of a decent coffee experience it is still "jus de chaussette".

    • I still haven't tried it yet to weigh in on this but will try one of these days. It's just that if I am at a Starbucks, I am tempted just to order their tried and true stuff rather than venture to something that most would admittedly say is on par or below.

      Convenience true. Although I take the opportunity when I am not around a ready source of coffee to try to wean myself off of it a bit. I have my fourth year university thesis partner to blame for my caffeine addiction.

  • Carl

    I tried VIA at the local Starbugs due to the determined persistence of the cashier who must be getting paid based on how many customers she could get to actually taste it. I'm a self-admitted coffee snob: particular about what beans, how my shots are drawn, and how my milk is foamed. Starbugs is a compromise between convenience and good taste. Wrt VIA it is clearly better than most instant coffee but on my scale of a decent coffee experience it is still "jus de chaussette".

    • I still haven't tried it yet to weigh in on this but will try one of these days. It's just that if I am at a Starbucks, I am tempted just to order their tried and true stuff rather than venture to something that most would admittedly say is on par or below.

      Convenience true. Although I take the opportunity when I am not around a ready source of coffee to try to wean myself off of it a bit. I have my fourth year university thesis partner to blame for my caffeine addiction.

  • Al Graichen

    When in the Baja, the trade off between local Cafe Americano and Via makes Via the hands down winner. You just need to be certain you get ALL the elixer out of the tube (wash it out with a little hot water, and DON'T use an ounce more than the recommended 8 ounces of hot water per tube.

    • I find it a little amusing that Starbuck's in store coffee starts at the "tall" size of 12 oz and moves quickly up from there, yet their VIA format recommends 8 oz. I am all for smaller portion sizes, however, after Starbucks has trained us to gulp down Venti, I wonder if they are looking for consumers to double up on their tubes of this stuff.

  • Al Graichen

    When in the Baja, the trade off between local Cafe Americano and Via makes Via the hands down winner. You just need to be certain you get ALL the elixer out of the tube (wash it out with a little hot water, and DON'T use an ounce more than the recommended 8 ounces of hot water per tube.

    • I find it a little amusing that Starbuck's in store coffee starts at the "tall" size of 12 oz and moves quickly up from there, yet their VIA format recommends 8 oz. I am all for smaller portion sizes, however, after Starbucks has trained us to gulp down Venti, I wonder if they are looking for consumers to double up on their tubes of this stuff.

  • Al Graichen

    When in the Baja, the trade off between local Cafe Americano and Via makes Via the hands down winner. You just need to be certain you get ALL the elixer out of the tube (wash it out with a little hot water, and DON'T use an ounce more than the recommended 8 ounces of hot water per tube.

    • I find it a little amusing that Starbuck's in store coffee starts at the "tall" size of 12 oz and moves quickly up from there, yet their VIA format recommends 8 oz. I am all for smaller portion sizes, however, after Starbucks has trained us to gulp down Venti, I wonder if they are looking for consumers to double up on their tubes of this stuff.

  • Al Graichen

    When in the Baja, the trade off between local Cafe Americano and Via makes Via the hands down winner. You just need to be certain you get ALL the elixer out of the tube (wash it out with a little hot water, and DON'T use an ounce more than the recommended 8 ounces of hot water per tube.

    • I find it a little amusing that Starbuck's in store coffee starts at the "tall" size of 12 oz and moves quickly up from there, yet their VIA format recommends 8 oz. I am all for smaller portion sizes, however, after Starbucks has trained us to gulp down Venti, I wonder if they are looking for consumers to double up on their tubes of this stuff.