A Coffee Addict’s Product Review: Starbucks Via

I got a sample of the new Starbucks Via in the mail recently (from Walmart, no less).  And it’s Monday, and I’m sleepy and sluggish even though I didn’t stay up to watch “True Blood” (got it on the DVR for later).  So I decided to try it and see if the beverage tastes decent and gets me out of my Monday morning funk.

I heated some water in my Brittany mug (which features an adorable image of a puppy who resembles my beloved Rusty – hard to believe he’s been gone three years).  Then I added the Via, Italian Roast flavor.  It’s surprisingly powdery and fine.  I was expecting something more like Taster’s Choice, which always reminded me of small gravel.  It stirred in easily and produced a hot liquid of a promising-looking color.

Since Hubs used the last bit of cream in one of his culinary experiments, I had to add milk.  I used to drink my coffee black (you know, black like my soul), but I’m a crochety old woman with acid reflux now, so I must add some sort of dairy or non-dairy substitute (blech) to mellow it out.  Still no sugar – that’s just sick and wrong.

Anyway, I tried the stuff, and it’s not half bad.  I was kind of surprised.  It doesn’t taste great, like a real cup of high-quality coffee made with freshly ground beans, but it’s better than the stuff they always serve at church.  I wouldn’t mind drinking it again, actually, if presented with the opportunity.

When would I want to have a few packets of Via?  If I were visiting a non-coffee-drinking friend or relative, maybe staying with them for a few days, I would get it so I could have my morning fix.  Via is definitely better than the crap in hotels (the “reasonably priced” kind I frequent), either the hot brown water served at free continental breakfasts or the little packages that accompany the itty-bitty in-room coffee maker, so I would definitely pack Via to use in lieu of less desirable alternatives on a road trip.

But (of course there’s a but) I don’t see myself buying Starbucks Via for regular use.  Because I’m cheap, and I can make real coffee for myself for less money and a little more effort.  If I were working in an office, particularly one with horrid coffee, and if I weren’t so cheap, I would probably keep it on hand.  Since I’m not working outside the home any more, however, I’ll stick with the real stuff.  It tastes better, so why go for the pale substitute when I can have the real thing?  And if I make a pot, that means multiple cups all for me until I become a jittery, frenetic mess.

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