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Starbucks Instant Coffee Rorschach Test

Starbuck's New Instant Coffee

I was skeptical. My wife came home today with a packet of instant coffee from Starbucks claiming that she couldn’t tell the difference between it and fresh brewed coffee.Then she showed me the little packet it comes in, and I¬†thought, could this mean good coffee on the trail?

Later in the afternoon, we went out for pizza and we stopped into a Starbucks so I could take the taste test. I was blown away. The Italian roast is a riveting shot of bold caffeine. Lovely stuff, but a bit on the pricey side. A 3 pack costs $2.95 and a 12 pack costs $10.95. Still, this might make an excellent pick me up for winter backpacking and alpine starts.

Starbucks Microground Instant Coffee

Starbuck’s claim is that this coffee tastes great when added to hot water, cold water, and hot or cold milk. The secret is microground coffee which is extra fine – even finer than powdery espresso, so that the coffee completely dissolves when added to liquid. Unlike other instant coffees, VIA is just coffee, with no additives or additional chemicals. Just pure 100% roasted coffee, in Italian Roast and Columbian.

So what does that blot of coffee powder remind you of? A clown…?

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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  1. I've enjoyed a cup of this variety of Starbucks but I must say, for far less cost you can go to your local purveyor of coffee and order up beans that are Turkish ground and experience a very similar sensation – – and without the wasteful individual packaging. So, you might say the Rorschach test reminds me of a dollar sign.

  2. Looks sort of like a scorpion to me.

  3. The Rorschach coffee spread looks like an early clay fertility goddess. Instant expresso by Medaglia d'Oro is pretty good.

  4. I took a three-pack out on a Cub Scout campout this weekend. Usually we only have a couple of coffee drinkers (heresy!) but everyone wanted to taste the new instant Starbucks coffee. One said it tasted metallic, the other couldn't finish their cup and the third said it was fantastic. Since there are only three in a three-pack, I still haven't tasted it.

    But 67% of our tasters wouldn't try again….

  5. My father-in-law is always pushing the instant espresso on me. I think it's been in their kitchen for 15 years. Tastes worse than dirt.

  6. Am I the only one who sees a person's hand "telling me I am # 1"?

    I guess I drive in Boston traffic way too much.

  7. I guess so. My wife saw a sumo wrestler. I think it's looks like a person training a dog now.

  8. Colonel Sanders weilding a chicken drumstick.

    I've been converted to this coffee, it's just really difficult to get hold of in the UK. I've got some from ebay and it satisfies my morning caffeine desires admirably.

  9. I'll have to look at the markup on ebay – might be worth starting a little import business until Starbucks get's their distribution act together….nice to have you oot and aboot!

  10. It's available from a few of the larger Starbucks in London, but being in Inverness that's not much use! I forgot that you were over here recently or I would have asked you to smuggle a shipment over….

  11. I think it taste pretty good! Good enough, that I will leave my Coffee press attachment home on my next trip.

    It looks like a schnauzer's head to me.

  12. Coffee should not be instant, it should steep and be enjoyed.

  13. I've been waiting since spring to get this coffee at my local Starbucks. Finally last week it arrived. I like the taste and it's very convenient at work.

    Phil, Starbucks was doing taste testing in certain markets since last spring (not my market of course…ugh), I'm sure it will be available in your local Starbucks soon.

    I think it looks like a waste of coffee…hehe.

  14. A Starbucks near my house was giving these away as a promotion. When the lady at the counter asked if I'd like to take a few, I asked if I could have about 15 more. She looked at me funny, but when I told her I was gonna to try them out on a 5 day backpacking trip, she gladly gave me the extras.

    I consider myself to be somewhat of a coffee snob and wouldn't usually consider instant coffee, but these turned out to be better than I anticipated. I thought they tasted good and the preparation/cleanup is great. I don't think I would ever use these at home, but on the trail, I think I'll be using these. Now I've just got to find a good powdered creamer.

  15. The coffee spread looks like a Rubenesque version of a Neanderthal diva. We have always thought that the instant Starbucks is best focused on the UK market. Fresh brewed always, instant only at the end of days.

    – David

  16. "We have always thought that the instant Starbucks is best focused on the UK market" – then they should roll it out everywhere immediately. I'm running low!

  17. They're advertising it on the radio in the states now.

  18. is therer any source in europe to buy this instant coffe per internet


  19. ebay is your friend!

  20. Here is a link on the Starbucks UK site. http://starbucks.co.uk/en-GB/_Worlds+Best+Coffee/… It does not look like Starbucks ships in either the UK or EU.

    – David

  21. During the taste test I could tell the difference but it wasn't very noticable.  So I used the discount coupon to buy a box with camping in mind.

    I took this on a backpacking trip to Red River two weeks ago.  On short trips I nomally take a French Press and enjoy the coffee but need water to clean up the press.  The place I was camping at in Red River had no water so it was a chance to try this out. 

    Have to say it is a great option for good coffee.

  22. I taste-tested cups of Starbucks VIA

    Italian Roast and Columbia medium against

    a cup of fresh electric drip Peets

    in Yosemite this morning. No comparison.

    The Starbucks had initial aroma but

    no "middle". Where the fresh drip was,

    delicious coffee, the Starbucks instant

    was .. nothing. I wouldn't buy it again.

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