Starbucks Via

starbucks via
Starbucks Via

Starbucks Instant Review

How does Starbucks VIA compare to the Real Thing?

If you like the taste of bitter, burnt-tasting candle wax with a hint of smoky coffee flavor, you’ll love the new Starbucks Via Ready Brew Coffee.

Describing Starbucks Instant Coffee

Starbucks Via is conveniently packaged and that is probably the nicest thing I can say about it. A single serving comes in a little 3-Inch foil package.  You could easily fit a dozen of these individual packets in your pants pockets and be armed for coffee all day long, wherever and whenever a cup of hot water is available. Just add 8 ounces of boiling water and you have a pretty strong cup of something that almost resembles coffee.

How Does ReadyBrew Taste?

Trust me on this: A cup of Via is about the farthest thing from a real, fresh cup of Starbucks that you can possibly get. Even an inferior Grocery Store Brand of Ground Coffee tastes better than this. If there is one other thing I will say in it’s flavor: The Via Ready Brew does make a very dark, strong 8 ounce cup of coffee and you can feel the jolt from the caffeine just as you would expect from Starbucks ordinary coffee.  I have not tried enough of the other varieties and brands of instant coffee to rate how Via Ready brew compares, but I can say with absolute certainty that it is does not replace my craving for a cup of freshly brewed coffee – and it is not even in the same league as the coffee that Starbucks brews in its stores. It is somewhat surprising, how something in such a small package can be so condensed. When you first add boiling water, the Starbucks Via turns frothy in your cup. When the frothiness dissipates you are left with a coal-black cup of coffee that leaves some sediment on the sides and bottom of the cup.


As of this writing, I have tried Via Ready Brew in two flavors: Columbian and Italian. I thought both were similar, but my preference leaned ever so slightly to the Italian flavor. The Columbian tasted like coffee that was left burning in the pot too long. It seemed way too dark for Columbian. The Italian flavor, on the other hand, almost succeeded in resembling the dark, smoky characteristics of a European Roast.

Value and Price of Starbucks Instant Coffee

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee is over-priced. I paid $9.95 for a 12-pack. That averages out to about .83 cents a cup. That is roughly half the price of one of Starbucks fresh-brewed tall for a cup of Coffee that’s not half as good.


I’ll use the remainder of my 12-pack of Via Ready Brew for emergency situations and pass on buying anymore unless someone convinces me that Starbucks has come out with this great new flavor that I have to try.

Give us Your Opinion

You may leave comments or your own review at bottom of the page.

9 thoughts on “Starbucks Via”

  1. I think you are WAY too critical of this product. I was actually impressed. I thought, “Finally, an instant coffee that doesn’t make you gag!” As a matter of fact it almost tastes like fresh brewed and is better than a lot of regular coffee you get at restaurants. When you are on a road trip in the middle of the desert with no starbucks in sight, this could be the answer.

  2. I agreed with you at first. In fact, I bought a 12-pack to keep at my office. By the time I tried a 2nd and 3rd cup, I couldn’t get over the taste of candle wax. With all the hype that got me excited about Starbucks Instant Coffee, I guess I expected more.

  3. I guess I was expecting to taste something similar to Taster’s Choice, and when it didn’t sink to that level, I thought it was pretty good. However, you are right. It is not going to replace a fresh brewed cup of coffee at Starbucks, or even homemade. They say it tastes just like their brewed coffee, but they are clearly lying.

  4. Okay, I was the first to officially rate Starbucks Ready Brew Coffee. I couldn’t give it a very high score on any of the three criteria: Flavor, Value and Convenience. It’s nice that a package of instant coffee comes in a small little package, but I still can’t get past the idea that it requires piping hot water. How convenient is it to find your own hot water? Until, genius scientists can make a little package that fits into your pocket and fully transforms into a cup of coffee before your eyes, I am not going to rant and rave about convenience with instant coffee. It’s all the same. Just add hot water. Not so easy when you’re hiking up Pikes Peak with a mountain lion chasing you.


  5. Coffe ok but the packaging is way too much for a company pretending to care bout the environment. Don’t need individual cardboard envelopes for every 3 packets. The packaging from Costco is really irritating…hard to open big cardboard with plastic enclosing lots of packaging around the coffee. Hard to separate the cardboard from the plastic to recycle…yet printed large is the reminder to please recycle…if they were half serious they would not make it so hard and would seriously reduce amount of packaging.

  6. The packaging is a great point, Darlene. I should have thought about this and mentioned it in the article. It’s almost as if Starbucks is wasting cardboard in an effort to make the packaging look like you’re getting something more. The little packets of coffee are so tiny, you would think they’d come up with a very compact, sleek way of packaging it. I’d like to see an invention of little mugs of water that heat up when you open them. Kind of like those heating packs that you take with you for camping. Why not instant hot water to go with the little bags of Via Coffee?

  7. The new VIA that is now used in the Frappuccino mix has completely ruined a staple of many customers. Not everyone likes the fake aftertaste that VIA leaves and the texture left in the mouth and in the cup. It does not come out of the packages easily. I tried a few when they were free and I feel they could be used as a way to get people to quit or not want any that day as it leaves an everlasting nasty taste in the mouth for hours. The acrid flavor upsets the stomach and bowels also. There is no amount of sugar that can mask the horrible flavor of it.

    • Starbucks, what are you thinking? This is refreaking-diculous. I agree about the film and aftertaste as well as how hard it is to get the via coffee out of those little pouches. But…if you really enjoy the taste of candle wax, they ARE pretty convenient.

  8. I’ve been drinking VIA since it came out, but now I find I can’t TASTE the coffee flavor anymore. Regular, decaf, italian or colombian it all just tastes like hot water to me. Does it do something to your tastebuds?


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