A few weeks ago Starbucks sent us a sample of VIA, its new instant coffee.
A few weeks ago Starbucks sent us a sample of VIA, its new instant coffee. Being a bit of a coffee snob I was kind of grossed out but decided to try it on my upcoming climbing trip anyway.
The best thing VIA has going for it is its size — it's small. Normally when I pack for camping I bring the works: coffee beans, portable grinder, and a french press. I was so happy to have more space in my pack and I definitely noticed a lighter load on my back. Score one for VIA! Was it as good as the Blue Bottle coffee I normally bring with me? Uh, no. Not even close, but I didn't expect it to be.
I think the point of VIA is convenience — you can have a OK cup of coffee anywhere and it'll be easy. It's definitely the best instant coffee I've ever tried and it even tasted better than some drip coffee I've had. Although the Colombian blend I tried was a bit bitter at the end, it had a nice, mellow flavor too. For a touch of sweetness, I added another camping shortcut to the mix —shelf stable Horizon organic vanilla milk. My companion, who is no coffee snob, said it was the best cup of coffee he's ever had while camping.
Though I won't be using VIA at home, I think it's a good choice for backpacking, camping, or for traveling anywhere you need coffee quickly. From now on, I'll be bringing it with me on all of my climbing trips.