Friday, 9 April 2010

Starbucks New VIA range, Luxury Coffee from an instant sachet? I think not.

Although I am slightly ashamed to admit it, I am a big fan of Starbucks Coffee. As a brand their ubiquitous corporate image is occasionally regarded very poorly by anyone who has even the slightest suspicion about the evils of capitalism. I however, find a Starbucks Coffee store a welcoming sight in any neighborhood, if ever I feel slightly uneasy about one particular area, the sight of one of their stores reassures me, and I think " well theres a starbucks, it cant be that bad around here'.

And I do like the quality of their coffee, the other two high street higher end Coffee stores in the UK, Costa and Cafe Nero, present slightly different specialities, Costa concentrates on the quality of their food, and Cafe nero is of course world famous for the quality of their coffee, proudly displaying the quote from tatler many years ago "the best coffee this side of Milan". Starbucks however for me takes a pleasant middle path, the speciality drinks such as the Mochas are a pleasant sugary treat from time to time, and the Americanos and espressos are always bracingly strong yet not too bitter like the Costa ones, twinned with their free refill policy on filter coffee, a happy habit from americas diner culture, and the AMAZING free Wifi (which I am currently using to write this entry) starbucks will always for me represent a venue, pleasant enough to spend time in, have informal meetings in, and even take a date if required.

Onto the subject of my blog entry, the new product released by Starbucks, the Starbuck VIA, promising high quality Coffee from an instant sachet, sadly, in my opinion they have failed. They currently offer three varieties, Columbian (too bitter), Decaf (pointless) and italian, the italian is of course their attempt to recreate the espresso and therefore the americano flavour in an instant sachet, but it just falls short of what they were going for, it tastes too strongly of chemicals to genuinely represent the standard starbucks coffee, and until they considerably improve the Columbian Coffee variety, that one is frankly laughable, I threw mine straight in the bin.

I like the presentation of the Starbucks VIA, it is very slick, and the little sachet dispenser is very cute, but it just doesn't quite make it in the quality stakes as far as i'm concerned. I am used to drinking Nespresso coffee at home and that does spoil on somewhat, however I really feel, that a little more attention to this product at the brewing stage from starbucks, and the VIA could represent a genuine go to for high quality instant coffee, at the moment it does not.

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