Starbucks just release its brand of Via instant coffee. They claim the instant coffee is so good that you can’t tell the difference from brew coffee. When I went to get a cup of coffee this morning, Starbucks is having a coffee taste challenge. The set up is kinda like the Pepsi challenge. There are two pots of unmarked coffee. You get a small cup from one pot and you have to tell which one tastes better.
After I took the two cups, I first smell the flavor and I am 70% sure which one is the instant coffee. Then I took a sip from each cup and I am 99% sure which one is the instant coffee. As I expected, the cup with more artificial smell and taste is the instant coffee. Mind you that I am not a sophisticated coffee drinker, in fact I am not even a regular coffee drinker and I got a stuffy nose from allergy today. If even an ordinary person like me can tell the difference, I am sure the coffee lovers must able to tell the difference.
I don’t have a preference on brew coffee or a prejudice against instant coffee. To me coffee is just coffee, it is just a source of caffeine and they all taste alike. The problem of Starbucks instant coffee is too expensive. A box of 3 small pack is selling for $3.49, that is over $1 a pack, and it does not enough come with sugar and cream. Unless you like black coffee, the via instant coffee is not that convenient. You have to bring your own cream and sugar on top of hot water. A pack of Nestle 3-in-1 instant coffee is less than $0.25 coming in a big box at supermarket. I actually prefer the taste of Nestle 3-in-1 coffee over Starbucks brew coffee, never mind the Starbucks instant coffee.
I think Starbucks Via instant coffee would be the biggest flop after the New Coke. Let’s watch and see.