Is it “real” brewed or is it VIA Ready Brew instant coffee? Photo courtesy of Starbucks.
|Can it be true? According to an article in Business Week about Starbucks’ VIA Ready Brew instant coffee, “most coffee drinkers outside the U.S. use instant coffee.” It’s a $20 billion global market and Americans account for just 4% of worldwide sales.
Where are those instant coffee drinkers? We’ve done our share of world traveling and we’ve seen instant coffee in foreign grocery stores. But we’ve also been impressed by how strong most other nations like their brewed coffee. Are these same folks who demand Italian roast-strength coffee and even more fortissimo strengths actually closet instant coffee drinkers?
At about $1.00 a packet, VIA Ready Brew is likely the most expensive instant coffee in the world. We tried it when we announced it here last February when the instant was first available from Starbucks’ website. It has now rolled out at Starbucks stores nationwide. Head to your nearest Starbucks: They’re sampling through Monday.
|Our verdict: We liked VIA Ready Brew as an instant coffee, but we don’t drink instant coffee and don’t find ourselves in situations where we’d need this type of convenience product. Other people—road warriors and campers, for example—might find it a welcome way to get a reliable cup of decent coffee. It mixes with hot or cold water.
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