I work from home and loathe milky coffee, so grabbing a Starbucks isn’t a priority in my life. Occasionally I pick up a black venti red eye between external meetings if I am flagging or sleep deprived, but that’s it. I’m more interested in the coffee I drink at home.

Because I drink my coffee black, without any artificial sugars or syrups or any of that weird shit, how it tastes straight is of paramount importance to me. I want a strong, bitter taste with a round finish that doesn’t taste burnt or caramel-y.

As you may have gathered I’m English, so instant, as we call it, is ubiquitous back home. I’m not going to pretend it’s better than freshly brewed coffee, but Nescafé’s Black Gold, Cap Colombie & Alta Rica, or Carte Noire are more than adequate as backup everyday drinks when you can’t be bothered to brew a pot for one person, certainly better than most filter/drip coffees you buy from stands or corner stores – and they are strong, with absolutely no relation to the insipid instant coffee you can buy in American supermarkets.

The only reason why I don’t bother with instant here in the US is because of the dearth of good instant on the American market, & I am presuming that that is why Starbucks are pushing their new instant coffee, Via, right now.

But Christ it’s expensive: $2.95 for three servings!

The most expensive UK instant coffee I could find on Ocado.com was Nescafé Black Gold at £3.55 per 100g grams. A serving is considered to be 1.8gms. That makes a serving cost of 6p or 9c give or take.

How HOW can Starbucks justify $1 a serving?! It’s not as though Starbucks coffee is *that* delicious in the first place.

And, here’s the kicker: Via is absolutely disgusting. I was given a sample at a Starbucks store yesterday: it tastes acrid & charred with no roundness. Possibly the most disgusting coffee, instant, or fresh brewed, I have ever tasted: I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the little sampler cup. Yuck.

Good luck with that Starbucks.

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22 comments

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starbucks is horrible, but english coffee is horrible, too. wish i could tolerate either 🙁

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i've never has Starbucks ahhhh! haha

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Even if it tasted fabulous, I'm mystified at their marketing campaign. Touting the fact that one cannot distinguish between SBUX fresh-brewed and instant, when they want to position their fresh-brewed as a premium product well worth the incremental expense (e.g. vs. McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts) seems self-destructive to me.

At the best case, it could work: Customers could walk in, buy a VIA, ask for a cup of hot water, and Bob's your uncle. Bye-bye premium pricing for the fresh-brewed. At worst, they're diluting their brand in the extreme.

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Good post ! Starbucks does tend to be very poor !

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Good post ! Starbucks does tend to be very poor !

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I'm laughing so hard, I love your post! I'm a coffee snob also and it must be full bodied and delicious. Never with a flavor or syrup..ugh.

Have you tried Peets? they are at peets.com and have some of the best coffees, super strong and robust, so delicious and they will deliver beans to your home.

oh by the way, I used 4 oz of water for the instant, only way to get it strong enough during an emergency once.

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I never drank coffee until I came to Melbourne, now i grab one on the way to work every morning. Im lucky to live in a city where coffee is a major part of the culture and cafes abound with delicious blends that I now cant stand Starbucks. Why spend $$ in starbucks on coffee that tastes burnt when you can get a delicious cup from the cafe across the road for a fraction of the cost?

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I second Red Lipstick Style! Love Peets, which originated in California, I believe, in the 1960s. It's what I brew every morning.

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I haven't yet heard a positive review of this stuff.

Too bad; Sbux could really have wiped everyone else out with a successful product in this niche.

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Most of the people are saying that Starbucks is awfull. But at least in the Netherlands, I can see a lot of people buying it and standing for couple of hours in the queue.Unbelievable!:)I think that Starbucks just became fashionable brand and that is why people are buying this coffee. It is like to buy very popular Chanel bag.
Sorry for my speech. Nothing against both this companies:)

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