Food Finds · Other · Trail Cooking

Food Find Review: Starbuck’s VIA Coffee

Could there actually be an instant coffee worthy of  this barista’s approval?

They are handing out samples of the new Starbucks VIA in the greater Seattle area so I jumped on getting mine this morning.

Italian Roast on the left, Columbia on the right:


The first thing you notice when adding the instant coffee to a mug is this: it isn’t freeze-dried crystals like normal. It looks like actual coffee, just very finely ground. The aroma on both varieties are very fresh with a heady punch.

Columbia in the PCT mug, Italian in the Mt. Rainier mug (which has to be my all time favorite Starbucks mug).


Simply add 8-ounces (1 cup) boiling water, stir gently and let sit till cool enough to sip. It actually produced a slight crema on top – which I have never seen any instant coffee produce (Crema is the fragrant oils that come to the top when espresso is made and is a light golden color).


The coffee is very strong. If you like black coffee that prys open your eyelids you will love it. Otherwise, you will need some milk and sweetener to tone it down. Columbia is more mild, a smoother blend where the Italian Roast is a dark and very bold blend.

Now what is neat is that Starbucks is carrying it in 3 packs as well as the touted 10 packs. The 3 packs come in a small paper envelope, making it easy to stash in your pack.

I would drink this on the trail – and not cover it up with a ton of hot cocoa mix either. This is instant coffee actually worth the $$.


4 thoughts on “Food Find Review: Starbuck’s VIA Coffee

  1. Sarah,

    Aww, I’m so happy you liked it. I love to hear that regular coffee fans like it, but it’s extra satisfying to hear baristas share that opinion. We made this for you.

    I’ve also found another few uses:

    – VIA shots: full pack of VIA, only one ounce of water (that will really pry your eyes open!)
    – VIA latte: order a regular latte, add one pack of VIA and stir.
    – VIA food: Ok, I can’t really recommend this per se, but I have eaten it and it’s not bad.

    Thanks again for writing.

    Matthew Guiste

    PS: I can almost see the mountain in your blog header from my office (from the other side, anyway)! Makes me long for the weekend, thanks for that, haha.

  2. I am going to try using it in energy bars soon as well – I already do it with instant espresso. It should make them extra tasty.
    As well, it would work great in chocolate pudding – mocha delite!

    So yes, for our readers – we will be coming up with trail recipes in the near future using the new VIA.

  3. I took this backpacking to Wales alongside some drip coffee (make it in a plastic waterbottle) – Via is the winner for this purpose..

We'd love to hear your thoughts!