Initially I had thought I’d do a detailed review of each individual VIA coffee in an attempt to segregate which of the four I’d recommend to people. As I began my tests, it became apparent to me that it will be difficult to do this seeing as they all seemed to have similar results. This is not to say that the individual VIA’s are not unique in taste, but for me the conclusions were similar.
Overall, I would say that Starbucks has done a decent job in creating something portable with a hint of flavour in their VIA Instant Coffee’s. On that note, I must warn that if you are an individual who likes or prefers to have his or her coffee prepared with steamed milk, I wouldn’t recommend investing a whole lot of money into these.
As a way to get through the day in the event that one does not have enough time to go out and pick up their favourite beverage in the afternoon or at the wee hours of the morning, I’d recommend looking into the Vanilla, Mocha and Caramel VIA flavoured coffee’s. Unfortunately the Cinnamon Spice has a nasty after taste and actually left me with a bit of a sick feeling in my stomach. The mocha flavour is most likely the one which stood out the most for me. With a bit more flavour then the vanilla and caramel, it had a comforting resemblance to that of a regular mocha from Starbucks, minus the steamed milk and whip. If you’re a fan of caramel, the caramel flavoured VIA will be a comfort. Although not as strong a aroma, the taste is sufficient enough to get you by until you can get your fill in at the store. It’s also the sweetest of the four options, so don’t overdue it with the additives. Unfortunately the weakest of the bunch was the vanilla. Being a fan of vanilla myself I was hoping for a more richer flavour and aroma. To my surprise, I was disappointed. There is a slight hint of vanilla in the coffee but not enough for me to truly be satisfied. I think the vanilla powder topping at Starbucks has more flavour in it then this VIA.
All in all I personally would recommend the mocha for a truly matched taste if that is something you’re looking for or the caramel for those of us who like their coffee’s a bit sweet. Although a great idea, I think that when it comes to the richness of the flavours Starbucks unfortunately missed the mark. For those who are hardcore addicts, like myself, the VIA coffee’s will not substitute our love of lattes or steamed milk. These will however help you through the day if your too busy to step out but don’t enjoy the office coffee.
The opinions made in this post are personal conclusions and remarks made by the author. In no way are these a reflection of the quality of Starbucks, its products or its research into such products. I, Marcin, am not a professional coffee taste tester and as such my opinions made in this post are biased to my own preferences and likings. All taste tests were conducted using a standard cup of hot water, half & half milk and 2 packets of sugar.