In June 2010, Starbucks Coffee unveiled it’s newest addition to its instant coffee line Via: Iced Via. Being a huge fan of iced coffee, I knew I had to give it a try. It’s made from 100% arabica beans, micro-ground to dissolve pretty much instantly in cold water, and even in milk. It comes lightly sweetened, and in a little box containing 5 packets. It has been a huge time saver for me in the mornings. It really is perfect for anywhere, anytime. I just pour my water into my cup, pour in some Iced Via, give it a stir or two, ice, and go! Needless to say, I was quite pleased.
I was surprised to find that I can actually make about 10 servings per box, using half a packet per cup. I usually make about a 16 ounce cup, so after I add my cream and ice I can stretch the life of a single packet out. This also makes the product a great value. At $5.95 a box, it’s a very affordable product. When you divide up the price, it comes to a little over a dollar per packet. Not bad for getting two cups of coffee out of a single packet!
The coffee itself has a very nice, delicate but rich coffee flavor. There is absolutely nothing “instant” tasting about it. When drinking it black, I don’t find it to have a watery or powdery taste. It is as full-flavored as the regular iced coffee I normally get from Starbucks. With Iced Via, I simply taste coffee and a light hint of sugar, just as the back of the box claims! It also seems to blend together quite well with a variety of creamers. I would assume this is because of it’s soluble nature, which allows it to blend perfectly with cream or milk just as it does with water.
It varies from the original Via, for hot coffee, in many ways. It’s not the same thing with the words “Iced” pasted on to the box. Iced coffee needs to be made double-strength, to avoid a watery taste. Starbucks has accounted for this by making the Iced Via packets about two and a half times larger than the original via. This keeps the coffee strong-flavored. It has also been lightly sweetened with a dash of sugar. The only con I would find about the Iced Via is the obvious lack of variety. The hot Via comes in Columbia, Italian, and Decaf Italian. However, with the Iced Via, there is no decaf or unsweetened variety. There is only the regular, lightly sweetened variety. I would love to have Iced Via in the evening without being awake until 5 a.m.
There is an upcoming release this fall of the new flavored Via, where flavors such as vanilla and cinnamon will be introduced. Hopefully after the refresh of the hot Via line, there will be new additions to the Iced Via line as well. I would love to see flavored or decaf versions of this amazing product.