If you read my blog, you know I’m a coffee snob. You probably won’t find me blogging about many other types of coffee (unless it’s a quaint little mom and pop shop.) When I heard about the new Starbucks VIA Latte, I was interested, but had low expectations. It isn’t that I don’t like VIA, I like it enough to bring it on vacations with me when I know there won’t be Starbucks. It’s just, I’d rather have my Starbucks coffee/latte made by a barista, piping hot with fresh espresso.
For those of you who don’t know what VIA is, it’s an instant coffee product made by Starbucks. Ask anyone I worked with about when the company came out with this concept and they would tell you I threw a FIT. I thought Starbucks was too classy of a brand to sell *GASP* instant coffee. As we, the company, rolled out VIA, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It wasn’t the best tasting coffee, but it was the best instant coffee. After that, I could take my Starbucks anywhere and have a cup (hot or cold) by just adding water.
Yesterday, I went to the Starbucks in the mall to get a latte (and a cake pop). I saw how they were selling one pack samples of the Starbucks VIA Vanilla Latte for $1. Now, back in my Starbucks heyday, we used to GIVE tons of samples away, but oh the recession (is that still happening?). Maybe they gave some away on the sampling days, but it was too cold to leave my house, and I hate my “new” local Starbucks (more on that another day, I’m sure…). Either way, I bought one because if something is a dollar, and I somewhat want it, I’ll most likely buy it (Hello! $1 dollar section in in Target). There is also a $1 coupon on the back, so if you like it, you can use a $1 off on a 4 (or more) pack, if you enjoy the new VIA product.
I decided to make the VIA Latte this morning to see how it ranked on my favorites list. After boiling my 8 oz of water and mixing it up in my favorite Valentine’s Day mug, I took a sip. I’m not going to say it was great, but I’m not going to say it was bad. It tastes a lot like Starbucks Flavored Vanilla Coffee, which Starbucks doesn’t make anymore; I used to buy that to have at home and add 8 oz of milk instead of water. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had a Vanilla Latte at Starbucks, I’m more of a Skinny Vanilla Latte kind of girl, so I can’t say if it tasted like “the real thing,” but it was good enough for a cold winter morning.
I will go back to Starbucks and use my coupon, for $1 off $6.95, just to have it laying around when I want a sweet treat, but after that I probably won’t buy it again. There is too much sugar in it, 19g for only 8 oz of coffee. If Starbucks comes out with a skinny version, which I’m sure they will, I’ll give that a shot. If you’re looking to save money on your daily latte needs, buying one pack of 4 for $6.95 will give you the “latte” taste for only about $1.75 per cup (granted this is for a Short cup because it’s only 8 oz, not a Tall, which is 12 oz).
The NEW Starbucks VIA Latte is also available in Mocha, but I am allergic to the Starbuck’s Mocha, therefore I will not be reviewing it.