Pros: Cost, convenience
Cons: Currently only comes from Columbian beans, so no other choices
Last time I bought a pound of coffee at Starbucks, the barista gave me the 3 pack Via Instant coffee instead of the free cup of coffee that usually comes from buying a pound. I laughed out loud (I’m a total coffee snob and have been for more than 20 years). Instant is not for me, never has been since the first taste I had long ago. She told me it wasn’t freeze-dried, it was microground. Ok, worth a shot. It was a surprise.
It is pleasantly smooth; likewise it is creamy. Via looks like a dark version of powdered hot chocolate and behaves roughly the same way with regards to texture. The coffee is labeled as “medium” and that classification is correct.
Via currently only comes from Columbian beans. As is true for Columbian coffee I’ve had, the taste isn’t complex. My favorite coffees (Panamanian, Costa Rican, Nicaraguan) have progressions of taste: one flavor followed by another etc. Via’s come almost all at once. The primary flavor is nutty--more pecan than not. There is also a hint of citrus. Unfortunately, the coffee’s aftertaste is a bit metallic, not nearly as bad as the “coffee” that comes from a can or in brick form, but still noticeable.
As with French press coffee, you are in far more control with regards to strength than when brewing a pot. French press coffee is silty, Via is the same way. It isn’t bad, you just need to know this going in.
Via is extremely convenient and obviously perfect if you are in a hurry. Depending on how you get hot water (from a spigot attached to a coffee maker or microwave), you can have a cup ready in less than a minute. If you usually get your coffee from the store itself, then Via’s cost is acceptable.
Submitted for the lean-n-mean write-off.