I am not, nor will I ever be a coffee drinker. For the same reason that I don’t eat grapefruit or guzzle down cranberry juice – it is simply too bitter. You could use a coffee spoon in my tea and I could still taste the bitterness of coffee obnoxiously lingering. That said, I just cannot resist the lure of a Starbucks tall, skim, no whip hot chocolate whenever I get the chance. Starbucks need not worry, however, because when it comes to coffee consumption Buzz has the market cornered. You know how some people always seem to have a cup of coffee in their hand? Well Buzz always seems to have two cups of coffee in his hands; we’re talking a two pot a day habit (keep in mind that there is ONLY Buzz and I in this house and I don’t touch the stuff.)
When I saw the commercial for the Starbucks VIA instant coffee though I was intrigued. With the amount of times each week that Buzz and I convince each other that it’s acceptable to run in for a quick Starbucks despite complaining in the same breath that our bank account is certainly not where we’d like it to be, I thought it was a pretty darn good thing for us to look in to.
Growing up in England Nescafe was a household word, it wasn’t “pour me a cup of coffee, Love” it was “make me a Nescaf’ will you?” However, the concept of instant coffee in America seems to have been received with an icy shoulder. On the few occasions that I dared suggest that Buzz replace his bulk bean buys from Sam’s Club with twice as much instant coffee I was met with a face of disgust and a smarmy “yeah, no thanks.” I wondered when Starbucks released VIA whether this attitude to instant coffee would change and I was eager to find out because at just about $0.83c a cup it’s certainly a cheaper option in comparison to Starbuck runs whenever he feels the urge for a good cup of coffee.
Initially the price point concerned me because this is an instant coffee. To be honest it’s still not a selling point for replacing our whole bean purchases at Sam’s because it’s just not economical, but when you compare $0.83c a cup to the $2 or so a cup he usually pays at the counter it starts to add up. With this potential savings in mind I dragged Buzz to our local Starbucks where everyone knows our names (but not quite as enthusiastically as in Cheers.) As soon as we got there we found the VIA display by the window and the ‘Taste Test’ challenge set up on the counter. Buzz made a bee-line for the free VIA sample while I was sucked in by the nifty travel mug with compartments for the VIA packets built in – I’m always suckered in by the non-necessary but super cool goodies!
When I asked Buzz what his thoughts were about the coffee he umm’ed and ahh’d for a few minutes before settling with the response “well, it’s not bad.” From the look on his face I could tell that he was expecting full blown Starbucks taste from VIA and was disappointed by the results but when I asked him to compare it to Nescafe he smirked and told me it was no contest. So it seems from Buzz’s taste test challenge that he’d still rather grab his $2 coffee when he gets his Starbucks cravings but were he given the choice between instant coffees and one of those choices were VIA then it would be no contest.
VIA comes in Italian and Columbian roasts, Buzz tried the Columbian roast. He commented that while it had the aroma of ‘Starbucks coffee’ it certainly lost something in the translation from beans to instant coffee.
You can pick up a 12 Pack of VIA for $9.95 or a 3 pack for $2.95 at your local Starbucks!
*Now for what you all want to know!*
Prize: One lucky reader will win a Starbucks gift pack compiled by yours truly! This prize pack includes: 1 $50 Starbucks gift card, 1 Via travel mug, 1 3-pack of Via Columbian, 1 3-pack of Via Italian and 5 sets of Starbucks coupons valid for “$1 off Starbucks Via Ready Brew” & “Free Tall Brewed Coffee on your next visit” which expire on November 16th.
One runner up will receive a mini “prize pack” consisting of one Bodum brand 17 fl.oz French press and five of the coupons mentioned above!
Additionally FOUR entrants will be picked to win a stack of 6 coupon sets (six each) that were mentioned above.
In total that is SIX individual winners!
You cannot win more than one prize for this contest so if your name is drawn twice the second time will be redrawn.
What you have to do to win: Comment with your opinion on Starbucks VIA coffee. Please try to be informative in your comments not simply commenting “it was good.” Tell me why you enjoyed it or why you didn’t enjoy it, how does it compare to your regular coffee? How does it compare to other instant coffee brands? If you’re like me and don’t drink coffee OR if you haven’t tried VIA tell me what your favorite Starbucks drink is!
To get extra entries you can do any or all of the following and leave a comment for each you do!
1. Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following:
@mevolving @Starbucks Give your opinion on Starbucks #VIA and Win a $50 gift card to Starbucks http://bit.ly/JYNuC!
(1 Entry – Leave your tweet url in your comment, you can tweet this DAILY)
3. Put my button on your blog! (5 Entries – leave 5 comments with a link to where I can find my button)
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7. Follow me in Google Friend Connect in the right sidebar all the way on the bottom (1 Entry – tell me your username)
8. Comment on any of my other posts and leave a link in your comment- make a THOUGHTFUL comment (1 Entry per post – leave a url to the commented post in your comment here)
9. Digg, Stumble, Technorati fave etc THIS POST by clicking the icons below! (1 comment for each shown below - Leave a comment with your username)
10. Purchase a text link on the right side of my blog – click where it says ‘your ad here’ (20 entries leave 20 comments with your link)
Winners will be drawn using Random.org. The contest will end on October 29th 11:59pm EST and the winner will be e-mailed from the information left in comments so make sure you leave an e-mail address where I can contact you!
Open to residents of the U.S. 18+
ONE set of entries per household
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