Starbucks VIA *Review and $50 Giveaway*

via coffeeI 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!

tumbler1When 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!

Extra Entries!
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!

(1 Entry – Leave your tweet url in your comment, you can tweet this DAILY)

2. Blog about this giveaway with a link to this post  (3 Entries – leave 3 comments and include a link to your blog post)

3. Put my button on your blog!  (5 Entries – leave 5 comments with a link to where I can find my button)

4. Technorati Fave my blog (1 Entry – include your Technorati name in your comment)

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6. Subscribe to my feed by feed reader (1 Entry – tell me what reader you subscribed in)

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 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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941 Responses to “Starbucks VIA *Review and $50 Giveaway*”

  1. 850
    Laura says:

    posted on twitter today.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..giveaways anyone? =-.

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    Rita A says:

    I have not had the chance to try it yet. I am planning on going this weekend. My fave drink was the Strawberries and cream. Lately I have been getting a decaf with triple vanilla flavor shot. Yum.

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    Rita A says:

    I subscribed by email

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    Gianna says:

    I’m not a fan of their coffee.. it tastes pretty bitter and artificial to me. My husband loves it. I would love to win this to surprise him with 🙂

  12. 861
    Charity S. says:

    I don’t really drink coffee..but I love Starbucks. My favorite is the Peppermint Hot Chocolate and the Tazo Green Tea. I drink these all year long..even when it’s hot outside. Thanks

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    Charity S. says:

    I subscribed via email.

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    Charity S. says:

    I subscribed via yahoo reader.

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    Charity S. says:

    Follow on Google Friend Connect.


  17. 866
    Molly says:

    I did not like the viva when I tried the sample. I thought it was strong.

  18. 867
    Kayte CookWatts says:

    I have not tried it- I really don’t enjoy instant coffee-mostly stick with whole bean. My fave Starbucks drink is a venti mocha with an extra shot! That is my Sunday morning treat w/ my sweetie!

  19. 868
    Tweet2Sweep says:

    I too originate from England and grew up on instant Nescafe. I love Starbucks coffee and was skeptical when they came out with the Via coffee but am very impressed. When on the run and no time to stop by to see your favourite barista this is a great alternative.

    Nescafe has also improved their coffee but Via still has the edge!

    Great contest and am sure I have coffee for blood!

  20. 869
    DanV says:

    I took the VIA challenge and couldn’t tell them apart so that’s a sign that’s it tastes like the fresh brewed coffee

  21. 870
    Patricia says:

    lastest tweet Latest: @mevolving @Starbucks Give your opinion on Starbucks #VIA and Win a $50 gift card to Starbucks…less than 5 seconds ago

  22. 871
    PatS says:

    I love starbucks latte

  23. 872
    Chrysa says:

    I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. My favorite drink is a caramel machiato (sp?)
    .-= Chrysa ´s last blog ..Free Sample of PowerBar Gel Blasts =-.

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    Chrysa says:

    I’m following you in Google Friend Connect.
    .-= Chrysa´s last blog ..Free Sample of PowerBar Gel Blasts =-.

  26. 875
    Chrysa says:

    I’m subscribed to your RSS feed in my Google Reader.
    .-= Chrysa´s last blog ..Free Sample of PowerBar Gel Blasts =-.

  27. 876
    Cathy Truman says:

    I have not tried the Via Coffee. My favorite drink
    at Starbucks is an Cinnamon Dolce Latte extra hot.
    Thanks for the contest.

  28. 877
    Angela Winesburg says:

    I haven’t tried it yet, I love their hot chocolate! The peppermint is to die for! Thanks!

  29. 878
    Betty C says:

    I love Starbucks coffee, but not at the price I have to pay. So although it doesn’t taste as smooth I make mine at home. I will give in on occasion and buy the mocha frappachino because I just can’t duplicate it.

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    Betty C says:

    I follow on Twitter and tweeted.

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    Betty C says:

    I subscribe in Google reader.

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    Betty C says:

    I’m a Google Friends follower (Betty C)

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    Betty C says:

    I’m an email subscriber.

  34. 883
    BRIAN E. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway… I tend to choose Starbucks beverages other than coffee: I usually go with a Chai Tea, or a Black Tea drink like Tazo Awake Tea Latte. The Signature Hot Chocolate is also a favorite.

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  35. 884
    BRIAN E. says:

    Following via Twitter: @brianpiero


  36. 885
    Sand says:

    I’m not a fan of instant coffee and while I found VIA to be slightly better than other instant coffees on the market, I don’t feel that I would replace it with my regular fresh whole bean ground method of making coffee.

  37. 886
    Veronica Garrett says:

    White Hot Chocolate is my favorite drink at Starbucks.

  38. 887
    Jennifer Jozwiak says:

    I enjoyed the VIA..I would drink it again. It won’t replace my hazelnut latte but the price makes it very attractive, lol.

  39. 888
    kimbly says:

    I really liked the Via samples I tried. It was rich and infinitely better than any other instant coffee I have tried, by far. Is it as good as going into Starbucks for one of their full flavored extravaganza coffees? Not quite. Will it suffice? Heck yes. It’s something I’d enjoy here at home on a day I don’t feel like running out to pick up a coffee.

    kimbly at gmail dot com

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    Terry C says:

    I have never tried any Starbucks coffee but I’d love to!

    braaisjo at gmail dot com

  41. 890
    Nancy S. says:

    I haven’t tried it yet but I love Starbuck’s Mochas.

  42. 891
    Nancy S. says:

    I follow you on twitter and I tweeted.

  43. 892
    sheri says:

    I have not tried it. My fav is mocha with a shot of hazelnut!

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    sheri says:

    subscribed to feed with google reader