As for SBUX roasting too dark, I roast specifically for the facility I run. I have a three-variety blend that most visitors exclaim to be "the best coffee they've ever tasted". Now that's a matter of opinion, but the main demarcation between my roast and char-Bucks is that mine isn't over-roasted. I'm sure this could be applied to most small roasters, because your average person OFF THE STREET has never tasted micro-roaster, fresh coffee.
Great article. I HAVE had a sample of the VIA instant, and even though I roast my own, I thought that this was a credible product that I wouldn't mind using for those situations where a decent instant would be preferable: a motel room, backpacking, etc. I'm not saying it's great, and I don't think any person who really cares about their cuppa would say it was, but I found it to be far better than ANY instant I've had in the past. I don't buy whole-bean coffee from SBUX. I don't get their calorie-loaded milk based drinks anymore either. I will however, get a cup of drip when desperate, even though I'd rather go to Pete's or Tully's. The VIA product isn't aimed at me or in fact ANYONE who writes on this or any other coffee website. It's aimed at the masses. That's okay by me: there's room in the middle, and as has been said, that means more distinction and more room for the smaller, specialty roasters.
Yeah, but baffling at the same time. I had the opportunity to sample this product as well, and like many of the other reviewers, found it to be more than sufficient in the instant coffee market segment. How the Guardian reviewer could admit to liking Starbucks Americano but not the Via Instant just doesn't make sense to me--the Starbucks Americano is awful and frankly has a very similar flavor profile to this stuff.
I hope that they decide to start selling it in jars, because instant coffee is a great ingredient to have around for baking and desserts (and if your hot chocolate doesn't have a bit of instant coffee or superfine espresso powder in it, you're doing it wrong), and this stuff really is an improvement on the depth of flavor produced by instant coffee.
Really? You truly think so? I would have to disagree whole-heartedly. If they in fact did provide a relatively good and consistant coffee product, I might EVER consider going there and paying far too much for one. But in my experience with Starbucks, wherever I go, (In fact, I've kept logs on road trips to record my experiences at various sbx) they provide a dependably BAD coffee product, and CONSISTANTLY screw up my drinks, so that not only do I pay too much, but it's for complete and utter garbage. I end up leaving fuming mad with another 4 bucks down the drain! I worked at Starbucks - I know what goes on back there. It's a bunch of people who don't give a crap about coffee. People who've been working there for MONTHS still can't figure out how to properly steam milk, blend a frappuccino correctly, or (this one still boggles my mind) make an iced latte with the correct proportions! There are LINES on the cup, and they STILL can't get it right! Why? Because they could really not care less. The superauto machines, in my opinion, offer as varied of shots as any, and when the "baristi" don't care that a shot just poured out in 6 seconds and looked like water, or that the beans smell rancid, you might as well have a monkey operating them. But I suppose if you get a drink with enough sugar and thick syrups, you won't notice.
Why do we complain about starbucks? Well I don't know about you, but I do because I feel violated by them. My first introcuction into the "specialty coffee" world, for which I was bubbling over with enthusiasm, turned out to be a lie - I was decieved, and then my true passion for quality was stomped on! It goes around proclaiming itself to be truly good coffee and quality driven when it is the complete opposite. If everyone would just recognize what it really is (which might happen now, with the instant coffee) then it would be fine! You don't see coffee afficianados going on about Mcdonalds, or Holiday coffee - because they are what they claim to be, not standing in a place where they ought not like Starbucks. ~Jessie
maninthemoon Senior Member Joined: 29 Jun 2009 Posts: 1 Location: Portland, OR US Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Jun 29, 2009, 12:01pm Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
Starbucks has always been barely "good enough." (Or less, as far as I, and many others here are concerned.) Actually, if Starbucks were the only option left, I would probably start drinking tea. So how is this new "good enough" approach anything different? I do agree that having a quality instant would be really great for baking, especially in my cheesecakes. But putting the words "Starbucks" and "quality" in the same sentence should disqualify you as a coffee geek. However, we owe Starbucks a lot. There have been many articles written and observations about the fact that when a Starbucks moves in, the local independent coffeehouses nearby see a marked increase in business. Their advancement of the coffee culture in general has benefited coffee everywhere. And their lack of quality has really helped 1st class roasters differentiate themselves and create a demand. So hopefully, if this new foray into instant proves successful, it might spur a similar reaction in the instant market, upping the ante as it were.
amygoertz Senior Member Joined: 20 Jun 2009 Posts: 34 Location: London, Canada Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Jun 30, 2009, 7:56pm Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
Starbucks drinks are often seen as inconsistent because you know the standard to which they should be made. You don't go into an independent cafe and say "Hey, I asked for that white mocha half-sweet, why'd you put 3-pumps in it?" but because Starbucks has the calling-marking system, well known recipes and everyone knows their "language" it's easy to tell if your drink is different than last time/how you want it.
Posted Wed Nov 4, 2009, 6:15am Subject: Re: Instant Convenience, Mermaids, Good Enough?, Professionally Speaking
It's really a jungle out there nowadays. I know people that don't understand coffee that are paying out megabucks for those Keurig reconstitutions.
Then you have many Euros going with "pods." Personally I would rather drink instant than those junky things. No matter what anyone says, I know if I went to your house and tested them, they would contain stale coffee.
Then you have Strarbucks, don't they have to survive? Mr. Donut and others stole their coffee groove, how do they fight back? I think they are correct, in this way, many people are drinking horrid coffee at work. VIA will taste better than probably 90% of (American) work coffee.
I tried the French Press it is a silly amount of mess for what you get, which is still watery coffee. So I will stick with my Espresso machine at home. I have to get up early just to have a few cups so I can last the day in the jungle of bad coffee!
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