OMG!! brush, spit, rinse, brush, spit, rinse!!
Be very wary of mermaid giving free samples

I think our jobs gets easier with every new launch.
Keep up the good work Starbucks!!! :(

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I think they nailed it. It tastes JUST LIKE their drip!

I love how they use that as a positive thing :).
Yea there's been ads on Chicago bus stops and whatnot for a few months now. I assume this is more targeted towards a European audience though, where - if I understand right - instant coffee is more popular. Just a hypothesis - it's seems like a pretty awful idea of a marketing deal aside from the assumably awful taste otherwise.
I saw this put a big smile on my face.

On one sign is the "we grind beans fresh for our fresh brewed coffee" and another sign "Via tastes just like our drip"
My brother-in-law is a starbucks barista. I manage my own local specialty shop. Yeah, I'd say we clash a bit, but even he thinks Via is garbage.
There was a piece on this in the media a day or two ago... don't recall where. They are definitely targeting a more global market with this product.

I will say it was among the best instant coffee I've ever managed to choke down.
I. am. scared.
Maybe Starbucks should just quit brewing their coffee beans and use the VIA. Who could tell the difference?Oh, and does the Via really taste like their drip, or does their drip taste like instant? I think the latter...
Gotta Love when Starbucks pwns itself.
No, I have to disagree with you guys on the whole appealing to a more international market.

They tested the product in Chicago and Seattle over the past couple months. They also tested the product in London, where instant is a pretty solid chunk of the market.

The product is only being fully rolled out in the US. They are targeting us. You have to remember, we are pretty lucky to have had our taste buds woken up, there are a lot of people that just believe what the person on the other side of the counter is beating into their brains. If people are told that Via is just as good and it seems that "everybody" around them believes that via is just as good, then they are going to start lying to themselves (until we step in, that is).

Here is a link from the Seattle Times.

I happened to try some yesterday. [caveat]I suspect my taste is not as refined as many of yours. I cut my coffee teeth on a Bunn in a military installation. I still drink a *lot* of bad coffee. [/caveat]
So, Starbuck's Via was not good. Worse than the midnight shift's leftovers on that above mentioned Bunn. But, it was better than the instant coffee my mother still drinks regularly (and serves to guests).
their marketing spot on youtube with the illustrations, almost made me cry. sliiiick propoganda. I think it will capture a big market, just because it's just so American. Easy, instant, portable, straight forward, you can make a cup while you're driving. We've really lost the craft in everything. Of course it's gonna taste bad but I think it was a brilliant business move I don't see what other market they could get their claws in to. Someone got a promotion for it, that's for sure.

We can only hope it will make people start to compare their instant coffee's and eventually let their taste buds lead them back to a shop that deserves the business.
The thing is...Its not that bad when you compare to what most of the country still drinks. If your confused about coffee product market share just walk down the Safeway coffee isle. They spend more money every year determining how much shelf space each product gets then Starbucks will spend on their entire advertising budget. So when you walk down that isle look at what products are on the "eye level" shelf and how much room they get. Your going to find several square feet of product that tastes FAR worse then VIA.

For those that embark on the Coffee Journey it is one of change and evolution. Some branches of the evolutionary tree grow much slower then others. Think of VIA as a gateway drug for those that have not set foot into one of the 16000 Starbucks stores or 14000 other specialty coffee stores.

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