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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Product Review: Starbucks' VIA Ready Brew

Starting with this post, I will start reviewing some of the products that I have been demoing.  Up till now, I've mainly been sharing what is written in the sales letters I've been given by the companies I work for (btw, the products I am assigned to promote are chosen by my employers and I do not have any say in the matter).  For my first product review, I will talk about the new Starbucks VIB Instant Ready Brew.  I got lots of  sample product (came in the sales kit) and was able to keep some left overs and try some myself and am happy to share with you my own opinion about the product.  Note: this is a completely unbiased opinion and is based on what I know about the product.

Want to get some ofthe Ready Brew stuff?  Here are some conveniant product links from Amazon.com (clicking on the referral links should redirect you to the Amazon.com website):

Overview of the product

Starbucks VIA ready brew is a relatively new product made by the Starbucks Coffee franchise (famous for its coffee shops and coffee and espresso products) that is geared almost exclusively for coffee drinkers who like strong starbucks style coffee.  Sure there are other instant coffee brands out there, such as Foldiers, Maxwell House, and others, but with the ne Starbucks VIA ready brew on store shelves, the instant coffee business is about to get alot more fierce.  Sure, the traditional instant coffee brands are popular and taste almost like regular coffee, but people who like strong coffee with extra flavor will love the new Starbucks VIA Ready brew drink.  The Ready Brew usually comes in packets and can either be purchased in grocery stores (like Albertsons), online (such as Amazon, see referral links above), or at Starbucks coffee shops and is pretty easy to make.  With the sample version, you would heat up hot water in a mug and pour a whole packet of the instant coffee (for smaller cups, it is suggested that only a half of the packet is used since adding the full packet would make the coffee taste extra strong, more like a straight up shot of espresso).  After you make the coffee, you can add sugar, cream and other condiments you use for flavor.  BTW, there are plenty of recpies with the instant coffee drinks (I was passing out recipe booklets by the way and saw recipes for lattes, mochas and other coffee drinks with the ready brew stuff).  It is bound to be popular to people who are "on the go" as it makes it possible to make good coffee in significantly less time than it would be to brew coffee.

What I liked about the product
  • Tastes much like a coffee drink you would buy at your local starbucks coffee shop 
  • Easy to make
  • It does not require a coffee maker or espresso machine (can be useful for making espresso drinks for those of you who do not have an espresso machine)
  • The strong coffee perks me up better than a regular foldiers coffee does.
  • Also, when there is no coffee available in the morning (I share a coffee maker with my parents), I can easily make a good cup of coffee using the coffee drinks.
  • It can be served hot or iced (the coffee beans dissolve as easily in cold water as it does in hot coffee)
Things you might not like about the product:
  •  It is best for people who like strong coffee.  If you prefer a more mild blend, then you are probably better off with a traditional blend (such as foldiers, maxwell house, etc).  It does have an acquired taste too.
  • You will need to be mindful on how many packets you use in a serving.  It is recommended that a half of a packet be used for every 4 oz of water (so for an 8 ounce coffee mug, one packet should do).  The coffee can taste too strong or weak if you are not careful on how many packets you use.
  • It is not recommended for children or people who do not like getting good jolts of caffine (it is almost tastes like espresso). 
This product is ideal for:
  • strong coffee drinkers (if you like lattes, espresso, cappaccinos, etc you will probably like the Starbucks VIA ready brew)
  • People on the go (saves you time brewing coffee as well as extra cash stopping at a coffee shop or espresso stand on the way to work).
  • People who need a caffine boost (especially while on break at work, between jobs, etc).
  • Starbucks fans
  • Latte (and similar espresso drink) drinkers
  • Can also be useful for people looking to make a coffee stand.  You can make quick coffee for people and charge $1 or $2 for each cup you make for people wanting coffee (such as at a carwash, business park, etc).  It can save you from having to buy a coffee maker or espresso machine.
Have a comment or testimonial about the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew?  Post it in the comments section of this blog.  I would live to hear your thoughts on the drink. 

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