After a slow rollout earlier this year of their new instant coffee, Starbucks has made a big push lately to really get this product out. Most stores are offering a free taste test, Via versus brewed, for which you’ll receive a free cup of brewed coffee for participating. I’ve tried the Via myself, and while it’s not as good as a good cup of brewed coffee, I found it better than most restaurant coffee. Despite being an obsessed coffee lover who grows and roasts his own coffee, I still see a place for Via in my life…I found that it’s perfect for camping or backpacking, if you’re trying to pack light you just can’t beat it. The packets are incredibly small, and there’s no need to bring your brewing equipment along, or to deal with coffee that had been ground days before (let’s face it, bringing coffee grinder camping is really, really wrong!). Starbucks Via is available in grocery stores as well as Starbucks of course, though I’ve also found good prices on this over at Amazon.
Speaking of camping though, if you’re not convinced that Via is the way to go, then I recommend either a plastic french press, or an AeroPress. The AeroPress is great if there’s only one coffee drinker in the group, otherwise a large french press would be better. Time has a nice write up on Via if you’d like to learn more.