I was in Starbucks over the holidays when VIA Ready Brew packets caught my eye. Here's what we have to say about them.

Starbucks Via Ready Brew

Individual packets of Roasted Instant & Microground Coffee
Pack of 3 packets, $2.95

Jennifer Mastroianni: I was in Starbucks over the holidays when VIA Ready Brew packets caught my eye. These snazzy envelopes of instant coffee tubes, which are similar to flavor packets for water, each make an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

Sanka this is not. That’s because Starbucks spent two decades getting it right.

“For almost 20 years, we’ve tried to capture a perfect cup of Starbucks coffee in an instant form, and I’m proud to say that we’ve finally found a way.”

That’s the message from CEO Howard Schultz, which is written right on the package. Starbucks totally nailed it. How nice to have an instant cup of coffee that tastes about as close to fresh brewed as you can get.

Price-wise, it’s a buck for a cuppa joe, but hey, it’s Starbucks.

Saimi Bergmann: Aside from cheese, the consumable I missed most while living in Korea was coffee. The coffee served there was instant and came in single-serving tubes. I’m a long-time coffee snob who grinds her own beans, so you can imagine my dismay when confronted with such an atrocity. (I learned to drink tea.)

So when Jennifer asked me to taste this Starbucks' version of instant coffee, I mentally began compiling scathing adjectives.

Surprisingly, this coffee was drinkable. Certainly not as good as coffee brewed from freshly ground beans, but scads better than the swill served from most vending machines.