We're iced coffee addicts around SEHQ, often begging our poor interns to run over to Nolita Mart to fill our cold-brew growler. But sometimes you want instant satisfaction, so we were curious about Starbucks' new line of instant coffee meant for iced coffee. Would it be gritty? Stale-tasting? Or is it actually a viable caffeination solution?
'instant coffee' on Serious Eats
We all know that when the need for coffee hits, it can be pretty urgent—but is it ever urgent enough to justify instant coffee? We look at what the speedy stuff is so you can be the judge next time you get antsy for that first cup.
"Way to go people in lab coats who figured this one out!" Instant coffee never seems like it's trying that hard to taste like regular coffee. You can almost hear Nescafé saying, "yeah, whatever, I give up." But Starbucks may be changing that. Earlier this year, the chain introduced Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, a line of instant coffee packets (three single servings for $2.95) sold in two flavors, Colombia and Italian Roast. We tried the Colombian packets against a fresh-brewed batch of Starbucks dark roast from around the corner and the paradigmatic instant coffee itself, Nescafé. While the Nescafé couldn't hide—ah, yes, that zap of chemicaly ink juice—it was actually really hard to differentiate the instant from the real deal....