I’ve been hooked on Starbucks VIA Ready Brew ever since it came out a few months back. And I’m using the word “hooked” lightly. I’m addicted.
Every morning I open my eyes, check to make sure I’m alive, give thanks – and then I think about fixing myself an iced coffee. It’s a ritual:
1. Pour VIA in tall glass.
2. Fill halfway with cold water. Stir.
3. Add two capfuls of sugar-free vanilla syrup.
4. Add a pinch of 1% milk.
5. Fill with ice.
6. Stir it all up, and insert straw.
My only gripe is the powder takes a bit of time to break down in the cool liquid. Aside from that – Yum. I’m ready to take on the day’s adventures!
Now imagine the sound of squeaky brakes coming to a stop when I heard the news that Starbucks had just released ICED VIA Ready Brew!
The overall package is much heavier than its older sibling. The sleeves are thicker and longer. Retail price is $5.95 for a pack of five, but there are coupons on the counter for $1 off. You can also get one here.
The good: It is lightly sweetened, just right for my taste. The powder dissolves right away when mixed with water.
The not as good: It only comes in medium intensity. I’m a hardcore coffee drinker and I like my java with a bite.
I’ll likely buy it again, but mi corazon belongs to the bold VIA Italian Brew. Forget riding a mechanical bull or drag racing or wearing shorts in public – strong coffee is the kind of edge I need in my life!
Weird trivia about my love of joe: up until I moved away to get married, I made coffee for my dad every night after dinner. “Kathy! Make me a cup!” he’d say. I guess it was how he stayed up late to work on his hobbies in the garage. Coffee helped keep his flame burning, the same way it does for me! My love for coffee began when I graduated from high school and took a two-week trip to England. I had my first *real* cup and became smitten. I returned home in search of it – I called it “thick coffee” and no one understood me except my dad because he had traveled to Germany in the early 1960s. But in 1982, Phoenix – finding European grounds were as common as snowballs in August.
I went back to Europe at age 21 and savored every drop I could find in London, Paris, all over Italy and Greece. When I came back to the U.S., I took a gig as a weekend barista at one of Phoenix’s few coffeehouses, The Phoenix Duck and Decanter. It was a 30 minute drive from my parents house, but I didn’t care! I needed my fix! This was in 1986 – no Starbucks or Einsteins then! I loved meeting and chatting with all the coffee customers because they were all world travelers and had so many fascinating tales to share. I learned the art of mixing lattes, Americanos, frothing the milk for wet and dry cappuccinos, appreciating a demitasse of Espresso with bit of lemon rind, etc. I’ll never forget the “coffee bar” chapter in my life.
– We would often receive sample bags of coffee beans, about the size of a toss pillow. I got so excited one time that I took a bag home and actually used it as a toss pillow for my bed. I lived at my parents house and two days later they busted in my room to see where the coffee smell was coming from. I showed them my “pillow” and my dad made me get rid of it. Our whole house reeked of Brazilian Santos!
– I have three different espresso/cappuccino machines at home, plus a Toddy maker, a European plunger, a Mr. Coffee and all sorts of small strainers. Patrick used to tease me when I used the frothing machine, he said I looked like a crazy scientist. And what is my coffee of choice, these days? Instant! *Shakes head*
– Whenever I make chocolate cake or brownies, I always sub brewed espresso in place of water.
– I wrote a flash fiction piece called Christmas Kiss, themed around my experience as a barista at the Duck.
I’ll spare you all the other tidbits!
Today is the one-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. It’s with a lump in my throat that I think of him right now, likely reading this over my shoulder while drinking his “cup.” I wonder who made it for him…
Someday, I hope to work at a coffeehouse again! I loved it!
Coffee, like crafts and chocolate, makes me happy!