I was in Starbucks today, on good old Burbank Blvd, and I was slighted. I came in with my travel mug and the girl behind the counter SHOULD have given me the cup discount; I asked for a refill (I had gotten coffee earlier) but regardless, she should have scored me with the ten cents off for my caring about the environment. But we got caught up in a conversation and there were people in back of me so I let it slide.
I did, though, discover this handy-dandy little handbook that Starbucks is throwing into the arms of their consumers entitled “How Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Can Change Your Life.” For those of you who scoff at such lofty claims, allow it to be said that there was an asterisk* which continued, “(Okay, we admit that’s a slight over-promise, but let’s face it, it is revolutionary).”
The guide then goes on to give instructions for “how to use this guide” and proceeds to go through the possible “occasions that are perfect” for VIA Ready Brew Coffee. They begin by talking about the busy individual trying to get a cup of java prior to the late afternoon meeting, the red-eye traveler, the snooze button addict who wakes up late, and every mother’s aspiration “to be the coolest soccer mom in all the land.” Hmmm…
There are also instructions for the teacher trying to get a satisfying cup of coffee in the teachers’ lounge (don’t they have coffee machines there?) the weary traveler (perhaps after their red-eye flight) staying in the hotel (I know they have coffee machines there!) being forced to sit and listen to crazy “Aunt Harriet” (whose aunt doesn’t have a coffee machine?!?) and on and on and on.
It seems that Starbucks is charging pretty hard to the hoop to get this VIA Ready Brew Coffee stuff up off the ground. I’d noticed it earlier in the fall where Starbucks stores were doing the “Can You Taste the Difference VIA Ready Brew Challenge;” I’d also written about this back in February 09, when Starbucks sent this stuff direct into my post office box. The bottom line with this instant coffee is that the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is pretty average. Its instant coffee that tastes like instant coffee now matter how doctored the beans are, how genuine the grind is; it’s just instant coffee.
So Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee changing my life? I don’t think so. I’ll take my temperamental baristas and sometimes discount (until they take the discount card away) over the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew instant coffee any day. Once my discount card is gone however…all bets are off!