Anyone who has been in a Starbucks lately has seen Starbucks Via. The coffee company has been promoting their new instant coffee like crazy, so it’s pretty hard to miss. If you were lucky, you might have even gotten a free sample or two in a promotional taste test. I say “lucky” because Via is actually excellent for an instant coffee (and quite a bit better than some regular coffees). Starbucks came up with a new process to produce it, so it is not the same as the freeze-dried instant coffee that populates store shelves, nor does it taste anything like that watery, bland stuff. Via comes in two flavors – Colombian and Italian roasts – and tastes fresh and strong. It also dissolves easily in both hot and cold water, thanks to that new production process, so it can be used any time.
While I actually have taken a big like to taking a few packets of Via when I travel, I have found that it is an excellent baking ingredient in the home, too. Adding it into a recipe that calls for coffee flavoring is like adding a whole cup ofÂ coffee with just a little bit of powder. It definitely packs in much more flavor than regular instant coffee and incorporates much more seamlessly. This means that there is no need to dissolve it in a bit of hot liquid before adding it to a batter; you can stir it into dry ingredients just as you would with any ground spice, and it will blend perfectly into your finished product. The Colombian is good, but the Italian has a darker and stronger flavor, more like espresso. Via is a little more expensive than a generic instant coffee, but definitely well worth the price for the flavor and the convenience. I think that it is actually easier to use than the instant espresso powder that I usually use, and pretty much ties with Trablit coffee extract for flavor. Definitely worth keeping a box around the pantry if you like to use coffee flavoring in your baked goods or other dishes.
jennNovember 3, 2009
i’ve been using this for a few months now (have friends who work for starbucks) and i’ve pretty much given up on espresso powder in favor of via. the flavor is just so much more rich. makes the best brownies ever…and not to mention a pretty darn good cup of coffee!
LindaNovember 3, 2009
Good to know. I do use a lot of instant espresso and homemade fresh espresso in recipes. And I live in Starbuck’s land so I’m sure it is available here. I even have a gift card to use to purchase it. 🙂 Thanks for the tip!!
Carrie ZNovember 3, 2009
You are so fill of super advice! I have a few packets in my cupboard at this very moment, so something coffee inspired must be baked ASAP!
Bill MedifastNovember 3, 2009
Wow… I wish I saw these sooner. I spend so much money to have them make espressos for me, plus the gas to get there and the few extra minutes I have to wake up in the morning. Would have never thought to bake with them though. Great idea! Hopefully I see these on my local Starbucks. We are happy to have a Starbucks as is, so we are slighly delayed with some things in our peaceful little town.
Light Delight with TouTouNovember 3, 2009
I have tried that VIA too. Love it. They are pretty close to the brewed coffee. Costco have that too, it’s much cheaper than VIA in Starbucks. 🙂
LauraNovember 3, 2009
I haven’t tried the VIA yet but it doesn’t surprise me that it is an excellent product. I love the syrups that they use and I have bought bottles of their caramel syrup to use in apple cider, etc. I’ll have to try this VIA!
Baking MonsterNovember 3, 2009
I know at one point Starbucks was advertising it for the troops and let me tell you they love it. It’s perfect to send to them and much better quality then any other kind of instant coffee they recieve where there based.
lesley lNovember 3, 2009
It’s soooooo good! Pour hot water in a mug of via, close your eyes & take a sip. You’d think you were in Starbucks! So yummy!!
DolceNovember 4, 2009
I would have never baked with it… But you made a good point, next time I want some coffee flavoring, I will go for it 🙂
Nutmeg NannyNovember 4, 2009
I tried the Via a few months ago and really enjoyed it. For instant coffee it was actually good. I will have to try and bake with it now:)
iphoneNovember 9, 2009
Thatâ€™s something,That’s what I was thinking.Brilliant idea.
jacquiDecember 13, 2012
Hi, Love your blog. Thanls for this advise.
Am living in Singapore and Starbucks VIA came a few months ago.
Am excited to give this a go.Starbucks is just 5mins walk from my home. Am thinking of adding coffee to my chocolate cake.
DO I use the whole sachet? will it be too bitter, Do I have to add in more sugar?
Thanks and Blessed Christmas!