REVIEW: Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee

Update: Click here to read our review of the caramel version

There’s only one problem with the Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee — I can’t watch a cute barista make it for me.

Unless I steal a Starbucks employee apron and make one for myself in front of a mirror; or I kidnap a cute Starbucks employee and have her brew one for me.

If I do decide to abduct a hot barista, I won’t have her captive for long because making a Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee is quick and extremely simple. All the barista would have to do is rub the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again. Oh wait, I meant to write, it pours the packet into 16 ounces of cold water, stirs and then adds in ice cubes, up to four, or else it gets the hose once more.

When I made one myself, I had to vigorously stir for about 45 seconds to completely dissolve the coffee. You can also pour the packet into a bottle of water and shake it like you’re trying to get rid of your flabby underarms with a Shake Weight.

Each packet contains instant and microground arabica coffee and cane sugar, and it’s bigger than the original Starbucks VIA instant hot coffee packet. I didn’t know anything about arabica coffee, so I decided to do a quick Wikipedia search.

I discovered the coffee gets its name because it’s indigenous to the mountains of Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, and not from one of the places the Beach Boys sang of in their song “Kokomo.” However, while it originates from Yemen, the arabica coffee is from Colombia.

The flavor of the iced coffee tastes almost like the Colombia Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, which is also made with arabica coffee. However, unlike the hot version, the iced version is lightly sweetened with cane sugar, which made it easier for me to drink. Of course, you can add any amount of your favorite sweetener to it or perhaps pour milk from your favorite animal teat. So far, I prefer mine with an ounce of vanilla milk from a soy teat.

I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed the Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee, because I’m not much of a coffee drinker. It doesn’t have a bold flavor, which if it did, would probably turn me off, instead it’s quite smooth and refreshing. And it also gave me a nice energy boost. Go coffee!

I see myself buying the Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee on a regular basis because I’m getting Starbucks iced coffee without the Starbucks iced coffee price. Sure, it would be nice if a cute barista also came inside the box and if I didn’t have to wait for water to freeze before I can put ice cubes in it, but I really love its combination of flavor, price, the fact it’s easy to make and its versatility. Since I’m able to add whatever I want, I could mix the instant iced coffee with chocolate sauce, milk and ice in a blender and make myself a mocha Frappuccino.

Or kidnap a cute Starbucks barista to make it for me.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 packet (13.3 grams) – 50 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar and 0 grams of protein)

Read other Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee reviews:
Drink What
Orange County Register
Possessed by Caffeine
Coffee Cup News (YouTube)
Wandering Foodie (YouTube)

Item: Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee
Price: $5.95
Size: 5-pack
Purchased at: A Starbucks inside of a Safeway that’s inside of a shopping center
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Very good. Inexpensive when compared with regular Starbucks. Easy to drink. Lightly sweetened. Easy to make. Versatile. Gave me a boost of energy. Shake Weight commercials.
Cons: Takes a lot of vigorous stirring to make the coffee dissolve completely. Doesn’t come with a cute barista. Coffee purists may not like it. Waiting for water to freeze. Kidnapping people.

17 thoughts to “REVIEW: Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee”

  1. I am impressed that this instant brew is any good. I might have to pick some up and give it a whirl. I do like the price way better than going to an actual Starbucks location but still a little pricy for a 5 pk.

  2. A perfect 10? This must be the Nadia Comaneci of The Impulsive Buy reviews.

  3. I had a sample of this when I was at Starbucks last week, it was surprisingly good…and paying $1.25 each isn’t too bad of a price when you consider the price of iced coffee at Starbucks. The only thing that’s holding me back is that I don’t have ice available at my office, where I primarily drink coffee (iced or hot.) I suppose it’d be just as good..but I like the ice cubes, damn it.

    1. natalie, i didn’t use ice for my VIA, just cold water since I don’t trust the ice available at our office. wasn’t bad but the drink would have been nicer with some extra chill.

  4. I’m currently on a no sugar, alcohol, or caffeine diet so I can’t partake of this. Looks decent, but I’ve never been an iced coffee person, so I probably wouldn’t have it even if I could. Do you know if they make a decaf version?

  5. It looks a little bit too healthy for me. Not enough sugar, no extra caramel

    I bet it tastes good if you drop some gummi bears in the bottom.

    Then you could blend the fkkers

    Die Gummi Bears, Die!

  6. I’m a barista at Starbucks. If you want the product, be sure to snag one of the $1 off coupons, they’re online / each store was shipped about 400 of them to hand out so just ask. Also, be warned that if you like “bold” coffee this is a Columbia blend and not very strong, the first ingredient is sugar after all. I like it with a little less water than it recommends because once you add the ice it can taste watered down. It’s still way easier to dissolve than the regular VIA.

    1. I like to add an italian via to my iced via packet…it gives it a really nice bold flavor and makes it not as sweet, then add a little milk and a little shot of heavy cream…pour over ice. YUM.

  7. @amanda: Give it a whirl and if you don’t like it you can give the rest to me. 🙂

    @Rachel Wilkerson: You’re welcome.

    @Gordon Shumway: Yup, and it’s just as small as Nadia.

    @Michael: Go coffee!

    @geewhy: Linked to you, buddy! I will buy more of this as soon as I kidnap a cute barista.

    @Natalie: I enjoy the ice cubes too. But I thought in Alaska you can just walk outside and pick ice cubes from the ice cube tree since it’s so far north. Or wait, did I dream that.

    @Chuck: They don’t make a decaf version. Although I think there are some people out there who would like an alcohol version.

    @AJ: Blending gummy bears isn’t a satisfying death for them. I prefer to do it old school and bite their limb off one by one and then the head. That way the gummy bear can watch me dismember it.

    @Juba: I didn’t know about the coupon but the barista gave me one after I bought it.

    @JamieSusan: you should be. I countered your all caps with all lowercase. 🙂

  8. has anyone mentioned you can add this (and the regular Via packets) to a typical plain yogurt and with a few twirls, have a sweetened coffee yogurt? most times when you find yogurt for sale or at a function,
    it’s being served chilled… don’t have to add ice that way.

  9. I too have made the offhand comment about “milking the soy teat,” but usually default to just “bean milk.” The level of comradery I felt from that one sentence is unbelievably weird and amazing.

    Also, your reviews are excellent. Thank you.

  10. The reviewer didn’t mention ANYTHNG about the caffeine content and the effect this type of coffee has on people. It’s a MAJOR energy booster. One packet and 10 ounces of cold water finds its way to my stomach before my workout every morning and I feel like I can lift anything in the gym. Will keep you jumpy for hours. Amazing drink. Hope they never stop making it

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