I just stumbled over to Starbucks for my mid-afternoon hit and had a sampling of their new Via instant coffee.
They're calling it "ready brew," but in all its glory, it's still instant coffee. Just like when I used to tap two mounds of Taster's Choice crystals (+ one saccharine tablet) into my mom's mug when I was kid, all you need is some hot water.
So for all of you currently in office coffee hell, one in which the management has replaced bad-but-free office coffee with some .50 pay-per-cup pseudo-gourmet bad office coffee in an effort to pinch a few pennies (ahem), you might have a reason to live, because the sample I tasted was quite good. It was dark and rich and lacked that metallic tang I seem to remember from my mom's coffee. And actually, I don't know what they're thinking because now I have no reason to trek to Starbucks for my afternoon hit, as hot water is still free. For now.
Be your own judge. From October 2-5, stop in and take a taste test between the Via and regular roast. At least you'll get a free cup of coffee.