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Feb 13, 2009 04:00 AM

Starbucks to introduce instant coffee

Wait, wasn't this WHY we started drinking Starbucks? That we DIDN'T want instant?

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  1. I don't care for Starbucks, but from my experience, a bad drip coffee is still better than a good instant coffee. I have a Keurig and yes, instant is faster, but in the overall scheme of things a few seconds isn't going to make that much of a difference. I can't imagine that the test would to replicated in instant form.

    1. Good point, now that these pod coffees are popular and Starbucks is already offering their own pods for the machine...instant coffee at the cafe is not a stretch.

      5 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        It isn't for the cafes, it is a home product.

        1. re: AHan

          Sold in a jar like Sanka? Still not a stretch given the K cups out there.

          1. re: HillJ

            I don't get it. You can get a filter attachment for the pod makers and put in any grounds you want, essentially getting instant coffee without the instant flavor. I just wonder who the instant will attract. The people who like the plain drip probably already use the grounds, and the people who like the fancier, flavored coffees will go in the store. Are they planning on putting the flavor of a mocha latte into an instant coffee?

            1. re: queencru

              A few sorts I think the instant will be attractive to: People who almost never drink coffee and so don't want a machine (or to keep beans on hand), people who literally never drink coffee but want an emergency bailout in case a guest insists on _something_ (this presumes it's a passably drinkable cup of coffee), office sorts without a coffee machine in the office and with no desire to bring coffee making gear with them, someone who wants a low-cost cup of coffee while on the go (this is a really attractive possibility for me). If they make it in decaf, it'd be convenient to keep on hand as an afternoon option (we have regular in our burr grinder and don't drink enough decaf to make it worth stocking the beans).

              1. re: queencru

                I think this about offering choice. Let's face it, we're all guilty of enjoying choice, finding those products we love and eventually stick with. If this idea bombs, Starbucks will move onto something else. If Starbucks doesn't know about marketing...who the heck does.

        2. Starbucks coffee tastes like crap to begin with. i'm hardly going to do a happy dance over an instant version of something i don't like to drink even when it's brewed fresh.

          if Peet's were to come out with something, i might kick up my heels...

          15 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            And Peet's is burnt trash, so I'd dismiss anything they came up with out of hand. On the other hand, I'll definitely be trying this stuff at least one time.

            1. re: ccbweb

              see, i think Starbucks (a.k.a. "Charbucks") tastes burnt. they over-roast their beans. Peet's, on the other hand, tastes much cleaner & smoother to me.

              to each his/her own.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                And I wouldn't drink Peet's if someone paid me to. To each his or her own.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Why don't you give Starbucks non-dark roasts a shot? Sounds like the dark roast is your big issue.

                  1. re: AHan

                    Why does everyone always try to convert others or feel that people must be missing something if they don't like some item or product? goodhealthgourmet doesn't like Starbucks' coffee; no reason he or she needs to keep trying it until he or she does. (Not to mention, I'd be willing to bet money goodhealthgourmet tried a "lighter roast" Starbucks to see whether it was just the darker roasts, he or she sounds like he or she knows what he or she likes.) Starbucks has a clear style that all of their roasts, dark or not, follow. Not everyone likes it. (Thus, to each his or her own.)

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      Oh come on ccb (grinning here) we aren't tru CH's if we aren't trying to convert or introduce someone to something!!! To each his/her completely diff in food love speak.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        A fair point that I knew as soon as I hit "post" or whatever the button says!

                        And I'd happily buy goodhealthgourmet a cup of coffee at Starbucks and I'm certain that he or she would very politely take a sip and tell me "yep, over-roasted, burnt and disgusting, would you like it?"

                      2. re: ccbweb

                        ccbweb, to clarify, i'm a "she" :)

                        truth be told, i don't like light roasts, period. i'm a fan of big, bold coffee. but you're correct, in the interest of giving them a fair shake, i have tried other, lighter roasts @ Starbucks...unfortunately i found them to be watery & insipid, while somehow still bitter/burnt-tasting.

                        sadly we don't have my beloved Peet's here, so unless i happen to be in the vicinity of an independent coffee house, i do find myself having to default to Starbucks when i'm out & about and craving a cup. i can tolerate their Sumatra and espresso roasts, so if they're brewing the former (which is rare) i'll get that, and if not, i order an Americano.

                        for the record, i'm not just anti-Starbucks. back in SoCal i also hated the coffee at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. great teas, but their coffee always tasted "off" to me.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          fair enough. In my experience many people who just say it tastes burnt have never tried more than one variety there, and whne exposed to others have been satisfied. Likewise, those who feel the need to slam SB for the prices have never been and do not understand that a regular cup of coffee is no more expensive than their competition.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I have to agree with you there. I prefer darker roasts most of the time, but don't like the more burnt/bitter tasting coffees. Not all dark roasts have that same burnt flavor that Starbucks seems to have. I just don't think Starbucks is the best place to go for drip coffee. There are other, cheaper places that do that much better.

                      1. re: queencru

                        in some cities. not all. i lived places with much better choices than starbucks and places where there weren't.

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Whether you like a darker roast or not is indeed a question of taste. But both Peet's and Starbucks roast their beans to the same general level of darkness. They're known in the industry for being among the darker roasts around. Some, myself included, prefer this darker roast, especially for drip coffee. Others prefer lighter, almost under-roasted beans like those from, say, Blue Bottle. I find this is only worthwhile if you're using a Clover, which allows you to precisely calibrate temperature, pressure, etc. to achieve a very specific taste. In that case, you don't want the darker roast overwhelming the effect of your tweaks.

                        1. re: a_and_w

                          Not sure what you mean by this. Starbucks roasts to a widely varying degree of darkness, they are not all the same, not by a long shot. Are you going by old information?

                          1. re: AHan

                            I'm pretty sure my information is up to date. To clarify, I'm talking about their regular coffees, which are well known to be roasted darker than most competitors. That's how they got the nickname "Charbucks" and why they created a separate line of "light note" blends.

                    3. I'm basically a tea drinker now, and keep instant coffee, regular and decaf, for friends who drop in. I don't want to use up any of my limited counter space for a coffeemaker. I might buy some of the Starbucks instant. Not make a special trip to get it, mind you, only if I happen to be meeting a friend there.

                      1. Is the instant coffee priced at 5 bucks a cup too?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Mellicita

                          This seems somewhat sacrilegious. While primarily a 'bucks girl, I must confess that I actually like Caribou and Seattle's Best (Henry's Blend, mmmmm) better, but there really aren't that many in Chicago. A former office had those pods. They were vile.

                          1. re: Whosyerkitty

                            Maybe you like Seattle's Best because they're owned by Starbucks?

                            1. re: monku

                              Yes. But it's different. Even same types are more mellow.

                              And they, even when they were hot really didn't put Seattle's Best shops in my area, except in some bookstores. They do have the chain bookstores sewed up, don't they?

                          2. re: Mellicita

                            Why would it be? The drip or french press coffee isn't $5 a cup.

                            1. re: Mellicita

                              Nothing at Starbucks is $5 a cup, and their regular coffee is less expensive that Dunkin Donuts.