In the lobby at work, there is a Starbucks that I walk by multiple times a day. Last week I saw the sky blue color of the new instant iced coffee that they are hawking and decided to take a look. Long time Cruft readers know I like a good iced coffee, usually the Japanese style, canned iced coffee.
At least it's not an iced tea mix. I'm starting to believe that people who drink restaurant iced tea simply have given up on tasty beverages. I understand a good southern style sweet tea, but the tannin rich, bland crap they server most places is horrid made worse by dumping Sweet 'n Low into it creating some sort of chemical festival of inorganic compounds. Heaven forbid they get the raspberry or passionfruit 'flavored' iced tea than smells like someone poured the crappy iced tea through a bowl of potpourri that's been sitting on grandma's coffee table for a few years. Yet, time after time, I go to lunch with folks and they order iced teas. They never never smile about it. They kinda look they they just ordered some cod liver oil or other foul medicine.
But I digress. Back to instant iced coffee. What the heck, it's summer, I'll give it a try.
The coffee comes in a little package to mix with 16 ounces of water. I got out a trusty pint glass and prepared for some iced coffee after my bike ride this afternoon.
The package describes the mix as "instant & microground coffee with sugar" which is exactly what it looks like in a ramekin. In fact, those are the only ingredients. Nothing but coffee and sugar. Tasting the powder, you can feel the 'microground' coffee as it has a little grit that doesn't melt away.
I tossed the mix into cold water and stirred for about 30 seconds. Most everything dissolved. I expect that the undissolved bits are the actually grounds of coffee. I tossed in a few ice cubes and gave it a sip. Not bad. Not to strong or bitter. Actually it was much better than the iced coffee you get if you order it from a barista at Starbucks. The brewed coffee there is always to much of a dark roast for my taste and bitter.
There's 100 calories in a packet, so it's actually not that bad compared to a can of soda or any of the other mocha-frappa-latte type drinks at Starbucks. At a little over a buck a packet ($1.25 per packet) it's cheaper than most of the other drinks these days.
Overall, I think it's a good thing, better than the regular Via instant coffee. Go forth and feel free to keep a couple in your desk for those times when you need a quick pick me up but don't have time for a proper coffee.Posted by michael at July 05, 2010 03:08 PM