giveaway! win a starbucks via gift bag

This is not your grandma’s instant coffee! I got a sneak preview of Starbucks’ newest product, VIA — instant coffee that is nothing like any you’ve ever had. Meaning, it tastes like actual, high quality coffee. (I liked it so much, I had three cups in one sitting.) You won’t be able to buy it online until March 3, and when it first reaches stores, it will only be in Seattle, Chicago and the UK. So here’s your chance to try it now, plus get a few other fabulous prizes.

Leave a comment on this post telling us about your favorite recipe that uses coffee (whether instant, brewed, or coffee liqueur) for your chance to win this Starbucks VIA swag bag:

– A lunch-sized, 100% cotton tote bag from Fairwinds Trading, Inc., handcrafted in Rwanda
– Eight samples of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew coffee — four Italian Roast and four Columbia
– And a special VIA ceramic I Am Not a Paper Cup from MoMA!

Leave your comment by Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m. EST. Be sure to use your real email address (we’re the only ones who will see it). One entry per person. Once entries are closed, we’ll select one winner using a random number generator. And read more about my VIA experience after the jump! –Mary T.

The Starbucks folks let us compare Via with a more traditional instant coffee. Big differences here — VIA smelled, looked, and felt like coffee. The existing instant coffee didn’t. (No, I don’t know what brand the “OTHER” was.)

Here’s how VIA is packaged — easy to fit in your purse. Heck, even your wallet.

After we enjoyed some pre-made VIA, we got the chance to mix it up ourselves. I made a good cup of hot coffee in seconds. I confess that I didn’t use the whole pack; I like my coffee strong but using the entire pack put it a little over the top for me in terms of strength. I’d say the size of my coffee cup was midway between an old-fashioned china cup and the more standard mug that you might use in your office. So for a mug, a full packet would work just fine.

VIA mixes up instantly, hot or iced. We tried the Columbia and the Italian Roast. I liked the Columbia better, though I don’t have the tasting vocabulary to tell you why. It had a cleaner feel, if that makes sense. Starbucks calls it “nutty” as opposed to the “bold” flavor of the Italian Roast. Either way, it was good with bread pudding. (Sadly, not a Starbucks offering.) Many thanks to Starbucks for a tasty time!

P.S. Incidentally, the VIA event took place at Seattle’s Boat Street Cafe. It is a lovely spot, tucked away in a building less than a block from the sculpture park. So if you find yourself in town, stop in! Three words: amaretto bread pudding.

From our partners

I hope these are as good as they sound! I would love to try some to see. Lots of uses but instant iced coffee that is not diluted by heat and ice would be the best.


mocha coffee coffee cake – thanks joy!


My favorite coffee “recipe” is the classic Italian after dinner snack/dessert: a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream or gelato with a good, strong shot of espresso poured over the top. There’s a name for this in Italian, right?

My husband’s birthday is Sunday and I’m making him quintuple chocolate brownies with coffee for him. I can’t wait. The recipe is from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Doris Greenspan.
Thanks for the giveaway!


Espresso brownies, of course.

My fav recipe to use instant coffee for are my Tiramisu cupcakes ( and my Cafe Mocha cupcakes (here in cake form:

I use the coffee in the buttercream and the cupcake. Delicious!


I like to let coffee steep overnight and then ice it in the morning with a touch of sweetened condensed milk. mmmm.


i don’t know if there was ever actually a recipe for it, but my gramma made the BEST chocolate frosting from scratch and i know she put coffee in it


Mmmm. This would be so perfect for hauling over to the houses of my non-caffeinated friends.

I have a recipe for Tiramisu ice cream from the Perfect Scoop that is amazing, but I’m not sure if it is my favorite. I like adding a little bit of coffee to brownies and chocolate cake to pump up the chocolate flavor a bit.


I have two favorite recipes: My grandma’s doboschtorte (coffee flavored frosting) and Heidi Swanson’s espresso banana nut muffins.


Oh, my favorite recipe that uses instant coffee is the chocolate banana snack cake in Cooking Light. It’s such an easy recipe, and a tasty treat!


My favorite thing to do with coffee is make ice cream coffee shakes out of it! Those instant coffee packets would make that a lot easier to do – which may not be a good thing!

Did I make it in under the deadline? eee, I hope so!

lindsey k

My mom makes the most amazing cheesecakes and my favorite is this super rich chocolate espresso one. So delicious!!


A cuppa joe


this could be the answer to my bad work-coffee nightmares!




Moosewood Restaurant’s (6 Minute) Vegan Chocolate Cake with Coffee for the liquid. Quick and Yummy!

My favorite would have to be tiramisu!!

sign. me. up.


I dont really cook with coffee, but I love a hot cup of coffee with real cream as part of a special treat with fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookies.


Oooooh a white cake with chocolate mocha buttercream frosting!


My favorite is gingerbread with coffee and black pepper. It makes a great cookie!


I like to add expresso to my brownies – yummy! I wonder how this would taste as an iced coffee?


Never cooked with coffee but I LOVE drinking it.


tiramisu, hands down!

and after the week i’ve had, this giveaway would be a godsend.

Kana Tanaka

Coffeecheese cake!


Blanco y Negro with frozen coffee cubes, iced coffee, and vanilla gelato! Thanks for doing this!!!


I love putting a little coffee into a chocolate cake. Always makes it taste a little richer.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » starbucks giveaway: we have a winner

[…] to reader Bev Bourne, the winner of our Starbucks VIA swag bag giveaway! We were overwhelmed with the response and have a serious craving for mocha brownies, […]