Instant coffee

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
I am trying to figure out why the largest chain of coffee companies has started pushing instant coffee. I understand they had to develop instant coffee if they wanted a presence in the European countries but why test market it in America? I also do not understand why would they have taste tests to compare drip coffee to instant? Supposedly they say you can not taste the difference. I just know that If the coffee I am roasting starts to taste like instant then I need to hang up my hat! Anybody have thoughts on this?
 
Actually it is a strategy that is mainly targeting off shore developing markets> these are the future markets for the company in question. China, India and INdonesia currently have around 250 stores between them (none actually yet in India I believe). The average salaries in China and Indonesia are $550 and $130 a month... a coffee $3. The plan is to use the brand to market the instant into these markets with the long term strategy of increasing visits and expenditure in company stores as disposible income increases over time. The oter _PLUS for these markets is none of them are strong traditional coffee markets... so branding rather than a quality coffee product is paramount at this stage....
 
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topher

topher

Super Moderator
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Aug 14, 2003
3,740
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Boca Raton
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I understand what market they are they are targeting..but why such a push here in the States? I am just surprised that they are pushing it so hard here. The other thing is I can not believe they had taste tests in stores to see if their customers could taste a difference. I tasted it and could definitely taste a difference.
 
It beats me why they are testing it and pushing it so hard in the US, other than it is still the home market for the company in question. I would be interested to know 1/. where it is being made (most instant coffee these days is being made- although not necessarily roasted- in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam- where there has been a huge investment in the gigantic towers needed to make quality spray/freeze dry/granulated instants). 2/, If that companies in-house tests say that the instant tastes "similar" or the "same" as the roast and ground... then that company has far worse problems with their R&G product than I thought... or... their average customer has about as much appreciation and understanding for coffee as I do of the art and skills of Georgian Cossack Dancing!

Either way it bodes well for roasters such as Boca Java or Merdeka Coffee- while the company in question works hard to reinvent itself further down the evolutionary ladder, the independents are going in the opposite direction. Think Darwinism reversed... :wink:
 

PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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Near Philadelphia, PA
Recently, a lot of people have come into the cafe and have asked me if I know anything about Starbucks' new instant coffee. I guess people are curious.

It's been years since I've been in a Starbucks. I haven't tried the new instant coffee, and I really don't want to....so I was wondering if anyone can tell me what it tastes like.

Is it supposed to taste similar to the drip coffee that Starbucks sells? I'm remembering Starbucks coffee having a burnt-glue taste that lingers long after you drink it. It's not an appealing thought, that's for sure!

Rose
 

Crazy4Coffee

New member
Jan 27, 2007
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PinkRose said:
Recently, a lot of people have come into the cafe and have asked me if I know anything about Starbucks' new instant coffee. I guess people are curious.

It's been years since I've been in a Starbucks. I haven't tried the new instant coffee, and I really don't want to....so I was wondering if anyone can tell me what it tastes like.

Is it supposed to taste similar to the drip coffee that Starbucks sells? I'm remembering Starbucks coffee having a burnt-glue taste that lingers long after you drink it. It's not an appealing thought, that's for sure!

Rose

I was at the grocery store last weekend and they have a Starbucks kiosk where they had put out samples of Via. In addition to still having that "wonderful :x " burnt Charbucks taste, they have added bitter, and I mean B-I-T-T-E-R! Totally undrinkable black. Might be possible to slug it down if you add lots of cream and/or sugar.
 
C4C did you get a chance to read the label? Could be...or could it be... they have added Robusta?? You see the instant process is quite coffee intensive. I think it takes a minimum of around 2.5kg of green to make 1kg of instant...


Crazy4Coffee said:
PinkRose said:
Recently, a lot of people have come into the cafe and have asked me if I know anything about Starbucks' new instant coffee. I guess people are curious.

It's been years since I've been in a Starbucks. I haven't tried the new instant coffee, and I really don't want to....so I was wondering if anyone can tell me what it tastes like.

Is it supposed to taste similar to the drip coffee that Starbucks sells? I'm remembering Starbucks coffee having a burnt-glue taste that lingers long after you drink it. It's not an appealing thought, that's for sure!

Rose

I was at the grocery store last weekend and they have a Starbucks kiosk where they had put out samples of Via. In addition to still having that "wonderful :x " burnt Charbucks taste, they have added bitter, and I mean B-I-T-T-E-R! Totally undrinkable black. Might be possible to slug it down if you add lots of cream and/or sugar.
 

Crazy4Coffee

New member
Jan 27, 2007
39
0
Alun_evans said:
C4C did you get a chance to read the label? Could be...or could it be... they have added Robusta?? You see the instant process is quite coffee intensive. I think it takes a minimum of around 2.5kg of green to make 1kg of instant...

Hey Alun,
Good point. However, Starbucks claims that they use 100% arabica beans in Via.
That doesn't mean much since Folgers and Maxwell House both use lesser grade arabica beans (probably like at least the lower 50% grade of the arabica yearly worldwide yield) so they can market their products as containing 100% arabica, and I suspect that Starbucks is using a lesser grade arabica in their Via instant as well.
 
It indeed would have to then be a lower grade Arabica. That part of the marketing equation is tricky eh? I mean you have a brand that in specialty circles is not particulary recognised for the quality of its coffee- then to add an instant component that can be marketed to the emerging markets you have to get even poorer quality coffees. Is there not a danger that some financial whizz kid in HO, with no real idea of coffee, suddenly says "hey, we can make this Via product with Arabica @$0.70/kg ($700$MT)...why dont we try roasting the same ourselves for our store use?!" :wink: Watch this space!
 
C

coffeeloverlisa

Guest
Here is another idea... I was on Twitter where I gab a few times a day and I get this e-mail telling me I won a Tassimo and I DID! It came with all this free stuff including Starbucks pods. Why would they have pods, which I found out have to have millions of units to produce? (I inquired if rocketfuelcoffee.com could make pods).

So now they are making Via and it must have taken a couple of years to develop and test that product.

My theory is that with a coffee shop on every corner, some Starbucks, some other companies, they are throwing darts of various kinds to see what hits the target. Some will be successful, some will fail but none will work overnight as folks do not take to their habits overnight. And with places like McDonalds paying attention to coffee, all gloves are off.

Funny thing is, Starbucks instant costs almost as much as their regular offering. The Tassimo pods cost more than any coffee you can make at home at $5.99 for 9 cups of Latte. The packaging is so overdone, wasteful and unenvironmental it is quite shocking really. The opposite of where the world is going.

We'll see...
 
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