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Thread: Starbucks to sell instant coffee

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    Default Starbucks to sell instant coffee

    NEW YORK — Starbucks Corp. said Thursday it will unveil a new instant coffee as part of its attempt to turn around sluggish sales and shed its reputation for pricey lattes.

    The company has been working on the product for more than 20 years and has a patent pending on the technology that will allow it to "absolutely replicate the taste of Starbucks coffee in an instant form," spokesman Vivek Varma said in an e-mail to employees.

    Varma said Starbucks will offer details of the new instant coffee, reportedly called Via, beginning next week. Samples will be arriving in stores on Wednesday, he said.

    The company did not say when it will begin selling the coffee in its stores.

    Chief Executive Howard Schultz is expected to formally announce the product on Tuesday in New York.

    Starbucks has been looking to reposition itself away from its reputation as the purveyor of $4 fancy coffee drinks. It reported a big drop in U.S. same-store sales _ or sales at stores open at least a year _ in its fiscal first quarter at the end of January.

    Earlier this week, Starbucks said it will begin offering value meal-like "breakfast pairings" for $3.95 to appeal to cost-conscious customers.
    Starbucks Via: Instant "Soluble" Coffee Product Planned

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    Whoa, next up, Starbucks Lemonade Stands...

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    and the crapification of Starbucks continues at a blistering pace.. first, incompetent baristas.. next, burnt tasting shitty coffee.. now.. FOLGERS CYSTALS.

    Really? Why even bother going anymore.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    Who drinks instant? Yuck.

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    I don't know how they're going to continue offering their employees such good benefits if they're going to slash the prices of their drinks by selling instant.

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    They aren't cutting the drink costs beyond the combos, and this (as far as has been indicated) will not be served in stores beyond a sampling capacity. It's a separate retail product. A similar, more "primitive" product has been used in the stores for years for the blended drinks. If it maintains that form it isn't anything folgers crystal-like, it'll be more like a very fine ground coffee. I have yet to try it, but they keep talking it up in our communications for the last week.

    As much as I think it is a pretty bad idea and believe (no matter what they try to tell us) that it goes completely against their philosophy and treatment of other/instant coffees, I'm willing to wait til I actually try it before I completely condemn it.

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    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    So they've been using instant coffee in their blended drinks for years?

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Yes, the only blended drinks with brewed coffee were the decaf ones b/c we didn't make a powdered base in decaf. Without the instant type thing they wouldn't even have that line, which is arguably something actually changed their business completely and is their most successful product.

    I have NO idea how private some of the stuff is supposed to be prior to launch, even though a bunch of stuff leaked early so they had to release info to us early so we could respond to customer questions. I'll give you this b/c it's in the Wall Street Journal, it has some of the background info we've been given about the product's development.

    Via dates back to a 1993 prototype created by Don Valencia, a now deceased Starbucks employee who led the coffee company's early product research and development efforts. Mr. Valencia created a soluble version of Starbucks coffee to take with him on camping trips that became known internally as "JAWS," or Just Add Water and Stir. Executives would ask coffee department workers to make them special batches of JAWS when they were traveling to places where they didn't have access to Starbucks brewed coffee.

    After drinking JAWS on a trip to Africa in 2007, Mr. Schultz asked workers who develop new products at Starbucks whether they could create a better version of it to sell in stores. Working in top secrecy at Starbucks Seattle headquarters, a small group of employees tasted 700 versions, trying to eliminate the cereal-tasting flavor that can creep into instant coffee. To make is soluble, Starbucks takes freshly roasted beans, grinds them and then makes the brewed coffee into a concentrated extract that is dried into a powdered form. A patent is pending for the product.
    Starbucks Takes Plunge Into Instant Coffee - WSJ.com

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    Silver Member a31cefiro's Avatar
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    Instant coffee is nice. I hate brewed stuff. It smells like burning cow shit.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    I think there can be some logistical considerations with using fresh brewed coffee in blended drinks. I've never worked anywhere as elaborate as Starbucks, but the cafe I worked at did some iced coffees and bubble tea made from powdered or syrup mixes. And the thing is, the brewed liquid that goes into them (coffee or tea) has to be cold, or else a very small volume of hot stuff, or it will completely melt all the ice, water down the drink and still only be tepid.

    People would sometimes be like, "eww, you use instant coffee to make the iced coffees?", but instant allows you to make a small amount of concentrate (dissolve the grounds in just a little hot water), and then adding ice and milk will make the drink nice and cold. I could pour a cup of hot coffee over ice, but what you'd end up with is lukewarm watery coffee. Tea-based drinks weren't a problem because you can use cold brewed tea throughout the day without it tasting like ass.

    I don't know if any of this applies at Starbucks since I'm not sure how they make their blended drinks.
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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    and the crapification of Starbucks continues at a blistering pace.. first, incompetent baristas.. next, burnt tasting shitty coffee.. now.. FOLGERS CYSTALS.

    Had to read that one to mr. butt. He cracked up.
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    So Butt, apart from the heat, the humidity, the spiders, the snakes, the bushfires, etc how do you find the coffee in Sinny?
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    Elite Member katerpillar's Avatar
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    It's not like Starbucks coffee could get any worse. It'll probably be an improvement.

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    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    Who drinks instant? Yuck.
    Uh, me. And it isn't yuck. It tastes just fine, thank you.

    I don't really like brewed coffee. However, I wouldn't go to a coffee shop and pay more for instant coffee when it's cheaper to drink at home.

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    Gold Member Glitter's Avatar
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    They need to just give it up. Instant can be okay.
    Life is what happens to you
    While you're busy making other plans ~ John Lennon

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