Reason For Trying It:
My recent review of Starbucks VIA instant coffee in the Pumpkin Spice flavor rendered some mixed results. The coffee was delicious…but when I opened my box of “five single-serving” packs, I only found TWO single-servings! I immediately contacted the Starbucks company and was assured that they would make things right by sending me a coupon for a free box of Starbucks VIA in the flavor of my choice.
“Can I use it for a replacement box of the Pumpkin Spice flavor? Or the new Peppermint Mocha that I’ve been dying to try?” I asked.
“Of course! You can choose absolutely any flavor that comes in the 6, 7 or 8 pack size. That should more than make up for the three missing servings…” The Starbucks customer service guy said.
When I hung up the phone, I was satisfied that my concerns had been addressed and I looked forward to receiving my coupon.
It took a few weeks, but the coupon eventually arrived. I dropped by my local Starbucks location and was disappointed to see that they were sold out of the Pumpkin Spice flavor…but excited to find the new Peppermint Mocha! I snapped up a box.
At the register I was dismayed to discover that the coupon wouldn’t work for the Peppermint Mocha flavor…or the Pumpkin Spice flavor…or ANY holiday flavor for that matter. The coupon was for any flavor in the 6, 7 or 8 serving size packages but holiday flavors only come in 5-packs. The baristas behind the counter informed me that everyone at Starbucks knows that Holiday and Specialty flavors ONLY come in a 5-pack size. Suddenly, I felt much less satisfied with the Starbucks corporation’s “resolution” to my issue.
Fortunately I had brought the letter from Starbucks Customer Service with me. I shared it with the manager in the local location and was relieved when they not only shared my frustration but offered to honor the coupon for a 5-pack of Peppermint Mocha (even though the original box with the missing packets had been purchased at the Modesto location). Walking out the door with that box in my hand was the first time I’d been truly satisfied with Starbucks in weeks. The management at my local branch had renewed my faith in the company as a whole by setting things right…so I could finally focus on being excited to get home and try out the new VIA!
The packaging is very Christmasy. I was actually thinking that it’d make an awesome grown-up stocking stuffer, office gift or Secret Santa swag. Inside the festive box were the promised five single-serving pouches of instant coffee.
I was surprised to learn of a popular belief that there’s no actual coffee in the Starbucks VIA Peppermint Mocha. I’d like to end that rumor right now, with a picture of the back of the package. Notice the second ingredient: “Instant and microground Arabica Coffee”.
Just like with the Pumpkin Spice VIA, the instructions were incredibly simple:
1. Pour packet of VIA instant coffee into mug.
2. Pour 8 oz of hot milk into mug.
3. Stir until blended.
And for me it’s not a hot chocolatey Christmasy treat without an extra step:
4. Add whip cream. Yum!
Think of a really good cup of hot cocoa…now add peppermint…and coffee. Yeah, that’s how good it is! I thoroughly enjoyed every sip. Again, my expectations were very low because I personally HATE instant coffee, but Starbucks VIA Peppermint Mocha proved a treat I can’t wait to repeat. It’s definitely not a latte, but if you can thrive on a simple cup of coffee then this would definitely get you going in the morning (and with a smile too). It’s sweet, creamy, chocolatey and has the perfect bite of coffee and peppermint.
Place of purchase: Starbucks
Ease of use: 9 out of 10
Flavor: 9 out of 10
Yes…but I’m hoping Santa brings me more! 😉
That’s Ryan’s “Don’t take my picture while I’m drinking coffee…and don’t post on your blog that I’m drinking Peppermint Mocha with whip cream, even though I love it” face. Yep: That’s my man!