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Celebrate Starbucks 40th Anniversary with VIA Tribute Blend

To commemorate it’s 40th anniversary today, Starbucks is launching a new limited edition VIA Ready Brew flavor, Starbucks Tribute Blend. The latest edition to the VIA family is a combination of four different beans – aged Sumatra, sun-dried Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia.

If you haven’t gotten in on the VIA Ready Brew instant coffee craze yet (and you enjoy Starbucks coffee), I suggest you try them. Some of you may remember my post on being converted from a skeptic to an instant coffee fan (thanks to VIA). They are freakishly similar to their brewed coffee –but all you need to do to a VIA is pour the packet into a cup of hot water. It’s incredibly convenient for anyone on the go or who travels a lot. Plus it comes in a variety of existing Starbucks flavors so you’re not pigeonholed in your options.

Additionally to mark the big day, Starbucks is launching Tribute Blend Whole Bean Coffee, Canister, and Coffee Press.

Starbuck’s NEW VIA French Roast

Starbucks VIA French Roast

As some of you may remember, it was almost a year ago when I was first posted about Starbucks VIA Ready Brew coffee ($2.95/3pack, $9.95/12pack). Starbucks was one of the sponsors at New York Fashion Week, and I was in between shows and in dire need of caffeine.  My options we’re either their instant VIA coffee or one of their overly sweetened packaged drinks. Having only experienced instant coffee that tasted like watered down dirt, it was out of complete desperation that I tried the VIA Italian Roast, much less expected to drink the whole cup. To my surprise it tasted exactly like their regular brewed coffee—my mind was actually blown.

Starbucks VIA Collection

This month Starbucks launched their latest VIA flavor in French Roast. I had the pleasure of spending National Coffee Break Day (1/20) with them for an exclusive tasting and flavor profiles of each of the VIA varieties.  First off, VIA has come a long way since last year, they now offer an extensive range of flavors including Italian, Columbia, Vanilla, Mocha, Caramel and Cinnamon Spice, as well as a VIA Iced Coffee. It’s no wonder they are the No. 1 selling packaged coffee globally. Although, that’s not surprising considering how convenient

Travel Treasures: Colgate Wisp, Starbucks VIA, L’Oreal Skin Genesis

I’m a coffee lover, girl on the go, frequent traveler, and sometimes (many times?), I’m just plain lazy.  If you share any of my characteristics then you’ll appreciate my latest finds, Colgate Wisps, Starbucks Via 100% Natural Roasted Instant & Microground Coffee, and L’Oreal Skin Genesis Micro-Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes.  In the past few months these products have entered my life and now I don’t travel without them.

1. Colgate Wisp – On a recent Jet Blue flight, the flight attendant was handing out these disposable mini-toothbrushes.  My mouth always feels so raunchy after excessive time in airports and planes so to be given something that requires not getting out of my seat that delivers a clean mouth and fresh breathe is a big check plus in my book!  One end is the brush; the other a soft pick which really works to get anything in between teeth out.  Plus it’s so compact (only 3 ½”), so carrying these little wonders around with me is a non-issue.

Colgate Wisp’s come in Peppermint, Cinnamint, and Spearmint flavors.  For more information visit www.colgatewisp.com

2. Starbucks VIA Ready Brew – I consider myself a coffee snob.  In fact while I write this I’m sitting at one of my favorite coffee spots, Sweetleaf, enjoying my second cup of Stumptown coffee. So perhaps coffee addict is a better description of me.

I needed to qualify that since I’m about to attempt to sell you on Starbuck’s instant coffee.  Yes, I know —eww.  Or at least that’s what I would think if someone would praise adding water to coffee and expecting anything decent.

So here’s my storey: Confessions of a Reformed Instant Coffee Hater

While hanging out in the tents at Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week I was in dire need of a coffee.  All I could think was ‘I’m saved!’ when I saw Starbucks was a sponsor, but when I got to their booth all I saw was a fridge full of their cold Frappuccino drinks.  I like my coffee hot and unsweetened, the Frappaccino’s would simply not do.  And then on the table I spotted milk and half and half, and what I thought was a coffee dispenser.  Again, ‘I’m saved’, is going through my head, but when I got there hot water came out of the dispenser –is this a cruel joke? Then I noticed the women next to me are pouring these small packets of Starbucks VIA instant coffee into the water.  Again –is this a joke? Up until that moment my experience with instant coffee is likely from five years ago at convention centers or hotels that would provide you with a tea bag that supposedly contained coffee in it that just tasted terrible.  I mean so terrible that one sip and it was in the garbage can.  But there I was pouring a bag of instant coffee into the hot water, adding milk –desperate times calls for . . .  Then came the shock: It’s good.  In fact it’s more then good, it’s not weak and totally accurate!  If I had ordered a Starbucks Italian Roast coffee and the barista gave me a cup of the VIA Ready Brew Italian Roast in it’s place I would not have noticed.  My mind is blown.

I keep one in my wallet at all times.  It’s perfect for traveling or when I’m too lazy in the morning to make a cup (or am running late) and need something fast!  Plus VIA is 100% natural roasted coffee and contains no by-products or chemicals and can also be served cold.  Instant ice-coffee anyone?

Starbuck’s VIA comes in Columbia, Italian Roast and Decaf Italian Roast.  For more information visit www.starbucks.com

3. L’Oreal Paris Skin Genesis Micro-Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes – I’ve decided that makeup wipes are probably one of my favorite things to review.  All you have to do is get really made up, spend a night out, then come home and put that towelette to the test.  If it can handle a really done up makeup look, it can handle your everyday cosmetic choices.  I’m happy to report L’Oreal’s Skin Genesis passed with flying colors! One wipe took it all off (my foundation, blush, eyeshadow, lipstick and bronzer). Provided I used every inch of both sides, and by the end of it no part of that towel resembled it’s original state of white. And get this, yesterday I had a mysterious yellow stain on my cardigan and no instant remover so I dabbed the towellette on it and it disappeared.  Now I keep a pack of these next to my bed just in