Who thought a make over on something like instant coffee would be a success? Starbucks has done it again! A few months ago, most of you likely noticed that Starbucks came out with a new line called VIA. They dressed it up in trendy cylindrical packages and covered their American stores floor to ceiling in the stuff. A new report written in the Wall Street Journal this week cites that Starbucks has reached the first quarter with the same sales growth since the end of 2008. The average customer's bill rose 4% primarily attributed to VIA. Even Starbucks corporation has been surprised at the American acceptance of VIA.
I decided to do a little experimenting of my own. Unfortunately, I am not well credentialed to do this type of testing because I do not drink coffee regularly and do not like coffee unless it is smothered in sugar, chocolate, and milk, but here I go anyway. My mom gave me a Starbucks gift card this Christmas (which made me SO happy!) and it came inside a VIA package. I have a pack of 3 VIA sitting in my kitchen, and this morning, I tried to make it. I think I am the only person in the world who read the instructions on the pack of how to do it! (It gets 5 stars for super easy.) I dumped out the cute package into my mug and was overtaken by the wonderful sensation of fresh ground coffee. Now I admit that I am NOT a coffee expert, but I know how traditional instant coffee smells from cooking with it previously and let me tell you, the smell is alive in the VIA package. As soon as I poured in the hot water, the entire kitchen filled with the smell of Starbucks. It was heavenly.
Being someone who has lived all over the world and seems to move way too often, Starbucks has a familiarity about it that I love. I know they are a giant corporation that make it difficult for small local businesses, and normally, I try to support as much local business as possible (myself having a small local business). However, to a nomad like myself, Starbucks creates a familiar atmosphere that reminds me of home. VIA brings this experience into my kitchen.
Now for the taste test, oh, yes, ah it tastes just like coffee - I will not be able to drink this. I try adding two tablespoons of sugar and chocolate chips thinking I might as well grab the brownies I made last night rather than drink this coffee!! With the sweet treats added, it is drinkable to me, but I would prefer the full mocha. Needless to say, VIA has not made me into a coffee drinker this morning, but it has a surprisingly fresh and delicious smell which my coffee drinkers - you know who you are!- may love. Convenient and affordable - of course Americans were going to like it! ;)
If you have tried VIA, leave your feedback here about your experience. Maybe some of our coffee experts can give us a better assessment.
Italian Roast Coffee.
Gift Set Includes:
• 12-ct. box VIA™
• 10-oz. VIA™
• VIA™ Extra Large
Two weeks out of 52 into the New Year! Did you make a health goal for 2010? If not, now would be a good time to grab a piece of paper or open word and write down at least two goals to better your health this New Year. Everyone is at a different place and should have a goal unique to them.
My personal health goals include making healthier choices rather than what appeals to me in the moment. For example, I am in the Frankfort airport for quite some time today on a layover. I wanted to sit in the coffee shop and do some work. Instead of ordering a café mocha, I chose a loose leaf hot tea. I already ate breakfast and had my calcium with the yogurt. Although a mocha may have sounded better in the moment, I can tell you that an hour later as I write this, I am glad I made the choice for tea. It is light and delicious and does not add unnecessary sugar and fat to my day. Not to mention the antioxidants from the tea are a great plus.
I tell you this not to pat myself on the back, but to spur ideas in your mind for this new year. Try to avoid goals of eliminating your favorite foods or committing to an unrealistic diet pattern. Set an exercise goal and a nutrition goal. Make it something you can stick to for the rest of your life.
For those of you who already have your health goals and have been sticking to them for the past few weeks, congratulations! You may not see the direct results of your changes yet, but hopefully you are feeling more full of energy and proud of yourself for sticking with your goal. Keep up the good work. If you can find someone else with similar goals, that is going to be a great help. Do not start making up excuses. Reward yourself for your progress and focus on the big picture. We are cheering for you! It’s a marathon not a sprint.
Lastly, to those of you who started making great progress before the holidays, but once the holidays came, your health goals got lost in the shuffle. It's not too late to start again. Refocus. Do not beat yourself up for going off track; remember how many great changes you had made. A few steps forward, a few back, try again, never give up. Always here for you – Abrea.
After twenty four hours of travel, we made it back to our friends in India. Funny how we can fly to the other side of the world, grab a taxi and know our way around this city and go visit friends. It was a sweet reunion getting to hug all the teachers and children. They made us cards and gave us flowers. In many ways, I feel as if I never left. I love having dear friends who live so simply and have such grateful hearts.
We are here for 10 days setting up new volunteers who are staying here until July. Our friends from college have committed to serve here for the next 7 months. They have left their careers, families, friends, and stuff behind to love the people here in India. However, I know that they will leave here so richly blessed that it will not feel like any of it was a sacrifice. Talking with the new volunteers, we discuss how many people say to us how they would love to volunteer overseas whether it be missions or teaching or whatever, but the follow through is slim to none. Now give them a two week "missions trip" to a fabulous vacation spot all expenses paid by someone else where they get to hug and take pictures with cute kids and everyone signs up. Americans are extremely generous, but we are not big on sacrifice.
This mentality flows into our new years resolutions and health goals as well. I talk to many people who do not want diabetes or who say they would love to lose weight and honestly they will pay a lot of money for it, however, when I ask them to sacrifice something, many people freeze. What they thought they wanted is no longer "possible," or too difficult, or not coming fast enough.
I love America; I think American people have more to offer this world than they realize. I am proud to be an American and have a father who constantly reiterated the value of sacrifice to our family. As I sit on our couch in India at 5am jet lagged and unable to sleep, I am reminded of the blessings of minor sacrifices I have made and how that has allowed me to achieve my personal goals.
Maybe before you make a new years resolution to exercise or eat right, it would be best to make a resolution to learn how to sacrifice. Learn to give in a way that costs you more than dollars. Sacrifice is a discipline that you can develop and become better at over time. Not everyone has to travel to India to sacrifice; it may just be turning off the TV for a few hours or making dinner for someone or volunteering in your city (anything that is not easy for you and that requires you to give of yourself). It may help you reach your health goals this new year!
Nutrition from the dietitian
Blog of Abrea Nutrition.