Melody tries the new Starbucks Caramel Iced Via Ready Brew

Iced Caramel Via by Starbucks is here!  It's a limited summer promotional flavored Via Ready Brew.  I have to be honest, I was a little surprised to be able to purchase it today (July 5, 2011).  I didn't know that it was launching in local grocery stores before the  actual Starbucks stores.  However, today I happened to swing by my local Safeway store, and I saw it on the shelves, so I picked some up.  It is $7.99 for a box of six packets.  Each packet makes a 16 ounce serving of Caramel Iced Via. By the way, Via Ready Brew has been such an interesting topic that I have a whole category on it, in case you want to check out any of the past articles:

So of course, I got home and tried it right away.  I used a glass that I knew was 16 ounces, and I had some cold water in my refrigerator.  It was indeed pretty good.  I liked it better than the plain Iced Via.  Somehow I don't think that Iced Via will ever be my 'go to' summer beverage, but it is refreshing for an occasional change of pace.  I notice that it tastes dramatically better when the water is really cold.  I threw my glass into my freezer for just a few minutes, and when it was really chilled, it was very good.  Be sure to use very cold water and/or chill with plenty of ice.

Edit on 7-6-11:

The flavor was very light.  Nothing about it was an overly sweet or heavy caramel flavor.  I know that Via has "natural flavors" but it lacked the buttery notes of real caramel, like when a person enjoys an apple dipped in caramel.  It was a light flavor reminiscent of the caramel notes in a carbonated soda.  One thing I still need to do is try this with carbonated water - I expect that will be good!

Feel free to weigh in on this new Via.  Have you tried it?  Or just weigh in on Via Ready Brew generally.  Do you hope to see more flavored Iced Vias available?

Edit on 7-7-2011 -

I heard from a Starbucks corporate-person-friend that Caramel Iced Via Ready Brew actually did launch in the grocery stores in June of this year.  This was one year after the launch of the unflavored Iced Via, which launched June 2010. Interesting!

 

Here are the pics from today!

 

Starbucks Refreshers in a can - an early peek at the Strawberry Lemonade flavor

Bellingham, Washington gets a Starbucks Clover brewer