Editors' Choice 2010: Starbucks VIA Ready Brew (Cooking)

The best instant coffee. Ever.

We’ve had Editors’ Choice trips devolve into near-mutiny when the java ran out. Our staff caffeinistas insist on carrying fresh grounds and bulky brewing kits, which on long treks inevitably leads to coffee rationing. And it always comes with futzy cleanup and excess waste.

We’re happy to report that we sailed through a week in the Alps with no coffee wars and no mess—and had java to spare. Starbucks may not have intended to make the world’s greatest camp coffee when it launched VIA, but we love the result: easy-packing, single-serve tubes of trip-saving joe. Credit the microgrinding process that preserves the flavor and oils of the 100-percent Arabica beans.

Our favorite roast: Colombian (also available in Italian and Decaf Italian). No bitter instant aftertaste, subtle and complex flavor, and a quick energy boost. $3/3 packets; starbucks.com

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