October 18th, 2009
In late September, early October, Starbucks released its Via instant coffee nationwide. For a week, Starbucks locations nationwide offered free samples of its instant coffee called Via in a taste test challenge to persuade people that instant coffee can taste just as good as brewed.
The beverage, which comes in a long cylindrical plastic sleeve and dissolves in a cup of water, debuted nationwide on Sept. 28th, 2009 after months of preliminary sales in test markets.
The verdicts varied from "can't tell the difference" to negative responses. See here for a review of Via.