Free Starbucks coffee taste test starts today

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Starbucks, the giant java company with a storefront on a street corner near you, is joining the instant coffee market with a free taste test in every store beginning at 10 a.m. today and continuing through Monday, October 5. The national chain officially introduced VIA Ready Brew, its trio of instant coffees, on Wednesday.

The four-day VIA taste test works like this: Hit up any Starbucks, saunter up to the counter and let your friendly coffeehouse barrista know that you're up for The Challenge. If you take the plunge, you'll receive samples of both VIA and Pike Place Roast brewed coffee. And just in case you're slow this morning (lack of caffeine, natch), the ploy behind the promotion is to see if you can taste the difference between instant and brewed coffee.

Frankly, it doesn't matter one way or another, because even if you can't discern one iota of difference, anyone who takes on The Challenge leaves with a free tall-sized drip coffee, or a coupon good for a buck off a three-pack of VIA.

Drink up, kids.


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