Tension was mounting at the Starbucks on Derby Street in Hingham, Massachusetts tonight as I made the scene -- minutes before closing -- intent on taking the VIA Taste Challenge. "I'm not too late for the test, am I?," I asked, "I go to Starbucks nearly every day and, trust me, I can tell the difference between a Genuine Grande Drip and a cup of Instant Coffee." For those who aren't in the loop, the VIA Challenge works as follows: A Starbucks Barista hands you a cup of their regular drip coffee and their new VIA "Coffee in an Instant" and asks you to guess which is which. It's sort of like a cross between the Pepsi Challenge and the classic Folger's commercials where they replaced the coffee in a swank restaurant with Folger's Instant Crystals. The Barista (pictured above) prepared both coffees for me and handed me the cups with much fanfare. I took one sip of each and immediately pronounced my judgment. One of the cups tasted watered down. "There's no question," I said, smugly, "This one is fresh brewed and this one is instant!" "Wrong!," he said, "You've picked the VIA Starbucks Ready Brew!" I gasped in horror. The Barista smiled and handed me a certificate for a Free Tall Brewed Coffee on my next visit but -- to be honest -- I'm not sure I'm going to use it. Afterall, why would anyone bother with Starbucks' brewed coffee anymore, given that it doesn't taste as good as instant crystals ...?!?