Well, Kitu. Our meeting was inevitable. So I went ahead and grabbed three of your array of drinks and we had some quality time together. According to their containers, “It all started in our little brother’s dorm room…” Granted, a lot of stories can probably start like that, although I can guarantee you this is the only one that A) isn’t a horror story and 2) resulted in the launch of a line of coffee energy drinks. But yes, whatever happened in that dorm room (I kinda don’t want to know), resulted in them vowing to make healthy energy drinks. Which is good, because if you’re going to drink energy drinks (and if you come to this site, you probably are, let’s face it), you might as well try not to slowly kill yourself in the process.
This is where a lot of energy drinks get into trouble. If you’ve been on this site for more than about two minutes, you’ll know my utter contempt for artificial sweeteners. They make my eyelashes hurt. They make my mouth want to punch me in the face. They also enrage me because, as I’ve said many times, if I am drinking an energy drink, more sugar is indeed a problem but probably the least of my problems. Granted, most of my problems probably require therapy and a good night’s sleep, but when you’re reaching for an energy drink, you’re beyond all that. So Sucralose, Aspartame, Stevia…they are all Satanspawn.
Looking at the ingredients on my first stop on the tour though…the Super Coffee Vanilla…what I’ve got there is Monk Fruit. That sounds innocent enough. Granted, taking the first whiff after opening the bottle gave me pause…but I think it was the Coconut MCT Oil. It’s not my favorite taste in the world, but having used it in coffee before, we’ve come to an understanding. And my concern about the artificial smell was alleviated by tasting it. Was it the best vanilla flavored coffee I’ve ever had? No. Was it the worst? Oh, far from it. It at least had a natural taste and my eyelashes required no Advil, friends.
Was I picked up by the pick-me-up? Well, it’s 200 mg of caffeine (via organic green coffee)…and I’m sure for normal people it would work just fine in that respect. I, however, after decades of abusing my caffeine receptor gland-things (CRGT for short), have the caffeine tolerance of an entire herd of water buffalo. So it didn’t do anything for me personally, but I think it would work just fine for most. And…here’s a bonus: you see it there. Zero grams of sugar and zero grams of added sugar. A balance between lack of sugar and non-lack of taste. Excellent.
Next, I came to the Cold Brew. And now…to follow up on what I said before about no sugar. Because this is black coffee. No sugar. No cream, no nada. The ingredients are coffee, l-theanine, and caffeine. That’s it. And I remember a time, dear readers, where I complained incessantly about the fact that if you were trying to cut down on the amount of sugar intake, you couldn’t find any completely black coffee drinks pre-packaged in stores. (Not to mention that, at least in my opinion, when adding sugar, they never do it at levels to please me. Either too much or too little.) Apparently, somebody listened because the thing the Super Cold Brew does best is what it doesn’t do at all: give you unnecessary sugar. Another thing it does well is hit the caffeine sweet spot. Apparently 250mg is the bottom edge of what it takes to register on my energyometer, because I could at least feel what this thing was doing. This is good.
From a taste standpoint, let’s level with one another. Or at least I’ll level with you. I worry about my tastebuds. Because I’ve thrown all many of atrocities at them over the years. So for me, unless you’re going to drink something along the lines of Jamaican Blue Mountain or from the badass Nyampinga cooperative in Rwanda, you’re not going to get a great deal of flavor drinking it black. This is just straight up black coffee with no frills. Or, as a waitress at an IHOP said after bringing me a mug of black coffee, “Here’s your black water.” So be it. But it does what it says on the tin, so I’m not going to complain.
Which brings us to the Super Espresso, which I like even more than the Cold Brew. This could be due to the fact that despite it having less caffeine over all, it’s 30mg caffeine per ounce as opposed to the 22mg that the Cold Brew gave me. And it must be effective to a certain extent because I just did math. Again, the most important selling point about it for me is that it’s compact, it’s potent, and it’s got no sugar.
Overall, the verdict is this: Kitu puts out good stuff. And in fact, I need to go check out their other products because in the flavor arena, I could certainly use some more.
To snag some for yourself, you can check out their site and online store here.