So far, a success. I’ve found I like the bolder flavor profile of the Big Trouble blend more than Forty-Six, but that’s just a personal preference and both are certainly good. I also like that, unlike pourovers or drip coffee, there’s a much greater depth of flavor and a really nice caffeine jolt. Using the bags is simple, and on whole a much easier portable process than the pourover pouches or using the aeroPress.
The one caution is that you do have to be mindful in making your coffee to a relatively exacting standard. As indicated in Counter Culture’s blog post about their development of the single serve bags, it’s important to use the right amount of water, and to agitate the bag at first (in other words, dunk it up and down in the water) and then again during the steeping process. One time I made it with too much water and let it sit too long, leaving me with a dull, weaker flavored cup of meh.
I’m keeping the singles in the office and will be stocking up because my friend Sami is taking a well-earned vacation for the next couple weeks. At $2 a bag they’re certainly not cheap, but that’s still a lower price point than you’d be paying a good coffee shop.
I also recently tried a new product from KiTu, a startup originally known as Sunniva which sells bottled coffee drinks under the brand Super Coffee. They’ve added Super Espresso, which similar to their coffee product is sugar free, is offered in different flavored varieties, and claims to have health benefits from ingredients like coconut MCT oil (I have no idea what that is), whey protein, and green coffee caffeine. They are almost carb free and have a much lower calorie count than the bottled sugar and calorie bombs masquerading as energy drinks and cold coffee beverages in your local store’s cooler case.
I’ve had the Super Coffee products in the past, and my experience was that they taste terrible at room temperature and are drinkable when very cold. I am not much of a fan of their flavor profile, as the added flavorings taste very artificial and the coconut oil adds a touch that moves the overall taste a bit away from any kind of strong coffee. I guess they’re the least bad one of the bunch when looking at their competitors, as ‘energy drinks’ are monstrosities, the bottled Frappuccinos of the world are way too sweet, and most cold brews are too acidic and thin a taste for my liking. I’m going to take the same position on the new espresso version, as it tasted exactly the same to me as the coffee version, I didn’t notice anything different as far as a caffeine effect, and nothing that tied what was in this can more to espresso than their coffee product. At $2.50 a can it’s no bargain, either.
All that said, I suppose if I’m in a store searching for a caffeine hit and my options are lousy drip coffee, a couple of cooler cases of energy drinks, Frappuccinos, overly sweetened cold brews, and Super Espresso, I’m going to grab the can of KiTu and not think twice about it.