If you’re anything like me, you spend each work day balancing your intake of two extremely necessary “life force” beverages – coffee (for energy) and water (for hydration). But what if there was a drink that combined these two benefits in one nutritious and delicious package?
Luckily for you, I have discovered the answer – and it’s RTD (ready-to-drink) and available now at your local grocer or convenience store. Vita Coco Café is a perfectly balanced combination of coconut water, a strong shot of espresso, and a splash of reduced-fat milk – providing 120mg of caffeine, 600mg of potassium, 6g of protein, and 20% of your calcium for the day (and all for only 140 calories!). The product comes in three tasty flavors – original latte, mocha and vanilla.
In addition to the benefits you get from the coconut water (a “superfood” that has exploded in popularity over the last decade – with the New York Times reporting global category sales of $400MM+), Vita Coco Café also provides a boost of energy thanks to the espresso – and with very little added sugar, you don’t get the “crash” you typically experience with sugary sodas or energy drinks. Plus, it has a delicious taste and consistency – quite similar to the bottled, RTD Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino product. However, when you read the labels and compare nutritional facts, Vita Coco Café beats Frappuccino on several fronts – with half the calories and sugar, one quarter of the cholesterol, and 20X the calcium!
I first fell in love with Vita Coco Café this past March while attending the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, CA. While I had dabbled with drinking coconut water for a year or so, I had never been wowed by it. But after visiting the Vita Coco booth and sampling both of their new products (Vita Coco Café and Vita Coco with Lemonade), I left with a very positive impression of their coconut water and coffee mash-up. When I returned home to Pittsburgh, I actively sought it out in our local stores – and of course, became a fan of the brand so I could follow them on social media!
So imagine my surprise (and delight) when a couple of weeks ago, I WON a Facebook fan contest, securing my very own free case of Vita Coco Café! Of course, I immediately knew I wanted to share the love (and winnings) with the team here at SBA. As part of our Try It Tuesdays! series, we get together weekly to sip, munch and compare new food and beverage products – and then share our reviews with our blog followers. So without further ado, here is the scoop on what my coworkers thought of this unique product:
Tony: I hadn’t thought of mixing coffee with coconut water before, but it’s a nice combo. They seem to complement each other, and it’s a very smooth drink. I like that it has a little sweetness, but doesn’t feel sugary.
Shana: I have tried coconut water before, and while I liked the health benefits, I couldn’t handle the taste. This coffee drink tasted amazing though! It would be a nice alternative to Starbuck’s RTD Frappuccino. It also provides another way to consume the health benefits of coconut water with a better taste.
Alex: Little bit of a strange combo on the first sip – coffee and coconut water – but after the first, it gets easier.
Tom: I thought it was delicious – surprisingly so. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut water, so I was expecting more of a thin watery taste to it, but it was very, very good. I’d definitely consider buying it for my home.
Ryan: I really enjoyed it – but not any more than other pre-mixed, chilled coffee drinks. The coconut water flavor was not overpowering, which is probably good – but it also meant the product didn’t really have any major differences to a bottled Starbucks drink. I applaud the creativity – but I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to purchase the product.
Kaitlyn: I was pleasantly surprised with the Vita Coco Café! I was expecting it to be a bit thicker, but it had great flavor and a nice espresso aroma. Really like the additional benefits (potassium) when using the coconut water compared with other pre-packaged coffee beverages.
Tina: I thought this product was delicious – the perfect summer morning refreshment! I was really surprised at how well the coconut mixed with the coffee.
The Verdict: Vita Coco Café was a big hit with the “caffiends” at SBA! Thanks again to the Vita Coco Café social team for hooking us up with the product – you’ve definitely made some new fans!
And if you’d like a chance to score your own sample of this fantastic product, make sure to like Vita Coco Café on Facebook and follow them on Twitter (@vitacococafe). You can also purchase Vita Coco Café in retailers nationwide (~$2.49 for an 11 oz. bottle), or online at Amazon.com (~$30 for a case of 12).
And if you try it – tell us! We’d love to hear what you thought of it.