Soylent, the meal replacement company that sprung on to the scene in 2014 on the strength of the idea that cooking and eating was an unpleasant hassle, has had an up and down run as a food disruptor. After its founders chose a name that invoked cannibalism and the media (this outlet included) relished telling readers how unpleasant it was, sales of Soylent still managed to increase dramatically by the start of 2016 and the company was considering expansion into Europe. Regular podcast listeners—those of you who don’t fast forward through the ads—may have also noticed a lot of Soylent ads. Another good sign for the company. Soylent also made what is, in my opinion, the wise choice to market itself as an addition to your diet rather than an actual replacement for it. Telling people to give up on steak and pasta in favor of a creamy white liquid is a tough sales pitch no matter how revolutionary your product might be.
But today, Soylent expanded its portfolio with what could be its most useful formulation yet—coffee Soylent.
Called Coffiest, the newest version of Soylent seems geared towards the tens of millions of people who currently don’t eat the most important meal of the day. “Breakfast sets the tone for the entire day, but busy people all too often skip entirely,” Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart said in a statement. And like previous Soylent incarnations, this one is full of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins. But it also has the caffeine of two cups of coffee.
Of course I have to deal with now for the most important question: What the hell does it taste like?
I’ve had versions of Soylent in the past and, with apologies to the very efficient minds that created it, I don’t want to have them again. The flavor was sort of a salty skim milk but the texture was similar to what I imagine you’d get if you bottled In ‘N’ Out’s secret sauce. Coffiest is a definite improvement on that.
It tastes like the milk leftover after eating a bowl of Puffins cereal from Trader Joe’s and it’s thin enough to pass as a protein shake. I know that’s not exactly the sort of superlative-laden endorsement bestowed on many of the Internet’s favorite foods (we’re looking at you weird flavored Oreos), but we’re talking about a drink with ingredients assembled in a lab to maximize nutrition, not in a kitchen to maximize taste. Plus I really like Puffins cereal from Trader Joe’s.
One thing Coffiest does not taste like though, is coffee. I’m sure it’s in there, but it’s well hidden. This probably won’t be much of a problem for Soylent though. I doubt anyone was planning to buy it for its robust coffee flavor.
The verdict: It won’t be replacing my eggs Benedict, but if you’re the sort of person who sometimes starts their day with a shake or a smoothie, you might enjoy getting a reasonably healthy caffeine bump in the morning from a bottle of Coffiest.
12-packs are available for $39 online at soylent.com