Posted: May 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM
(Last Updated: Jul 17, 2014 at 2:54 PM)
Of the three High Brew flavors which use stevia, we found this variety to have the least stevia flavor. It pairs the company's base of cold brew coffee with natural flavors, milk, sugar, and, as we just mentioned, stevia, into a product that has 60 calories and 13g of sugar per 8 oz. can. In terms of flavor, it’s much lighter than what is typically found in ready-to-drink iced coffee products. Still, we do think that the stevia needs a bit of work as it adds a slightly bitter note to the product. In addition, calling it “Mexican Vanilla” made us expect to see actual vanilla bean on the list of ingredients. But ultimately, it doesn’t taste noticeably different than what is typically “French Vanilla” in the RTD coffee world. As it stands right now, we think that the biggest play for this product is its lower-calorie formulation and less milky body. It doesn’t feel like something that’s trying to compete with the likes of higher end cold brew products, but instead it could be a replacement for some of the bigger brands. Assuming, of course, that cold brew adds something that makes the consumer willing to pay a premium. Otherwise, we like what High Brew has created in terms of the package design. It feels hip, but polished, and the it feels like a nice foundation to build a brand on. Calling out the calories is definitely nice, especially if it inspires the consumer to check out the caloric content of some of the other products in the space. Overall, we think that this is a flavor that will definitely be one of the key flavors for High Brew. Hopefully they can refine the flavor a bit to help mask the stevia even more.