Last Updated: 1/17/2014 12:11 PM
Of the two flavored varieties of Jay Street Coffee (there’s also a Vanilla variety), the products are very similar in terms of quality and overall flavor. Out of personal preference, we prefer the Mocha variety as we find it to be a slightly more complementary flavor to the coffee. That said, we actually found this flavor to be more enjoyable than the flagship Latte variety. The product is milky and sweet, with just the right amount of chocolate flavor to go with the medium roast of coffee that’s at the base of the drink. While it tastes good, we feel as though the flavor is missing a point of differentiation versus the big brand (Starbucks) that dominates the space. Without that, we’re not quite sure how ITO EN will build a loyal following considering that Starbucks is also more widely available and likely to be cheaper. On the visual front, this is far and away the best label work that we’ve seen from ITO EN. We like the connection that the company has made to its U.S. home base (Jay Street is where its office in Brooklyn is located) and the visual execution is attractive. However, getting the product its own bottle and its own cap (both are the same used for ITO EN's Teas' Tea line) might help the product achieve its own identity. Overall, we think that this is a nice start for ITO EN, with both pleasant flavor and attractive packaging being some of the product’s strong suits. But figuring out how to make this product really stand out and be its own thing is really the challenge (as it is for anyone entering the RTD coffee category).
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