Review: Blue Island “CoffeeBucha” Marries Coffee and Kombucha
Covers Products: Cold Brew Coffee Kombucha - Chai, Cold Brew Coffee Kombucha - Hazelnut, Cold Brew Coffee Kombucha - Maca Espresso, Cold Brew Coffee Kombucha - Madagascar Vanilla
Blue Island, which is a company that produces a line of coffee products including ready to drink cold brew and coffee beans, has paired two of today’s trendiest beverage ingredients, cold-brew coffee and kombucha, into one ready to drink product.
This is not the first coffee-based kombucha that we’ve seen (that honor goes to Revive), but it’s the first kombucha line that we’ve seen to go all-in on cold-brew. From a conceptual level, this approach seems like it will only work if both the kombucha and the cold-brew are of high quality.
The above being said, it’s time to take a look at what’s inside the bottle. Blue Island has crafted four varieties of CoffeeBucha: Chai, Madagascar Vanilla, Maca Espresso, and Hazelnut. At the base of each flavor is a tea-based kombucha, which has a slight vinegar note and is pretty effervescent. After that, each of the flavors has a modest coffee note, although we’d definitely be hard pressed to identify the coffee as cold-brew.
As for the flavors, we were most partial to the Maca Espresso, which, despite having a slight almond note probably has the cleanest coffee flavor, and Madagascar Vanilla, which tastes strongly of vanilla. The other two, Chai and Hazelnut, were a bit too complex and flavoring-heavy for our liking. What we’d really love is to see an “Original” unflavored variety -- or perhaps a ginger variety since that’s a flavor that works so well with kombucha. In any event, we feel as though there’s room for refinement and balance across the board. They’re pretty close, but some adjustment would definitely make them better.
On the packaging front, Blue Island CoffeeBucha comes packaged in a 10 oz. glass bottle. It feels like an appropriate bottle for a cold-brew or a kombucha, while the label does a pretty good job of making it clear as to what the product is. However, “Coffee” is much bigger than “Kombucha,” which might lead the consumer to think that this product is a bit more coffee-centric than it actually is. Furthermore, if they are calling the product CoffeeBucha it would be helpful to put this somewhere on the label. Right now, you’ll only find it on the company’s web site.
Overall, we really appreciate the innovation that Blue Island has created. There’s definitely room for refinement, but the concept itself definitely seems like a worthy addition to the marketplace.