Review: FitBru -- Functional Cold Brew Tea and Coffee

Posted: Mar 11, 2019 at 12:34 PM (Last Updated: Mar 11, 2019 at 5:27 PM)

Covers Products: Black Coffee, Mate Hibiscus - Carbonated Cold Brew Tea

Using the tagline of “The Functional Fix,” Fit Brewing Co.’s “Fit Bru” is a line of cold brew coffees and teas that are enhanced with functional ingredients.

For this review we sampled the nitro Black Coffee and carbonated Mate Hibiscus SKUs. Additional flavors of the cold brew coffee are also available, according to the company’s web site. All of the products are packaged in 11.5 or 12 oz. slim cans.

Let’s start by taking a look at Black Coffee, which is, in our opinion, the more marketable of the two. The product is an unsweetened blend of nitro cold brew and activated charcoal (made from coconut). Rather than something that creates a cascade effect when poured, the nitro is quite light, while the flavor is bold but smooth. We do taste a slight note of the activated charcoal, but the coffee flavor ultimately wins out (which is a good thing).

The above being said, this is certainly a fine tasting coffee product. But it’s far from the best tasting cold brew out there. And from our perspective the activated charcoal, which is still a relatively obscure ingredient, doesn’t really help.

Next up is Mate Hibiscus. This flavor has a lot going on, including the addition of adaptogenic mushrooms (cordyceps, reishi, king trumpet, shitake, lion’s mane, and turkey tail), yerba mate, hibiscus, carbonation, and sweetness from erythritol and stevia. The end result is a carbonated tea that has the tartness of hibiscus, some crisp carbonation, and a slightly sweet flavor profile.

Like the Black Coffee variety, this is a good tasting product but not one that will keep you coming back because of flavor alone. However, the functionality that has been added to this product seems a bit more logical than what has been created with the coffee.

Still, we think that there’s some pretty serious work to do in terms of the branding and messaging for both of these products. At the time of this review, neither the can or the company’s website offers an explanation of what this product is, what the benefits are, or who it’s for. This is, in our opinion, not a good approach for a functional beverage company.

As for the brand, the logo, which has a soft look that feels like it’s out of the craft beer or third wave coffee playbook, is at odds with the overly technical approach to the bottom of the package. There are many text elements competing for your eye and it’s not really easy to figure out what this product is trying to be.

Regardless, we feel strongly that another crack at the design is going to be required. We’d urge simplicity and cleanliness the front of the can and we’d love to see some succinct explanatory text on the back. This is definitely the biggest thing that’s holding this product back right now.

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