Review: Forto Coffee’s Flavored Offerings
Covers Products: Mocha, Vanilla
When we first tried Forto’s Espresso offering back in 2015, we weren’t immediate converts. Almost two years later, thanks to new flavored offerings Vanilla and Mocha, Forto has definitely grown on us.
The products, which are both USDA Organic and Fair Trade and come packaged in a 2 oz. “shot” that looks like a miniature coffee cup, combine a straightforward list of ingredients that includes cold-brew coffee, milk, sugar, flavoring, additional added caffeine, and baking soda. The end result is something that is completely different than other cold-brew coffee products that we’ve tried.
Instead of being a product that is marketed for its smooth, less acidic flavor, Forto is all about being an intense and quick way to caffeinate, with 200mg of caffeine per shot. That’s the equivalent of two cups of coffee and it even bests most 16 oz. energy drinks.
In our first sampling of Forto, we tested their Espresso offering, which is made with coffee and sugar. In the case of the Vanilla and Mocha offerings, the key difference maker is the addition of milk, which makes this stuff infinitely more palatable. The flavors that they’ve put on top are traditional iced coffee flavors, which definitely make them easy to consume. The use of sugar, as opposed to some sort of zero calorie sweetener, doesn’t hurt, either. And even with the sugar, the product has only 35 calories, which is definitely not going to raise any eyebrows.
In the end, these flavors aren’t going to win any awards for best tasting cold-brew, but that’s clearly not what they are going for. What they have done, which is arguably more important for this brand’s potential for success, is create something that is a unique entry into the energy shot category.
On that front, they’ve done something that we think is pretty innovative, creating something that makes good use of the cold-brew trend, tastes better than most energy shots out there, and has an eye-catching package that looks like a miniature coffee cup. While it’s hard to say whether or not this product can really dent the stronghold that 5-hour has on that category, we feel as though this is a worthy bet to take.
In the end, we’re definitely left with a different outlook on this brand than we were the first time around. The flavors not only give the brand the feeling of substance, but they are also a big step up from what we tasted the first time around. Plus, the messaging on these two products is more intuitive and easy to grasp. All in all, this a big step up for the brand.