REVIEW: Nescafe Coffee Protein Smoothies

Nescafe Coffee Protein Smoothies

As someone who likes to smoosh things together if it makes my life a little more efficient, like shaving in the shower, binge-watching Netflix in the shower, or eating in the shower, I like the idea of products that attempt to do the same. That is why I’m intrigued by Nescafe’s new Coffee Protein Smoothies.

As you can tell by its name, it’s java and protein mixed in the same bottle. The coffee is 100 percent Colombian Arabica, while the 15 grams of protein each bottle comes from pea and brown rice proteins. They’re also made with oats and almond butter and are available in two varieties — Banana and Mocha.

Nescafe Banana Coffee Protein Smoothie

With the former, I kind of taste banana, but for some reason, it seems mostly mocha-ish to me, which is weird because there isn’t any chocolate (and because there’s a Mocha variety). Maybe the combination of bananas and coffee give off a chocolate vibe? I dunno, but I enjoyed it, and I was a little sad after I was done with the bottle.

Nescafe Mocha Coffee Protein Smoothie

Now if you’re putting two and two together and thinking the Mocha one will taste like a Nesquik and Nescafé baby, it does not. It has a darker chocolate flavor, which might be that way because of the coffee’s bitterness. It has a somewhat similar taste as other mocha beverages I’ve had, but I did enjoy it.

I was expecting these to be chalky because of the oats, but they’re mostly smooth. Yes, there’s a negligible grittiness, which I imagine will turn off some of you. But I’m okay with it because I thought they’d be as unpleasantly gritty as the Suja chocolate milk I had, but thankfully they’re not.

One minor quibble I have with these is that after scanning all 360 degrees of both bottles, I have no idea how much caffeine it provides. It says it has an amount of coffee equivalent to eight fluid ounces, but that just gives me a wide range of how much caffeine it could have. But, I felt a little energized after drinking them, and I guess that’s all that really matters.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way. Although, it totally seems like it. But I assure you it did not.

Purchased Price: FREE (retails for $3.49)
Size: 11 oz. bottles
Purchased at: Received from Nestle
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) Banana – 170 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein. Mocha – 180 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Java Monster Swiss Chocolate

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate

What is the Java Monster Swiss Chocolate?

It promises “the taste of Swiss chocolate paired with premium coffee and cream and supercharged with our Monster Energy Blend.” It’s currently a Dollar General exclusive flavor.

How is it?

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate 2

When poured, the color is the same as heavily creamed coffee, with a scent to match. The java flavor is strong without being overpowering. It’s not as tooth-cracklingly sweet as some other pre-made coffee beverages I’ve had, though it still has a “syrupy” character.

As a regular energy drink consumer, I’m on the lookout for that medicinal energy drink aftertaste, the one that makes it seem like the manufacturer crushed up a multivitamin into your drink. I detect some, but it’s so small that it could easily be a sense memory of the hundreds of other energy drinks I’ve had.

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate 3

The chocolate flavor is very slight. I don’t want to alarm you, but it’s possible the chocolate element in this beverage actually has no connection at all to Switzerland, and “Swiss” was added to the name in an attempt to brand the product as more exotic and exciting than it really is. Shocking, I know. There’s so little of it here that I don’t think it deserves top billing, naming-wise.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I usually drink my coffee hot, so I was curious what would happen if I heated this in the microwave for a few seconds. I’m secretly hoping the added thermal energy will have some strange alchemical effect and transmute the Monster Energy Blend into a Jekyll/Hyde concoction, allowing me to unleash the beast within.

Alas, the beast must remain chained, as heating only has the effect of making it hotter. If anything, the heat distracts from the already very slight Monster Energy Blend flavor, turning this into a plain hot cup of joe.

Conclusion:

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate delivers a decent coffee flavor with a slight chocolate note. It’s not bad but doesn’t separate itself from a hundred other options.

Purchased Price: $2.10
Size: 15 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 500 milligrams of potassium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 35 of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread Latte

Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread Latte

What is the Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread Latte?

Starbucks has a new winter beverage up for grabs – the Cinnamon Shortbread Latte. The name just makes it seem cozy! The drink adds a vanilla shortbread sauce to espresso, and it is sprinkled with both cinnamon and nutmeg.

How is it?

Oh Starbucks, you’ve done it again. The minute I saw it added to the menu, I had to try it and was not disappointed. Consider the Cinnamon Shortbread Latte the love child of a Vanilla Latte and a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. – why didn’t Starbucks think of this sooner?

There’s a distinct cinnamon smell right off the bat thanks to the toppings of cinnamon and nutmeg. I will note: The cinnamon smell was definitely stronger than the taste. At first sip, the drink was smooth, warm, and not too sugary sweet. I enjoy the classic Vanilla Latte, and what I loved about this new drink was the extra pizazz the vanilla shortbread sauce added. I’d be interested in trying the sauce in an iced coffee as well – I’m hoping it sticks around beyond the winter.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If you enjoy vanilla and cinnamon, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try this drink. It’s also offered as a Frappuccino or an iced drink. I’m hoping to try both. And since it’s Girl Scout Cookie season, I’m tempted to pair this with the Trefoil cookies for an epic shortbread treat.

Conclusion:

Run, don’t walk to your nearest Starbucks. Trust me.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall 12 fl oz) 270 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of sugars, 10 grams of protein and 75 milligrams of caffeine.

QUICK REVIEW: Great Value Danish Butter Cookie Coffee Creamer

Great Value Danish Butter Cookie Coffee Creamer

What is Great Value’s Danish Butter Cookie Creamer?

Walmart’s Great Value Danish Butter Cookie Creamer is a union between an often overshadowed holiday treat and similarly underappreciated line of private-label coffee accoutrements. It promises to give you the ability to freely pour the nostalgic flavor of Danish Butter cookies into your morning cup of joe.

How is it?

Considering that Danish Butter Cookies are one of the best treats to pair with coffee, it should be no surprise this creamer is ideally suited for your morning caffeine. It’s sweet enough to take the bitter edge off a fresh cup without adding additional sugar. Also, the creamer’s predominant flavors of vanilla and butter complemented my drink well.

Great Value Danish Butter Cookie Coffee Creamer 2

After trying this in several different types of coffee, this tastes best when used alongside light or medium roast beans. It’s passable enough in bolder brews, but I found that darker ones tend to drown out some of the creamer’s flavor.

To be honest, I can’t believe Walmart was the first company to think of making a creamer like this. Coffee-mate and International Delight have covered everything from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to Strawberry Cheesecake, so I would have figured that one of them would have developed a butter cookie flavor first.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Since I got the taste of Butter Cookies when I tried it in java, I got curious as to whether drinking it on its own would be like the Danish variation of Target’s Sugar Cookie Milk.

Walmart s Great Value Danish Butter Cookie 3

Lesson learned: It’s not. Without coffee to hide the artificial flavor, sipping this by itself tastes less like a cookie and more like how a vanilla Yankee Candle smells.

Conclusion:

If you prefer your joe on the light to medium side and have been looking for a new creamer to try, then I’d say Walmart’s Great Value Danish Butter Cookie Creamer is worth a shot. Just don’t expect to be able to leave out a straight glass of this for Santa without getting coal in your stocking.

Purchased Price: $2.48
Size: 32 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tablespoon) 30 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of total sugars, 5 grams of added sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Juniper Latte

Starbucks Juniper Latte

What is the Starbucks Juniper Latte?

I was a little surprised when I learned of Starbucks’ latest drink, the Juniper latte, because it was released late November but wasn’t a holiday-like drink.

Nonetheless, I was intrigued – the main draw of this new latte is a juniper syrup, which is supposed to add a “light, pine-like flavor with delightful citrus undertones.”

How is it?

My barista told me that customers have either been loving the Juniper latte or hating it, so I braced myself. I wasn’t so sure about the citrus-ness of it, but turns out I didn’t have to worry. At first taste, it tasted like a regular latte – actually not much flavor at all. I smelled the citrus, but didn’t taste it. There was an earthy aftertaste, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

Starbucks Juniper Latte 2

Here’s the best way I can describe my experience: I liked the Juniper latte and I enjoyed it as I drank it, but it’s not something that I’m adding to my standard rotation of beverages. A good one-time try, but not enough to make it to the top of my list.

Is there anything else you need to know?

If you’re looking for something that is NOT sweet, this is your drink. The only sweetness came from the dusting of pine-citrus sugar, but that only lasts for a few sips until it melted into the drink. Still, a nice addition!

Conclusion:

If you go for a standard latte with no added syrups or flavors, or if you just want to try something a little different, I think you’ll enjoy the Starbucks Juniper Latte.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall) 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of sugars, 9 grams of protein, and 75 milligrams of caffeine.

QUICK REVIEW: Starbucks Cordusio

Starbucks Cordusio

What is the Starbucks Cordusio?

Having recently returned from a trip to Italy, I was excited to try this new Starbucks Cordusio, which the coffee chain’s site says is named for and inspired by the Piazza Cordusio, a popular city square in Milan. It’s also where Starbucks just opened its new Reserve Roastery. This espresso-meets-mocha drink consists of espresso, mocha, and whole milk.

How is it?

I enjoyed the dark mocha flavor – the description says it has a taste of dark chocolate, which I definitely tasted. It felt like I was indulging in a super dark chocolate bar. Give me all the chocolate! There’s more of a coffee taste than Starbucks’ regular mocha, which in my opinion is creamier and less coffee-like. Because it seems like I’d be drinking dessert, I rarely get a regular mocha. Coffee is what I want!

I took my time with it and found it to be more of a sipping drink that can last you through the morning.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The menu sign at my neighborhood Starbucks advertised this as a short, but you can get it in any size. My friendly barista shared that both the short and the tall have two shots of espresso, so it just depends on how much milk and mocha you want with it.

Conclusion:

I thoroughly enjoyed the sophisticated feel of the Starbucks Cordusio. Heck, even the name sounds fancy! I’ll definitely get again, now that I’m finally moving to hot drinks after iced coffee season.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tal
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Tall/12 fl. oz.) 200 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugars, 9 grams of protein, and 155 milligrams of caffeine.