Kickstarter is absolutely loaded with weird sh*t nowadays, but they've also got some pretty cool stuff going on. When we heard Jiva Coffee Cubesmet its funding goal, we knew we had to get our grubby little caffeine-loving hands on a box and taste it for ourselves. Jiva is instant Colombian coffee sweetened with Panela brown sugar and packaged within a tiny brown cube. Drop a couple into a cup of boiling water, stir it up, and sip...
But how does it taste? Let's find out. Well, we'll find out for you and you can assess from there.
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Let's talk convenience. If you're an avid outdoorsman, you're going to love what Jiva has to offer: a lightweight, hassle-free way to make a decent cup of instant coffee wherever you go. If you know how to boil water, you can brew up a mug of this stuff in seconds flat. We used two cubes to ensure a robust flavor, because weak coffee is for your girlfriend's dad and people from England.
A quick stir turned the color from a confusing diarrhea-esque dark yellow to a hearty, fist-pumping brown. The smell emanating from the cup was suspiciously coffee-like, which shouldn't be surprising... but finding an instant coffee that actually smells like the real stuff is like capturing Bigfoot on film: a lifelong goal.
The taste is there. Mostly. The added brown sugar is a little overpowering, so it's sort of like a cup of Dunkin' Donuts with a hearty shot of quality Colombian espresso. Aromatic, caffeinated, but very very sweet. However, the strength of the caffeine trumps the taste—which can be a far more desirable attribute with your morning cup.
However, if you're one of those who hate sugar and all things that are nice, Jiva also has the option of a sugarless cube. That being said, we have to give it to these guys: they've really found a way to make instant coffee as instant as possible.
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and, yes, is fully aware that these cubes look like little blocks of heroin.