So, this originally started as a Javy coffee concentrate review. My cousin, seeing the ads for Javy online, decided to order a couple bottles for us to try and compare to Jot, which we have really loved.
She experienced some kind of ordering glitch, or maybe she blacked out while placing her order, and she ended up buying 15 bottles of Javy coffee concentrate. We’re not kidding, this is what it looked like in the box.
A far cry from the chic packaging of Jot, but then again, Javy is a bit more affordable and bottles last longer – so for some, that’s more important than gorgeous packaging.
Now that’s a lot of coffee.
Typically, too much coffee is not a bad thing, but we started mixing up some coffee with Javy – which quickly led to a taste test between the four coffee concentrates in my house: Jot, Javy, Chameleon and Starbucks. Yup, I already had the other three. Don’t judge.
The Black Coffee Concentrate Taste Test:
Initially, we decided to mix them all black. We were surprised to see that y0u could visually see the difference between the different coffees. There was also a difference with how they mixed. Some of them mixed instantly, on contact, without even the need for a spoon. Others took a tad bit more effort to mix the concentrate with the water and even then, you could see a little bit of separation.
Here’s a picture of just Jot and Javy side-by-side. Notice the coloring:
But, how did they taste? This is the most important question, right? And, this is where things get a little bit dicey, because how you like your coffee is kind of a personal thing. Here’s how they broke down:
- Jot: The best smelling, with a really rich, clean coffee smell. Doesn’t smell the least bit burnt or acidic. The taste, black, is like a really fresh, strong cup of coffee. Use this link to get a special bundle for WTF readers that includes 25% off and a FREE fellow coffee mug! (full review of Jot here)
- Chameleon: We love the ease of Chameleon coffee concentrate and how it’s available at Target. There are also different flavors. We used black for this experiment. It has a great flavor. A bit more mild than the Jot and mixes really well with creamer.
- Starbucks: We used their ready made iced coffee or cold brew. Sure, it’s not technically a coffee concentrate, but we had it in the house and we drink it all the time, so we decided to compare. You may be surprised to hear that black, this was one of our favorites. A really smooth, mild coffee flavor – not at all acidic.
- Javy: Javy is definitely concentrated, so much so that you really need to shake it or there’s some thicker sludge that gathers around the lip of the bottle. With on teaspoon, the taste is too watered down, so we tried 2 and that had a better, rounder taste. The smell is not as fresh as the other concentrates, though, and when we drank it black, it wasn’t the best tasting, either.
Flavored Coffee Concentrate Taste Test:
Of course, like many people, we don’t drink our coffee black. Big fans of creamer over here, so I busted out my absolute go-to, desert island pick creamer (it’s SO GOOD) and we put an equal amount into each of the four black coffees. We also added three large Nespresso ice cubes (these are the best ice cubes ever.) Can you love ice cubes? I feel like you can:
They all mixed pretty easily, with no separation and looked similar when we were finished. The taste, of course, told another story.
It’s interesting how a coffee plays with creamer (or doesn’t).
- Jot: We could still taste the coffee with the creamer. There was more of the coffee flavor coming through with the Jot than any of the others. My cousin’s favorite. Read 5 reasons why we love Jot in this post.
- Chameleon: Chameleon plays really nicely with creamer. A good pairing.
- Starbucks: This was my top pick for the coffee and creamer taste test. The coffee is so mild that it really accentuates the flavors of the creamer. Rather than trying to band-aid a strong coffee flavor with cream, you feel like they hold hands and make magic together.
- Javy: The creamer made the Javy too watered down and it didn’t have much flavor. We tried more coffee concentrate, which helped, but made this coffee on the verge of a major caffeine overload.
Overall, we would be very happy drinking most of these combos again. When we each picked one to finish (why be wasteful?), the ones left behind were Chameleon and Javy.
What about the price?
We decided to break down the price of each of these to figure out how much our coffee addiction would cost us. Here’s how the math worked out, without creamer included.
Chameleon: $9.99 a bottle, makes 6 cups = $1.60 a cup of coffee
Starbucks: $4.99 a bottle, makes 6 cups of coffee = $.83 a cup of coffee (not a concentrate, though)
Javy: $19.95 ($24.95 when not on sale) a bottle, makes 30 servings (if using 1 tsp., but you’ll probably use 2, so 15) = $1.33 a cup of coffee (but less if you want it more watered down).
Which coffee concentrate is the best?
In terms of price, most of these are fairly comparable. Remember that if you want to try Jot, you can save 25% and get a free mug with this link, which will bring the price down.
If we’re talking about smell and taste, both with and without creamer, Jot is the clear winner. It’s also really compact and takes up much less of your fridge real estate than other brands. For 5 reasons why we love Jot, read this post.
For store bought, the Starbucks cold brew is also excellent. If you’re not a fan of the green straw, I would reach for Chameleon if you want to buy in the store or Jot if you want it shipped to your door beautifully. Sign up for the Jot subscription to save even more.
The verdict? All of these were good with creamer. Not all of these were great black. Depending on how you like your coffee, you may prefer certain concentrates over others.