122 – On Bottled Caffeine Fixes: Triptych 15

I’m sure there was a time you relied on bottled coffee to keep you awake. There’s not much of a difference between canned and bottled coffee, if you ask me. Whether you are a student or a member of the working class, all that matters is that it provides a much-needed shot of caffeine when the Z’s arrive. In this post, I’ll be trying out three different bottled coffee brands—including one of the more popular (and effective). Do note that these are available in convenience stores near you such as 7-Eleven, Mini Stop, Family Mart, and more.

Ah, the infamous Kopiko 78°C Coffee Latte. Many have lauded it on social media because of its affordable price and potency. It’s a good choice for P20 a bottle. The coffee gets its name from its brewing temperature – 78 degrees Celsius – which brings out the full flavor of the beans alongside the caffeine content. The brew is then mixed with milk to give it smoothness and tone down its potency.

Its taste reminds me of an iced version of Kopiko Brown, a 3-in-1 coffee mix powder from the same company behind the 78°C. Incidentally, Kopiko is much known for their instant coffee mixes and their foray into the bottled coffee market was an astounding success. However, I read a post about a student getting palpitations due to drinking a number of bottles. Well, as they say—too much of something is not a good thing. I can personally attest to its strength that a maximum of only TWO bottles a day should be consumed.

Made by Lucio Tan’s Asia Brewery, Barista’s Best Cafe Latte is slightly expensive at P26 per bottle. It was initially introduced alongside the Barista’s Best Matcha Latte, which appealed more towards those looking for an affordable matcha fix. However, the Cafe Latte isn’t exactly gaining much ground compared to the Kopiko 78°C. You know why?

It’s more milk than coffee, to sum it up. Maybe the barista added too much? Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate a bit of milk with my coffee, but not too much that it mutes the latter’s strong flavor. You’ll be able to taste a small hint of coffee with Barista’s Best, but the milk really overwhelms it. This would be good if you just ate something spicy and would want to wash it down. Just a bit of fixing on the coffee and milk ratio, and this is good to go.

Nescafe has been in the Philippine market for a long time now, but their take on bottled coffee is not exactly a noteworthy product—to say the least. The Nescafe Smoovlatte is by far the most expensive in this lot, at about P40 per bottle. The bottle being smaller than the two above doesn’t help a bit, leaving one with a smaller amount of coffee to enjoy. I was expecting some sort of redeeming quality to it despite the expensive price, but I was wrong.

The Smoovlatte does live up to its name as a “smooth latte”, but doesn’t really provide that necessary caffeine kick to keep one awake. Yes, it’s smooth and the mix of coffee and milk is just right. The problem is, it’s too smooth that it no longer resembles a coffee drink. More of a latte, but none of the coffee taste one typically looks for in bottled variants. The only time this drink would be perfect is when you are trying to introduce iced coffee – or coffee in general – to a person who isn’t used to it. Start off by giving them this, then progress with higher doses.

That ends this short post of mine. I hope you enjoy your coffee – whether it’s canned, bottled, brewed, or 3-in-1. (Incidentally, my previous triptych was all about coffee too!)

Until the next post, bon appetit.


19 thoughts on “122 – On Bottled Caffeine Fixes: Triptych 15

  1. The Kopiko brand does give one palpitations. There was this free giveaway at the building of my office, and some of my colleagues couldn’t finish the bottle. But I like that one! No palpitations on my end but just pure caffeine bliss!

    • Great to know that you’re also a fan! 🙂 It does seem to have more caffeine than the usual bottled coffee; so much so that I use it as a substitute for Monster Energy Drink whenever I drive at night.

  2. Ah, a man with great taste! I love coffee and I agree with your comments about these three. I do not get palpitations with 78 though, but that’s probably because I’m always over caffeinated anyway that it matters not. For what it’s worth, 78 tastes the best.

    • Hmm…seems that most of us here who have taken coffee for a long time are immune to the 78’s effects. Just like you, drinking a bottle of 78 wakes me up sans the palpitations; two bottles, however, gives me the same effect as a full can of Monster Energy Drink.

      Though to be honest, I felt duped with the Smoovlatte. More than P40 pesos for a bottle that small? :\ (On a side note, Nescafe redeems itself over at the canned coffee category – just to cut them some slack.)

  3. Thank you for this review! I’ve never tried all of them because i like 3-in-1/brewed/hot coffee more, but if ever i’d step out of my comfort zone and try bottled coffee, i’d definitely choose 78°C because of this post. 🙂

    • Ah, Kopiko! I heard they have new variants – namely, iced versions of their 3-in-1 coffee (Blanca, Brown, and Black). Haven’t tried those, though; I stopped drinking coffee since it started to affect my sleeping patterns (plus the withdrawal symptoms are a pain in the ass!) 😦

      I’ve tried UCC’s iced coffee too, and I like how it’s similar to the actual coffee served in UCC Cafes around the metro. 😀 Am a fan of UCC’s kori kohi, so the taste wasn’t new to me.

      Yun nga lang, the only gripe I have with it is the price; medyo mahal for P50.

      • Funny, I found the bottled UCC coffee nothing like what they actually serve in the cafe. Oh well. How unfortunate you have to stop. I can only keep it down to a cup a day, that’s it. Take care!

  4. Pingback: 303 – THIS OR THAT 7: Ginggrae Acafela Vanilla Latte or Mr. Brown French Vanilla Coffee Drink | The Monching's Guide

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