Cold Brew Connoisseur: STōK Cold Brew Protein Coffee Review
This is a 100% honest, 100% authentic STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee review. Dadtography was not compensated in any way for this post.
All images are Dadtography originals. Please don't use our photos without permission.
Cold brew coffee is all the rage right now, but that's not why I'm doing this review of STōK Cold Brew. I'm doing this review because it's the right thing to do.
No, but seriously, ever since I started drinking coffee around my junior year of college, I've really enjoyed the taste. There was just one big thing I didn't like: the fact that it's a hot beverage and I live just a few miles from the surface of the sun (aka Florida).
It was about time that I started giving back after embracing the cold brew movement long before most northern hipsters even knew it was a thing. Cold brew is here to stay, for me, and I'm glad to see more and more options coming on the market in ready-to-drink beverages. Let's get started with our review, shall we?
an expert judge in matters of taste.
What is STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee?
And, more importantly, what makes me a connoisseur?
The industry publication BevNet announced back in 2016 that WhiteWave foods was entering the cold brew market with by way of STōK. WhiteWave is also part of Danone.
Got all that straight?
Yeah, me either. The point really is that STōK Cold Brew Protein is a relative newcomer to the market. It looks mom-and-pop, but it really comes from one of the largest food manufacturers and distributors in the world. That doesn't make it bad; we're just stating facts here.
How is the packaging and presentation of STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee?
Because first impressions matter when choosing the best cold brew.
I have to say, as a digital marketer, I'm impressed with STōK Cold Brew marketing and branding. I did a little digging and found this press release that mentions a firm called Fallon that's the creative agency of record. It looks like another agency called Marlin Network helped them to launch their initial B2B campaign to get product placement into retail stores.
The STōK Cold Brew packaging and website are both pretty cool. Their messaging's hip but not-too-hip approach is effective and I really think it matches the product and who they're trying to target as well.
The bottle ofSTōK Cold Brew Protein coffee really has a lot going on. It's got the product branding, of course, nutrition information and also the "story" that helps to differentiate what makes STōK Cold Brew Protein different than some of the other cold brews on the market.
Okay, but does STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee taste good?
Taste obviously really matters when it comes to finding the best ready-to-drink cold brew coffee on the market today. I'm sure companies test their recipes extensively and often.
STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee tastes great, but it's not the best cold brew I've ever had. When you consider the added protein and nutrition information (keep scrolling for more on this), it may be okay to sacrifice a little bit of taste for some actual nutritive value.
That said, I do like STōK Cold Brew Protein because it's sweet, but not too sweet. I like sweets for dessert, but I don't like feeling like my morning coffee would be better served as a dessert. I think STōK got the recipe right here and didn't make it overly sweet. Of course, results may vary and personal preferences differ.
How does the nutrition information stack up in STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee?
I mean, if it's terrible for you, what's the point?
Ok, you're looking at the nutrition information pulled right off the label of my STōK Cold Brew Protein bottle the same morning I wrote this review.
For those of you that can't see the photo (AMP visitors), here's the breakdown of nutrition info:
- Serving Size - 12oz
- Calories - 180
- Total Fat - 2g
- Saturated Fat - 1.5g
- Cholesterol - 15mg
- Sodium - 320mg
- Total Carbs - 23g
- 0g of fiber
- 13g of added sugar
- Protein - 16g
- Vitamin D - 0mcg
- Calcium - 440mg (35% RDA)
- Iron - .4mg (2% RDA)
- Potassium - 590mg (15% RDA)
I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the added sugars, but that's almost unavoidable in a ready-to-drink cold brew, isn't it?
I think the rest of the numbers are overall pretty good. You can certainly drink beverages that are worse for you. I'd stop just short of calling STōK Cold Brew Protein "healthy", though.
The ingredient list isn't too scary either: Coffee (filtered water, coffee), skim milk, micellar casein (milk protein), cane sugar, cream, natural flavor, sea salt, gellan gum.
Does the caffeine in STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee make you jittery?
If you're like me and you're super caffeine sensitive then the amount of caffeine in STōK Cold Brew probably really matters to you.
I love coffee (especially iced cold brew) in the morning, but I really can't drink coffee of any kind after around noon. If I do, I'll get all jittery and be up until the wee hours of the morning. That's not good, considering I work and I'm an early riser.
According to the product page, there are 120mg of caffeine per 12oz serving of STōK Cold Brew Protein. That's only slightly more than the 95mg of caffeine in the average (8oz) cup of black coffee.
However, it's pretty easy to consume (for me, anyway) more than 24oz of STōK Cold Brew, so that's where we probably need to be careful. In other words, don't go drinking the entire bottle in one sitting if caffeine intake is a concern.
Just a few final thoughts about STōK Cold Brew Protein coffee.
STōK Cold Brew Protein has been my go-to for ready-to-drink cold brew for a while now. I was making my own cold brew for at least a few years before that. I would cold brew overnight and add a non-dairy soy milk to it when I was ready to drink.
That plan worked well for a long time. I just wanted to change things up, and my wife found STōK Cold Brew Protein on sale, so we tried it out.
I'm not super brand loyalist (I'm trying a few other cold brews right now, actually), but I could definitely make STōK Cold Brew a regular on my shopping list pretty easily.