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Coffiest, Soylent's New Coffee Shake, Is Surprisingly Almost Good

Finally, Soylent regular people might drink


If the god of efficiency could cry, its tears would be Soylent, right? (Obviously it does not cry, or even have a gender, because how wasteful.) The personal promise of Soylent is liberation from the tyranny of biology and the demands that hunger places on our time and brainspace. Why bother with eating — much less cooking, choosing what to put in your face, or tracking down utensils — when you could just gulp Soylent a few times a day, 400 calories and 20 percent of your daily recommend nutrients at a time, and continue being productive?

Soylent was, unsurprisingly, originally designed by and for the kind of human who has "not set foot in a grocery store in years" and has his "clothing custom made in China for prices you would not believe" with "new ones regularly shipped" to avoid doing laundry — or who at least aspires to such asceticism — in the name of efficiency. Fortunately for Soylent and its investors, however, its marketing department has long realized that the notion of wholly forsaking food for a nutritional slurry maybe seems w e i r d to a lot of people who don't hang out in particular internet forums, resulting in accordingly surreal ads and perhaps the most sublime Instagram account in existence, a kaleidoscope of sick dudes on sick mountaintops, refrigerators monopolized by cases of Soylent, and just being chill out the desert or forest, whatever man.

And yet, for all the appeal of just living your best life without letting stuff — like, um, food? — get in the way and all of the beautiful 'grams showing people living that life, one white bottle at a time, the Authentic Soylent Life has never quite shed the cloud of being a little... off, even if it sounds less weird lately when someone tells you they're "doing Soylent."

What doesn't sound so strange though, at least compared to replacing practically every solid meal with liquid nutrition, is swapping out breakfast. Even people who actually like food and want to continue eating it until they die, often skip breakfast, because they don't have the time or they're too lazy in the morning or whatever. They also probably drink coffee.

So now, thanks in part to the caffeine-deprived Soylent hackers on Reddit, we have Coffiest, "a complete breakfast and coffee in one convenient bottle." It's Soylent, plus coffee (and L-theanine, a "nootropic," a substance which theoretically enhances cognitive function, or makes for really boring party talk, whatever). At $3 a bottle, if you squint, Coffiest is maybe not soooo different from existing products like Monster Energy's Muscle Monster, Starbucks' Doubleshot with protein, or Orgain's cold brew plus protein shake. Or like SlimFast or Carnation Instant Breakfast. The difference is... Coffiest tastes better than all of those?

If regular Soylent tastes and feels sort of like runny pancake batter, Coffiest tastes and feels sort of like runny pancake batter with some coffee grounds and maybe a tiny bit of chocolate mixed in. It also, like the original Soylent 2.0, smells vaguely of popcorn. Overall, "muted" is how one might describe the coffee flavor. And in extreme contrast to every other bottled or canned coffee + protein sludge I've tried — and I've tried basically all of them because I can't help myself? — not overly sweet, so it's neither particularly cloying nor seriously plagued by the gross aftertaste typical of artificial sweeteners (though it's there, lurking ever so quietly in the background). Coffiest makes an all-round convincing case for subtlety, and for the argument that Soylent's deliberate blandness allows one to tolerate ingesting it multiple times a day until his or her consciousness can be uploaded to Amazon Web Services. The point is, it's totally fine, maybe surprisingly so, which is more than good enough.

Anyway, while there's a lot more one could say about Coffee Soylent — oh god, so much — perhaps the most remarkable thing about Coffiest, really, is that in the larger scheme of things, while it appeals to the Soylent diehards who asked for it, it's also a relatively straightforward product, even for messy, regular people who still have no real interest in optimizing the food out of most of their lives; sometimes getting to the promised land happens only one step at a time.

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• All Coffee Coverage [E]