Pop Culture: Java Pop

By Martin Cizmar It’s 10:45 a.m. and you’re thirsty. Do you go for a cup of coffee or a bottle soda? Either you’re drinking coffee in the middle of the say like a cop with 30 years on the force or you’re drinking soda before noon like some punk kid who got up at 6:30 to catch his school bus.

Java Pop could end this eternal dilemma with their organic, fair trade coffee soda. Unfortunately, while the idea seems good, the result is pretty unpleasant.

I assembled a tasting team that included coworkers Jasmine and Jay and my friend Laura, who was visiting the office after carpooling to work then quitting her job (bad idea, kids).

We tried the hazelnut, but they also make pretty much every flavor Starbucks syrup comes in: mocha, caramel, vanilla and espresso. I got the soda at Big Lots – a great spot for a soda snob on a budget – which was selling a four pack for the bargain rate of $2

Java Pop Verdict: Awful. More like a club soda someone spilled flavored syrup in to than an actual beverage, I could barely finish a bottle, though my tasting team was not as critical.

“I’m warming to it. The first taste, I thought, was retched, then the more I drink it the more I like it – kind of life coffee, ” says Jasmine.

“It tastes like a coffee Jelly Belly. It’s not good, but it’s not awful, and it’s the hazelnut that saves it,” says Jay.

“I just don’t see the point,” says Laura.

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