Java Gum – spearmint and peppermint
The thing that separates Java Gum from the rest of the dozens and dozens of (This officially makes over 50 types of energy gum and Chews I have reviewed!) other products out there is that Java Gum is , uh, truthfully… nothing. If you have never tried a caffeine gum before, this might be something new or exciting, but seeing as big players such as Wrigleys, Rockstar, Go Fast and Amp have all come out with a gum version of their standard products, you would be hard pressed to find many energy junkies out there who have not come across them in the past.
I was hoping that, since this product won an award from CSNews for a “best of 2012”, they would have done something original – like make their java gum slightly coffee flavored or use some sort of coffee-like ingredients. But no – this is just a chicklet wrapped in foil – like the dozens of other energy gums which have been out in the market for the last couple decades. I am guessing that the reason they won the award is that they decided to pay the steep 125$ entry fee to sign up for the category and there were not that many other entries that year. With a standard energy boost, generic packaging, short flavor time and the fact that for me to find this I had to order it off Ebay, I can not imagine that this product will be sticking around very long.
Java Gum does about as well as any other energy gum has – except for the fact that this one does a nice job at listing the caffeine content on the gum, which is nice. They also compare this to a 10 ounce cup of coffee or an energy drink, which makes for some pretty weak coffee not EVEN the caffeine of an energy drink. The rest of the design is pretty standard fare – just a paper sleeve around 10 squares of gum – although the generic and easy to read block lettering makes this appealing to just about everyone – not just caffeine fiends. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this type of design, it is also not terribly unique or innovative either.
The good thing about Java Gum is it does not taste caffeine-y or sour, and has a very pleasant flavor. I tried the two flavors they have, both a peppermint and a spearmint, both of which were very serviceable. I did not get any sort of blast of freshness or felt like my mouth was any cleaner after chewing a couple pieces, and the flavor lasted a good minute or so – about as long as most of these kinds of gum have their flavor. After about 3 minutes, all the caffeine and flavor was gone – this is not gum that you will want to have hanging around in your mouth for very long – as it does not take more than 5 minutes or so to turn hard and like candle wax in your mouth.
Java Gum has a little more caffeine than your average chicklet, 65mg as opposed to most other caffeine gum that has 40-50. However, there is certainly more powerful chicklet-type gum out there. For me to feel any boost or just to kill my caffeine craving I definitely needed two pieces of the gum, and the buzz ain’t bad. I did like having the convenience of energy stashed in my pocket as opposed to futzing around with an energy drink, but it also lacked all theother cool stuff energy drinks have too. No Vitamins, no minerals, no extra energy boost, no mental clarity, just regular gum – only with some caffeine in it.
Java Gum is not bad, it is just another me-too product in a long line of energy gum already languishing on the market. This had the chance to be original – to really embrace their name and do something – anything – with coffee as their name implies, but that is wasted here on just another food that happens to have caffeine in it too.