Posted December 21, 2009 by Big Red Boots in coffee energy drinks

Stok Coffee Shot Vs. Starbucks +energy powder

There are times when coffee just isnt enough Either the blend is not very strong, or the coffee drink you have is on the weak side. Two products are in the market ( although one of them seems to be for a shorter time) to help a person get more Oomph in their coffees.

Stok Shots are available for free in many convenience stores across the US – which are little black coffee-creamer-sized packages of slightly coffee flavored goodness to be added to your drink. Also, this summer, Starbucks unveiled +energy, a little powdered pixie dust they can add to any coffee flavored beverage to up the ante a bit. Both of these products are pretty fantastic, but there are quite a few differences between them.

When all is said and done, you get what you pay for. The big difference here is in price. The Stok shots are a great value, costing absolutely nothing in most convenience stores. But Starbucks goes the extra mile, and makes sure you pony up the fifty or so cents for it. You just can not beat STOK in getting a tasty complimentary flavor at a complimentary price. And the Starbucks +energy are very worthy, and spending a dollar for an energy drink’s worth of caffeine and nutrients to your joe good to the last drop.

If you can’t find them at your local store, you can also buy STOK from kingofcaffeine.com

Buzz Starbucks:9 Stok: 7

STOK shots add just one thing to this coffee – caffeine. They do this in such a way though, that it barely affects the flavors of coffee. However, since it is all in convenience stores, the coffee is pretty damn strong to begin with. If drank by itself, it has around 40mg of caffeine, about half an energy drink or about half a shot of espresso. I enjoy that you can regulate your coffee shots in half doses, even though there is a big warning on the top to limit your intake of STOK shots to 2 a day.

Starbucks takes their +energy package much more seriously. While they also add caffeine to the tune of 36 or so mg from guarana, They also add an extra buzz with 500mg of Taurine, L-Carnitine, ginseng, Inositol and over 170& of your daily B vitamins. Although it is a little harder getting two of these added to your drink, the cost can be worth it for such a happy dose of nutrients in your morning blend.

Taste: Starbucks:9 Stok:8
One of the most important things about these is that they not alter your cup of coffee that much. Of course, they will change it up a little, but really, you drink coffee to taste like coffee. When put head to head, it was pretty obvious which one had which blend, and in almost every taste test around the office, coffee drinkers preferred the smoothness of the Starbucks powder of the slight sour edge of the STOK.

All the testers said that the STOK shots were a touch sour, bitter or papery. Actually, that slight acidity is perfectly suited to that cheap Farmers Brothers blend that has been burning on those heat pots for the last 3 hours. I don’t mean to say that it tastes burned – but the added notes of sourness will barely be noticed in an already un-premium blend of coffee. I also tried STOK in chocolate milk and in a Coke, and both times it added a little coffee flavor to my drink, making them much, much more tasty.

The Starbucks +energy was just that touch better – where they obviously had a team for taste researchers, food scientists and the like working on perfecting the correct flavor to give to the powder. I have added this to both a green tea latte as well as the straight on Pikes Roast, and it was barely noticeable either time. you could sneak this into just about anything for a great caffeinated treat – and never worry about ruining the flavor.

Stok:9 Starbucks:N/A
The Starbucks +energy is not something which we normal folk are supposed to get our grubby mitts on. This is just something for your local barista to handle, ripping off the metal lined tube and pouring in the contents. Some even have the label that it is not “labeled for resale” on them. That being said – Starbucks did do a good job wrapping them for stores, using a nice waterproof easy to ship package. Of course, the barista is still left trying to rip off the top – or hunt for the scissors to use – which can be a pain if it is busy.
The STOK shots are just beautiful. Located right with the International Creamers and the like, this package looks like a creamer in every way, except the little shot is in a shiny black – helping it stand out from the others. It also has that fantastically designed label – with a very easy to read and very stylish font scheme going on. This is truly a mark of a great design firm. On top of that, they label the caffeine content you will be getting out of it – so there is no guessing. Really, these shots are just about perfect.


Big Red Boots