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Can Jot’s coffee concentrate make you forget about that $5 latte? Here’s what our editors say

We gave Jot Ultra Coffee to three of our editors to see if it lives up to its promise of delivering barista-worthy drinks at home.

Can Jot’s coffee concentrate make you forget about that $5 latte? Here’s what our editors say
[Photo: courtesy Jot Coffee]

Jot’s timing is impeccable. The startup burst onto the scene with its Ultra Coffee concentrate at the exact moment that coffee-shop denizens found themselves shut out of their favorite spots. Gone are the daily treats of oat milk lattes, cold brews, and café Americanos. In its place are mornings spent in our own kitchens, spilling AeroPress grinds everywhere or standing watch over our Bialetti Moka pots, wondering if we should just bite the bullet and spend some savings on an extra-sexy espresso machine. Just me? Okay.

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Then came Jot’s new formula of coffee concentrate—housed in a sprightly glass bottle with a sleek measuring spoon—and its promise of a delicious, fast, mess-free coffee (any way you like it) right at home. All you need to do is stir in just one tablespoon (Jot, get it?) of Ultra Coffee into any hot or cold liquid of your choice—milk, plant-based milk, water, La Croix (yes, that’s a thing)—and enjoy. But to see how good it actually is, we wanted to put it to a taste test.

The results? It’s really good.

“I’m quarantining with my parents and brothers, and we’re all coffee lovers,” says one FC editor. “Jot is a hit, especially now that it’s getting hot out. I like to mix it with three parts cold water, one part milk, and some simple syrup. It’s got that same velvety, bright flavor of a Starbucks cold brew that’s been impossible to mimic at home.”

[Photo: courtesy Jot Coffee]
Another FC editor tried Jot prelaunch and enjoyed it so much, he’s made it a part of his daily coffee routine since mid-April, stirring it in to hot water for an afternoon Americano. “For me, the convenience just makes it the perfect choice for that midday pick-me-up,” he says. “No muss, no fuss, and virtually instant gratification. I feel like it tastes very similar to what I would have paid four or five dollars for in the fancy coffee shop near the office—back when I went to the office.”

A third editor reports that she stays loyal to her Illy and moka pot on the weekend, when things are a bit more leisurely. But while juggling two remote-learning kids plus work responsibilities during the week, Jot is an irresistibly efficient way to get her Americano fix. “It’s rich and tasty, especially when I add in my Barista Edition Oatly, which I’ve become addicted to during quarantine. It feels totally indulgent and is utterly effortless. And I’m still coming in under the cost of a high-end coffee shop, even when you add in the Oatly.”

Our taste testers at FC have also found that Jot seems to pack more punch than a regular cup of coffee. “I feel it more acutely in terms of the caffeine delivery system,” one tester says. “So folks should be mindful of that if they generally don’t do well with caffeine too late in the day.” Or, in the words of another editor: “I stayed up till 2 a.m. when I made myself an afternoon Jot. I got a lot of work done, though!”

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Jot does have a more intense caffeine profile than other instant options. And what makes Jot’s brew so different from existing instant coffees is the extraction method.

“Rather than brew at a common strength and then heat and/or freeze under a vacuum to remove the water as is done with freeze-drying, our coffee is brewed at a wildly potent 20x strength—much like an espresso, but at scale,” says Jot cofounder Andrew Gordon. “Nothing is ever removed to achieve this concentration, so all of the subtle compounds that contribute to aroma and flavor are protected and retained.”

The unique brewing process not only gives Jot its punch, but also its unprocessed flavor. It’s the only bottled-coffee concentrate that is totally unpasteurized and unprocessed. The result is a form and flavor that approximates espresso, without the need for wasteful pods or significant appliance investments. As Gordon puts it, “We like to think of it as ‘coffee dematerialized.’ You get the soul of coffee, we handle everything else.”

A single bottle of Jot goes for $24 and makes 14 coffee beverages. You can bring down the cost by purchasing two or three bottles at once or signing up for a subscription.

Looking for more recommendations? Check out our other handpicked suggestions.

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