Sometimes, however, the ritual is cut short. In these trying times, I must choose my fighter: a homemade grab-and-go coffee situation or an aggravating pitstop at Starbucks.
TL; DR? In an effort to save myself some time (and money, and sanity), my discovery of canned coffees has been a life-saver. The offerings I can find online or at my local supermarket has expanded significantly over the last decade or so, and I’m here for it. Still: One’s sacred morning coffee is not something to take chances on and wind up disappointed, no matter how big of a rush you’re in.
In an effort to avoid any under-caffeinated nightmare-ish mornings, I have carefully gathered, tested, and reviewed the top canned coffees you can buy both online and in stores to make sure you’re set up for success whenever and wherever the craving (or drowsiness) hits. Below, the five best canned coffee options for all taste profiles and preferences.
The best canned coffee options on the market
For the fans of oat milk
Pop & Bottle Classic Cold Brew Oat Milk Latte — $42.00
Price: $42 for a 12-pack ($0.44 per fluid ounce)
Sweetness: 8g sugar but 0g added sugar. Nice.
Flavor: Very well balanced and creamy without feeling too rich or heavy on the palate. This one includes the coffee berry fruit in its ingredients, which the brand says is rich in antioxidants. Instead of using added sugar, Pop & Bottle sweetens their canned coffee with dates, which I think is (pun intended) pretty sweet.
Post Coffee Feels: I enjoyed Pop & Bottle a lot! The flavor is well-balanced, rich, and the drink’s free from added sugar. And with 80mg of caffeine, no jitters.
For decadent latte lovers
La Colombe Triple Latte Bold and Creamy — $27.00
Value: $27 for a pack of 12 ($0.25 per fluid ounce)
Sweetness: 5g added sugar — this tasted pretty sweet.
Flavor: Rich chicory taste, overall very creamy mouthfeel
Post-Coffee Feels: The creaminess stuck around for a while, making this feel like a sweet treat. This type of coffee isn’t my personal favorite, but if you love a frothed and decadent latte, this might be for you. I didn’t feel jittery after drinking this, but La Colombe does market this as having three shots of espresso. For reference, a typical espresso shot is around 60-70mg of caffeine and a grande latte from Starbucks has two shots of espresso. (For reference, I typically drink about 150-200mg of caffeine a day.)
For those who get down to black coffee
Illy Classico Cold Brew — $40.00
Price: $40 for a 12-pack ($0.39 per fluid ounce)
Sweetness: None (natural sweetness comes from the coffee notes)
Flavor: A bit on the dry side in terms of mouthfeel but has a delicious plain black coffee flavor and refreshing after. If you like to do a lot of zhuzhing to your morning coffee, this isn’t the best choice for you.
Post Coffee Feels: This felt a bit lighter and more hydrating than the other products I tried. While I couldn’t really tell a difference in the higher caffeine content, I do want to call attention to it for folks that are sensitive to caffeine’s effects. This product also doesn’t have added sugar or milk, so there’s no fear of a sugar spike or crash. Overall: I loved it.
For major flavor with minor caffeine
Rise Oat Milk Nitro Cold Brew Coffee — $40.00
Price: $40 for a 12-pack ($0.48 per fluid ounce)
Sweetness: 9g added sugar—taste wasn’t overly sweet, but definitely detectible.
Flavor: Very nutty. Delicious if you like a lot of that taste in your coffee (I do!). A little chalky from the oat milk, and though the can didn’t say to, I should have shaken before pouring as there was some sediment at the bottom of the can.
Post coffee feels: I actually felt this can gave me a good boost for it only having 70mg of caffeine. Because there is a bit of added sugar in this one, I actually think the two balanced each other out and didn’t give me too much of a spike or crash.
For sweet, creamy coffee that’s incredibly convenient
Starbucks Espresso and Cream — $8.00
Price: $8 for a 4-pack ($0.31 per fluid ounce)
Sweetness: With 18g of sugar and 11g added sugar…
Flavor: Creamy mouthfeel, but very sweet. The coffee flavor is very mild and smooth; no notes of the stereotypical “burnt” coffee taste some folks attribute to Starbucks.
Post Coffee Feels: This one really felt like a dessert to me because it was so sweet. I had a bit more of a crash than the others, likely due to the caffeine and sugar combination here.
Overall, I still love taking my time with my beloved DeLonghi Espresso machine and making my own coffee at home. Or, if I feel like splurging, I love an iced dirty chai from a local coffee shop. (Bonus points if they make their chai in-house.)
But alas, this isn’t always feasible. We get busy and we get run down, and sometimes there’s nothing quite like the convenience of being able to grab a canned coffee you know will provide the taste and energy boost you need to get on with your day.
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