Few products have arrived with the bizarre backstory of Soylent, the meal-replacement beverage created in 2013 by Sunnyvale, California-based software engineer Rob Rhinehart to see if he could wean himself off that pointless time suck… food. Thanks to Silicon Valley’s obsession with forward-thinking and efficiency, and probably an odd romanticism for giving up food in general, Soylent found an audience and, equally important, funding, both in the form of a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign and venture capitalists. And now that Rhinehart’s food-free vision is off to the races, his company has a new plan: They’re coming for your breakfast. Announced today, and available immediately, Soylent has introduced the brand’s first meal replacement spinoff, Coffiest. Though Soylent is intended to be able to replace any and all meals (Rhinehart famously lived off Soylent for 30 days after he created it), Coffiest is the answer to the potential criticism “Sure, I can live without food, but I can’t live without my morning coffee.”
“Breakfast sets the tone for the entire day, but busy people all too often skip it entirely,” Rhinehart said. “Now with Coffiest you can get the nutrition your body needs enhanced with caffeine and L-theanine as mild nootropics. It also tastes great!” I think it’s safe to say that many of the techie types who have flocked to Soylent are as equally fueled by caffeine as whatever the hip nootropic-enhanced food item du jour may be. And if you’re wondering where the word Coffiest comes from, the company says they got it from the sci-fi novel The Space Merchants.
Interestingly, whereas original Soylent tends to bask in its scientific obfuscation, Coffiest promotes that it is “made with real coffee,” giving the beverage a boost of about 150 mg of caffeine per bottle. Of course, simply using caffeine to sharpen your mind isn’t good enough anymore for the tech crowd, so the new breakfast replacement also includes 75 mg of L-theanine “to promote relaxation without drowsiness and work in concert with caffeine to boost cognitive performance.” On top of that, Coffiest also fulfills the usual Soylent mantra by containing “20 percent of the daily recommended values for all essential vitamins and minerals and a macronutrient profile of 47 percent calories from lipids, 33 percent calories from carbohydrates, and 20 percent calories from protein,” according to a press release.
Coffiest claims to have another benefit that could potentially woo Soylent skeptics: The drink boasts a “rich coffee flavor.” That’s a big step into the mainstream for the company. The original Soylent tastes like the liquid that’s leftover after cereal soaks for hours in a bowl of soy milk. Whether this product indicates a future foray into other flavored incarnations to help broaden its appeal is yet to be seen. We asked Soylent if future iterations of its beverages are in the works, and Nicole Myers, Director of Communications, said, “Soylent is more than just a beverage company. The team is constantly iterating on our suite of products. From new flavors to new form factors, we will continue to expand our repertoire.”
Soylent is a unique product buoyed by a backstory that is equal parts intriguing and alienating. By those standards, Coffiest would appear to be a pivot into a more accessible space for the company. It will be interesting to see where the brand goes from here. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to stop eating breakfast for some reason, 12-pack cases of Coffiest are available for purchase online for shipping to the US and Canada for $37.05 per case for subscribers and $39 per case for one-time orders.