The entire AG Team loves our caffeine. Some of us are coffee fanatics, while others reach for an ice cold Coke. Regardless of the source, we rely on caffeine not just for a morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, but also for enhancing our training and race-day performance as well. So when we had the opportunity to try a new instant coffee created just for athletes that boasted a controlled level of natural caffeine, we were more than willing.
TrueStart was first launched in May 2015 by co-founders Helena and Simon. Their goal was to create a completely clean, ethically sourced, convenient, and great tasting coffee just for athletic performance. In other words, coffee athletes could rely on to deliver just the right amount of caffeine—no more, no less. So what’s the big deal about caffeine levels anyway? Turns out, there’s a lot we didn’t know.
According to TrueStart, there can be a pretty large variation in the amount of caffeine you’re getting from your morning cup of joe. Of course that’s fine if you’re just relaxing at your local coffee shop with a warm cup, but not so much if you’re depending on it for performance and endurance.
Let’s get into the coffee itself. Each 2-gram serving of TrueStart is guaranteed to have 75-115mg of caffeine, with an average amount of 95mg. To put this into perspective, one packet of GU Espresso Love contains about 40mg of caffeine, and one packet of GU Roctane Vanilla Spice contains 35mg. The company uses a special freeze-drying process that allows them to closely regulate the caffeine content without adding any synthetic ingredients or sugar. There really is just one ingredient here—100% Columbian Arabica coffee.
Now we know what you’re all thinking, how does it taste? We’re not going to lie; we were a bit hesitant given the fact that this is instant coffee. Our multisport editor is the biggest coffee drinker here at AG, so she was the one tasked with most of the testing of TrueStart. And she was pleasantly surprised. Now is it as good as fresh brewed? Nope. But we weren’t expecting that. We believe in apples-to-apples comparisons. So we were comparing TrueStart against other instant coffees we’d tried in the past, and TrueStart came out on top. We think this would be a great option for us if we were stuck in a hotel room without access to a coffee pot. Just get your hands on some hot water and you’ve got your coffee ready to go.
Our biggest complaint about TrueStart was getting the ratio of water to coffee mixture correct. At first, we made it way too strong. Then it was too weak. We finally got it right after a few more tries. The instructions need to be a bit more clear on just how much water you should use to make the perfect cup.
When it comes to needing a caffeine kick when we’re on the road, we think TrueStart would be a great option for packing in our bags. It’s portable, one of the best tasting instant coffees we’ve tried, and reliable in terms of caffeine content. If you’d like to give some a try, you can request a sample on their site. Or order yourself a jar for $8.25 (or £5.95). By the way, while the coffee is currently packaged in jars, TrueStart mentions a pouch option coming soon on their site. That will definitely make the coffee that much more portable. We can’t wait to take advantage of the new packaging.
Good news! TrueStart has informed us that their pouches are now available. So for those of you looking for a more travel friendly container, you can pick up a pouch of TrueStart for £6.99 ($9.80 U.S). TrueStart has also improved the instructions, so you’ll have no issues making that perfect cup on the go. Pick up their new pouch here, including a scoop for easy measuring.