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Normally I’m blunt and to the point but this one time I feel a history lesson is needed.
Kona coffee is a rare commodity. In fact, only an estimated 1,500 acres are said to be in production and the majority of farms in Kona are family owned and operated in Hawaii. This created a problem in meeting demand. Kona blends of coffee are from Hawaii originally and can be super expensive ($25+ a pound). I was excited to learn Monster made an energy drink named KONA BLEND to let common people try this excellence of a coffee. Could it truly be a “New Big Island blend too good to be true”? I’m thinking so, MAHALO!
The Look: Monster took the classic monogram and Java Monster coffee + energy logo and placed it on a black and grey can. It reminds me for some reason of the Assault cans. The back ground is made to look as if you’re glaring into the dark tones of volcanic rock. It’s accented with a brown/goldish rope like design at the lip the can with “KONA BLEND”. The sides of the can go with the whole Hawaiian theme. Pictures of Tiki’s, huts and vegetation give you the sense of central eastern Polynesian culture in your hands. Monster’s passage on the can reads, “Everyone knows some of the best coffee on the planet comes from Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii. No need to trek the slopes of Mauna Loa braddah since we already got some of Pele’s thunder and put it in a can. Select Kona beans combined with premium imported coffee, super charged with our proven energy blend makes for an unbeatable combination.”
(8 out of 10)
The Taste: This is a pleasant mix of Kona blend coffee, reduced fat milk, and monster blend in rare form. It has a very mild coffee smell that is stronger than the actual taste. Kona coffee has a naturally a smooth clean, sweet medium bodied taste with a hint of chocolate. There is no bitter after taste & makes you keep reaching for the can. It’s a sophisticated blend that anyone can enjoy. The milk base turns this in to a desirable drink and puts it on edge as s more of a semi chocolaty mocha that is milder form. I tried this strait for the fridge, heated and frozen. Despite the versatile challenges I tried to put it through it passed with – no bitterness or any weird adverse or unwanted secondary flavor.
(7.5 out of 10)
Does It Work: UM DUH!! I don’t recall anything I have had of Monster that “didn't give you a jolt as promised". Taurine 1000mg, Panax- Ginseng 200mg and Monster’s famous energy blend of 2,500 mg should spark torches and please the Tiki god’s somewhere. Soon as I opened this drink, I put ½ into a measured cup & placed it in the freezer, I drank ¼ can at one time while heating the rest. Basically a ½ can give me a pretty good pick me up. Approx. 2hrs. later, I ate the frozen Kona. Surprisingly I was able to maintain my alertness altogether for a steady 4-5hrs.
(8.5 out of 10)
Overall Thoughts: Despite the intimidating can, Monster delivers a smooth, elegant and perfectly balanced alluring flavor. I had the impression of “dark can = harsh flavor” that I wouldn't appreciate. On the contrary this bold can was needed to contain the impressive flavor and scare off anyone who really didn't understand Kona. ( That’s the reason for the history lesson! )