Well, it certainly has been a long time since I last made a detailed writeup about Soylent on here, hasn’t it? I think now is a good time to unearth the topic once again, as there have been a lot of developments since I last talked about the product (when the original 2.0 bottles were released). I recently discovered that they’re now starting to sell Soylent in brick-and-mortar stores (specifically gas stations), and I was able to pick up a couple flavors at a store near me, just for the novelty of it (though, as you would expect, it’s much cheaper to get online). My brother has been way more into the Soylent craze than I have, so while I haven’t been buying much of it myself, I’ve had a lot of chances to try the new flavors and variations that have been released. So, let’s talk about all of the Soylent happenings, shall we?
The Drink is the main attraction for Soylent products. The convenient 2.0 bottles are not only the easiest way to try it, but also the best tasting version of it. I already did a writeup on the Original flavor 2.0 Drink, and not much has changed then (except for the design of the bottles, which is a plus!). I usually consider myself the kind of person to enjoy the basic flavors over the less subtle flavors, but Original is the worst of the three available Drink flavors, in my opinion. It doesn’t taste like anything in particular, which is why they give it the vague name of “Original” I guess, but there is a taste of sorts. It’s alright at first, but not very endearing, and letting the aftertaste sit in your mouth for a few hours without a proper palette cleanse results in some nasty, vile breath. Original Drink is still the cheapest out of all the bottled variations of Soylent that are out there, though, so if you’re on a budget and really don’t care about how things taste, maybe this flavor is for you.
Cacao is essentially a chocolate-tasting variation of Soylent, as you’d expect. This is, by far, the definitive flavor of Soylent. It tastes like a proper, delicious protein shake and is the most endearing out of all the different variations out there. Like the other Drink flavors, the sandy texture is very minimal, and the taste is a pleasantly sweet chocolate flavor. It’s not something I could stomach to have every day, but as far as Soylent goes, this is as good as it gets. If you ever plan on trying Soylent, this is the flavor to get.
The recently released Strawberry has a bit of an interesting history. There was a now-defunct flavor released around the same time as the Cacao Drink named “Nectar.” They discontinued it for some reason, perhaps because the flavor wasn’t as focused as how they wanted it to be? That’s my only guess, as the Strawberry flavor seems to be an upgraded version of Nectar. It has been a while since I tried Nectar, obviously, but it wasn’t bad. I would still say it was better than the Original flavor. People likened it to drinking the milk out of a bowl of Froot Loops cereal, and that is a decently accurate assessment, from what I recall. Fortunately, in replacing Nectar with Strawberry, we got a superior tasting flavor. I would still place it below Cacao and above Original in terms of overall enjoyment, but it’s still an exceptional upgrade to Nectar, and a more distinct flavor. If you consider yourself more of a fruit person than a chocolate person, I would definitely not hesitate in recommending Strawberry over Cacao. I think Cacao is better, but there isn’t as much separation between the quality of the two like there is with Strawberry and Original.
Surprisingly, the Soylent powder product is still going strong and has not been phased out yet. They now sell the powder in both a pouch (which is how it normally came) and a tub (like the ones you see protein powder in). In addition, they have upgraded the formula since I first had it (from 1.4 to 1.8/1.9). They currently have two flavors available: Original and Cacao. I was quite intrigued when they released a powder for the Cacao flavor, and now I’m curious if they plan on releasing a powder version of the new Strawberry flavor as well.
The Original Powder has undoubtedly improved since I first had it. Originally, it was a gritty, gross mess that left much to be desired. Now it is only a vaguely gritty, gross mess that is tolerable enough to have on a semi-frequent basis! All joking aside, the biggest improvement is that the texture is much improved. The taste itself doesn’t seem to have changed that much, and while I still don’t really like it that much, the important thing is that they upgraded the texture. I would take the Drink over the Powder any day, but at least the Powder is not insufferable anymore.
Cacao Powder is a thing that I have tried as well. I was expecting it to taste similar to its Drink equivalent, but the Cacao Powder actually tastes like a chocolate version of the Original Powder. I suppose that would have been the more reasonable assumption to have made. Though, that’s not a good thing, in my opinion. The Powder has that subtle, yet distinctly sickly taste to it that lingers whenever you have it. You can easily taste it in the Cacao Powder, whereas the Cacao Drink doesn’t suffer from this issue. I would still say that the Cacao Powder, like the Drink, is superior to its Original counterpart. However, I would still strongly recommend sticking with the Cacao Drink over the Powder.
Cafe is effectively the same idea as the Drink, except all of them have caffeine in them, and are based around flavors you’d expect caffeine to be in. The caffeine in these drinks definitely does the trick, and I’d say it’s about as effective as a usual cup of coffee. The primary flavor, formerly known as “Coffiest” and now known as “Mocha,” does not taste very pleasant. It has that distinct caffeine flavor that you would expect in a coffee with not much cream in it, but with that trademark Soylent taste that’s hard to swallow. Perhaps even worse is that my stomach always felt a little upset after drinking it. The feeling was never that bad, and it always went away when I ate something else to satiate myself, but the last thing I need with a somewhat gross-tasting drink is the reminder that I just drank something gross and my stomach wants to punish me for drinking something so gross. Perhaps someone who is accustomed to drinking coffee on a daily basis and can more appreciate its bitter taste would enjoy Cafe Mocha more than I did, but I would not recommend this one. Just drink a bottle of Cacao with a 200mg caffeine supplement instead.
Cafe Vanilla is an anomaly. I don’t get it. Both times I’ve tried it, it seems to me that there is almost no difference, probably only a very subtle one, between this and Cafe Mocha. They taste virtually identical. I suppose if I had to pick out a difference between the two, Cafe Vanilla has the distinction of being very slightly creamier with its subtle vanilla taste, but I don’t think it would be easy to pick out the differences unless you’ve had both flavors ad nauseam. I don’t know which of these two I would recommend. Both result in the same stomach-gurgling effect. Both have a bothersome aftertaste that rivals the likes of Original flavor. I suppose I give the edge to Cafe Vanilla because I’m always a sucker for vanilla, but it’s really a tossup.
Cafe Chai is, thankfully, a huge improvement over the other two Cafe flavors. It is a more subtle flavor; it goes for more of a tea-vibe, which I personally prefer to coffee, and apparently has less caffeine as well, which may be seen as a good or a bad thing depending on what you want out of it. In terms of taste alone, Cafe Chai is definitely my recommendation, as its more subtle, tea-like essence is much more pleasant than the in-your-face caffeinated flavor of the other two.
Well, Soylent has really come a long way, especially since I first discovered it. It’s really hitting the mainstream now, especially given its availability in most convenience stores across the States. I really appreciate the variety that exists now, even if most of it isn’t very good in my eyes. Despite how disgusted I am by Soylent most times I have it, it is always fun to try out the new flavors and to see what improvements/changes they make every time. Heck, the Cacao Drink, Strawberry Drink, and Cafe Chai are drinks I wouldn’t even mind having every so often. Before those flavors, I really never liked Soylent that much outside of the novelty factor of it. So, overall, I think the future of Soylent is looking bright.