Over the course of many long nights, I’ve done the hard work of reviewing the landscape of java energy drinks for you, the reader. Some were delicious, some were revolting, but I finished a can of each in order to bring you these results. Wonder no more about your next 11pm gas station purchase, because everything you ever wanted to know about coffee-flavored taurine binges is just below!


Java Monster (Originale) – The first impression you get when you take a sip of this is mellow, sweet, and smooth. It’s like a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, but a bit sweeter. It’s more creamy than coffee-ey, but that’s alright. The kick lasts for hours, and it tastes so good that I wish they made a non-energy version so that I could enjoy them before I go to bed. Undeniably addictive, even though it’s rather sweet. bitterness 0 sweetness ++ energy ++ overall (7/10)

Java Monster (Mean Bean) – Refreshing. This guy has a pretty smooth coffee taste with quite a bit of vanilla cream in there. Not quite as sweet as the Originale. bitterness 0 sweetness + energy ++ overall (5/10)

Java Monster (Loca Moca) – A very level-headed mocha drink. Not too much cream, not too much coffee, not too much chocolate. It’s pretty tame, taste-wise, but it’s pretty damn good. Nothing wrong with going the mild route when it tastes as good as this. bitterness + sweetness + energy ++ overall (7/10)

Starbucks doubleshot (Coffee) – Melted coffee ice cream. Amazing. I’m going to be stocking up on these guys for sure. Smooth, creamy, and loaded with coffee flavor. Absolutely delicious to the last gulp. bitterness + sweetness + energy + overall (8/10)

Starbucks doubleshot (Mocha) – This one’s all about the coffee and mocha flavor. It’s a deep, rich chocolately java flavor that makes you crave that next sip. The slightly bitter flavor and reserved sweetness make for a more mature taste that has you savoring it longer than a Monster. bitterness ++ sweetness + energy + overall (9/10)

Starbucks doubleshot (Vanilla) – I don’t know who they’re trying to fool with this one. The can says Starbucks, but it tastes exactly like Baileys (minus the alcohol). It tastes alright at first, but the flavor starts to wear on you halfway through the can. If you love Baileys, go pour yourself a few fingers, and leave this one on the gas station shelf. bitterness + sweetness + energy + overall (2/10)

Rockstar (Roasted Latte) – This tastes like coffee ice cream that fell into a glass of milk. No punch, no bite, no soul, just lottttts of energy. This is about as lame of a coffee drink as you can find. Recommended if you hate flavor (and sleep). bitterness 0 sweetness ++ energy +++ overall (1/10)

Rockstar (Roasted Light Vanilla) – 50% less fat & 50% fewer calories. 50% less flavor & 50% less body. It has the consistency of water, barely any java, and leaves an aftertaste of saccharine. If you like thin diet drinks, the flavor on this isn’t bad, just soft. bitterness 0 sweetness + energy +++ overall (4/10)

Rockstar (Roasted Mocha) – Imagine mixing Ovaltine and a bunch of diner half and half cups together. Now imagine that mix after it’s been sitting in the sun for a day. I’m not sure which one I would rather drink. This one makes my nevereverevereveragain list with flying colors. bitterness 0 sweetness + energy +++ overall (1/10)

Java energy drink comparison