The coffee routine is a delicate balance. For me, waiting until after I’ve settled in at the office, until around 10 in the morning or so, proved to be helpful because then I didn’t have to worry about getting stuck waiting around during my commute with a bladder filled with coffee. But the glaring downside is that I also don’t have any caffeine really running through my veins until, at best, around 11:30ish. That’s so close to lunch that I always worry I’m going to spend my morning like a coffeeless zombie, sluggish and uninspired. Yet rushing a caffeine fix would make me feel like a sinner for forsaking the morning ritual I’ve been observing since I was in high school: enjoying that first sip of coffee.
Enter Go Cubes. While the little gummies can’t replace the process of acquiring and then savoring coffee, when I enquired with the company that makes them, Nootrobox, the person I communicated with from the company assured me that the nootropics (substances that are supposed to improve brain function) are “the future of coffee.”
I was skeptical. The idea of a little thing you eat, smart drugs that make you think harder and faster, sounds like something out of a William Gibson novel, and the description from this BuzzFeed story about the company and their product, with a Truman Show mention and the words “startup utopia” in the first two paragraphs, hardly convinced me I wasn’t living in The Matrix.
Pushing all my worries that I’d get hooked on the stuff only to find myself yelling, “Chewable coffee! It’s made out of people,” I tried my first one, believing the copy on the package that one pack of four cubes equals two cups of coffee, and not wanting to see my heart burst out of my chest, I decided to take it slowly. One Go Cube, I reasoned, was probably going to be like half a cup of coffee.
Nope. All I needed was that single cube to get me going and suddenly I was like Bradley Cooper in Limitless, except nowhere near as good looking. I was plugged in and ready to work without taking a damn break. No jitters, no heavy feeling from drinking too much, and no crash; I just wanted to kick ass and type stuff.
I tried Go Cubes for five days straight, and I was more focused and produced more after I ate them than I did after a cup of coffee. They kick in fast, and there was a lack of dry mouth and excessive thumping in my chest and stomach. It was a clean caffeine charge. I didn't feel like ants were crawling on me or the kinds of shakes I've had in my more desperate times when I chugged Red Bulls because the coffee just didn't cut it. I felt fine.
Here’s the thing: I’ll keep Go Cubes around for when I really need them, but they aren’t replacing my coffee anytime soon. The BuzzFeed profile, which talks about how Nootrobox co-founder Michael Brandt “sees an increasing interest in treating ourselves like machines,” still doesn’t seem totally right to me. I mean, yes, I drink coffee to increase productivity, and Go Cubes seem to be a better alternative for that, but I’m also depriving myself of that little bit of enjoyment I derive from slowly drinking a cup in the morning if I just sit down at my desk, pop something in my mouth, and go right to work.
Are Go Cubes really the future of coffee? I don’t know. Do you think tablet devices will totally replace printed books? Can we give up on big oil? Will they ever make actual hoverboards and not those things on two wheels? The future is massive, and lots of great things can happen, but I really don’t want to live in a world where drinking my coffee is obsolete.