I’ll start by saying I’m no coffee snob. Like any American whose teen years were spent reconfiguring their MySpace Top 8 and hanging out in mall food courts, I made my foray into the world of coffee via a sugar-packed caramel Frappuccino. Five years later I moved to New York to go to Parsons School of Design, and quickly learned downtown art school kids were willing to shell out extra cash for a basic cup of joe—all for the aesthetic of boujee cafes where the motto is “Starbucks? We don’t know her.” All-nighters were all too familiar during freshman year, so caffeine soon became a necessity rather than a mere prop for my newly-launched Instagram account—but I couldn’t tell the difference between a Venti medium roast and the sweet nectar of luxe Ethiopian beans if you paid me.
As years went by, I leveled up and ditched the Starbucks mermaid for the cooler, more elevated La Colombe peace dove. Rather than an accessory, caffeine was more like lifeblood in the formative years of my career, mostly spent organizing fashion closets and, you guessed it: fetching trays of coffee for magazine execs. During a summer stint when I was writing style news from my Brooklyn apartment, cold brew was first on the agenda each morning, and lazy Sundays called for oat milk lattes delivered to my bed. I’d come a long way since my intro to the frozen caffeinated treat.
Like thousands of New Yorkers, my ideal weekend involves leisurely strolls to the local cafe, neighborhood pups, and boutique hopping—but that all came to a halt when social distancing put the city into hibernation-mode amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Iced lattes and vintage Levi’s are truly the least of our worries during a global health crisis, and staying home is a must—which is why Jot Ultra Coffee is a true gift. My new love interest, the ingenious beverage I told cold brew not to worry about, comes in an Insta-friendly Italian glass bottle and is 20x stronger than traditional coffee.
The first time I mixed one tablespoon of Jot with Oatly Barista Edition, I was catapulted into the blissful ether where my troubles momentarily drifted away. If you still ride for cow’s milk, Jot co-founder Palo Hawken recommends “stirring one tablespoon of Jot into 3 oz ice cold half-and-half for a sipping coffee that celebrates the intensity of the coffee flavor. The interplay between Ultra Coffee’s earthy, bright flavors against the creamy texture of half-and-half is like nothing else.”