I went in to work a different way this morning, and swung past McDonald’s on my way in. This location happens to have one of those newfangled McCafe add-ons, to try to lure the gourmet & designer coffee crowd back to “fast food.” It’s Friday, the end of a long week, and I figured I deserved a little treat that’s a bit more appealing than the weak and boring tasting coffee at work.
I’ve never tried this particular brand of cappucino beverage before, so I approached the counter rather hesitantly…. They seemed to have all of the necessary accoutrements, so I went for the final deal-breaker question and asked “do you have soy?” The answer was positive; I went for it. “One Large Soy Latte with Sugar-Free Vanilla, half-sweet, extra hot please.” (Yes, I’m one of those people who orders the 8 variable coffee beverage. Deal with it.)
I’m gazing around, not paying much attention after that point, when I spot it. The carton of soy beverage. It’s So Good.
As far as soy beverages go, the gold standard is Silk. It’s typically fresh-tasting, organic, and lends a rich, creamy texture to most things you put it in. A close second is So Nice. Also organic, and a bit thicker than Silk. So Nice Vanilla is what you’ll find in my fridge – and it makes a really phenomenal latte.
So Good is the bottom of the barrel in terms of soy beverages. It’s dirt cheap, and not organic. Sometimes organic makes a difference in terms of food, and sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of soy beverage, it definitely does. It’s like the difference between Wild and Farmed salmon. You really can taste the difference.
A more appropriate name for So Good would be So Mediocre With a Hint of Dirt. Soy beans that are not organically grown tend to have a very “beany” taste. Somewhat like cold, dried out edamame. And really, that taste is bad enough when you’re eating edamame. Now imagine putting that cold, dried out edamame in your morning coffee. That’s what I’m waking up to. Compared to this, I’m actually looking forward to chasing it with a cup of the dreaded work coffee.