I am disappointed that Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee is an unsustainable product. The ingredients themselves and product are attractive, but the company’s lack of transparency and use of aluminum cans is not. The company also claims to value consumer opinions, but in my experience, they don’t respond when consumers question the sustainability of the brand. This makes me questions if sustainability is even on Quokka Brew’s radar, or if they just promote the positive aspects of their product to cover up their lack of sustainability values. I am leaning towards the latter. Overall, the most sustainable way to enjoy coffee remains; I advise that sustainable coffee consumers brew at home and use re-usable mugs, instead of trying out Quokka Brew, maybe liking it, and contributing to single-use waste every time they enjoy Jitterless Coffee.
Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee consists of fair trade cold brew coffee, oat milk, vanilla, monk fruit, and green tea extract. The coffee is now served in single-use recyclable aluminum cans, whereas it was originally served in glass bottles. While the ingredients themselves are fairly sustainable, the lack of transparency and use of aluminum cans contribute to the lowly planet score of 1. Continue reading for to break down of what Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee is made of, and how I formulated my planet evaluation.
The fact that the coffee is Fair Trade is a positive; this ensures that the South American farmers who grow the coffee are being paid fair wages, which contributes to Quokka Brew’s sustainability score in terms of social justice. Nevertheless, Quokka Brew fails to provide specific information about its supply chain, which makes me doubt how sustainable the product and coffee specifically is. This contributes to its low score of 1 planet.
Quokka Brew switched from using almond milk to oat milk, which is also a positive. Dairy alternatives tend to be more sustainable in general, as they do not have the greenhouse gas costs associated with milk from cows. Additionally, almond milk requires more water to be processed than oat milk, so shifting to oat milk reflects sustainable decision-making. This is a positive.
Ginseng is a plant that contribute to focus. It is a sustainable crop grown in the US, which is another positive. Monk fruit and the organic green tea extract are also sustainable. The USDA certified Organic stamp for the green tea, specifically, shows that Quokka Brew invested in an ingredient that contribute to environmental and social sustainability. All reflect how the company uses relatively sustainable ingredients, which contributes to the positive score of 1 planet.
Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee is served in single-use aluminum cans, but it used to be served in glass bottles. While Quokka Brew claims this reflects sustainable decision-making, I disagree; glass bottles are more sustainable than aluminum cans because they have lower associated greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, people are more likely to keep and re-use glass bottles, whereas aluminum cans are single-use. This contributes to the lowly planet rating of 1. I am disappointed that the company chose less sustainable packaging and presented this decision as more environmentally friendly, since this is not true.
Overall, because the ingredients are pretty sustainable but the packaging is not, I rate Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee 1 planet in the “What’s It Made of” section.
Quokka Brew failed to provide any information about how the Jitterless Coffee product is made. However, the company was quick to label itself as sustainable, and the website graciously pointed me to an email that I could contact for more information about the company. When I reached out, the company did not respond. I rate the “How It’s Made” section a 0 for Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee, with hopes that the company will consider being more transparent about its product, life-cycle, and sustainability initiatives (if they even exist).
Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee was founded by two UC Berkeley grads in their Junior years, Ofek Arush and George Passantino. The men launched the Jitterless Coffee product in December 2020, after graduating, so Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee is a startup. The central goal in launching Quokka Brew Jitterless Coffee was to create a coffee product that provides energy from caffeine without the mid-day crash.
While I am disappointed that Quokka Brew fails to value sustainability as a major initiative, I am relieved that the company does not commit greenwashing. As educated college students, the founders surely know the environmental consequences that come along with any product, at least in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and water used to create the product. The website did not include a section about sustainability, nor Quokka' Brew's sustainability initiatives, so I assume they do not have any. This would also make sense, stating that the company is a startup. Additionally, the company failed to respond when I reached out to inquire about their sustainability practices. Quokka Brew's silence speaks louder than its claims to “feel free to ask questions and reach out,” which also contributes to the lowly score.
I have to rate the “Who Makes It” section at a lowly .5 planet. The company does not seem to value sustainability or have any initiatives for reducing their environmental impacts, but I appreciate that they don't pretend to be environmental heroes as well. I would appreciate transparency and environmental values much more, though.