Sambazon superfood smoothieHealth nuts are constantly turning up new superfoods, squeezed from the bark of a South American tree or blade of grass. Case in point: the acai berry. According to dermatologist and Oprah consultant Dr. Nicholas Perricone, this little berry is packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, fibers, amino acids and other goodies which promote digestion, cardiovascular health and muscle health.

Unfortunately for me, a jar of vile and bitter jam from Trader Joe’s was my first attempt to love the acai berry. When it got moldy from disuse I sighed in relief. I bought a new jar of the more reliable strawberry.

But when a PR person contacted me to see if I’d try samples of a new Sambazon energy mocha java superfood smoothie for possible review, well, how could I turn that down? The name alone is too long to say no to.

Sambazon has been around since 2000. This company has forged fair trade partnerships in the Amazon Rainforest. It strives to benefit more than 10,000 family farmers while spreading superfoods around the world. Sambazon’s products are vegan, organic, gluten-free and made with fair trade ingredients.


The PR person had billed the superfood smoothies as a coffee replacement. I was skeptical, as you really don’t want to get between me and my coffee. But I decided in the name of science, commerce and bringing readers reviews of veg products, I could replace one afternoon coffee with a Sambazon superfood smoothie.

My first impression of the smoothie was: Delicious! Like a coffee milk shake! Back when I was a drinker, my favorite drink was a white Russian. Now I’m not going to argue that acai juice could ever replace vodka in people’s hearts. But this is a really good tasting drink. However, replace coffee? Two problems with that. First, it’s more of a mocha replacement. I drink my coffee with plain, unsweetened soy milk. I don’t add 22 grams of sugar per serving, which is what the smoothie contains. Second, you’ll get 80 milligrams of caffeine in the smoothie. Personally, I make my coffee pretty darn strong. I have an embarrassingly high tolerance to caffeine, especially for a yoga teacher.

So if you don’t mind sugar and you don’t need much caffeine, the Sambazon energy mocha java superfood smoothie could be your new favorite drink. It also provides 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in a 180-calorie serving.

Now I’m going to gripe about the label. Why oh why do we get 10.5 ounces of drink when the serving size is 8 ounces? Does Sambazon think we’ll say, “Oh, there’s 2.5 ounces left, better put it away for next time?” Of course not! They even acknowledge in the copy on the bottle that there’s 9 grams of protein per bottle. And if you were reading closely you’ll notice that I already reported you get 7 grams of protein per serving. I hate when manufacturers do this! I suspect it’s to keep the calorie count below 200. And my other label gripe: Why are the ingredients listed in an approximately 3-point font, and printed in brown ink on a slightly lighter brown background? You’re marketing to health nuts, remember? We like to read the ingredients.

So that’s it. A delicious drink. But too much sugar for me to make it a frequent part of my life.