Pomegranates may have been around for thousands of years, but it wasn't until a few years ago that the fruit took off with the launch of pomegranate drinks such as POM Wonderful. Suddenly, the ubernutritious specimen became the world's hottest fruit. Its tart, brambly flavor began appearing in everything from cocktails to salad dressing. When I heard POM had developed a coffee drink, I had to find out what the hype was about. Did this beverage have pomegranate juice mixed in with its coffee?
As it turns out, POMx Iced Coffee contains pomegranate extract for its antioxidant benefits, but no actual pomegranate juice. The 10-ounce drink, which is currently only available on the East Coast, comes in two flavors, café au lait and chocolate, and costs $2.99. The drink contains Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee, fat-free milk, and organic cane sugar. To find out my impressions of the drink,
Drinking the chocolate flavor made me feel like a kid again. It resembled chocolate milk, but with subtle coffee undertones. The café au lait flavor had a creamy consistency, a more pronounced coffee flavor, and was significantly less sweet. I almost fell out of my chair, however, when I learned that each bottle contains 170 to 190 calories — at least 20 calories more than a can of regular Coke!
Although POMx Iced Coffee possesses little complexity like a real coffee, the healthy factor makes up for the straightforward coffee flavors. When I learned that it's being marketed as a "sophisticated energy drink" with a focus on health, the flavors seemed to make more sense.
Bottom line: The beverage contains all-natural ingredients, a stimulating 175 mg of natural caffeine, and enough antioxidants to equal an eight-ounce serving of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice. If you don't mind the calories and you need an energy boost, it might be a good drink for you.