They get the job done, if the job is staying awake

Margaret Eby
December 10, 2018
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Caffeination is a delicate balance. You want to be awake, but not so awake that your organs feel like they're about to jump out of your skin. You want to get through the day, but also be able to sleep later. There are people in my life who can easily drink a pot of coffee and have no repercussions on their sleep cycle. For me, I try to cut off my coffee cosumption before noon, and then I drink a soda or tea later if I need a pick-me-up. At least, that's what I used to do when most of my day was my job from 9 to 5, and then I had socializing or going home after work. 

These days, twice a week I go from my office job to culinary school and am in class until about 11 p.m. I love it, but it's a long day, and I've had to adjust my caffeination schedule accordingly. I've learened that I can't just wait until I get to class and get a 5 p.m. coffee from the corner store—that guarantees that I won't be able to sleep until 2 a.m., which is unsustainable for returning to work the next morning. Now I usually have some kind of pick-me-up at around 2:30 or 3, which keeps me going long enough but still lets me sleep, at least somewhat. Enter, into my life, coffee shots.

A variety packet of Forto coffee shots landed on the free table in the office. Historically I've been resistant to the kind of energy shot drinks that they sell in convenience stores. I've tried them, and they are either far too strong or sort of sickly flavored. But hey, in the name of journalism, I figured I might try these out. One day, when I was feeling too lazy to walk all the way to our building kitchen to get coffee, I decided I would give them a shot (ha!) and drank a sweetened black coffee. It wasn't unpleasant by any measure, nor was it an ocean of black coffee that I would have gotten for myself. And it was just enough to keep me going. Now, around 3 p.m. on class days, I have a coffee shot. 

Forto coffee shots seem like the kind of thing that's designed for medical students—they're compact, they come in many Starbucks-esque flavors, and they'll inject 200 mg of caffeine into your system, stat. Are they as enjoyable as a 3 p.m. latte? No. But they don't cost as much either, and you can throw a couple in your bag for emergencies. Plus, at $12 for a six-pack, they're less expensive than an espresso drink in Manhattan, anyway. If you need a little extra caffeine in your system, but you're not a Red Bull person, they're worth checking out. 

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