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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Know Brainer Hot Drinks > Test Report by Jenna Steffensen

KnowBrainer Keto Instants
Test Series by Jenna Steffensen
Initial Report: September 11, 2017
Long Term Report: February 4, 2018

Reviewer Information

Name:  Jenna Steffensen
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 Meters)
Weight: 140 Pounds (64 Kilograms)
Email address: jennasteffensen ATgmailDOTcom
Location: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking Background

I recently started backpacking after moving to the Canadian Rockies last fall. I have been on two short (3 day) backpacking trips but I am very experienced in day hikes and car camping. I’ve hiked mainly in the Utah desert and Canadian Rockies. I still have many trips planned this year in the Rockies (smoke dependent!). I’m looking for the best gear that’s light and durable enough for the Rockies. My current set up is a 2 person tent, a white gas backpacking stove to cook, gravity filters, and hefty trail boots.

Initial Report
September 11, 2017

Product Information

Manufacturer: KnowBrainer
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: no information yet
Weight: varies per package, see below
Products Testing: ketogenic coffee [original 31 g (1.09 oz), French vanilla 32 g (1.13 oz) and mocha 28 g (0.99 oz)], ketogenic hot chocolate 38 g, ketogenic chai tea 34 g (1.34 oz) and ketogenic original creamer 28 g (0.99 oz).

Product Description

The KnowBrainer Keto Instants are single packages of instant coffees, teas and hot chocolate with creamer. The Keto Instants are a new product KnowBrainer has made and their website says available soon. KnowBrainer sent me what they call "the thinker's sampler" which is a 6 pack of their Keto Instants including one of their original creamers. The Keto Instants consist of: ketogenic coffee (original, French vanilla and mocha), ketogenic chai tea, and ketogenic hot chocolate.


All of the KnowBrainer Keto Instants are made with MCT & organic grass-fed butter. MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are a certain type of beneficial fat that requires minimal action from the liver to convert directly into fuel. The original and French vanilla coffees as well as the chai tea and hot chocolate are full dairy friendly while the mocha coffee is casein and lactose free. All Keto Instants follow the ketogenic diet, are non GMO and gluten free and have no added sugar. Each foil packet has the directions, benefits, ingredients, and nutrition facts printed on the back. The directions are simple to follow; knead and squeeze before opening and then add hot water to the Keto Instants.


Additional Thoughts:

I have briefly heard of the ketogenic diet before but never really knew what it was. Thanks to KnowBrainer's products and website I now understand what it consists of. In a really short nutshell it is a super low carb diet which forces the body to burn fats instead of storing them. I am excited to try these products out and really see if there is a difference in my energy level when I am out hiking. I still plan to test the product on taste, ease of use and its effects on my body. Also I thought the instant coffees would be a powder substance but they contain a cream like product. Will comment on how well the cream dissolves into the water as well.

Long Term Report
February 4, 2018

Trip 1: Two Day Hike                  4
Location: Heiko's Trail, Fernie, British Columbia
Distance: 25 km (3.5 mi) with 115 m (7500 ft) elevation gain

Weather: Sunny during the day, Very windy at the peak
Temperature: 19 C to 3 C (66 F to 32 F)
Conditions: Well-travelled trail
through dirt and rocky terrain and a rocky scramble to the peak

Trip 2: Day Hike 
Mount Fernie, Fernie, British Columbia
8 km (5 mi) with 914 m (3000 ft) elevation gain
Sunny at the start but cloud cover near the top
7 C (45 F)
Dirt trail mixed with rocky terrain near the top

Trip 3: Day Hike
Devils Garden, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
12.56 km (7.8 mi) with 327 m (1072 ft) elevation gain

Sunny with light wind
7 C (45 F)
Red sandstone trail

Trip 4: Day Hike (snowshoe)
Montane Hut, Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia
5.6 km (3.5 mi) with 115 m (377 ft) elevation gain

Overcast but warm
-3 C (27 F)
Well-packed snow on trail

Trip 5: Day Hike (snowshoe)

Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia
5 km (3.1 mi) with 1610 m (5282 ft) elevation gain

Sunny and freezing cold
-25 C (-13 F)
Fairly loose snow on trail

Performance in the Field:

The KnowBrainer Keto Instants were fairly easy to use in the field. The packages felt clumpy before kneading and squeezing them and for the most part I could get all the clumps removed. It was a little tough in the corners of the packaging but only took me about 30 seconds to get rid of all the clumps. Pouring the package contents into my Thermos was a little messy. I had to make sure to either pack an extra plastic bag to put the wrapper in or wipe it first on a tissue before inserting it back in my pack. I wasn't too pleased with that as the first time I tried them I did not think about this and got some of the instant creamer on the inside of my bag. It did wipe out easily though when I got home.

The first time I used the instant vanilla coffee and made a cup of hot water over a camp stove in the morning. It was definitely a different taste of coffee than I'm used to. Usually I have regular coffee and flavour it with vanilla creamer. I could taste the butter in the coffee way more than I thought I would. I am not a huge fan of butter flavoured things so this made my experience of these products a little different. I expected the butter to be more like a sweetener and it kind of fade away and have more of a coffee flavour. It didn't taste bad to me though it was just not what I was expecting.

My second trip I decided to boil hot water at home and bring that in a Thermos up the mountain. I didn't pay attention to how much water was in the Thermos though and probably had closer to 2 cups of water. I used the instant chai tea flavour and it ended up tasting watered down much to my disappointment. I usually love chai tea so I was really excited to try this flavour.

I tried the original coffee and original creamer at home where I could measure out exactly 1 cup of boiled water. This seemed to work well as it blended with the water very well. I was also able to stir it to dissolve everything into the water. Most other hikes I didn't have a spoon with me and had to shake it to stir. The original flavour was actually my favourite out of all the flavours I tested. It tasted most similar to regular coffee which I liked. I did drink most of it but got caught up working for an hour. I discovered a film to cover the top layer of the coffee.

As to my energy level after consuming the product I did feel a bit of a difference when hiking. When consumed in the morning I felt more energized and ready to hike. When consumed during the middle of a hike I felt like I had a second wind and could hike more comfortably with more energy.

Quick Shots: Easy to use, Messy packaging after opening, very buttery flavour, energy providing

Thank you to KnowBrainer and for allowing me to test this product.

Read more gear reviews by Jenna Steffensen

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Know Brainer Hot Drinks > Test Report by Jenna Steffensen

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