What Is Kimera Koffee?
Sourced from a single-estate coffee plantation in the Jarabacoa region of the Dominican Republic, Kimera Koffee’s grounds are infused with a blend of nootropics that promise to help increase focus, power output, and cognition.
Specifically, the website tells us that the amino acids and powerful cognitive enhancers infused in Kimera’s high altitude coffee can help “turbocharge your brain,” while wet processing helps leave the bold taste intact and ensure it’s free of mold.
It’s no secret that a stiff cup o’ Joe can help temporarily increase energy and boost focus. But will the nootropics in Kimera Koffee provide more of a kick—including boosted brainpower?
We did the research to learn more about Kimera and whether or not it’s worth the higher price. Before we get there, though, let’s cover some basics.
Your Quick Reference Guide to the Brain & Nootropics
The brain is an incredibly complex organ. It consists of a vast network of about 100,000,000,000 neurons (brain cells), which communicate with one another—and with other parts of the body—using electrical and chemical signals.
But, as discussed in a 2014 New York Times article:
“So many large and small questions remain unanswered. How is information encoded and transferred from cell to cell or from network to network of cells? Science found a genetic code but there is no brain-wide neural code; no electrical or chemical alphabet exists that can be recombined to say ‘red’ or ‘fear’ or ‘wink’ or ‘run.’ And no one knows whether information is encoded differently in various parts of the brain.”
Despite this knowledge gap, a wave of brain supplements (also frequently referred to as nootropics, smart drugs, brain boosters, and memory enhancers) have reached the marketplace over the past couple years, claiming to help with everything from mental energy to preventing cognitive decline.
Featured in everything from capsules to coffee, these blends can include essential nutrients and vitamins that might cause brain issues if the body’s deficient; amino acids commonly found in food, and natural substances that promise to increase blood flow to the brain or boost neurotransmitter levels.
When it comes to Kimera Koffee, though, which substances does it include? And what does the available clinical evidence have to say about their efficacy?
Which Ingredients Does Kimera Koffee Include?
Each cup of Kimera Koffee contains a 725mg blend of the following ingredients:
- DMAE (Deanol)
According to authoritative sites like Examine.com and WebMD, when taken orally, alpha-gpc seems to increase the concentration of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain.
Despite this increase, these websites indicate there is only one study showing that alpha-gpc supplementation can reduce cognitive decline, address aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, or provide other meaningful benefits in humans. No recommended dosage was noted.
The taurine in Kimera is an amino acid that’s especially concentrated in areas like the brain, heart, and platelets, and seems to improve blood flow when taken orally.
As a result, Authority Nutrition lists multiple studies indicating it might be effective for addressing congestive heart failure and liver disease, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving heart disease-related risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure. Reported dosage was between 2-6 grams per day, divided into 2-3 doses.
However, these sites report the evidence for brain-related benefits is insufficient.
According to Examine.com, l-theanine is another amino acid that has some clinical evidence showing it can increase relaxation (three studies) and decrease anxiety (four studies), although WebMD classifies the overall level of evidence as “insufficient.”
Pro tip: You can read through many of l-theanine’s published studies (or those for almost any supplement ingredient, for that matter) on the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed. If you’re looking to read the evidence yourself, this can be an invaluable tool.
Finally, DMAE is a precursor to choline that’s often promoted as helping protect brain cells. When combined with other vitamins, minerals, and ginseng, WebMD tells us that 300mg to 2,000mg per day is “possibly effective” for improving exercise performance (to which EMedicineHealth also agrees).
Examine.com only references one study related to cognitive decline, while CalorieLab notes, “According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, there aren’t any clinical studies that support [the claim that DMAE] improves memory, concentration, [or] intellectual function.”
Taken together, the summarization of the available clinical evidence as provided by these consumer-oriented authoritative sites seems to indicate there isn’t a whole lot of data to support Kimera Koffee’s brain-related claims.
What’s more, even for those ingredients with more clinical evidence than others, all are part of Kimera’s proprietary blend (we reached out to the company and will update once a response is received). This means we can’t currently know if it contains the same levels used in supporting trials.
But Will Kimera Koffee Cause Any Side Effects?
Like any caffeinated beverage, drinking too much Kimera Koffee might lead to nervousness, jitteriness, headache, and digestive upset.
While (again) we’re not told on Kimera’s website how much of each ingredient it contains, many of the sites we consulted in the previous section tell us alpha-gpc can sometimes cause heartburn, insomnia, skin, rash, and confusion.
They also indicate that in rare instances, oral DMAE can cause side effects like constipation, drowsiness, confusion, depression, and increased blood pressure. CalorieLab adds that DMAE supplements should be avoided by those “who are pregnant, lactating, or have schizophrenia and clonic-tonic seizure disorders.”
WebMD reports that taurine may interact with lithium, alpha gpc with scopolamine, theanine with high blood pressure and stimulant medications, and deanol with drying, Alzheimer’s, and glaucoma medications.
During our research, outside of the recommended dosage used in clinical trials referenced in the last section, we didn’t encounter any information about how common these side effects might be (e.g. what percentage of the population experiences them), or the most likely dosages to cause these side effects.
How Much Does Kimera Koffee Cost?
As a company, Kimera offers two different blends, as well as two complementary products:
- Kimera Koffee (12oz ground): $21.95
- Kimera Koffee (12oz) Jujimufu's Dark Roast Brew (12oz ground): $21.95
- Phase 1 Peaberry Whole Beans (12 oz): $14.95
- Kimera Kacao Booster Powder (100% raw cacao, Ceylon cinnamon, and l-glutamine): $9.95
- Kimera Koffee Seed Stack (100% raw hemp, golden flax, brown flax, and chia and sesame Seeds): $13.95
Between the two blends, customers can save 20-25 percent off the retail price by choosing from one of Kimera’s monthly subscription plans:
- Regular (1 bag per month): $17.55/mo
- Enhanced (2 bags per month): $35.10/mo
- Beast (3 bags per month): $52.65/mo
- Legend (4 bags per month): $65.85/mo
- Kimera (5 bags per month): $82.30/mo
After hearing back from the company, we learned that any customers who aren’t satisfied with Kimera or don’t appreciate the roast they’ve chosen have the opportunity to receive a refund or select another bag or another product altogether.
In order to request one, you’ll need to reach out to customer support via the contact form on the Kimera website.
What are Kimera Koffee's customers saying about its price-to-value ratio?
Feedback From Kimera Koffee’s Customer Reviews
On Amazon, Kimera Koffee had 400+ customer reviews at the time of our research and an average rating of 4.4 stars. There, most complimented its good flavor, as well as improved energy and mental alertness, without a crash.
Frequent complaints referenced its higher price, a taste that didn’t match their preferences, and no results (or at least, nothing different than ordinary coffee).
Pro tip: Several customers complained about white chunks found in Kimera’s grounds. Per the company’s website, these are its powdered nootropic content and are perfectly normal.
If you choose, we’re told you can press these chunks with a spoon to mix it into the bag.
From a company perspective, Kimera Koffee is based out of Coral Gables, FL. Per their LinkedIn Page, Kimera was founded in 2013, although they weren’t listed with the Better Business Bureau as of writing.
What about the competition?
Are There Other Nootropic Coffees Like Kimera?
Like Kimera, Beluga involves ground coffee with powdered nootropics sprinkled in. In fact, it includes three of the same ingredients found in Kimera (alpha-gpc, choline, and l-theanine).
On the other hand, Hackers Brew is a liquid formula with no specific nootropics listed, other than adaptogens, good fats, amino acids, and xanthines.
Price-wise, Beluga ranged between $19.99 (1 lb.) and $74.99 (5 lb.), while a 10-pack of Hackers Brew would set you back $65. At $21.95 for 12 oz, Kimera seemed price higher than Beluga but meaningfully lower than Hackers Brew.
Pro tip: According to one Reddit thread we encountered, they recommended that, instead of paying the higher price associated with nootropic coffees, you might “Get a decent coffee bean and then buy alpha gpc, DMAE, and L-theanine powder from [a third part company].”
Let’s carry this thought over as we wrap things up.
What’s the Bottom Line About Kimera Koffee?
Depending on the manufacturer and the retailer, it’s fairly common to find 12 oz. bags of coffee grounds for somewhere between $8 and $15. And considering that this same size bag will make you about 36 six-ounce cups of coffee, this means your per-cup cost might range between $0.22 and $0.41.
Searching online, we found bulk powders of l-theanine, alpha gpc, DMAE, and taurine for about $40 total, although they’d likely last you several months (depending on consumption, of course).
Added together, this could still keep your per-cup cost to well under $1.
Comparatively, at $21.95 per bag, your Kimera per-cup cost will fall somewhere around the $1.64. In this case, will you get more for your money?
We didn’t test Kimera Koffee direct to provide firsthand feedback. But, like any other consumer, we can piece together everything we learned during our online research to come to a more informed decision—before handing over our money.
According to authoritative sites like WebMD, Examine.com, Authority Nutrition, PubMed, EMedicineHealth, and CalorieLab, there doesn’t seem to be much clinical support that Kimera’s ingredients will reliably deliver on its claimed benefits like increased focus, power output, or cognition.
On top of this, the company doesn’t tell us how much of each ingredient their blend contains, and we found several customers who noted that the powdered nootropics are unevenly dispersed in the bag. They claimed this resulted in some cups with a lot of nootropics, and others with little-to-none.
Despite these concerns, Kimera Koffee seemed to come with very positive customer feedback on Amazon.
Finally, there’s no refund policy listed on the Kimera Koffee website, so we can’t know if it’s possible to get our money back if we’re dissatisfied. To this extent, we’ll report back as soon as we receive a response from the company.