I love coffee.
Why, you ask, would I start a review for a tech tee with that statement about java? Because the Sundried Olperer tee is made from coffee. Really.
The Sundried Olperer Men’s T-shirt is made from 100% recycled materials. Using recycled coffee grounds, this t-shirt provides advanced sweat-wicking and drying technology as well as UV protection. Creating a super soft material, the recycled coffee grounds have been made into a t-shirt providing superior comfort to keep you looking and feeling your best all day long.
Coffee Grounds & Recycled Plastic Bottles?
How on earth could a garment made from ground up spent coffee beans and used plastic bottles be even remotely comfortable much less possess advanced sweat-wicking and drying technology, and be pliable for all day athletic wear? Well, I'm sure it's pretty freaking complicated, but I didn't have to worry about what it took to make this transformation from waste to performance gear possible – I just had to open the recycled pouch and try it on.
Sounds Crazy, Fits Perfectly.
While they had me hooked immediately when I read the shirt was made with coffee, I didn't have any huge aspirations for a comfortable shirt I could wear all-day, much less during training or in the hot AZ sun. What I really hoped for was a shirt that could provide a topical buzz from coffee all-day long while I wore it, but with my normal caffeine addiction, this impossible request would have probably tipped me over the edge from my normal “wired” state into pure chaos.
The downside of these shirts (Kristen has the women's Grivola V-neck, and her results are the same as mine) is that they are just too damn nice. The feel of the fabric, the fit of the cut, the weight of the shirt, the way it hangs, the way it breathes, etc. is so spot-on, that there's absolutely no way either of us can bring ourselves to abuse it training, racing, or putting on events. Immediately upon first wear, these tees slid up the ranks – well above cotton concert shirts, past semi-tech race shirts, a notch higher than even my normal go-to of a poly/cotton blend and right at the top of the heap when it comes to t-shirts – the Sundried Olperer top gets the ultimate compliment that a short-sleeved shirt can ever receive: it is on a hanger in my closet with polos and the 1-2 dress shirts that I wear on rare occasions. Actually, I'll go a step further; the Sundried Olperer top was one of the first picks for both Kristen and I when we packed our bags for summer vacation this year and made the trip to Vancouver, Seattle, Toronto, New York, and Texas. While we do have a strict policy of not wearing the same shirt on the same day, they both got plenty of wear throughout our travels as well as any semi-casual event where a “nice” t-shirt fit the bill instead of a collared shirt. The big logo on the men's version is the only thing that prevents me from wearing it as much as Kristen wears her Grivola V-neck without the 5″ chest logo.
A “Dress” Tech Tee
I've worn the Olperer a few times during a short run and it seemed to perform well as a wicking tech tee, I find the real value is wearing it as a super-comfy post-workout shirt or for a casual night out. This shirt easily replaced a Calvin Klein tee I'd worn for maybe a bit too long anyway, and I believe the fabric & fit is a step up.
At £40.00 I believe it's a bit pricey to be relegated to a sweat mop during a workout; plus the lifespan of a racing/training shirt for me is pretty short. As a comfortable casual shirt that fits excellent, breathes well, and is wearable in nearly any condition (yes, it makes a great undershirt too) I feel the price is spot-on in regards to its usability and quality – plus being able to say “I love coffee so much I even wear it!” is ok with me too.