Posts filed under ‘coffee’

Nestle Coffee Crisp

I thought I’d stumbled across a great candy find when I found this among other international bars at Coco Moka in Houston’s airport. Then I started seeing it everywhere and realized that it wasn’t so special after all. Apparently there was a successful petition to bring them to the US, though I can’t imagine why. I know there are plenty of better tasting UK candy bars out there.

The wrapper describes the Coffee Crisp as “wafers with coffee creme center”. Upon unwrapping the bar, I was inundated by a strong smell of chocolate, bitter coffee, and wafer. The bar itself is humongous. It’s big, thick, and dense.

For all its strong coffee smell, I couldn’t taste any coffee. I pretty much tasted just wafers and poor quality chocolate. There was also a faint lingering bitterness that was very slight. If you’re going to call your bar a Coffee Crisp, shouldn’t it taste like coffee? Instead, this is pretty much all crisp, and greasy, yicky crisp at that. An O.

Cybele and Sera basically agreed with me. I know they didn’t sign that petition.

January 9, 2008 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Asian candies I

I am Asian, so you will be reading about a lot of Asian candy. Consider this part I of an open-ended series.

Lotte Cafe Coffee chewing gumfood-blog-pictures-016.jpg

This gum tasted like weak coffee with too much sugar and cream. The flavor didn’t last very long, and once it was gone, the gum took on an unpleasant taste and texture. I was not a fan, but my mother, who likes her coffee weak with lots of sugar and cream, loved it. Go figure.

Meiji Apollo strawberry/chocolate thingies BUY

food-blog-pictures-015.jpgThese little cones are adorable and delicious. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but they’re about the size of a peanut, sans shell. The pink top is strawberry (I think it may be flavored white chocolate), while the brown bottom is milk chocolate. The texture is wonderfully creamy, and the sweet strawberries ‘n’ cream smell is incredible. I’m a dark chocolate lover and usually find milk and white chocolate to be too sweet for my taste. These candies are on the sweet side, but I don’t find them offensive or cloying at all. Interestingly enough, they may be named after NASA’s Apollo command module.

Ramune Soda Fizzy Candy BUY

ramune-soda.jpgI polished these guys off at the restaurant, so I apologize for the poor photo from Amazon.com. The candies are snow white in color and look kind of like pills. Size-wise, they’re like fat Tart N Tinys. Taste-wise, they taste like Ramune soda, which can be found at any Asian grocery store. Ramune soda bottles have a very distinct shape. The bottles are stoppered with marbles. To open the soda, you break the seal and push the marble into the bottle’s uniquely shaped neck, where it rattles around while you drink the soda. The fizzy candy makers have tried to emulate the bottle’s shape with their plastic container, a design note that I appreciate.

Ramune soda (and, by correlation, ramune soda candy) is supposed to be lemonade flavored. I find the taste to be more of a generically crisp citrus flavor, which is quite enjoyable, if unremarkable. The fizzy part of the candies is far less noticeable than that of the Jones Soda candies, but the Ramunes taste much better and have no lingering aftertaste. The citrus flavor isn’t that strong, but it doesn’t have to compete with an overpoweringly sweet sugar flavor, so the citrus really comes through. The compressed sugar Ramunes are also slightly softer than the Jones candies, somewhere between a Sweet Tart and a Smartie.

I would definitely buy the Apollo candies again, and the Ramune candies are maybe worth another taste in the future. As for the coffee gum, I’ve given the rest of the pack to my mother. Good riddance.

Edit 09/05: The Apollo strawberry candies are worth a ZOMG!, the Ramune candies an OM, and the gum just an O.

August 14, 2007 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Jocalat by Larabar

According to Larabar’s website, these bars used to be called Maya bars. They’ve replaced the cocoa nibs in Maya bars with ground cocoa beans for a smoother texture and renamed the result. The Jocalat name sounds swankier (because we’re not sure how to pronounce it), and it lets Larabar use an accent breve (it’s amazing what I still remember from my high school French classes) to create a fancier looking logo.

food-blog-pictures-019.jpg

Jocalat bars (BUY) are made with organic and fair trade certified ingredients, usually some combination of organic dates, organic nuts, organic cocoa mass, organic cocoa powder, and organic flavoring. They’re gluten free, dairy free, soy free, kosher, vegan, and with no added sugar. Unlike regular Larabars, these are made from only 90% raw ingredients because the cocoa beans must be roasted, but that’s still impressive.

The bars come in chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate orange, and chocolate coffee. As an energy bar or meal replacement bar, they’re pretty good. I personaly prefer the texture of Clif Bars to Jocalat, but I do find the Jocalat bars much more palatable than Powerbars and Odwalla bars.

food-blog-pictures-021.jpgAll four bars are softy, chewy, and studded with nuts. The texture sort of resembles that of fudge, like a stiff puree with an extremely fine grain.

Chocolate – This bar is nuttier than the others, containing walnuts, almonds, and cashews in addition to dates. That’s according to the label, as I couldn’t distinguish between the different nuts as I was eating the bar. It smells deliciously of rich chocolate with a sweet and sour fruity overtone. While the Larabar website claims it to be as indulgent as a fudge brownie, I find that claim a stretch. Real fudge brownies are much better, but real fudge brownies are also full of sugar and butter and bad for you things. The Jocalat bars are fairly chocolate-y but not cloyingly sweet. Unfortunately, the Jocalat bar also has a bit of a sour aftertaste, possibly due to the dates. It’s not terribly unpleasant, but I could do without it.

Chocolate orange – The bar contains only dates and almonds and smells of a freshly peeled orange, and the taste of orange is definitely there. The sour aftertaste is less objectionable here, I think because orange is supposed to be sour.

Chocolate mint – This date and almond filled bar has a strong smell of peppermint, but it doesn’t taste as minty as it smells. The mint taste lingers a bit after the bar is swallowed, and it serves to completely hide the sour taste I found in the chocolate.

Chocolate coffee – According to the website, this bar has significantly more caffeine than the others. It smells sweetly of chocolate covered espresso beans. Tastewise, however, the coffee flavor is only barely detectable as a light aftertaste. In fact, if not for the coffee smell, it find it nearly indistinguishable from the regular chocolate bar. The chocolate coffee is also sweeter than the other bars, and that slight sour taste is pretty obvious.

Overall, I’m impressed that Larabar made something this tasty out of wholesome, mostly raw ingredients. I would recommend these if you’re on a vegan, raw food, gluten-free, or casein-free diet, and I know several parents of children with autism that may find these to be a valuable addition to the pantry and well worth the cost. As for me, I try to eat healthily, but I’m not health conscious to the point of spurning all processed foods. I’ll probably spend my money on deliciously bad for you candy bars instead.

August 9, 2007 at 8:00 am 2 comments


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