Wednesday, March 01, 2006
As is often the case when I’m buying Japanese candy at Mitsuwa, I wasn’t quite sure what these were. Some good pictures on the package are always helpful and I figured that these were just coffee flavored chocolate shaped like coffee beans. They are, and so much more.
The candies come in a sassy cardboard tube (wrapped in plastic to keep them fresh). The name, coffeebeat is in English, as I believe that the word ‘coffee’ is pretty recognizable in the Japanese market. The font is funky and reminds me of the ‘70s. Inside the tube are little coffee bean shaped (but slightly larger) chocolate candies with a hard candy shell like an M&M. They even have the little crease on the flat side like a real coffee bean.
The shell is sweet and crunchy and very thin. The center is chocolate with strong milky flavor to it and of course a hit of coffee. It tastes like a mocha. Sweet, smooth, milky and with an excellent coffee flavor that doesn’t feel like a “flavor.” In fact, it’s less chocolate than it is coffee - the chocolate is just a medium to deliver the milky coffee flavor. If you’re a black coffee person, I can see that this might not be the coffee candy for you.
The package is cute, makes it easy to share and the quality is very good. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the Meiji brand. The products are well priced, use quality ingredients, have logical yet innovative packaging and of course they all taste great. The website seems to indicate they’re for kids, but maybe I’m just a kid at heart.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Name: Sweet Candy (Fruit Drops)
Ya gotta love anything that comes in a swell flask-shaped tin in this day and age.
Made by Meiji, this tin contains, simply put, fruit hard candies. As far as I can tell the flavors are something like lemon, orange, strawberry, grape, pineapple and melon. But there’s also a curious opaque white one that’s peppermint (quite a shock when you’re expecting pineapple). The candies are nicely flavored. Tart but not overly so. The lemon and pineapple are particularly good.
It’s a fun little stocking stuffer or something to keep on your desk. After you’re done, you can even put change in the tin - though the largest coin that will fit through the opening at the top is a quarter (but if you’ve got more money, what are you doing saving it? you should be out buying candy).
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Name: Chelsea Yogurt Scotch
The Taste of Old Scotland! the candy heralds down the side of the tray inside the calico printed box. What Chelsea has to do with Scotland is beyond me. This is a candy blog, after all, not a geography one.
I’m not sure I know what old Scotland tastes like. But these hard toffees are unlike any other toffee I’ve ever had. First, they’re opaque white and glossy when I unwrapped the piece, unlike the toasty cream color I’m used to.
Putting it in my mouth I found it initially tart. Not in a citrus way, but in the way that yogurt is tart. It’s smooth and creamy, but with a little bite to it.
I found them pleasant, but a little bland. I plan to finish the box, but it’s unlikely I’ll buy yogurt scotch again. However, there is another flavor that I saw at the market, regular butterscotch ... that sounds more my speed.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Friday, April 15, 2005
Name: Meiji Chocolate “Mild Bitter”
My mother and I purchased quite an assortment of chocolates and candies on our last trip to Little Tokyo. The Meiji Chocolate is similar in its packaging to the Hi-CROWN. It looks like a little box of European cigarettes. These little sticks of chocolate are narrower than the Hi-CROWN, but of equal quality.
The dark chocolate rivals those that I’ve gotten from the Europeans. It is very smooth, though starts a little waxy and dense, it mellows on the tongue with a good dry finish. They’re a little pricy per ounce, but I like the packaging which allows you to only open enough for one at a time. I like the fine deluxe bars that have turned up lately, but breaking them off can be quite messy and I never seem to finish a bar quickly enough so it starts to look unappealing when I get towards the end.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.