Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Pocket Coffee

I’m not an energy drink person and I’m not one to start popping caffeine pills either. So what am I to do when I need a little pick-me-up?

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A friend of ours who travels in Italy every year suggested Pocket Coffee! Basically it’s chocolate-covered Italian coffee. Because the sweet coffee center is concentrated, it only takes three chocolates to equal a single shot of espresso. Our friends like to get them for traveling as it’s more portable that hot coffee but has the same side effect. I’ve heard that it’s very popular with students, truck drivers and folks on night shifts.

Ferrero is a well-known Italian chocolate brand even here in the United States, with the elegant little Rochers and Nutella as their best-known products. In fact, I’ve never seen Pocket Coffee anywhere in the US before, but not for lack of trying. They’re not even made in the summer, so as a seasonal item it’s likely that getting one out of season means that it’s no longer fresh. But a no-so-fresh Pocket Coffee is just a different experience.

The candy is composed of a syrupy espresso center, then a light sugar crystal shell and then the chocolate. As the candies age the sugar shell will actually grow, taking sugar from the espresso syrup center to create a bigger shell. The ones I tried were a little old (purchased last fall) so they had the extra crystallized shell.

The coffee center is very sweet but smooth with a slightly acidic bite to it. The crystals provide a kind of funky crunch to it, but melt easily if you’re inclined that way. The chocolate is not too sweet and gives a good creamy boost to the whole mix. On the whole the candy is very sweet, a little too sweet for my tastes, but then again, it’s coffee candy. I’m not saying that I won’t eat it again ... though they are messy. If you’re driving, you’re obligated to pop the whole thing in your mouth but if you’re not, feel free to experiment with biting off a corner and sucking out the coffee first.

Finding them in the states may mean ordering online. They’re still being stocked at Capriflavors.com.

JoeD at Slashfood beat me to the punch on this review last week and David Lebovitz has a haiku you might enjoy.

If only Cadbury Creme Eggs had a coffee version!

Name: Pocket Coffee
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Ferrero
Place Purchased: gift
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories: 404/100 grams
Categories: Chocolate, Italy, Coffee

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:44 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. You wonder why US manufacturers haven’t thought of this, what with all the energy drinks that are on the market.  Why not just make it more portable and put it in candy?  Starbuck’s makes ice cream and liquer…why not candy?

    Comment by Miriam on 4/04/06 at 7:08 am #
  2. I don’t know if I would eat something with a center that oozes out like that.  Actually, I probably would bite a hole into the candy and suck out the coffee goodness, like they were those wax bottle candies.

    Comment by Marvo on 4/04/06 at 8:01 am #
  3. These look really good- I especially like the sound of the sugar shell encasing the espresso.  Mmm… hard sugar crystals!  ;P

    There actually are similar candies, Coffee Rio and Chocolate-Cvd-espresso-beans come to mind (Starbucks actually sells GREAT choc-cvd beans in their stores!!!), but nothing with the actual liquid center.

    Thanks for sharing!  Maybe one day in my as-yet-only-inagined travels to Italy I will seek these out….

    Comment by Kirsten on 4/04/06 at 12:23 pm #
  4. Those sound pretty good.  It might end up too sweet for me but it sounds like something I would like.  And I really like the idea of a Cadbury Coffee Cream Egg.  They make enough other things so why not Coffee Eggs?

    Great picture too!

    Comment by william on 4/04/06 at 4:14 pm #
  5. Surprisingly, my parents used to give me one of these when we visited this particular winery they liked.  It was always a special treat and a fond memory of childhood.  I was overjoyed to come across these at DeLaurenti’s in Seattle a few weeks ago.  I had about 10 minutes of guilt for spending $18 on a box.  And then I popped one in my mouth…heaven…comfort food at its finest!

    Comment by Jen on 4/07/06 at 3:48 pm #
  6. Actually, I first bought Ferrero Pocket Coffee Candy about 20 years ago in California-long before I ever heard of a chocolate-covered esspresso bean. Now I live in Minnesota, and have been buying it here for about 15 years now, and in more that one store. Gourmet markets, wine & cheese shops, and even a little European gift shop in Minneapolis. You just have to look. My brother and I have been “addicted” to them for years! They are absolutely delicious.

    Comment by Jeannie on 4/15/06 at 2:43 am #
  7. I don’t know how you managed to cut open a Pocket Coffee, but bravo! And glad you enjoyed my haiku. I’m addicted to the little buggers…

    Comment by David L. on 4/18/06 at 8:21 am #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    Jeannie - I’m still keeping my eye out for them. I’m afraid the “season” has probably passed and I won’t see them until late fall around here.

    William - oh, what I wouldn’t give for a Cadbury Coffee Egg!

    David - cut it open? There are no tools in the candy blog studio! Just my teeth and of course I snapped the photo quickly before all of the coffee flowed out. (You’ll find my teeth marks on most of the photos here!)

    Comment by Cybele on 4/18/06 at 12:59 pm #
  9. I used to buy pocket coffe at Barnies coffee stores, but haven’t been able to find it for years.
    I read this good description at a coffee site.After the candy is ‘aged’ for a couple weeks on the shelf, it becomes what you’ve reviewed…with the three layers - chocolate, crytalized sugar, liquid espresso. However,when it is fresh, there is a delicate balance of two layers…a chocolate shell with smooth, warm (more psychological than actual temperature) center of liquid espresso. Both are unique and wonderful. But if it’s too far gone…the liquid is completely crystallized.

    Comment by Cathy Caldwell on 5/24/06 at 1:12 pm #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Cathy - thanks! that gives me something to look forward to when I actually find some fresh ones (I’m guessing I’ll have to wait until next “season”).

    Comment by Cybele on 5/24/06 at 1:13 pm #
  11. My god, these chocolates are awesome!  I had a colleague bring some back from Italy, and she kindly gave us each one.  I ran around the office, bartering with everyone to get their one candy.  I am definetly going to scour the gourmet shops here to see if I can sniff out a place that carries these gems.

    Comment by Slinky on 6/09/06 at 4:40 am #
  12. Hey,

    I actually just tried these pocket coffee candies.  I was on vacation in Mystic, Conneticut and there is an Italian shop in Old Mystic and they had them there.  Just in case, so you know.  I LOVED them!

    Valentine
    Long Island, NY

    Comment by Valentine on 8/12/06 at 3:09 pm #
  13. There’s an italian store called Boun Italia in the Chelsea market in NYC that has them.  I lived in Italy for a few years in the 90’s and grew quite fond of these chocolates.  I’ve been looking for them ever since, both in the US and overseas, and this is the first store outside of Italy where I’ve found them.  THey are about $3 for a five pack, but totally worth it.

    Comment by Brian Free on 8/25/06 at 3:59 am #
  14. it’s a good blog,i like pocket coffee, it’s convinent in journey,we used as a special treat in childhood.and it is reasonable cost.recently i visited a good coffeeshop in florida,it’s really good gourmet coffee

    Comment by rabin on 9/21/06 at 2:17 am #
  15. I bought some of this while traveling in Italy, and since then I have ordered it twice from the internet. I bought from Capri Flavors then found it much much cheaper on ebay stores. There, you will find a store called best german foods which sells the German sold version which is the same but has German on it.

    Comment by Austin on 10/30/06 at 2:31 pm #
  16. i would like to know where i can purchase pocket coffee , i firsrt saw it in europe but never in the us

    Comment by inge bissell on 11/21/06 at 5:26 am #
  17. Where cxan I purchase Farraro Pocket coffee candy?

    Comment by Andy Falsetta on 12/19/06 at 1:39 pm #
  18. WHERE CAN THIS CANDY BE PURCHASED IN THE US?

    Comment by ELLEN Y SHERMAN on 1/24/07 at 2:35 pm #
  19. Cybele's avatar

    There are a couple of stores in the internet where you can find them ... try this one:

    http://www.capriflavors.com/kinder_main.php

    Comment by Cybele on 1/24/07 at 5:46 pm #
  20. Pocket Coffee can be purchased at
    http://www.eurofoodmart.net at a better price than at Capriflavors.  I have ordered from Capri Flavors before, but they are constantly out of stock and do the math.

    Capri:  32 pieces for $20.95
    Euro:  5 pieces for $1.99 YES!! $1.99
          35 pieces for $13.93
          SAVE:  $7.02 or buy 3 more boxes

    Comment by Mona on 2/07/07 at 9:37 am #
  21. I discovered these in Italy.
    I love them.
    I ordered a bunch of them online and keep a stash of them in the house.

    Comment by Randy on 7/02/07 at 4:43 pm #
  22. Any idea where I might find these in Canada (Toronto, Ontario)?

    Comment by D on 7/09/07 at 4:10 pm #
  23. Cybele's avatar

    D - I’d try the Italian markets. They’re seasonal, so you won’t find them in the hot summer months.

    The EuroFoodMart.net that Mona mentioned above does ship to Canada, so that’s an option (except they don’t have them in stock right now either).

    Comment by Cybele on 7/09/07 at 4:20 pm #
  24. Oh my god, I don’t know it they are the same, but I’m sure they taste the same as the “Ferrero Pocket Coffee” in Spain and… they are horrible! I’m a coffee addict, but this candy doesn?t taste coffee at all! There was only a “liquid” witch smells coffee and when you put it o the tongue the stomach got green (*)!


    *Ok, not green, but I’m sure it wasn?t normal! I would come to the US to eat them, maybe they are have different flavour. Or maybe here we have a different view/taste of coffee.

    Comment by Pere Saguer on 9/23/07 at 11:43 pm #
  25. I’ve had them, unfortunately not recently as I havn’t seen them around

    I LOVE THEM; they’re just right for a flavorful burst of choclate and coffee; I never quite decontructed them as did the other person

    anyway, does anyone know where they are in Philadelphia?

    Comment by Pamela on 1/11/08 at 4:39 am #
  26. I LOVE LOVE LOVE PocketCoffee!!!
    My future husband told me about them (someone had brought them into work).
    When we went to Italy for our honeymoon I just had to have some.
    I made myself sick on them I ate so many.
    Haven’t found them in any stores in the states…so far.
    Trader Joe’s does sell their version. It is not as good as PocketCoffee. The sugar shell doesn’t exist in the Trader Joe’s version and it doesn’t pack as much caffeine punch, but still OK.

    Comment by Patti on 7/22/08 at 2:52 pm #
  27. how come no one has ever reviewed “coffee go”?? they are from Indonesia and they are fantastic. They sell em’ in my local candy shop in Iowa City . review them please! I found them on-line here : http://www.bestbuycandy.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=223&idcategory=30

    Comment by beth on 9/11/08 at 11:08 am #
  28. I’ve had all the flavores. Trust me, you are missing out if you havn’t tried all of the flavors. Mmmmm…..

    Comment by April on 1/14/09 at 4:56 am #
  29. These are very easy to find in Connecticut with its huge Italian population. I get mine at any local import store, and if it wasn’t for these, I don’t know if I would make it through a full news day at the radio station where I work LOL.

    Comment by Courtney on 2/06/09 at 1:01 pm #
  30. Trader Joe’s has a coffee candy based on the Ferrero PocketCoffee.  After many years living in Europe, this is a great American version of a hard-to-find necessity.  Sadly, Trader Joe’s has no desire to sell online - I asked.

    Comment by OldSalt on 2/17/09 at 4:59 am #
  31. Cybele's avatar

    OldSalt - I found the TJ’s a couple of years ago. They only seem to carry it in the winter months (at least in SoCal). Not quite the same but definitely a keeper!

    Trader Joe’s Espresso Chocolate Review

    Comment by Cybele on 2/17/09 at 6:43 am #
  32. I just melted one of these chocolates in a cup of black French Roast - incredible!  I grind my own beans and this is an exquiste combination made for the out of season candies.  For quick energy while teaching we popped 2 or 3 dark chocolate covered espresso beans.  Also good for traveling and can be carried in a ziplock bag - never had one melt yet.

    Comment by NAN on 2/21/09 at 5:24 am #
  33. My Italian class teacher used to give these to us before tests or when watching a movie because her husband used to buy boatloads when he went back to Italy for business. I LOVE THEM. They are DELICIOUS and I don’t even like coffee. AND YES, THEY WILL KEEP YOU AWAKE!!!

    Comment by Bella on 4/15/09 at 1:39 am #
  34. I used to eat these in conjunction with Mon Cheri a lot as a kid. Used to always eat them at birthday parties, or get them for Easter. The United States really lacks good chocolate. I used to eat hand fulls of all Ferrero chocolates and really miss all Kinder-Ferrero products as well as Mulino Bianco breakfast pastries. Oh and the Pingui are the best. Sigh, I don’t even eat sweets in the US because they’re all pretty disappointing.

    Comment by Fran on 7/05/09 at 11:36 am #
  35. $2.99/5-piece at Cost Plus World Market. German import.

    Comment by Claudine on 7/30/11 at 4:14 pm #
  36. I tried this ones, and tastes pse-pse-pse, not my favourite. Since I have the “minimum flavour expected” rate to the Kopiko coffee candy, I haven’t found a good coffee candy. Maybe this is too high rate, hehehehe

    Have nice trip to London! I don’t know what candy/chocolate recommend to yo there, but maybe lots of butter toffee? british toffee are in all European stores… and growing!

    Comment by John Lirween on 3/04/14 at 12:52 am #

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