Monday, September 29, 2008

Trader Joe’s Espresso Pillows

Trader Joe's Espresso PillowsI spotted this harvest colored tin at the check out area at Trader Joe’s over the weekend. They’re called Espresso Pillows.

The tin describes them as crunchy toffeed espresso bits covered in dark chocolate.

Frankly, I was confused by them. They didn’t look big enough to be espresso beans covered in toffee and then chocolate, which is what the description made me think. And the word “pillows”? They’re the size of dried beans ... and they don’t sound like pillows. Pillows are soft and fluffy. These are pellets.

But I don’t think I’d buy something called Espresso Pellets.

Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows

The tin is awesome. The colors are compelling and reinforce the elements advertised: chocolate, toffee and coffee.

The little window let me see what was inside.

Most importantly, it was easy to open and snaps shut securely.

Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows

They smell sweet and chocolatey and a little woodsy, like cedar.

They vary greatly in size and shape. Some are the size and shape of a coffee bean, others are teensy little ball bearings (with nothing inside).

At first bite my confusion about what these actually are is completely diffused.

Inside of the panned chocolate shell is a little nugget of rich coffee toffee. Think Coffee Rio, only crispy and crunchy.

The center is rich, a little bitter, buttery smooth and barely sweet. The semi-sweet chocolate coating adds more flavor and makes the whole thing creamier.

This is one of those products I’ve been dreaming about. A really intense coffee candy that doesn’t have grainy little bits of coffee grounds in it.

The price is a little steep for the amount of product. I’d probably want to buy a whole tub of these and just refill my little tin. But then again, it helps with portion control. I can eat the whole tin and it’d only be about 350 calories.

Some of mine had little light colored spots on them, not full blown “chocolate bloom” but more like they got speckled with water or moisture somewhere along the way. All the ones on the shelf looked like that. It doesn’t seem to detract from the flavor or texture though.

This is not only all natural, with no preservatives, it’s also Kosher. However, it’s not vegetarian-safe for those who won’t eat confectioner’s glaze.

Related Candies

  1. Coffee Nips
  2. M&Ms Premiums
  3. Caffe Acapella - Coffee Confections
  4. Cafe Select Chocolate Coffee Trios
  5. Sconza 70% Dark Chocolate Toffee Almonds
  6. Trader Joe’s Espresso Chocolate
  7. Pocket Coffee
Name: Espresso Pillows
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Laguna Niguel)
Price: $2.99
Size: 2.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Chocolate, Toffee, Coffee, United States, Trader Joe's, Kosher, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:57 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I can vouch for these, they are sooo delicious!

    Comment by jazzy on 9/29/08 at 6:46 pm #
  2. I bought some of these 2 weekends ago.  I just finished them yesterday.  They only lasted so long because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get more.  (I don’t live anywhere near a TJ)

    Comment by Rachel on 9/30/08 at 6:32 am #
  3. Love ‘em! Won’t mind to give them to friends as a small token!

    Comment by riz on 9/30/08 at 7:25 am #
  4. I just bought these on my lunch today, after reading your article.  nummy!  But I think I know why they’re called pillows.  If you suck the chocolate off, the little nugget you’re left with is pillow shaped.  But yeah, they aren’t soft and fluffy like a pillow.

    Comment by Treesy on 9/30/08 at 12:09 pm #
  5. I bought a tin of these today, and they are scrumptious! I had to leave them at work so I wouldn’t finish the whole tin!

    Thanks for the review.

    Comment by Kim on 9/30/08 at 12:59 pm #
  6. I just picked up a box of these this week, too, and I already love them. I really appreciate the well-made tin, since it keeps the candies secure in my purse. Yum, they’re addictive!

    Comment by Nicole on 9/30/08 at 3:04 pm #
  7. Karwei's avatar

    Drat. Wish I had read this before. I was just at TJs yesterday. I’ll have to go to TJs tomorrow, instead of Jewel for my groceries just so I can pick up a tin of these.

    Comment by Karwei on 10/01/08 at 5:21 am #
  8. man.  trader joes is stepping it up these days it seems!  those dark chocolate pretzel nuggets that you reviewed made me seek them out - they were hidden in the very corner of the above freezer shelves so that i almost missed them - but man were they worth it. SO good!  my boyfriend dips a spoon in peanut butter then scoops them up, haha.

    Comment by Emma on 10/02/08 at 3:17 am #
  9. These things are fantastic! They are just the right amount of chocolate and espresso! They taste great, look great, and as a bonus they give you a caffeine jolt if you need it! I’ll definitely be buying more next time I am in the store.

    Comment by Alan on 1/12/09 at 8:28 am #
  10. Yummy!! Wow these are really delicious and Healthy. you made my mouth watery, Just loving them.

    Comment by Healthy Food on 3/28/09 at 8:54 pm #
  11. Anyone have any allergen information on these?

    Comment by Nicole S on 6/25/09 at 1:07 pm #
  12. Any idea how much caffeine these “pillows” have ... (e.g. X pieces = 1 cup of coffee)

    Comment by Srini v on 7/03/12 at 1:45 pm #
  13. I’m English but kindly American friends gave me some Espresso Pillows for Christmas several years ago now and I am now an addict. I have to get supplies brought back to this country whenever I can. They are so delicious, not too sweet and relatively low calorie especially as I have to ration myself so I don’t run out before the next cargo arrives! I use the empty tins for buttons and beads so all my creations smell delicious too! All I can say is THANK YOU AMERICA for these exquisite treats!

    Comment by Claire K on 3/27/14 at 11:05 am #
  14. These are the best. I wish they came with bigger jars. They would be even better if they sell another version without chocolate covered.

    Comment by Venu Knights on 10/26/15 at 9:25 am #
  15. Does these contain any actual caffeine?

    Comment by Katie memel on 8/10/16 at 11:49 am #
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