During the last days of the school year when I was completely and thoroughly checked out, I started to sift through my Twitter followers during my planning periods. I came across Caffex and their line of caffeinated marshmallows. I was intrigued. I like coffee. I sort of like marshmallows. I was going to place an order, but they were kind enough to send me a sample at my request, which makes me feel bad for what I am about to do (Note to self: no more requesting products. Too much guilt).
Start with the positive. The marshmallows themselves look great, they photographed well, and the packaging is fantastic.
I don’t get the sexy lipstick prints though. What’s the sex appeal of a chewy brown rectangle? None of the verbiage on the package hints at sexiness. The product byline is that each marshmallow is a “Pop-in Power Coffee Shot.” Nothing sexy there. I don’t like it, and I think it needs a redesign.
But maybe it’s because I place these firmly in the novelty food column. They are caffeinated marshmallows after all. There is nothing wrong with the novelty column. It is home to some of the greats: gummi worms, Pop Rocks, the McRib, anything from Taco Bell. It’s a good place to be and I think it should be embraced. The sexiness angle (great band name) seems to be a desperate disconnect (another great band name) from the product itself.
CaffeMallows come in three varieties with varying amounts of caffeine that we never actually get a real number on. The first variety is Mocca (sic), “A Real Espresso & Coffee Blast.” The nosegrope is sweet and cocoa-y. The coffee flavor is not very strong or easily recognizable. The chocolate flavor, which tastes weird and generally not good, dominates completely. And the whole thing is very sweet. Also, the texture is very grainy, as they contain cocoa nibs that I could feel crunching between my teeth. Mocca was the least dense, and smallest, of the three varieties.
The second variety was Java with “DOUBLE Espresso Boost.” These were very thick and chewy. The coffee flavor is not enjoyable (even as coffee-flavored novelties go) and would not appeal at all to anyone who actually enjoys good coffee.
The third variety was Coffee with “DOUBLE Coffee Boost.” Same texture as the Java. This one had the most subdued coffee flavor of the three and I’m assuming the least caffeine (?). I liked it the most only because I disliked it the least. I can’t really comment on the energy boost, as I could not get past a few foul nibbles of each.
I don’t know where the niche is for these. The website runs on infomercial logic. You know: “Do you love coffee but spill it all over yourself like a stupid clumsy moron every time you try to drink some? There’s got to be a better way.”
Respectable Coffee Drinkers won’t like these. They’re gross. And for the rest of everyone else, if you want caffeine with no fuss. Take a pill. Why choke down a brown sponge? Although be careful, we all remember when Jessie got hooked on them in Saved By the Bell.
As a novelty product, I think these are cool. But for an actual daily caffeine delivery system, no way. But what do I know, I just spilled coffee all over myself again.