Monday, October 29, 2012

Morinaga Coffee Caramels

My brother-in-law is not a coffee drinker. For some, that sounds suspiciously like a form of heresy. For others, that makes complete sense as not everyone goes for what the Tick referred to as "that bitter black urine." He, my brother-in-law, not the Tick (because, oddly, I don't have conversations with fictional characters about coffee... about other matters, perhaps, but that is between me and my psychotropic medication), says that he thinks coffee smells good, but he doesn't like the taste. Of course, Starbucks endeavors to fix that problem for most people by creating blended drinks full of milk and sugar that mask the flavor of the elixir of wakefulness and expand our waistlines. 

When I approach anything coffee-flavored, I think about the appeal from two sides. First, how will "real" coffee drinkers (the kind with hair on their chests and shaking hands) feel about it? Second, how will coffee wusses feel about it? With this caramel, I'm pretty sure hardcore coffee fiends will be left in the dust. It's coffee flavored, no doubt, but it's mellow, sweet, milky, and delectably buttery. One thing I can say about Morinaga's large line of caramels is they never skimp on the fat. That being said, it may distress some to know that the primary ingredient is corn syrup followed by sweetened condensed powdered milk, more powdered milk, and then vegetable oil. It's only late in the list that things like "coffee" and "butter" show up.

However, this isn't about food purity. It's about taste and texture and Morinaga generally does a very good job turning out a smooth and tasty blob of sticky goodness. Sometimes they fail on the flavor front, but this is not one of those times. If you like lattes, frappucinos, or other sweet coffee beverages and aren't going for a pure coffee experience, these should be in your pocket for a sweet fix. If you're the kind of person for whom black is the only acceptable color for your coffee, you'll probably be disappointed in the coffee flavor intensity, but still enjoy the fatty richness and sweetness on the whole. 

I got this candy courtesy of Sakura Box (that means "free") as part of their "monthly candy bag" which I reviewed the Friday before last. 


miyazaki said...

I'll have to look for those! I used to love the Hi-Soft coffee caramels when I was in Japan. I used to see them here but not anymore.

Someone told me that if a caramel has a certain percentage of milk in it it falls into a category that requires some additional regulations to import it...weird.

miyazaki said...

oh yeah, congrats on hitting the halfway point in your goal of 1000 posts!

Cybele said...

I'm fond of all the Morinaga caramels, but this is one of my favorites. (The others are sweet potato and black sugar.)

Orchid64 said...

miyazki: I haven't seen the Hi-Soft coffee caramels around either (in the Japanese markets I have access to). I wonder if they just aren't a big enough seller.

Incidentally, I'm not at the halfway point on the 1000 posts. I'm at 999 posts! There are two posts for each number (500 good points and 500 not so good points). I'm nearly done, but I'm not stopping. There will be more information about that on Wednesday! Thanks for reading both of my blogs!

Cybele: I love them as well, and didn't review all of the ones that I'd tried. I can't recall which was my favorite, but they are very nicely made (and I don't even particularly like caramels!).

Thanks for your comment!

Spritey said...

I love coffee flavored things, and will try any coffee flavored snack, but oddly enough I very rarely drink coffee.

Just the other day I went to a local Japanese market, here in Indianapolis, and found some new (to me) coffee beats. They didn't have the crunchy shell the original ones do, I think they were made with dark chocolate, and they had a stronger coffee flavor. Still very good, even though I prefer the 'original'.

Orchid64 said...

Coffee Beat without the candy shell is just wrong! ;-)

Thanks for reading and commenting!