Heart-shaped box of coffees, please
July 22, 2015 11:18 AM   Subscribe

I wanna eat a coffee bar. Does it exist??

Why isn't there a product, similar to chocolate bars, that is...a coffee bar?

We know cocoa beans begin as very bitter, as does coffee beans. After processing and roasting cocoa beans, sugar and fats are added to make chocolate palatable, and then molded into bars or whatever. Can't this be done with coffee? Or has it? The coffee candy I'm familiar with doesn't approach anything like a chocolate bar.

Admittedly, I may not have thought this through, and the answer will be obvious.
(Make mine a smooth Ethiopian Arabica half-decaf bar).
posted by artdrectr to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Cocoa beans already have a lot of fat in them - cocoa butter. As you grind cocoa beans you get a smooth paste. Once you cool that to room temperature it more-or-less solidifies, for varying definitions of room temperature. Cocoa butter also has the great property of liquefying around body temperature to provide that "melt in your mouth" experience. Coffee has very little oil/fat relatively speaking and definitely nothing like cocoa butter.

But from a historical perspective, no fat is added to chocolate, only sugar.

Now, why not use cocoa butter or some replacement to make a coffee bar? I dunno.
posted by GuyZero at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2015

Hmm, well cacao contains a fair amount of fat in the form of cocoa butter, which coffee doesn't have. I wonder if you could make a white chocolate (ie cocoa butter + sugar + dairy) bar flavoured with coffee.
posted by quaking fajita at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2015

I just happened to notice a product like what you describe on the candy shelf at Walgreen's: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/good-%26-delish-coffee-bites-morning-rush/ID=prod6225146-product

I believe that brand is a store brand of theirs. They looked at first blush to be coffee-flavored chocolates but reading the ingredients, they're not. I have no idea what they're like or if they're any good or not. It looks like they bulked it out with milk solids. But this appears to be something like what you're asking about.
posted by mister pointy at 11:41 AM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Here is a review of those Good and Delish bites from Candy Blog, which also discusses this question. "I’ve often wondered why more confections weren’t made from roasting and conching. What would happen if you roasted and conched almonds or hazelnuts in the same way we make chocolate? What about coffee?"

That review also suggests that those are the generic of a product called Coffee Thins.

divined by radio - all of the products you listed are chocolate products with coffee in them, which isn't what the OP was asking for - they want a product that is like chocolate, but flavored entirely with coffee.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:48 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

They used to be a thing. A Portland chocolatier called Sahagun used to make a coffee bar from Stumptown-roasted coffee beans. I bought one for my mom back in 2010, but I don't remember what she thought about it. That might be a starting point for further research.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:15 PM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

There is, I got it for my birthday 5-6 years ago. The KA-POW bar a lungful of dragon mentioned. It was DELICIOUS.

You can make it yourself, too. I would experiment with espresso-ground coffee, sugar, and cocoa butter or coconut oil. Or try freeze-dried coffee and powdered sugar if you want a smoother texture.
posted by aniola at 12:22 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

It looks like Sahagun will reopen later this year.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:30 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

What would happen if you roasted and conched almonds or hazelnuts in the same way we make chocolate?

BTW on this point, you'd get nut butter and those oils remain liquid even at pretty low temperatures because they're more unsaturated fats vs the saturated fats you get in cocoa butter or palm oil.
posted by GuyZero at 12:37 PM on July 22, 2015

Nestlé Coffee Crisp is a rather low-brow choice, but I love it.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:39 PM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Sahagun-ites you nailed it!

The Ka-Pow!bar is available mail order.
Except she wants $42 shipping (warm weather) for a $5 bar.

Which absolutely melts my desire.
posted by artdrectr at 1:24 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Caffe Acapella also makes something like this. Here's a store locator; maybe they sell something near you that you could pick up without exorbitant shipping charges.
posted by fermion at 1:40 PM on July 22, 2015

It's not just coffee, but it tastes like milky coffee and I feel like it has caffeine in it: Theo's Coffee and Cream. Delish.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:11 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just ran across a blog post about a new coffee/cocoa butter product and remembered this question.
posted by fermion at 4:10 PM on September 26, 2015

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