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REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato

Written by | April 7, 2014

Topics: 10 Rating, Haagen Dazs, Ice Cream

Ha?agen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato

There are many great mysteries in the universe. Like has anybody ever really killed two birds with one stone? Who’s the brilliant mind behind the cookie cake? If everything King Midas touches turns to gold, can he… you know… touch himself? Surely I’m not the only one who ponders these questions on a daily basis. Here’s another one of those mysteries: is gelato any good from a container?

Before I moved to Missouri, I lived directly across the street from an Italian café, which served the most foodgasm-inducing gelato I’d ever eaten. There were so many flavor options to choose from, it made every trip an adventure because you never knew what you’d walk out of there with.

Now that the authentic gelato is no longer across the street – and as far as I can tell nowhere to be had here – I knew it was time to do some investigating of my own into the store-bought gelatos. I got in the car and made the ever-joyous weekly trip to Walmart. And that’s not sarcasm. I literally live in the middle of nowhere, and going to Walmart passes for fun around these parts.

While perusing the ice cream aisle, I found Häagen-Dazs had a new line of gelatos, and the flavor debate began to rage in my noggin. Pomegranate swirl? No. Caramelized banana chip? Interesting, but wasn’t in a banana mood. Pistachio? PISTACHIO! Yes, this was the one. Even the Walmart cashier knew it was the one, as before she put it in the bag she took a gander at it and said, “Mmm, now that looks good.” Indeed it does, Walmart cashier. Indeed it does.

Upon arriving home, I put the gelato in the freezer and prepared to set the mood for the occasion. I tucked the corners of my love seat cover in so it looked nice and neat, cleaned the clutter from my coffee table, put some Miles Davis on and got into my jammies. Yes, I call them jammies.

Ha?agen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato Top

After retrieving the gelato from it’s frozen prison, I popped it’s top – tee hee – and gave it a look over. It’s a darker green than pistachio ice creams are, and it had little black specks in it, kind of like a vanilla bean flavor would. I buried the cold steel of my spoon in and took a bite.

HO. LEE. CRAP.

The gelato was light and uber-creamy like authentic gelato, and it tasted like a real pistachio without having actual pistachios inside of it. This is an advantage because as anyone who’s eaten pistachio ice cream knows, you get a rotten pistachio every once in a while and it is one of the vilest tastes you’ll encounter.

The gelato is sweet tasting like pistachio ice cream, but you also get that roasted pistachio taste, something I hadn’t encountered in a frozen pistachio delicacy before. It has a high fat content, but you couldn’t tell unless you looked at the nutrition facts because it’s just so damn light and airy. The only element it was missing was the saltiness a real pistachio has. Curious, I put a little bit of salt on a spoonful.

Ha?agen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato Spoon

It would be impossible for a word or two to describe just how good this bite was, so I will attempt to do so with the following story that may or may not be true. I’ll leave it to you to decide.

After taking the bite, I blacked out. I awoke some time later to a knock on my door. I wondered who it could be as my building has a buzz-in system. My hot neighbor finally giving into my offer of drinking and yelling at my fantasy baseball team with me? I opened the door to reveal a six-foot tall pistachio. I first thought this some odd Trojan horse attempt of my hot neighbor to make it inside my apartment, and I said “if you wanted to come watch fantasy scores with me, you just had to ask.” But this was not my hot neighbor. It was a talking pistachio. And not just any pistachio either. It was the Pistachio King!

He said he was summoned here when I achieved pistachio bliss after putting salt on the gelato. I had uncovered the key to ultimate pistachio power. Basically, I unlocked the Super Saiyan 4 level of pistachio flavor.

The king and I hit it off instantly. It was like we were best friends in a past lifetime. He brought a 24-pack of my favorite beer, Sam Adams Coldsnap, and even laughed at my lame “that’s a Coldsnap, baby” line, a play off of SRV’s “Coldshot.” We put back bottle after bottle and collectively yelled at my fantasy baseball team. Once the games were done for the night, I asked Pistachio King if he wanted to watch me play Kingdom Hearts, and without hesitation he said yes! It’s not even a two-player game, but he didn’t care, he just continued to drink and cheer me on.

At one point Pistachio King asked if I wanted “some of that good shit,” and pulled out a baggie filled with a white crystal-like substance inside. I said “Pistachio King, I don’t do that,” but he said “don’t worry, it’s only salt!” We had a good laugh, and then I put some of the salt on the gelato and took a bite. Everything started spinning, and I again blacked out.

When I awoke, Pistachio King was gone and the gelato container was empty. Probably just a dream. But wait, why are there pistachio shells on the floor? Hmm… Well, at least the gelato from a container mystery was solved.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 260 calories, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 4% iron.)

Item: Häagen-Dazs Pistachio Gelato
Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: 14 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: As good as legit Italian gelato. Incredible real pistachio flavor. Adding a bit of salt brings out-of-body experience. Kickin’ it with Pistachio King.
Cons: High fat content. Container’s not a full pint. Hot neighbor still doesn’t want to drink and yell at my fantasy baseball team with me. King Midas mystery remains unsolved.

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REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream

Written by | April 3, 2014

Topics: 10 Rating, Ben & Jerry's, Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream

Well, it was horrible. Unapologetically awful.

Look, I considered phrasing it more gently, and maybe trying to focus on at least one positive, but the truth is that there is nothing redeemable about Ben & Jerry’s new Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream. If you see it at your local supermarket, find somewhere else to shop, permanently. If you stumble upon an advertisement for it while reading one of those savings catalogs from CVS that got sent to your house, do yourself a solid and change your address. Whatever you do, just stay as far away from Hazed & Confused as possible.

Look, I know I am a junk food reviewer and all, but I gotta be honest. Considering how this is legitimately going to be a 0/10, you might as well stop reading right here. Trust me, if this wasn’t my job, I wouldn’t still be lingering on the dreadful, unappealing taste of Hazed & Confused Ice Cream. Seriously, this isn’t a joke, it’s all right, just move along with your day.

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream Top

Now it’s time to get down to the dirty stuff. The first thing I hated about Hazed & Confused was how absolutely terrible it looked. I mean come on Ben & Jerry’s you can at least try to make it look appeali… yo, you still there? If you’re still reading this now, you’re welcome.

You see, I have a plan, a beautiful plan, to scare away everyone I know from the divine taste of Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused. Why then am I letting you in on my secret? Well, the truth is–my fellow co-conspirators–that Hazed & Confused is downright amazing. It’s not even a flavor as much as it is an interstellar experience. It is as close as you or I will ever get to the moon. Indulging in it is the kind of transformative, mind-blowing experience that if left unshared would likely build up in my psyche and manifest itself in some weird psychological issues down the road. It’s that crazy good. And, before you question the infallible logic of my plan itself, let me tell you why.

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream Spoon

First reason, two words: Nutella. Oh, that’s only one word you say? That’s because you didn’t let me finish. Nutella-Tube. Thats right folks, smack dab in the middle of Ben & Jerry’s consistently fantastic ice cream is a cylindrical mass of fucking Nutella. Except hold the phone, this isn’t even really Nutella; it’s better. Imagine the lovechild created if everyone’s favorite hazelnut spread got freaky with a can of Betty Crocker dark chocolate frosting. Just sit there and think about that.

But, like any 8th grade orchestra, having one standout simply isn’t enough (even if he can play the whole Pirates of the Caribbean theme on cello). Surrounding the decadence of its titular Core, Hazed & Confused brings it with a back-to-back punch of their signature chocolate ice cream and their new-kid-on-the-block hazelnut. Combined with the added touch of ubiquitous fudge chips the two rich flavors provide a nice give and take of extra chocolaty or extra hazlenutty flavor, making each spoonful unique. What is so great about Hazed & Confused is that it all just seems to work.

Also, I don’t know whose idea it was to name this ice cream Hazed & Confused, but the likely nod to the 1993 cult classic Dazed and Confused perhaps sheds a little light onto how Ben & Jerry’s comes up with the inspiration for such wacky and delicious ice cream concoctions. Going on the list with previous flavors such as Cherry Garcia (named after Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia) and Half Baked (for obvious reasons)–if the company’s signature tie-dye t-shirts weren’t a dead give away–Hazed & Confused provides further evidence that Ben and Jerry might have been more than a little familiar with the ol’ devil’s lettuce, and the munchies that inevitably ensue. Maybe this will make you feel better about getting stoned and eating an entire tub, who knows.

I am going to end with a quick exam. I just need everyone to look down at their hands. They’re empty, right? Now wait two hours and then look again. If you aren’t clutching a frosty pint of Hazed and Confused in one hand, and a giant-ass spoon in the other, you failed. Get to it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 280 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 8% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 10% iron.)

Item: Ben & Jerry’s Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: The definition of a 10/10 product. The hazelnut core is maybe the best thing I have tasted in, like, 5 years. It’s Ben & Jerry’s so the ice cream itself is top notch. I would likely buy a store’s worth if I had the money.
Cons: Other people somewhere are probably enjoying it right now and I am just on this computer. I wish eating an entire tub wasn’t a 200% daily value hit of saturated fat.

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REVIEW: Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korea)

Written by | September 27, 2012

Topics: 10 Rating, Cereal, Foreign Food, Post Cereals

Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korean Edition)

Sometimes, late at night, after I’ve had a really hard day and am in the mood for a good pity party, I get on the Internet and Google “Oreo O’s.”

I don’t do it because I find the sight of ambiguously gendered marshmallow things performing synchronized swimming within milk to be aesthetically pleasing, nor do I Google the cereal because I hope to brush up on my Korean language skills.  Mostly, I Google it because reading comments about how much other peoples’ lives suck now that Oreo O’s has been discontinued makes me feel better about myself.

So you can only imagine how I felt when Internet searches began yielding strange and life-changing news earlier this summer.  According to the bastion of all things verifiable and trusted (Wikipedia) Oreo O’s were going to come back into stores sometime in early August.

Message board and Ask.com chatter — leaked, supposedly, from researchers in the the top secret skunkworks of cereal development known as Post — began appearing on a nightly basis, while videos were uploaded on YouTube to promote the supposed relaunch.

Yet, like that whole 2011 apocalypse deal, the date came and went, and now, nearly two months later, I’m stuck eating regular Oreo’s and regular cereal instead of cereal that tastes like Oreos.

Like I said, life sucks.

Unless you live in Korea, where Oreo O’s are not only available, but apparently making life just totally freaking awesome for anyone lucky enough to get their hands on them. Fortunately, the holy grail of childhood cereal nostalgia and lost Saturday mornings — a box of Oreo O’s — arrived on my doorstep last week.

Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korean Edition) Writing

To a certain extent, I considered myself unworthy as I picked up the blue box with writing entirely in Korean. A serious cereal eater I may consider myself, but it shames me to say I can’t exactly remember if I ever had Oreo O’s before. I probably did at some point during those developmental years known as middle school, but thanks to a diet based almost exclusively around Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I really can’t remember.

While it certainly detracts from my credibility, my relatively blank slate of completely unrealistic expectations does keep me somewhat objective. At the very least, it keeps me capable of opening the box without hyperventilating and going into cardiac arrest due to sheer excitement.

Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korean Edition) Dry

That sheer excitement kicked into full gear once I opened the box and took a whiff of pure, unadulterated Oreo smell (which I was able to confirm by also opening up a snack pack of Oreos I just so happened to have on hand for testing purposes.) The speckled rings had a solid crunch and cocoa heavy flavor only bolstered by a sweeter vanilla aftertaste which comes along with each bite.

Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korean Edition) Side by Side

Taking a handful of the rings and chucking them into my mouth, and then stepping back to bite into my actual Oreo, it occurred to be that this might actual be the kind of cereal which civilizations are founded on. Even the marshmallows, at first thought extraneous, have a vanilla flavor not completely dissimilar to Oreo cream, with their soft bite and slightly smooth mouthfeel doing an admirable job at filling in for said Oreo cream. Heck, if I was the kind of disgusting person who chewed up my food and swooshed it around in my mouth, I might even conclude, with authority, that the partially digested Oreo O’s cereal and an actual Oreo were one and the same.

It’s at this point that I begin to develop a midbowl crisis. Realizing this may just be the best single cereal ever constructed by the wheels of food industry, it dawns on me that my life is going to suck once I get through this box and go back to having to eat Oreos and cereal separately.

Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korean Edition) Wet

I pondered moving to Korea, but luckily, the addition of milk to my bowl makes me rethink this location change. Great as it is plain, Oreo O’s is actually just above average in milk. It’s crunchier than I’d like, but mostly, it just fails to transfer its unique cookies and cream properties to the milk, making the end-milk slurp akin to a bellyflop into the kiddie pool.

Does Oreo O’s taste like Oreos? Well, not exactly, but it tastes pretty damn close, as least much closer than Cookie Crisp tastes like an actual chocolate chip cookie or Apple Jacks tastes like an apple. The ironic – and truly heartbreaking – corollary is that both Cookie Crisp and Apple Jacks will never be discontinued, allowed to perpetuate in “kinda sorta but not really” taste equivalence while Oreo O’s may never come back to these golden shores. And that is more depressing than any long, tiring day at the office will ever be.

2012-09-19 02.23.05

(Nutrition Facts – 30 grams? – 119kcal, 1.9 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 1.5 grams of protein)

Item: Post Oreo O’s Cereal with Marshmallows (Korea)
Purchased Price: $13.98
Size: 500 grams
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Tastes remarkably like an actual Oreo. Rings have good cocoa flavor and stay crunchy in milk. Chewed up and swooshed around in your mouth, might just be identical to an Oreo (hypothetically speaking) Presumably healthier for me than an actual Oreo. Bridging the cultural gap one one cereal bowl at a time.
Cons: Unverifiable internet rumors that ruin peoples’ lives. Ambiguously gendered white things. Not available in America. Leaves average end-milk. Bellyflopping into the kiddie pool. Feeling crappier about myself than I did before. Not for twisters.

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REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs 2012 Limited Edition Flavors (Coconut Macaroon, Vanilla Bean Espresso, and Spiced Caramel Biscuit)

Written by | March 9, 2012

Topics: 10 Rating, 7 Rating, 8 Rating, Haagen Dazs, Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs Limited Edition Flavors (Coconut Macaroon, Vanilla Bean Espresso, and Spiced Caramel Biscuit)-WM

Here at The Impulsive Buy, new ice cream products tend to receive very positive reviews. Häagen-Dazs flavors, in particular, have never received lower than 7 out of 10. I think these scores are perfectly reasonable. Häagen-Dazs routinely comes out with interesting and well-executed new products but, look, when your product’s primary ingredients are sugar and cream, you’re set up for success. It’s just much harder to mess up ice cream than, say, microwaveable dinners, or breakfast sandwiches, or well-constructed lists of three things.

I propose, then, that we hold ice cream to a higher standard by applying what I call the pint test. The premise is simple: Is the ice cream so good that you would sacrifice your health and self-respect to eat a whole pint in one sitting? Häagen-Dazs would be held to an even higher standard since they now sell ice cream in 14-ounce containers, not in full pints (cost-sensitive bastards). Applying the scoring system to them, then, implies that I would hypothetically buy one carton, eat the whole thing, go back to the store, buy another carton, and eat at least 2 more ounces of that one. For this review of three new limited edition Häagen-Dazs flavors, I’ll offer a rating on the classic 1 to 10 scale as well as a “yes” or “no” on the pint test.

Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Coconut Macaroon-WM

Coconut Macaroon

These new products all apparently fall under an international theme of “Small World, Big Flavors,” and this variety is “inspired by centuries-old recipes spanning from Europe & Asia.” I hadn’t realized there was anything particularly exotic about coconut macaroons, but I guess a brand with two made-up but vaguely Scandinavian words as its name has lots of practice in drawing upon the faintest of foreign connections.

Coconut ice cream filled with small bits of coconut macaroons might sound like too much coconut, but I thought they got the flavor just right. Both the cookie bits and the ice cream contributed to the coconuttiness in similarly pleasant parts, with neither ever tasting too strong. The ice cream was rich and buttery, though maybe a little too buttery, and the cookie bits were tasty and they were fluffy, chewy, and plentiful. But the problem was that they were still just bits, and while each bit made me want an actual macaroon more and more, no piece was large enough to satiate that craving. As they say, the sum of the crumbs doesn’t equal the cookie. (No one actually says that, but doesn’t that sound like an excellent proverb, one that might span from Europe & Asia?) In the end, no, I wouldn’t eat a whole pint, though I’d certainly eat a couple scoops before running to the bakery and buying some actual coconut macaroons.

Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Vanilla Bean Espresso-WM

Vanilla Bean Espresso

Now this one, I understand the international association. It’s the Häagen-Dazs take on Italian affogato, with a swirl of espresso mixed into vanilla bean ice cream. The potent vanilla flavor hit first, with an aroma and spice that put regular vanilla ice cream to shame. Arriving second but with no less power, the rich espresso flavor had an intensity that I wouldn’t be able to find at any number of coffeehouses. In fact, I suspect people who don’t regularly drink espresso may actually find the vanilla bean espresso ice cream to be too strong for their liking. It’s also somewhat less sweet than regular vanilla ice cream, so judge that as you will. As for me, yes, I would eat a whole pint, even at the risk of staying up all night from the caffeine. I’ll just use the extra waking hours to catch up with all the reality shows on my DVR. (Do you think Christina Aguilera has a contractual obligation to wear stupid hats on The Voice?)

Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Spiced Caramel Biscuit-WM

Spiced Caramel Biscuit

Our final product is inspired by the classic European biscuit, speculoos. I don’t believe I’ve ever had speculoos, but I won’t bother seeking them out at this point because they can’t possibly be as good as this ice cream. The ice cream is smooth (i.e., there’s no caramel swirl) and has a solid caramel taste and scent without being too sweet, which I occasionally find to be a problem with caramel-added desserts. The cinnamon and ginger of the cookie crumbs contributed a real spiciness, and the crumbs’ crunchiness made for some nice textural variety. The most important feature of this ice cream was the presence of both cookie crumbs AND big cookie pieces. The crumbs in each bite momentarily whetted my appetite for cookies, and the cookie pieces in every other bite would immediately satisfy me. I say without any reservations that, yes, I would eat a whole pint. Even if I were lactose intolerant. And about to go on a first date. To see a silent film. In an otherwise empty movie theater. Yes, that good.

Run to the store now and try these new Häagen-Dazs limited edition flavors. Oh, and for the Vanilla Bean Espresso and Spiced Caramel Biscuit, save yourself a trip and just buy two cartons, you’ll want to eat a whole pint.

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: The author of this review received these almost-pints for free from the frozen folks at Häagen-Dazs. The Impulsive Buy was not paid for the review and only Jasper got the free ice cream. Lucky bastard. And, so ends the FTC-required disclosure. Now back to your regularly scheduled review.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – Coconut Macaroon – 290 calories, 170 calories from fat, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Vanilla Bean Espresso – 260 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein. Spiced Caramel Biscuit – 290 calories, 170 calories from fat, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Other Häagen-Dazs 2012 Limited Edition Flavor reviews:
Junk Food Guy – Coconut Macaroon and Vanilla Bean Espresso
Fish and Spaghetti – Vanilla Bean Espresso and Spiced Caramel Biscuit
Food Review LTD

Item: Häagen-Dazs 2012 Limited Edition Flavors (Coconut Macaroon, Vanilla Bean Espresso, and Spiced Caramel Biscuit)
Price:
Size: 14 ounces
Purchased at: Received for free from Häagen-Dazs
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Coconut Macaroon)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Vanilla Bean Espresso)
Rating: 10 out of 10 (Spiced Caramel Biscuit)
Pros: Coconut Macaroon had just the right amount of coconut flavor, and cookie bits were fluffy and plentiful. Vanilla Bean Espresso was really intense in both its vanilla and espresso. Spiced Caramel Biscuit had great caramel flavor without being too sweet, and the cookie crumbs AND pieces added spiciness and crunch. Making up believable proverbs. Catching up on my reality TV.
Cons: Coconut Macaroon ice cream may have been a little too buttery, and the cookie bits were too small. Vanilla Bean Espresso may be distractingly strong or not sweet enough for some people. Häagen-Dazs now coming in 14 oz cartons. Häagen and Dazs are made up words. Eating whole pints of ice cream. Lactose intolerance.

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REVIEW: Starbucks VIA Caramel Iced Coffee

Written by | July 26, 2011

Topics: 10 Rating, Coffee, Starbucks

Starbucks VIA Caramel Flavored Iced Coffee

I feel sorry for the Starbucks baristas out there who have to deal with complex drink orders from insane customers. They say the customer is always right, but those who order an iced ristretto 5-shot grande with 5/8 decaf, six ice cubes, 2-pumps sugar free caramel, 4-pumps caramel, soy, whole milk, extra whip, 12 Splenda, double cupped, and hand stirred to a temperature of 43 degrees have got to be wrong.

Do they feel like their complex order somehow makes them some kind of Starbucks alchemist?

Or are they trying to impress the people behind them in line with the fact that they know how to order something at Starbucks?

Or do they enjoy being a barista puppeteer, making Starbucks employees do their bidding with their purse strings?

You know what, Starbucks baristas? I’m your break from the batty bastards and bitches who order elaborate beverages, because from now on, when I roll into a Starbucks, I’m only there to either use the restroom, steal napkins, be creepy, or to pick up a pack of your new Starbucks VIA Caramel Iced Coffee, all of which don’t involve you lifting any of your well-worked fingers. I’m your coffee break, your latte lull, your ristretto recess, your half-caf hiatus, your Venti vacation, and your Asian persuasion.

Each packet of Starbucks VIA Caramel Iced Coffee is made up of microgrounded 100 percent natural roasted arabica beans, a little bit of caramel flavor, and cane sugar. This powdery partnership produces a Grande of iced coffee goodness, if you’re willing to do all of the following: measure 16 ounces of water, rip off the packet top, pour the contents of the packet into the 16 ounces of water, and then stir it until the powder dissolves.

Or if you have children, you can dress them up in a green Starbucks apron, tell them you’re “playing Starbucks,” and make them do all the work.

After tearing open a packet of Starbucks VIA Caramel Iced Coffee, it farts out a strong caramel aroma. That caramel aroma is also present after the powder is mixed with water. When I drink it, it starts off with a nice caramel flavor, which quickly gives way to the bitterness of the coffee. However, thanks to the caramel flavoring, I’m finding it much easier to drink than regular Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee, which I usually sweeten with either a little more sugar or chocolate syrup.

I really enjoyed the regular Starbucks VIA Iced Coffee, but I have to say I prefer this caramel version more. Adding a little vanilla soy milk makes it even better, although the caramel iced coffee already has 24 grams of sugar, so adding soy milk gives it a little more. While that may sound sweet, it’s not as sweet as I am for giving Starbucks baristas a quick breve breather from impossible drink orders by not ordering anything and just picking up a 5-pack of Starbucks VIA Caramel Iced Coffee.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 packet – 50 calories, 0 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Starbucks VIA Caramel Iced Coffee
Price: $5.95
Size: 5 pack
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Better tasting and easier to drink than regular Starbuck VIA Iced Coffee. Easy to make. Great with a little vanilla soy milk. Makes a Grande of iced coffee. Cheaper than ordering the same drink from Starbucks. Giving baristas a break from making complex drink orders from douchebags. Nice energy pick-me-up.
Cons: Might have too much sugar for those who care about consuming too much sugar. You have to stir or shake it yourself, unless you have children who can do it for you. Waiting in line behind someone who orders complex Starbucks drinks. At home, you have no access to the Starbucks bar.

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