Can you ever have too much coffee and chocolate? M&M’s doesn’t think so, and the brand rarely steers me wrong. I recently reviewed and loved Espresso M&M’s, so another coffee-flavored variety came as a welcome surprise to this candy fiend. This time, the flavor inspiration is Caramel Cold Brew, represented in the milk chocolate M&M’s through coffee flavor and a chewy caramel center.
(For coffee novices, cold brew is made by steeping coarse ground coffee beans in cool water for long periods of time. The resulting concentrate is diluted with water or milk and can be served cool or hot with various flavorings. For coffee aficionados, the ingredients list includes natural and artificial flavoring, so I can’t speak to what extent the cold brewing process was honored during the production of these M&M’s. Rage as you must.)
Even though caramel filling is not new to M&M’s, I was surprised to find the chewy center rather than a caramel-flavored chocolate core. I do not think of texture when I think of cold brew. If you are chewing your cold brew, you might want to double check the expiration date of the milk you added to it.
Luckily, chewy caramel centers are delicious, so I couldn’t hold the choice against the M&M’s. Also, the caramel appears to be doing double duty here by holding the coffee flavor. The milk chocolate tastes like the standard chocolate component of a Plain or Peanut M&M, while the caramel has a robust, bitter-edged coffee flavor. I determined this after several rounds of carefully nibbling the chocolate off one M&M, then tasting its center separately. This process made me look like a hamster cracking apart a sunflower seed with its wee teeth, but that’s showbiz, baby.
However you eat Caramel Cold Brew M&M’s, the experience is interesting. There is an initial strong burst of coffee flavor that pairs beautifully with the chocolate and caramel. As you work the caramel center, the coffee taste fades, and the buttery glory of the caramel takes over, retaining a hint of coffee flavor. If you asked me to guess, I would have wondered if the world had been granted Kettle Corn M&M’s. The hint of coffee deeply flavors the caramel and gives it a brown butter or toffee vibe that lasts for most of the eating experience. The caramel paradoxically provides and dilutes the coffee flavor, but I guess I’d rather have my coffee diluted by caramel than by an ice cube that could sink the Titanic.
That initial coffee burst, though, removes all doubt of the product’s intention. The coffee aftertaste is also really strong, as though I spent all day drowning my sorrows in my favorite cafe, which I’m not scheduled to do until later in the week.
Like Caramel M&M’s, these candies are on the larger side and come in a rainbow of colors (no coffee-colored shells here). If you love that product, the enhanced flavor of Caramel Cold Brew M&M’s will pep you up come snack time or coffee break.
Purchased Price: $4.69
Size: 9.05 oz (256.6 g) stand up pouch
Purchased at: Target.com
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 oz serving, or about 11 candies) 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.