Shopping & Reviews

Obsessions: Pocket Coffee

Because sometimes you want your caffeine to be candy

By Marian Bull

Published on May 27, 2015

Just as an empty stomach will make the most mediocre food taste excellent, sleep deprivation can make black-tar gas station coffee taste like the nectar of the gods. Anyways, interstates and backroads are not the place for an expertly pulled espresso or a custom blend from Nicaragua (no offense, Nicaragua!). Hot, maybe burnt, and cut with creamer and white sugar, road trip coffee exists to move you along, like a good song on the radio or a sky at dawn that's pretty to look at. You can always count on a gas station to have it. You can always count on it to keep your eyes open.

There are times, though, when gas stations are far away, when you need a coffee-like substance and the tepid swill in your cupholder will not do. Europe has you covered here: Europe has Pocket Coffee.

I first caught wind of Pocket Coffee from Melanie Dunea's story all about eating at Autogrills in Italy; apparently they stock it at their cash registers like American rest stops stock gum. It's a small candy, shaped like a truffle and similarly coated in chocolate, with a syrupy coffee filling and some sort of caramelized crunch at the bottom. You've got to tip your head back and wear a bib when you take a bite, lest you waste coffee on your shirt. It doesn't taste like great coffee—it tastes like coffee you need. Sharp, sweet, and quickly gone. And chocolate never hurts.

These days, I keep the box that I ordered from Amazon—shipped from Germany—on my desk for sleepy afternoons when I don't feel like walking to the coffee shop down the street from our office, or when I want something a little harder than a square of chocolate. But I'll also stock them for my next road trip, and pop them as I zoom around curves and past vistas, sugar and caffeine moving me along.

Pocket Coffee, 6 packs of 18 bars, $55 on

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