Tuesday, August 7, 2012


One of the most popular items from the Kona Cowboy Coffee Company is Miss Kitty’s Chocolate Covered Kona Cowboy Coffee Beans.  Just imagine: dark roasted Kona coffee beans from Hawaii smothered in a blend of rich dark chocolate.  Have you ever popped a chocolate covered coffee bean in your mouth and thought: “Who was the genius who invented these?”

Harold Alexander of Koppers Chocolates in New York invented the chocolate covered coffee bean in 1965, coating premium estate coffee beans in layers of chocolate. Although this classic pairing has a long culinary history, Alexander’s creation set off a specialty marketing trend for all things coffee and chocolate.

Now you may see them as espresso beans or, as we market them, coffee beans.  So…which is it?  Are they chocolate covered coffee beans or chocolate covered espresso beans?   You might not care about the particulars of the name if you are obsessed with both chocolate and coffee. But we would be remiss in our duties as weekly coffee bloggers if we didn’t point out the reasons behind the confusion.

You will often see chocolate covered coffee beans labeled as espresso beans.  It’s a misnomer, as there is no such thing as an “espresso bean” to begin with.  Espresso refers to a brewing process, and the product of that process, not a bean.  Espresso is a drink made with coffee beans, and it’s one of the top coffee-related myths that there is a special bean variety just for espresso.  There’s not.  Therefore, coffee fiends, call ‘em chocolate covered coffee beans.  Or, in our case, Miss Kitty’s Chocolate Covered Kona Cowboy Coffee Beans.

Now, every time I sample some of our chocolate covered Kona coffee beans at a trade show someone will remark, “Now I won’t have to drink a cup of coffee,” as if one bean is going to do it.  Here’s the truth about caffeine.

We once figured that it take about 24 coffee beans to make the average size mug of coffee.  That got us wondering about Miss Kitty’s Chocolate Covered Kona Cowboy Coffee beans.  We did some research.

You have to take into consideration the coffee, the chocolate and the sugar.  Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper, technology writer and coffee enthusiast) presented a back-of-the-envelope calculation and came up with 2-4 mg of caffeine per chocolate covered bean or roughly 120 mg per one ounce serving.  Self Magazine puts the number higher, at 224 mg per one ounce serving.  Following our line of investigation, the bloggers we researched found credible estimates between these two points of reference.  So, in a nutshell, these candies do pack a caffeine punch within the range of a serving of coffee. Chomping on one or two won’t do it but eating a hand full might.  Be cautious in indulging past the single serving zone.

The purpose of this blog is to unite Kona coffee lovers and perhaps learn a little about coffee and all the benefits of coffee at the same time.  Join up, become a member, comment and have fun!  You can find the Kona Coffee Fiends group on Facebook and we’d appreciate it if Facebook users would “LIKE” the Kona Cowboy Coffee Company page at  www.facebook.com/pages/Kona-Cowboy-Coffee-Company/222070817858553.  Just copy and paste to your browser.  You can also find us on Twitter at  http://twitter.com/#!/jackshuster.  And on the web at www.KonaCowboyCoffee.com to order your gourmet coffee and coffee products.

Look for the Kona Cowboy Coffee Company’s Cowboy Coffee Saloon at the Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah, August 17-18, along with Dr. Buck’s Wild Bunch, Cowboy Action Shooting with the North Rim Regulators and lots of movie stars and heroes.

You know you’re a coffee fiend when you get intoxicated just so you can sober up on coffee!  So enjoy your coffee, make it Kona, and remember, Kona is the home of the Hawaiian cowboy…and we had cowboys in Kona before there were cowboys in Texas!

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