Coffee on the Run

I’m a Foodbuzz featured publisher (see the ad at right). As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a nice heavy box full of Illy Issimo coffee in cute little (and easily portable) cans, and they proved instantly popular with the menfolk in the house. (Said menfolk being my husband, Tim, and 13-year-old son, Ben.)

We all like coffee around here, although we like it differently. Tim drinks his with a little half-and-half and no sugar. Ben likes a lot of half-and-half and sugar and sometimes chocolate syrup. Lately I mix mine with chocolate Slim-Fast, but we won’t talk about that.

For a while now, just about all the coffee we consume has been cold-brewed, using the recipe published in the New York Times a while back. It makes fabulous coffee — to the point where I have trouble drinking any other kind now. But it also takes many hours, and sometimes we run out.

So the presence of 12 cans of beautiful caffeine in the refrigerator was a comfort to all of us.

The Illy Issimo comes in four varieties, although I have tried only the first three:

  • Caffè: Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink. Comes in 6.8-ounce cans; 50 calories and no fat.
  • Latte Macchiato: Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink with Milk. Comes in 8.45-ounce cans; 110 calories and 3 grams of fat.
  • Cappuccino: Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink with Lowfat Milk and Cocoa. Comes in 8.45-ounce cans; 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.
  • There’s also a Caffè without sugar.

Given that it was canned, I wasn’t expecting too much. I’ve become kind of a coffee snob, in that my cold-brewed stuff is so excellent that nothing else can compare. And, in fact, I couldn’t drink the Caffè straight; I just can’t take black coffee. But it was fine mixed with the Slim-Fast, and a more-than-acceptable substitute on those mornings I just haven’t remembered to make coffee.

The Latte Macchiato wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t sweet enough for me. That is of course my failing: I need everything to be sweet. The menfolk liked it.

And I actively enjoyed the Cappuccino. I can see myself drinking that even without Slim-Fast, just because it tastes good.

So while the Illy Issimo is not as tasty as my cold-brewed coffee, it is certainly a convenient and satisfactory way to maintain a constant caffeine supply. At least until your 13-year-old son drinks it all.