A cute little box arrived in the mail two weeks ago. Nestled in between the attractive red packing straw and the holiday card were four bars from Larabar… Cappuccino! These bars contain dates, almonds, cashews, fair trade certified coffee and vanilla extract. A delicious list of ingredients, I have to admit.

Unfortunately, I am not a coffee drinker. I love its strong aroma wafting across the room when my colleague walks in with his cup brimming. I love the strong scent of coffee that hits me as I step inside Starbucks to get a cup of my favorite hot chocolate. I love waking up to the smells and sounds of my mother making a delicious cup of Bru or Sunrise instant coffee for us.

That being said, I have been unable to develop a taste for coffee sold here in the United States. Every time I have ordered coffee (Cappuccino, Mocha, Cafe Latte – whatever!), I have felt its jarring effects. Too sharp and intense, it gives me the jitters. Well, I haven’t gotten coffee from any place other than Starbucks, so I don’t know if my opinion actually counts. Let’s just say that I am highly wary when it comes to ordering coffee. Not to mention the countless options of roasting, brewing, country of origin, etc. Suffices to say that I stick to other warm beverages.

So when I got this package in the mail, I knew that I needed help. Actually, I sampled a tiny piece. It was too strong for me. It’s probably my low tolerance for coffee speaking but I felt a strong sensation of heat rising up in my face, pricking my insides. My breath became faster, heavier. I knew I couldn’t eat more of it.

So I recruited a few good friends who also happened to be coffee-drinkers to give me their opinion.

Here’s what T has to say, “There is a hint of coffee smell, though not too strong. The bar appears quite enticing with a nice even look with almonds and cashewnuts identifiable and the dates acting as a binding agent. The bar is good to taste, however, the coffee taste disappears after the first bite and is dominated by texture of the nuts and taste of dates. The texture is quite homogeneous except for a bite or two of almonds interspersed in the bar. The coffee taste differentiation is lost, the bar is indeed very good otherwise. To enhance the taste of coffee in the bar, introducing coffee flavored chocolate would help – maybe small granules or chips.” I love how seriously he took my request!

As per N, “There is an intense taste of coffee and that’s great. But it gets lost amidst the sweetness of dates and cashews. The bar should have been less sweet.”

Here’s what T has to say. “People are not used to the flavor combination of coffee, nuts and dried fruit. It takes some getting used to.”

Here’s what the husband has to say (and I agree with him). “The biggest problem with this flavor combination is that the coffee does not seem to blend it in with the other flavors. It feels grainy and stands separate from the other flavors.”

Thanks, Larabar, for sending me your newest flavor! I may not be a fan but I am sure others will like this one.