My name is Veron, and I’m a coffeeholic.
There’s something magical about coffee. A whiff of it is enough to perk me up. My morning begins with sipping from a chewed styrofoam cup of piping hot coffee, with added evaporated milk. This love affair with coffee started when I was just a kid. It’s one of those things that I cannot even think of giving up. Perhaps this is the same way smokers feel about cigarettes?
A friend that recently came back from China passed me these unusual coffee gum, the creations of two companies, Wrigley and Lotte. Now, there’s coffee chocolate, coffee ice cream and coffee buns. There’s even a coffee edition of Kit Kat. So obviously there’s a strong consumer interest in coffee-flavoured products.
But for me, coffee-flavoured chewing gum sure is a first!
Upon unwrapping the stick of gum from its silver wrapping, the unmistakable aroma of coffee immediately wafts through the air. It is surprising that something so small can produce an aroma this strong. Brownie points for that!
The gum is a lovely shade of coffee colour, sprinkled with tiny specks of dark brown. When I put it into my mouth, it’s a pleasantly sweet coffee taste. Because real coffee powder is used, there’s even a minute amount of caffeine in this.
Wrigley’s coffee gum was first rolled out in China in 2005. I think that’s the only country to have it even up to today. There is an American equivalent of it though – the Doublemint Kona Crème coffee-flavoured gum.
Another caffeinated chewing gum for coffeeholics is the Lotte coffee gum. If you’re curious, the ingredients are as follows: sugar, chewing gum base, corn syrup, glucose, glycerin, instant coffee powder, coffee flavouring. For these coffee gum, the coffee flavour was strong while it lasted, which wasn’t that long.
At this point, I’m starting to think that coffee gum may be suitable for heavy coffee drinkers that want to wean themselves off the beverage.
The product has its fair share of haters, with some proclaiming it to be “one of the worst ideas of the world”. After all, “don’t you chew gum to get rid of coffee breath?” I think it’s pretty clear that coffee gum is targeted at people that actually love coffee, and wouldn’t mind having the taste of it. If you want minty fresh breath, there’s already a whole range of mint-flavoured gum.
But having said that, I would never substitute this for my favourite coffee beverage. Sipping and savouring a cup of joe is a wonderful experience and culture in itself that no coffee-flavoured product can replace.
(Someone would mention it anyway, so yes, Singapore has the infamous chewing gum ban. But that doesn’t stop us from stashing some into our bags when returning from overseas.)