August 9, 2010

Illy Issimo Ready to Drink (RTD) Coffee Review


Illy rolled out their canned coffee in three flavors (distributed by none other than Coca Cola) and currently have it distributed in Whole Foods as well as a number of other outlets. Being keenly interested in all things coffee I had to grab a set to try them out. At a little over $2 in Whole Foods, these aren't as economical as you might hope, but overall not a bad thing compared to an iced coffee at the coffee shop.

The line comes in three varieties; Caffe, Latte Macchiato and a Cappuccino. All have sugar, with the Latte having a bit of milk, and the Cappuccino with added cocoa and milk. So how did they taste? Are they worth it and worth hunting down?

For the daily regular coffee drinker, the Illy Issimo products are going to be quite good, and the convenience of having a few in the fridge is great. The three cover a broad enough flavor space that most people can find one that they like. If you are a coffee snob, who only appreciates the subtle nuances of aroma and associated roast differences, with bitterness dancing alongside acidity of a fine shot of espresso, these aren't for you.

Issimo Caffe - "Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink" - It is a black coffee drink with sugar. Because it is chilled, it really lacks much coffee aroma at all, and comes across in a medium roast, with slight acidity and a moderately well balanced flavor profile; not too bitter nor acidic. no real high notes, flavor-wise.


Issimo Latte Macchiato - "Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink with Milk" - this drink has added milk and some mouthfeel agents like cellulose gel, gum and carrageenan to give you a surprisingly sweet drink with a caramelized creamy flavor and finish. It is not overly indulgent and rich like the Starbucks DoubleShot espresso drink. Given that the Issimo has half the fat of the Starbucks DoubleShot, I can understand why.


Issimo Cappuccino - "Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink with Lowfat Milk and Cocoa" - the added cocoa here is a good boost of flavor to make this the most full flavored product of the three, and the best in my mind. It has hints of cocoa, not an overly sweet chocolate shake flavor to it.


If you like cold coffee drinks, I would recommend starting with the Cappuccino; I think it's the best. The flavors are more complex, and while the sweetness is definite, it's a welcome amount when it comes in with its trailer hitched to the cocoa.

Find Illy Issimo near you at their location finder, or just head over to Illy Issimo's micro site for more information or to hook into their Tweets of Facebook page.

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Posted by Scott Martin at August 9, 2010 9:50 AM
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