Editor’s note: I wrote this review in 2011. I have no idea why it wasn’t published, but since neither product seems to exist anymore, I figured I’d give it its day in the sun. There isn’t so much funny in this one.
I have yet to find a food that I am allergic to, but that didn’t stop me from finding someone lactose intolerant for the sake of testing out the Copper Mountain Hot 2 Go French Vanilla Coffee Latte and Mocha Coffee Latte. Pop a few capsules later, and our test was ready to begin. Sold at Wal Mart in single packages, the Hot 2 Go is described on Copper Mountain’s website as ” a delicious coffee latte that fits your on-the-go lifestyle.” Our second product was Jolly Time Mallow Magic popcorn.
I could not agree more, especially since I’ve taken on the lifestyle of someone who has never tasted coffee. To start off the double test, we purchased the vanilla and mocha seen above, although Copper Mountain also offers hazelnut. As far as the packaging goes, the cups remind me of the Campbell’s Soup cups, given the two are structurally identical. In fact, cradling the two waltzing up to the short cashier, no doubt estimating how much of a nonspecific drug I had consumed prior to appearing at Wal Mart at 1am with coffee and popcorn, I kept getting the odd sensation that I had picked up the wrong product, and was actually carrying said soups. I had to triple check that my frontal lobe hadn’t induced a hallucination to prevent me from actually buying this product. For the sake of my dignity at Wal Mart at 1am, I could have been carrying tampons for all I knew.
As far as ingredients go, the Hot 2 Go is as natural as it gets, a grim reminder that “good” and “good for you” are two entirely separate ends of opposite spectrum. For the fact that the main ingredient in both products is indeed coffee (water and coffee), neither product carried the taste of coffee. The Mocha Coffee Latte had a distinct taste of horrible hot chocolate, the kind your boss mass produces in that big brown container, that tastes like he managed to burn it, but you drink it anyway because it is freezing cold outside. There was no coffee taste at all, and for that matter there was no milk taste either. If flavors were people, the chocolate would be the big fat bully managing to strangle two people (coffee and milk) at the same time with his fat, ham hands. I’m going to get into the mocha again later, so sit still.
The vanilla, on the other hand, I have to give credit to but not for its intended reason. The Vanilla Coffee Latte carried a distinct English Toffee flavor to it, rather than its intended vanilla bean, and it actually pulls the flavor off well. The drink had a flavor that was more in-line with the English Toffee you’d get at Tim Horton’s or Dunkin Donuts, where it isn’t really an English Toffee, but rather water mixed with a powder. The only difference is that, unlike Tim Horton’s, the Hot 2 Go is actually done in sixty seconds, and doesn’t ask me to pull around front so the store doesn’t miss its timer.
A final complaint I have is that the drinks are too muddy, a symptom that normally associates with powdered drinks. With the mocha, it’s as if they figured out how far the milk could be saturated with mix before it became a solid, and then set the recipe for just under that point. I see the intended audience being a workplace where the people work long hours and the boss is too much of an asshole to allow a coffee machine. Sadly, that group will be sorely disappointed, as the caffeine was insufficient to wake either of us up at 2am.
The next product in our double feature is Jolly Time Mallow Magic Yummy Marshmallow flavored popcorn, and to answer your first question: You’re going to question my 1am purchases after the previous product? The Mallow Magic product is just as it sounds: Rice Krispie flavored popcorn. Ever since I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I had a strong feeling that, somewhere, there must be at least one treat company operated by a strangely energetic man-child who loves candy and everything dandy about it. After eating this popcorn, I believe I have found that company.
On the outside, Mallow Magic looks like any other popcorn. The popcorn itself is already seasoned to taste like marshmallow right out of the bag, and actually tasted decent. The marshmallow taste wasn’t overbearing, but at the same time not too subtle. Like a lemon over fish, it neither overpowers nor detracts from the fish flavor, but rather complements it in the same way you might complement a beautiful haircut on a significant other. Then we put the flavor packet on, a sauce that complemented the popcorn in the same way a construction worker might make cat calls at a woman, not realizing she is packing a taser under her blouse.
The popcorn sauce is cake icing, I don’t care what the company calls it. The sauce tastes nothing like marshmallows, it tastes like icing. The icing distributes just as you would expect a liquid to do on a water-soluble item: poorly, meaning much of the icing gets soaked in by what it falls on first, and the rest receives none of the flavor. In this case, that is a blessing, because the icing accomplishes nothing more that would not have already been done by the type of person who sugars their popcorn. The combination of tastes with the marshmallow in the popcorn and the icing on top gave me that sick feeling after we had finished off the bowl. The “I ate two much sweets, I feel pregnant” kind of sickness.
The redeeming factor, and this is an important one, is that the popcorn and the mocha latte ended up going great together, for reasons I cannot explain. If your kids do threaten to go Menendez on you in your sleep if you don’t buy the popcorn, simply don’t add the sauce. The popcorn tastes better without it.