Lotte Black Black Gum

3 06 2007

Lotte Black Black Gum

Ah, the most famous of all Japanese gum, and my last gum review for a good while now, This is the famous Black Black gum, made famous for their strange adverts starring Jean-Claude van Damme, as well as their strange use of Engrish on the sticks, including the phrases ‘Yes, Chewing!’ and ‘HI-TECHNICAL EXCELLENT TASTE AND FLAVOR’.

The sticks are unsurprisingly, black, and the taste is really quite odd. It starts off with a frankly quite disgusting flavour, before getting a little peppery and a strong mint flavour comes through, The sticks are initially rock hard but soften up quickly and easily. Supposedly there’s caffeine in here as well, but I don’t know how much.

The flavour isn’t awesome, but they’re just a little different really, and with the caffeine and strong minty flavour, then these are good as a one-off buy, and are worth getting just to try out at least once.


Lotte Koala no March – Cafe Latte

5 04 2007

Coffee Koala

These Koala shaped, cream-filled biscuits are one of the more popular Japanese snacks to have made their way to our Western shores. The most famous are the chocolate and strawberry flavours, but I thought I’d try something a little different, I thought I’d try…coffee flavour.

I’m a big coffee fan, but usually when it comes to coffee chocolate, there isn’t much around. Most of it is combined with dark chocolate, and I’ve tasted a bar by Lindt that I was quite fond of, but that was rich coffee with rich dark chocolate. What I want is instant coffee with milk chocolate, will the Japanese be able to quench my thirst?

The box is the typical Koala fare, hexagon shaped, and very loud. Full of koala stamps and pictures, a picture of the biscuits (to scale), and a nice cup of coffee on the front and sides. They also have a Japanese ad about getting something on your phone, I think it’s meant to be about koala wallpapers, not sure though. They also have a stamp for The Australian Koala Foundation. This company really does love their koalas!

Opening the top of the box reveals a large foil packet, and opening the packet produces an absolutely delicious aroma, creamy coffee wafts up my nose, I honestly couldn’t believe just how nice this smelled. My mouth was watering, and in went the hand.

And out my hand came, clutching a koala shaped biscuit, on the front was a little picture of a koala in a football strip, with a ball at his foot, smiling at me. Could I eat him? Surely not…but I had to…for the sake of this blog I popped the entire biscuit in my mouth, savoured the taste before biting. That’s a bad idea by the way, the taste of the biscuit alone is pretty bad, and it takes awhile for it to break open, these things have got to be crunched down on.

But once it did break open, out flowed the coffee cream. Oh god, it tasted just like it smelled, this was it, this was the coffee snack I’d been craving all these years. Lotte have done it right, I’ve tried Japanese canned coffee before and wasn’t overly impressed, and this is not a food form of it. It’s different, it’s not like our coffee either, it’s creamier, it’s lighter, it’s magical!

I had 22 koalas in my pack, each one of them was formed perfectly, even via all the transportation, from factory to retail, and then to JList, and then over to England, not a problem for these fellas. There are 301 calories in the pack, 33.2g of Carbs, 17.5g of Fat and 2.8g of Protein. I very highly recommend these though if you like coffee, or if you’ve tried other flavours of these and want something different. Even if you don’t like coffee too much, you’ll probably still like these. They’re absolutely great.