[Photograph: Linnea Zielinski]
I thought I was a java fiend before I moved to New York. But if there was any doubt then, there certainly isn’t now, as my daily coffee intake has rocketed to dizzying heights in the Empire State. If there’s one universal truth about me and my fellow espresso guzzlers, it’s this: we coffee lovers hold out hope for all things coffee-flavored. We want them to blow our java-craving minds with how true the flavor is to the art of brew.
16 Handles recently released a new flavor, Mocha Java Chip, that touts the addition of “fresh, micro-ground coffee beans.” Sure enough, there they were, studded in my (less than gracefully) swirled fro-yo. The coffee element was reminiscent of my pour-over from earlier in the morning, and the grounds added tiny moments of sharp, roasted coffee bean flavor. As taken aback as I was by this, the most impressive part was what the coffee grounds did for the chocolate flavor.
I take issue with fro-yo chocolate flavor universally; there’s always something not quite right, something not quite accurate that makes me feel the need to add quotation marks around the word ‘chocolate.’ The bitter element from the coffee grounds actually bolstered the chocolate flavor, making it a bit more like the “dark chocolate” flavor it was claiming to be. The texture was on the icy side, but not enough to detract from the taste.
Don’t go rushing over quite yet; by all means finish your doppio espresso. If you happen to be hankering for an iced coffee or mocha, though, this might just be the perfect substitute especially as warmer weather rolls in.
About the author: Linnea Zielinski is the person in NYU’s Publishing program that talks about food and food publications all class long, fueled entirely by double espressos. For a glimpse into the highly-caffeinated world of a foodie grad student, follow her on Twitter.