There are two leading brands of coffee candy containing real coffee
inside i.e. it have real caffeine and is made of coffee powder/extract.
These are good sweets – they’re marketed as “coffee on the go” and it
really does feel like drinking coffee (if you eat enough).
The market leader is Kopiko, which has been around forever
(figuratively speaking). It hails from Indonesia, our neighbors to the
south and the retail price is about RM 2.40 for a 150 gram packet. It’s
made in Jarkata, Indonesia and imported in. There is a local
manufacturer, but I prefer the imported ones.
Kopiko tastes sweet and I guesstimate that 10 of these little sweets
have the caffeine equivalent of a glass of iced coffee. It’s the most
popular coffee sweets and tastes good, with aromatic coffee notes. It’s
the cheaper one of the two and Kopiko has diversified into making real
coffee – instant coffee and coffee beans.
The other leading brand is a newcomer and is called United Coffee
Candy. Hailing from our neighbors to the north, this product of
Thailand retails for about twice the price of Kopiko at RM 4.40. The
packet is 200 grams though, and it’s imported from Chonburi, Thailand.
United Coffee Candy beats Kopiko in the taste department, from most
taste testers…now, this is one candy that tastes like real kopi peng.
United Coffee Candy is flatter in shape than Kopiko and but packs a
little more punch in the caffeine department. My qualitative estimate
puts 8 United Coffee Candy sweets as equivalent to the amount of
caffeine in a typical glass of iced coffee i.e. 10 mg per sweet,
assuming that a typical glass of coffee has 80 mg of caffeine.
I prefer United Coffee Candy over Kopiko but Kopiko has a large
distribution network, so usually I just get Kopiko. Of course, nothing
can substitute a nice triple espresso, but I think of these sweets as
“booster doses” – something to keep the caffeine levels high throughout
the day after your morning coffee(s). :)