As everyone knows, I’m a sucker for anything that purports to be packed full of caffeine. And upon hearing about Engobi, little snacky bits “infused with caffeine,” I was intrigued. Each single serving bag comes with 140mg of caffeine. They come in two flavors: Cinnamon Surge and Lemon Lift. So they sent me over some samples to try out.
The cinnamon variety starts off fairly tasty: there’s the sugar and the cinnamon to greet you. They’re nice and crispy corn and wheat puff things that are very pleasant to initially chomp into. But then you greet the bane of many a caffiend’s existence: sucralose. What’s odd is it’s the last ingredient on the ingredient list, and yet it’s the one that stays with you. Even more than the caffeine taste. And considering the back of the bag states that there’s, on average, 66 pieces in each bag–that’s around just a hair over 2mg of caffeine per crispy bit. Is the taste of 2.5mg of caffeine such that the sucralose is warranted? I honestly don’t know. I don’t consume the stuff in such small quantities normally. It’s easy to see how you could blow through a bag of this stuff, since I wanted to get that initial rush of cinnamon and sugar not just because it was pleasant but also because that overwhelmed the lingering sucralose aftertaste. An aftertaste that lingered for a good twenty minutes.
[ad#longpost]The Lemon Lift is better in this regard, but then again it’s got a familiar lemon taste (but with no lemon or natural flavors listed–instead “flavoring”) that tastes like lemon cake icing. Now this isn’t a bad thing: I’m dangerous around lemon cakes. I’m not sure why the sucralose taste is better served by the lemon variety. There’s no more sugar than what’s in the cinnamon kind: 4g per bag. But you do get sugar and brown sugar. Are they able to team up and save me from sucralose aftertaste? I don’t know, honestly. I do know that there is some aftertaste, but it’s tolerable. And I don’t feel the need to scarf down the bag in order to protect myself from it.
At this point, some of you might be wondering why I bother reviewing products with sucralose at all, since I seem to think it’s nothing but Satanspawn. Yea, I know not seems, it is Satanspawn. That being said, there are products that use sucralose in ways that don’t ruin the taste of the products in question. Springing to mind, besides this lemon variety of Engobi, is the recently reviewed Venom Black Mamba drink. And Foosh and Buzz Bites from Vroom. What I find most frustrating about sucralose is that if you just took it out, you’d have a high quality product on many of these other products I’ve declared vile. I want the cinnamon and sugar taste to stay with me, not the taste of melted colored plastic.
As it stands, Engobi is probably going to be good with people who are good with sucralose. If you can tolerate that fake plastic aftertaste, then you will go through bag after bag of this stuff. It’s very tasty. And if they get the sucralose behind them, then I think they’ll really kick some ass. As to whether or not it delivered 140mg of kick, I honestly couldn’t finish a bag of these. So I can’t speak to that. But for most normal humans, 140mg is nothing to sneeze at. They do deliver (mostly) on their promises, but I wish they could do it with real sugar. Or less aftertaste.