HONOLULU Staff Picks Hawai‘i Favorites: Big Island Coffee Roasters’ Espresso Bites
For this installment of local products you can buy online, in grocery stores or straight from the producer, we spotlight these espresso bars from Puna.
Photo: katrina valcourt
Big Island Coffee Roasters has a lot of really cool stuff: barrel-aged coffee, coffee fermented with wine yeasts, tiny Maui Mokka beans, peaberry coffee. There’s even a Wild Hawaiian Coffees Club that you can join by filling out a few details (such as preferred roast level and grind setting), picking your subscription tier and voilà: fresh, member-exclusive coffees that arrive at your door every month.
The company recently sent me three of its Espresso Bites bars as a thank you for supporting them. They look like chocolate bars but don’t contain any chocolate—just Hawai‘i-grown coffee, organic cocoa butter, organic sugar, vanilla bean, sea salt and non-GMO sunflower lecithin. They were completely melted in my hot mailbox, but I popped them into the fridge overnight and woke up to a delicious treat that had me kicking with excitement (I only had one small piece, I swear. Maybe I’m just stir-crazy).
The classic bar contains three shots of espresso, is vegan and can be eaten straight (highly recommended) or melted into a hot cup of milk or cocoa for a decadent treat. The salted bar is also vegan, has three shots of espresso and is topped with red ‘alaea salt from Moloka‘i. The latte bar, with organic milk powder and two shots of espresso, is so creamy it’s like chewing on a latte but in a totally nondisgusting way.
You can buy the bars in packs of three for $24 online (shipping is free for a limited time) or find individual bars in certain stores such as Whole Foods and Foodland. When I bought a few bags of coffee earlier this month, there was also the option to add a random bar to my order for $5 (so of course I did). Each bar counts as one serving, but I’ve been savoring them for weeks, having just a nibble here and there after lunch to get me through the afternoon. It’s my new favorite pick-me-up.