13 April 2012

Grinds: Coffee Pouches Review. 13 April 2012.

I've been writing about snus for about 4 years now, and one of the things I miss the most is Elixyr Power Energy. It was a snus that not many people enjoyed, but had an energy component that no other snus had. I've accepted that no company wants to take on the task again of pairing nicotine and caffeine, I don't think we'll ever see this again. But the smokeless/energy category is one that still has yet to be fully tapped into. In 2009, Swedish Match released Onico+, which contains ginseng and guarana. No caffeine yet. However, I was surprised and overjoyed to hear about Grinds, a new product based on coffee. Grinds is listed as "Freshly ground coffee put in a pouch! Healthy alternative to chewing tobacco. No nicotine. No tobacco. Caffeine equivalent of 5 cups of coffee per can. [Each pouch would have about 1/4 cup of coffee] Same energy boosting ingredients as 5-Hour-Energy or Red Bull. Available in 3 delicious flavors." And the ingredients are listed as simply, "Coffee, Water, Caffeine, Glycerin, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, B-Vitamins, Guarana, Sodium Bonzoate, Natural & Artificial Flavors - All Food Ingredients FDA Approved and Supplements Compliant with DSHEA". As an advocate for anything that can help people quit smoke or dip - I was really interested to see what these little puppies had going for them.

If you've been following my blog for any period of time, one thing you probably know about me is that I like to do a cut test to see just what's inside of anything I'm putting in my lip. For example, from my review on the American Skoal "Snus", I did a "Moisture Comparison" just to show what's inside each of these pouches. So I was quite curious to see what was hiding in the ridiculously dark Grinds pouches. Very moist coffee, grinded very finely. That's a good thing. Most American companies try to make everything dry, which may be cheaper or what they "think Americans want", but Grinds must have done their homework and added a considerable amount of moisture to their product, which to me looks over the 50% content of most snuses I'm used to. So kudos to them there for actually taking the time to research this and make a quality pouch. Hey, Camel/Skoal/Marlboro - are you guys listening? So, let's get into each one and see what these things are all about.



Grinds:  Mint Chocolate Review

NOTE:  Check out our updated 2017 review on Grinds Mint Chocolate - HERE!  

Looking at these things - wow. They are insanely moist. More moist than any snus pouch I've ever seen. I'm sure these are designed to be put in your lower lips as they are targeting mostly the "dip" crowd by hooking in with baseball and whatnot, but I'm a snuser - so these babies are going upper deck. The aroma of these things is amazing. I could smell it from the outside of the can, but once you open it - wow. It smells really good. I've gone on record that I'm not a coffee guy, but for some reason I like the smell and taste of coffee beans. Just as a drink it doesn't do it for me. These have an underlying bitterness to them which is distinctively coffee, but with flavors wrapped around it to not make it a turn-off. Mint Chocolate has a neat little tingle to it and an underlying coolness along with a great flavor that reminds me of Thunder ChocMint.  The pouches are also very comfortable in the lip.  And wow, what a kick.  It's almost immediate and it is strong!  The flavor doesn't last too long and kinda mellows out after about 30 minutes, but overall a good experience.


Grinds:  Cinnamon Roll Chocolate Review

Moving along to Cinnamon Roll - this is the one that smells the best. It smells like a cinnamon roll, for real. I can even smell butter in there somewhere, it's crazy. As with the last one, the pouches are super moist, and though I know these are intended to be lower decked, I'm going to upper deck - because I'm a snuser and it's how I roll. As with Mint Chocolate, there is an underlying bitterness due to the presence of coffee, but the flavors of Cinnamon Roll counteract that and it's actually a pretty pleasant taste all around. It tastes like - wait for it - a cinnamon roll. The flavor lasts a good 30 minutes before it mellows out and kinda fades away, but the caffeine kick is killer. These would definitely be a great early morning pick me up - breakfast/coffee/caffeine in one. This one's so good I want to eat it, though the folks at Grinds don't advise that - so don't go eating your pouches.

Grinds:  Mocha Chocolate Review

Last but not least - Mocha. As I've said before, I'm not a big coffee fan, but I do like the taste/aroma of coffee beans, so I'll see how this one turns out. As Denis Leary once said, "It's coffee flavored coffee." Last round, insanely moist coffee pouch going in the upper lip. The aroma of these is straight up coffee beans - no vanilla, no sugar, no sweetness - just coffee. If you're into that kinda thing, you'll dig these. Without the accompanying flavor I found these can be rather bitter and I can't keep one in my mouth longer than 10-15 minutes. Your results may be different, but I'm not much of a coffee guy so the taste was a bit of a turn-off for me. But if you like coffee taste - these are probably more for you than me. The caffeine kick was almost immediate, and after spending a day with these and going through pouch after pouch I feel like I'm ready to run a marathon. Seriously. These things are no joke when it comes to caffeine.


I was interested to see what was under the label because it looked quite familiar, so after peeling it back it was neat to see the V2 "Snus" can. These cans are everywhere. I would like to add - this isn't snus, so despite the can we still have to keep these separate in our minds. These are "Coffee Pouches" which is something completely new, and very welcome in the smokeless category, might I add. My only complaint about Grinds? Their site is linking to The Lies....I mean, "The Truth", which is a seriously anti-tobacco group. As a harm reduction advocate and someone who has fought to spread the word about harm reduced alternatives, this does kinda bug me a bit. If you want to know more about "The Truth" and their lie machine that churns out anti-tobacco material, check out this article I did a while back that goes up against what they say is "the truth". Other than that - Grinds is a great new product which I think has a seat at the table amongst all the other anti-smoking anti-dipping products. The quality is great, the flavors are on point, and I look forward to seeing their products spread and more people use them.

3 comments:

  1. I liked the Cinnamon Roll the best. Thing is, after 2 pouches, I would get a really bad headache. Don't think is was the caffeine since I drink a lot of coffee.

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  2. I tell you, as someone looking for an alternative to snus (hard to get in Canada) or chew, or even the various NRTs for years now, this has finally unhooked me. I get to fidget with a pack, and get a "dose" of something. I just say that this is good for the coffee and post-meal nic fit, but it doesn't help as much for the beer/booze nic fit. I'd be curious if it were possible to get a better accompaniment for beer...

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