|גלידת שטראוס אייס קפה|
Back in May I read a few press-releases about Stratus's new ice coffee/ice cream/ices called Café Zero. It was being brought over from Italy after having major success there, and in a few other countries around the world. Until yesterday I didn't see this product in any kiosk, gas-station rest-stop shop or any other store that I checked, but I was on the lookout for it. When I came across it, in a little kiosk yesterday, I asked the owner if he knew why it’s been so hard to find it. He said that only select stores and kiosks were given the option to sell it because it’s still in the pilot stage here in Israel. They are to doing this "test" to see if it’s worth making it a permanent product here. He told me that it sells very well in his small shop and if that’s any indication he thinks by next summer it should be a permanent product and much more readily available here in Israel.
The Café Zero is available here in three flavors; Cappuccino, Espresso and Mocochino. I tasted the Cappuccino flavor. Although I am not a coffee drinker; hot, cold or iced, I do like coffee flavored ice cream so the idea of this cross between ice cream/ices/ice coffee intrigued me and I was very curious to taste it.
As I mentioned the Café Zero is meant to be a cross between ice coffee and Italian style ice cream/ices. From what I understand the new patented IPIT technology that was used to make this product is a unique way of using ice crystals to create this cross between blended ice coffee and ice cream/ices.
I definitely saw, tasted and enjoyed the tiny little ice particles that I noticed as I ate the Café Zero and yes they were crystal-like. But I can’t say it seemed all that different to a blended and then somewhat re-frozen iced coffee.
At first the Café Zero was more like ices and I couldn't drink it thru the straw, I had to scoop it up with the “spoon-like” part of the straw they give you with the produce. As it melted it was closer to an iced coffee and I was able to use the straw but I still got tiny ice crystals somewhere in the mix. I personally preferred it in the ices stage and less in the more melted stage. At that point it seemed liked your average Aroma Café-style iced coffee. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but it’s no longer so “special” or “unique”.
I didn’t find the Café Zero too overly sweet but it was plenty sweet. For a non coffee drinker it wasn’t too strong of a coffee flavor but it was clearly Cappuccino. I also picked up on, and enjoyed, the added vanilla flavor as well. I liked the “frothed milk” and cocoa dusting they put on the top. I thought they were a nice extra touch that added to the flavor of the Cappuccino Café Zero.
One thing I don’t understand, and find misleading, is the name Café Zero. This product is neither zero percent fat; each 155 gram container has 5.1 grams of fat. It surly is not zero percent sugar; each container has 31.2 grams of sugar. It also says it has a high amount of caffeine (and therefore not recommended for pregnant woman or young children), so what about this is “zero”? I really think they need to change the name so people do not think they are eating/drinking a sugar free, fat free or decaffeinated product.
I thought the packaging was really neat and cute, even if it looks more like a hot takeaway coffee cup than an iced takeaway coffee cup, I thought it was a convenient and creative packaging choice.
Bottom Line: Although it was hard for me to find this Strauss Café Zero in any shop I checked, I did enjoy it once I found it. I liked the cross between the iced coffee and ices texture of the product. But I can’t say it was all that innovative and unique. Its closer to the kind of blended iced coffees I make at home on hot days for my coffee drinking friends. Still if I’m out and about on a hot day and I find this in the kiosk freezer I am likely to pick it up again because it was tasty and refreshing.
155 gram cup- 12NIS
Kosher Dairy Cholov Israel
Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me. No one is paying me for this review. All opinions are my own