Tim Tam Espresso Martini

March 10, 2016 at 12:43 | Posted in biscuits | 2 Comments
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espresso martini tim tam packetWell, those folks at Arnott’s keep churning out these new Tim Tams. The new strategy seems to be to launch a new flavour every day, have it in the market for perhaps a week or so, and then replace it with something new. It certainly makes for exciting shopping, if rather exhausting blogging.

The two new flavours are inspired by cocktails. Arnott’s have got into hot water with this approach before. In 2004 they launched Tia Maria flavoured Tim Tams, which apparently contained a tiny amount of alcohol. This was condemned by the Australian Drug Foundation – ‘won’t somebody think of the children!’, although the controversy I’m sure was great for sales. This time they are playing safe, with a clear ‘virgin’ appended before the name. That said, when I see ‘Virgin’ I think of slightly seedy bearded entrepreneurs, not alcohol-free cocktails.

espresso martini tim tam biscuitSo how are they? When, in many ways they are quite similar to the ‘Three Bean‘ flavour that was available a little while ago (but seems now to be discontinued). They have an attractive coffee flavour, with a slightly grown up taste, which perhaps is the virgin Martini. Stirred but not shaken, perhaps. Not a classic, but not bad at all. If you liked the Three Bean flavour, you will like these about as much. If you hated Three Bean, you’ll hate these about as much.

Not much more to say really. I’ll give them a seven out of ten. Next week, we’ll look at the other new cocktail flavour – Pina Colada, so stay tuned.

Tim Tam Three Bean

August 2, 2015 at 14:36 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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timtam3beanpackGoodness. Another new Tim Tam. They really are churning them out. But is it all quantity at the expense of quality?

The latest incarnation is ‘Three Bean’ – the three beans in question being vanilla, cocoa and coffee. Some years ago I used to drink coffee with a friend in a cafe called ‘Three Beans’. Rather good coffee it was too, and many a worlds wrong we set to rights over a short black.

Would this new range (exclusive to Woolworths, it appears), live up to those memories? Or is this going to be another Peanut Butter debacle?

A few years ago, I’d have been pretty prejudiced from the start. I never used to like the whole coffee / chocolate combo thing, but I have to say as I get older and mellower it is growing on me. I have become rather fond of those chocolate-covered coffee beans you can buy – or at last I was, until I found that after eating a handful of them (well, several handfuls really), I was unable to sleep for about a week. I am rather sensitive to caffeine, you see, but it never occurred to me that eating whole coffee beans was really just one massive stimulant boost.

timtam3beanbiscuitSo how does the Tim Tam Three Bean fare? Well, actually I thought it was rather good. Coffee taste was rich and authentic, the vanilla added a nice sweetness and the chocolate finished it off nicely. I ate rather a lot of these in one sitting quite late at night – and then wondered if I would be unable to sleep. Luckily I didn’t experience any insomnia, so the caffeine content I guess must be quite low.

I’m going to give these a solid seven out of ten, but it’s probably worth mentioning that they were not a 100% hit around the office – some people were not so keen, so caveat emptor and all that.


Milk Coffee

June 7, 2011 at 20:11 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Just how many biscuits do you need to go with your coffee? We recently looked at the ‘Morning Coffee‘ biscuit, and now the ‘Milk Coffee’. And why is there no ‘Afternoon Tea’ biscuit? These are the things that keep me awake at night.

I actually think that this biscuit is the slightly upmarket version of the ‘Morning Coffee’. This one sports the full Arnott’s livery, and is available from the supermarket, as opposed to the ‘Morning Coffee’ which seems to be aimed at institutions.

And that is exactly how it looks and tastes. Slightly thicker than the Morning Coffee, with a classier scalloped edge, but essentially the same kind of thing. Perhaps a slightly lighter bake, with a more open texture; a slightly richer taste. But we’re talking graduations of a few degrees here, so it’s nothing to get excited about. I gave the Morning Coffee four out of ten, and these deserve the same rating. Or perhaps a 4.1 out of ten…

Morning Coffee

April 1, 2011 at 09:31 | Posted in biscuits | 7 Comments
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This morning, I needed to get some milk, so popped out to the corner shop just down the road. It’s one of those amazing local shops that seems to have rather random opening times. When it is open you go in and discover they do all sorts of things; they sell funnels and will cook you a fried egg sandwich. Fertiliser is on the shelf next to the baby food. They stock gas masks.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, such corner shops are a treasure trove of rarely-sighted Arnott’s biscuits, and on this occasion I was not disappointed. Because on the shelf was a packet of Morning Coffee – a variety I have never seen elsewhere. It was immediately apparent, however, that this was no ordinary packet. The packet design was of the old, out-of-date sort. Arnott’s changed away from this design several years ago, so what was this packet doing here? I turned it over to see if it was indeed an ancient relic, long past its sell-by date. But no, it was current, with a sell-by date of March 2011. Well, here was a fascinating anomaly. I of course had to buy it, and rushed home in excitement. Such excitement, in fact, that I forgot to buy the milk, and then had to go back again in order to be able to make tea.

Interestingly, the Morning Coffee variety does not feature on the main Arnott’s website. Is this line being phased out? Have I secured perhaps a packet from the last ever batch of Morning Coffee ever made? And if so, why have they stopped making it?

A little more research revealed that the Morning Coffee can still be found on the ‘Arnott’s Food Service’ website. Hurrah! It’s not completely dead then. Still, it’s omission from the main website, and the outdated pack design are rather worrying, as if it is on a list to be axed. Please don’t do it, Arnott’s! We love your glorious multitudes!

Anyway, for all that, what is it like? Well, it’s a quite thin rectangular biscuit, embossed with what seems to be a representation of the TV test card. It seems a little institutional, like the kind of biscuit you would get at a hospital, probably with a cup of tea served in a green cup and saucer. Perhaps this is the main market for this line, which explains why Arnott’s do not promote it on their consumer website.

It’s made with golden syrup, and it does have a faint syrupy taste. However don’t get too excited; this is a very boring biscuit. On the plus side it dunks into tea very well indeed; I didn’t try it with coffee because the only coffee I like is espresso and it just seems weird to dunk a biscuit into a thimbleful of strong coffee. But with tea it was really quite good.

It’s pretty much par for the course, as these types of plain biscuits go. With a cup of tea I did manage to nosh through half the packet. I’d give these a very creditable four out of ten.

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