Monday, July 22, 2013

Ciao Bella Triple Espresso Gelato Review

[By Nick, discontinued for the 2014 rebranding/reformulating] There’s just something about receiving a package of frozen goods in the mail. It never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail…(Please don’t sue me, Viacom) In all seriousness though, I really do get excited when I come home to a styrofoam container on my doorstep. Not only do I get a bunch of dry ice that I can use to turn my house into a foggy forest, but usually I get to try products that I wouldn’t have been able to try otherwise. See, living in the middle of nowhere means my selection of Ciao Bella flavors is nonexistent except for a couple of their sorbets. Thankfully the awesome folks over at Ciao Bella agreed to send me a few faux-pints (yes, they’re 14oz containers) of their gelato to try out. Seeing as I’m on a coffee kick and still raving about G.S. Gelato's Tiramisu, it was only natural that I tried out Ciao Bella Triple Espresso gelato first.

According to the container, this one is made from a blend of three different roasted Italian coffee beans (Hint: Triple Espresso) and rich cream. That’s pretty straight forward but they do go on to say that it “is sure to perk up your taste buds.” Let’s see if they can fulfill that promise.

With the lid off, there seems to be a little iciness to the top layer. It reminds me of what you find at the top of some of Talenti’s pints. Visually it looks like just about every other coffee frozen dessert that I’ve had except for one thing. If you look closely, you can see little specks of ground coffee beans.  It’s like the coffee version of a vanilla bean dessert.

You know how vanilla bean flavors tend to be more flavorful? Well, that’s exactly the case here. This is some of the most potent and intense coffee frozen dessert that I have ever tried. The flavor is more on the dark side with a pleasant amount of bitterness. Seeing as I prefer coffee like that, this is the perfect bowl of gelato for me. It’s not surprising that this one is so bold considering the ingredient list. Besides the three Italian coffee beans, they also include espresso concentrate AND coffee concentrate. This isn’t for the fair-weather coffee fans. I also just noticed that there’s no actual refined sugar in this flavor. The only sweeteners used are evaporated cane juice and tapioca syrup. That’s interesting to say the least. Oh and for those wondering, yes my taste buds are indeed perked up!

Texturally, this one isn’t quite up to par with the likes of Talenti and G.S. Gelato. Don’t get me wrong, the texture is very creamy and dense like most gelatos. It also doesn’t leave any sort of film in your mouth just like a good gelato. I can’t put my finger on it but there’s just something that makes me feel like it’s more closely related to ice cream. That said, it reminds me more of actual gelato than say Haagen-Daz's new line up. In comparing it with G.S. Tiramisu, I’d give the slight nod to Ciao Bella in the flavor department seeing as I prefer a more bitter coffee flavor. On the other hand, G.S. blows Ciao Bella out of the water when it comes to texture. I really can’t say I prefer one over the other but you can’t go wrong with either of them. Now if only there was a way to combine the two to make my own perfect coffee gelato flavor.

Verdict?  Boldest coffee flavor I’ve ever tried.
Buy Again?  If I could get my hands on it.


Unknown said...

Good to see you got your Ciao Bella :) I have to say I'm not a fan of coffee but I can't wait to see what else they sent you!

Nick Rovo said...

@Sam: They sent over 4 pints, none of which were the sea salt caramel flavor you reviewed though.