Skip to Content

Pocket Coffee: The Italian Obsession Locals Love

Pocket Coffee by Ferrero

Pocket Coffee has been a hidden secret in Italy for decades. It’s time the world discovered these delicious little caffeinated treats and share in the obsession.

You can find them all around Italian tabbachi and supermarkets. Those bright red, retro boxes of Pocket Coffee from legendary chocolatier Ferrero Rocher. These unique little chocolates harbor a sweet, caffeinated treat inside that’ll give you a boost anytime of day.

So just what makes these coffee candies so special? Continue reading for everything you need to know about this treasured Italian pick-me-up.

How much caffeine in pocket coffee

I first learned about these espresso candies when my Florentine friend Dominique gave me one to try after a long day of travel. He explained that Italians love these little caffeine bombs and Italian expats living in the UK especially miss these treats when away from home.

Dominique, my Italian friend who introduced me to Pocket Coffee
Me and Dominique, my Italian friend who introduced me to Pocket Coffee

What is Pocket Coffee?

Pocket Coffees are individually wrapped bite-sized chocolates with sweet espresso inside each hollow piece. It doesn’t have a syrupy, artificially flavored blend like you might find in American candies. Rather, these contain real espresso, slightly sweetened, which gives it a strong and delightful coffee taste.

Pocket Coffees are primarily made of liquid espresso filling, bittersweet chocolate, whole milk chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, lactose, sugar and coffee extract. The slogan is, “The energy of chocolate and the charge of coffee.”

Espresso to go by Ferrero

How to Eat Pocket Coffee

The inside filling is actually very liquid and runny. Therefore, I would recommend putting the entire chocolate into your mouth at once to prevent any accidents or spillage. If you try to take a bite of just half the chocolate, the espresso interior will likely spill everywhere and cause a mess.

It’s best to eat these treats at room temperature. This way, you can fully appreciate the dark chocolate and sweet notes.

Where to buy pocket coffee usa

Where to Buy

In Italy, you can buy Pocket Coffee at almost any roadside gas station, supermarket or tabbachi shop. They’re usually located near the checkout register to grab before paying.

If you’re located outside Italy, you can still purchase Pocket Coffee easily online. I get mine from Amazon–delish!

Pocket coffee espresso by Ferrero

When to Buy Coffee Candies

Remarkably, shops in Italy only stock these little chocolates from about October to April to avoid the heat of summer. Otherwise, its delicate contents might melt into one messy goo. Air conditioners are less common in Italy and the ones that do exist can have trouble keeping up with the hottest summer days. The limited availability makes these treats all the more exclusive and desirable. Get them while you can!

Espresso To Go by Fererro

Pocket Coffee in the Summer

Thankfully, they also make a summery counterpart to Pocket Coffee called Espresso To Go, sold in the summer months throughout all parts of Italy. Espresso To Go is not a chocolate, but rather sweetened espresso in a portable and ready-to-drink format, safe and stable at room temperature.

The packaging even includes a little straw to sip from. Very cute! And best of all, the hot summer sun won’t be able to melt your espresso if you leave it in your pocket while you explore sunny piazzas and shady cafes in Milan or Rome.

Pocket Coffee Gelato is another special format available during the summer months. These ice creams on a stick are the perfect way to get a boost of energy and satisfy that sweet tooth! These are sold at supermarkets throughout Italy.

Ferrero Pocket Coffee ice cream bars

Caffeine Content of Pocket Coffee

How much caffeine is in one Pocket Coffee? It has around 20 milligrams of caffeine, which is around one third of what a typical espresso contains (60 to 70 mg) and about 20 percent of what a standard American cup of coffee has (95 mg).

Pocket Coffee’s caffeine content is close to a cup of green tea. Basically, it is enough to get a mild effect hopefully without feeling too wired or affecting your sleep. It is also available in decaf. Each piece has around 50 calories, so it’s a healthier habit to cultivate than sugary energy drinks which often have hundreds of calories in one can. In my opinion, it’s far tastier too!

This TikTok video shows what eating a Pocket Coffee is like:

@thepasinis

You need some Pocket Coffee in your life!

♬ original sound – Jessi & Alessio

History of Pocket Coffee

Ferrero Rocher originally created these caffeinated chocolates around 1968 as a way to have portable coffee on the go. Through the years, advertising for Pocket Coffee has pitched it as a quick solution for feeling drowsy at work or school, a more cultured cousin of a portable energy drink that many Americans might use today. This ad from the 1990s gives a dose of nostalgia and demonstrates the intended purpose of these chocolates:

In conclusion, Pocket Coffees are sweet little bites of heaven. Loaded with energy, filled with luscious espresso and covered in velvety chocolate–they’re the perfect afternoon treat or souvenir from your time abroad.

Grab some for your friends. Grab some for yourself. Either way, just give them a try! I hope you love them as much as I do.

If you’re headed to Italy, don’t miss my 10 must-know Italian phrases for travelers. Or if Florence is on your itinerary, consider reading about the infamous wine windows throughout the city!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more Italy and travel content!

Discover more from Michelle Altenberg

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading