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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Archer Farms Mocha Cold Brew Coffee

I always have to preface coffee reviews with the disclaimer that I'm not really a "coffee guy." How unAmerican, right? I know.

I'm not saying I've never had coffee. I've had plenty of it. I just don't really like it as much as other people seem to—at least in most instances. I've been a coffee-drinker out of necessity from time to time. I've had to wake up at ridiculous hours to be at work by 6am, I've braved the cheap stuff in the office coffee pot while trying to shake myself out of that post-lunch food coma, and I've had it in place of an energy drink just to change things up.

But I'm not a "true coffee-lover" by a true coffee-lover's standards. However...

If all coffee tasted like this, I might be a little more inclined to drink it every day. There's a genuine coffee flavor, but it's already lightly sweetened, and it tastes like mocha—not a sticky sweet candy chocolate mocha, either. It's a subtle dark, earthy chocolate that blends perfectly with the cold brew coffee flavor. It's thin and chuggable, and even I didn't feel the need to add any extra sugar or creamer.

I can't imagine this flavor working quite as well hot, but maybe that's because the heat index here in South Jersey is well over a hundred degrees today. Cold is the only way to consume coffee in this weather. I've generally gravitated toward cold beverages my whole life. I'll do an ice cold Rockstar in January, but a piping hot cuppa in August? Not so much. And lucky for me, cold brew coffee was meant to be consumed chilled.

The wife—a certified coffee fan—loved this flavor as much as I did. We'll be checking out the other AF cold brew offerings in the near future. Stay tuned.

I give this coffee 9 out of 10 stars.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Archer Farms Caramel Maple Bourbon Pecan Reduced Fat Ice Cream

Cookie dough ice cream has always been one of my favorites. Maybe that's why I was so harsh on Archer Farms Reduced Fat version. I'm very particular about my cookie dough.

Maple pecan and butter pecan type ice creams are usually not at the top of my flavor maybe that's why I'm relatively impressed with this offering. It still tastes sorta diet-y if you know what I mean, but less so than the previously-reviewed cookie dough flavor, as well as many of the Halo Top/Enlightened/Moo-phoria "healthy" ice cream flavors that I've sampled over the past year or two. 

The ribbons of caramel running through this pint are plenteous and sweet, but they're quite bourbonescent as well. "Bourbonescent" means bourbony or bourbon-ish, just FYI. It's not a super harsh bourbon flavor, but it is fairly strong. It's balanced out well with the maple flavor of the ice cream itself.

There are a few pecan pieces in the mix. I'd say you get about a quarter of a pecan nut every other spoonful on average, at least in this batch. That's not bad, but I wouldn't have minded quite a bit more of them.

Walnuts would have been a nice touch, too. Nuts are rich in protein, right? So they stick to the whole "high-protein ice cream" theme we've got going here.

If you don't mind the taste of bourbon, I think we've got a winner here—at least for fans of these newfangled diet ice creams. This one is among the best. But it's still a diet ice cream. $3.69 at my local Target.

I give this flavor 7 out of 10 stars. And I'm a very tough grader when it comes to ice cream.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Archer Farms Cookie Dough Reduced Fat Ice Cream

I've never been huge on diet ice creams. Whether they're fat free, sugar free, or reduced calorie, I find they almost always fall drastically short of their full calorie counterparts—not to mention short of my expectations.

But that's no surprise. If you want to lose weight, eat better, and be fitter, you've got to make sacrifices somewhere. I'm not saying I'm super fit right now, but for me, eating diet ice creams has never been the answer. I'd rather eat half a cup of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby and enjoy every bite of it than eat a whole pint of ice cream that I'm only marginally happy with.

Enter Halo Top and the myriad of ice cream companies imitating them. In recent years, there's been a diet ice cream revolution of sorts. Even I must admit that Halo Top took diet ice cream to a new level. It's still not even close to a good old-fashioned scoop of the real stuff in my humble opinion, but it's closer than diet ice cream has ever been.

There's been a little buzz about these reduced fat, reduced calorie ice creams from Archer Farms on social media. I guess they're Target's answer to the "healthy" ice cream craze. I'm writing this review having only tried this flavor, so I'll be reviewing only this flavor in this post.

It's a little disappointing, to be honest. Not terrible. But if I were ranking all the diet ice creams I've ever had, I'd put this offering just below any of the three or four Halo Top flavors I've tried.

The vanilla ice cream isn't particularly vanilla-y, and there aren't nearly enough pieces of cookie dough in the mix. There seemed to be more "chocolaty pieces" than cookie dough chunks, but there weren't even a ton of those. Also, they didn't add much as far as flavor. I wouldn't have minded if they had skipped the chocolaty pieces altogether and simply found a way to put in at least twice as much cookie dough. The cookie dough was my favorite part of this ice cream, but there just wasn't enough of it to rescue the rest of the product.

On a more positive note, the ice cream is indeed surprisingly low in calories and fat, there's a good bit of protein, and it's only $3.69—cheaper than Halo Top by a significant margin, unless you're lucky enough to find it on sale at a grocery store.

The wife wasn't super enthused about eating this ice cream either. We really wanted to love it, but in the end, it's just another diet ice cream. If a pint of ice cream makes it 48 hours in our freezer without being totally consumed, I'd have to say it's probably not that great. This stuff's been here nearly a week.

I give this ice cream 6 out of 10 stars.

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