Gear Review: Awake Caffeinated Chocolate Bars

My first experience with a new caffeinated product – outside of the usual suspects like coffee, tea, and soda – came in the late 90s via Penguin Peppermints. The mints were a straightforward combination of breath freshener and energy jolt that got me through more than a few long shifts at the retail job I was working at the time. It was intimidating at first. This was before energy drinks like Red Bull had really hit the mainstream. The idea of eating or drinking something purely for that “energy” kick was still a little new – but soon proved to be a convenient, portable way to hit the ground running without downing cup after cup of coffee.

bar wrapped

Awake Caffeinated Chocolate

That’s pretty much the market that Canadian confectioner Awake is going after with its line of Awake Caffeinated Chocolate bars. They have been available at grocery stores, gas stations, and other fine chocolate retailers across Canada since 2012 and are now available all over the U.S.

But wait a second. Isn’t chocolate already caffeinated? (Pause for a quick Wikipedia check on the chemical composition of chocolate…) Yes, it’s true. Chocolate does “ship” with small amounts of caffeine already built-in, courtesy of Mother Nature. The thing about Awake’s caffeinated chocolate is that it comes packed with a whole lot more caffeine than you’re going to find in your average Hershey bar – as much as in a cup of coffee, or 101 milligrams, per bar. (That’s also about the same caffeine content as a 250ml energy drink.)

What does it taste like? Well, it tastes like chocolate. Chocolate that you can eat for breakfast with a straight face. And what else does it need to be anyway?

Awake caffeinated chocolate is available in a variety of flavors, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and caramel-filled, in both bar form or bite-sized. It is sold at retailers across Canada and the U.S., as well as on Amazon.

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This article was first published on April 14, 2014. It was most recently updated on October 24, 2023.

About the author

Tim Sprinkle

Tim Sprinkle is a Denver-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Outside, Backpacker and Wired.

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