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, 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, so 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-wrappedThat’s pretty much the market that Canadian confectioner Awake is going after with its line of caffeinated chocolate bars, which have been available at grocery stores, gas stations and other fine chocolate retailers across Canada since 2012, more recently expanding into 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 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 chocolate is available as plain-old milk chocolate or caramel-filled, in both bar form or bite sized, and is sold at retailers across Canada and the U.S. Visit the company’s website for more details.


  • 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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