Mannheim Steamroller Cinnamon Cocoa mix gives Swiss Miss a run for its money

Categories: Food

The Gimme Noise desk, ever cluttered with mailers and leaflets, could essentially double as an incinerator of absurd promotional material, a waypoint on the journey to the bottom of the Mississip for so many double discs and failed opuses that, for all involved, would be best left nameless.

But every so often, a promotional tactic seems either so earnest or bizarrely misinformed that we must sit up and take note. The Mannheim Steamroller Cinnamon Cocoa pack, which came bundled with three of their holiday CD's, is a perfect example. Earnest or misinformed? Like their synth-brass revisions of beloved Christmas classics, a good deal of both. So, with noses pinched and lips on the cup, Gimme Noise bravely reviews Mannheim Steamroller Cinnamon Cocoa.

In the promotional basket we received, the cocoa packets were coated in a fine layer of sawdust, and the wrapping had the brittle, grimy feel of candy discovered many months after your last Halloween party. Mannheim's promoters might take note of this, and keep a tidier shipping warehouse.

Much like an Emergen-C, the cocoa powder dissolves serviceably in warm water, requiring virtually no stirring. Unlike Swiss Miss, which, despite its claim of being premium instant cocoa, settles in silty marshes at the bottom of every mug, Mannheim Steamroller Cinnamon Cocoa managed a fresh, vibrant cocoa-like solution throughout.  

Mannheim's cocoa represents as a cinnamon blend, though the cinnamon tones were vastly overpowered by a judiciously though predictably sweetened chocolate base.

The packet's portion size deserves passing complaint, as it sweetens a twelve ounce mug of water into a mildly nauseating syrup and underestimates the palate.

After the final sip, a petrified pebble of cocoa resin remained at the bottom of the mug. I had neither the heart nor courage to dislodge it, instead leaving it in the office drainer for someone else to deal with. This negatively effected the final impression.

It's not a great cocoa, and the Mannheim name adds little. But they were kind enough to send it to us. So in the spirit of reciprocity (which is, ultimately, the Christmas spirit), we'll phrase our summation carefully: Mannheim Steamroller Cinnamon Cocoa is far and away the best promotional instant cocoa mix bearing the name of a multi-platinum recording artist currently courting Gimme Noise's favor.

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